Tag Archives: Film

The Observation Deck: Bubble

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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There are a number of anime that I approached in the past with the mentality of really wanting to like them. Whether it was because of a specific visual in a trailer, or a plot summary that felt particularly compelling, I watched them with the expectation that I was going to enjoy them. The best example of this which comes to mind is Food Wars, of which I sat through two and a half seasons before finally realizing how utterly mediocre it is.

Unfortunately, it seems as though I and many others have had a similar experience when it comes to Netflix’s latest anime film Bubble. In this case, a lot of what got people excited upon its announcement last year was the big names attached to the project, most notable of which are Tetsurou Araki (Attack on Titan, Death Note) and Gen Urobuchi (Madoka Magica, Psycho-Pass, Fate/Zero). Sadly, though, for as much talent as this project managed to pull, it only ended up being just ok.

Bubble tells the story of a seemingly magical Tokyo, where the appearance of bubbles followed by an extreme explosion created a unique anti-gravity environment that was flooded by the surrounding ocean. This new environment attracted an experimental project involving orphans and parkour where teams compete for resources while living in this now floating city.

Doing Too Much

Another thing that this movie made me imagine was a writer’s room filled with like 20 people where everyone was just kind of shouting out ideas to the head writer (Urobuchi in this case) and they just kind of write it all down and try to make it work in order to keep everyone happy. Kind of a shame really, since Urobuchi’s writing is generally very purposeful and slimmed down to only the most important elements.

Like, take a second to really think about how many plot points get introduced. A bubble storm that destroys Tokyo, orphans who invade the city while it is on lockdown, a then seemingly government-endorsed research project, a parkour sports league that may or may not be government-endorsed, a bubble that gains sentience and becomes obsessed with the main characters, a plot by one of the parkour teams to kidnap the lead researcher of the science project…what?

This movie drops picks up and drops story beats like Thor suddenly losing his connection to Mjolnir. Multiple times. Generally speaking, I tend to give more points to interesting ideas even when they are executed badly. After all, in an age where art is as well funded as it has ever been and now everything is a re-tread of something else, having genuinely new ideas is hard. Still, the media does need to execute for it to be worth watching, so ultimately the story fails in that department.

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Well, It is Pretty

Honestly, that could be the tagline for most of the anime films I have covered over the last few years. However, Bubble does go the extra mile above simply having a few nice-looking frames, because my god is the choreography in this film phenomenal.

And no, the use of the word choreography here is not a mistake. Sure, the characters are technically playing a non-dancing sport, but the way they are animated to glide through the air while bouncing from building to building, car to rock, is absolutely breath-taking. While I am incredibly lazy and therefore cannot be bothered to check the entirety of the staff listing for both projects, it is clear that Wit-Studio and many of those who worked to bring the visuals of the 3D Maneuver Gear in Attack on Titan to life brought the same passion to the parkour scenes in Bubble.

Speaking of, parkour is actually such a cool thing to watch. There was definitely a time in recent history when the saturation of parkour videos on YouTube made it hard not to meme. Yet, it never stopped those videos from being fun to watch. I will not sit here and lie saying I watched them for hours, but I would also be lying if I said the occasional parkour compilation video did not get me hyped. Again, it is one of those ideas which feels genuinely unique to this film, and it does look nice, but it never feels like it adds anything to the story.

Good Music

It feels like ever since the release of Your Name back in 2016, the standard for music in anime films has become Radwimps. Regardless of how one feels about the story of Your Name, and I know my opinions have certainly changed since then, the soundtrack is one area where its reputation has remained untouched.

Luckily, Bubble does not suffer much in this department either. For starters, both its opening and ending themes fit with the nature of the film, with the opening being more upbeat and EDM-based and the ending song being more of an acoustic ballad, with a more melancholic tone.

The rest of the soundtrack is composed by Hiroyuki Sawano (Again, the talent pool here is insane) and is definitely reflected in the more bombastic moments, like on the track “Tower.” However, Sawano knows how to flex his muscle a bit, as is evidenced by the more mysterious main theme which is titled after the movie and also sounds like the call of a siren. This feels appropriate since Uta is primarily compared to the little mermaid throughout the film.

Oh yeah, the characters…

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This Movie Has Characters?

I was legitimately about to wrap up writing this post without touching on the characters at all, which should tell you just how much is actually going on in this mess of a film.

The main storyline, if it can even be called that, focuses on Hibiki, one of the kids who ran away into Tokyo after the explosion at Tokyo Tower. He is something of a genius at parkour, and at times seems to be the Defacto leader of the group Blue Blaze. After an accident near the tower where he almost gets sucked into a BLACK HOLE (yeah forgot to mention there are black holes in this movie), He is saved from drowning by a bubble-turned-humanoid which he later names Uta.

The most interesting part of either character is not even the romance, but rather Hibiki’s Auditory Hypersensitivity, which is used to explain why he often spends time alone and is constantly wearing headphones. Many in online discussion of the film have taken this to be a soft confirmation that Hibiki is autistic since that particular condition is often associated with being on the spectrum. However, the film seemingly never confirms this nor does anything with it outside of a two-to-three minute flashback near the end. Again, a nice inclusion, but it feels like this could have been a much bigger focus considering where the film ends up.

I would bother to list any of the other characters except that literally none of them are consequential or even really remotely interesting. In the interest of not spoiling the movie for anyone who still wants to check it out after reading this, the best summary I can give is the following: the romance is ok, except it does not actually go anywhere. As far as the ending goes, it is exactly what one would think it is going to be once the movie reveals a certain plot point.

Conclusion

I wish I had more to say about Bubble, except actually not really because this post is already over 1000 words, but I do not. For those who do not give a shit about a compelling storyline and are fine with just looking at nice visuals for almost two hours, by all means, be my guest. For everyone else…well, it is possible to get something out of this, but chances are not particularly high.

65/100


If you have seen Bubble already, how did you feel about it? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special shoutout to Jenn for being an awesome Patron

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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The February 2022 Jon’s Creator Showcase #TheJCS

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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and welcome back everyone to the second-ever edition of the Jon Spencer Showcase hosted by Animated Observations.

As always, a quick explanation for those uninitiated. The Jon Spencer Showcase, abbreviated as TheJCS, is an event organized by members of the Jon Spencer community as a way of sharing each other’s creative endeavors. This can be anything from blog posts to videos, artwork, and really anything that one has worked on from the previous month. So, for this JCS, we’re looking at projects from January of 2022. If you would like to be a part of the community, you can do so using the discord link here.

Per usual, posts will be organized by general subject matter (i.e, anime, video games, etc.) for ease of browsing. With that being said, here are your community posts for this month!

Anime Fans & Children’s Media – A Look at Muteking the Dancing Hero – Jon Spencer/ Jon Spencer Reviews

In this fairly in-depth post, Jon from Jon Spencer Reviews talks about a subject that does not usually come up among more casual audiences: children’s anime. Specifically, he takes a look at why studying children’s media can be important, along with a show that is apparently a lot weirder than it sounds, that being Muteking the Dancing Hero. My personal experience with children’s anime is limited to a few shows that I have a bit of nostalgia for, such as Bakugan, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc. However, Jon’s post highlights a series that is both experimental and formulaic, but ultimately still does a lot right.

Masterpiece Anime Showcase: Tamayura ~More Aggressive~, A Thank You For the Past Year and Welcoming the Brand New Year – Infinitezenith/The Infinite Zenith

This impressively thorough piece details author infinitezenith’s relationship with a series that I had never heard of, Tamayura More Aggressive. Additionally, they give a detailed account of how the series affected them personally and how it also “helped [them] to take a step back and count [their] blessings at a time when my future seemed uncertain. It is a bit of a lengthier piece, but it is genuinely nice to read about how anime helps people through personal struggle, so for those that are into stuff like that, I highly recommend you check it out.

Jobless Reincarnation’s Rudeus Greyrat: The Long Hard Road. – Dewbond/Shallow Dives in Anime

Jobless Reincarnation was met with a lot of criticism upon its completion late last year, specifically for its main character Rudy. In this post, blogger Dewbond seeks to address that criticism by offering up an argument for why the series was not only a welcome departure from the isekai formula but also a unique approach to the isekai protagonist that has become the norm. Not everyone will necessarily agree with their conclusion, but it is a thought-provoking read nonetheless.

Fan Service: Is it Really Necessary? – Lynn/The Otaku Author

Fan service can often be a touchy subject in the anime community, and often invites a lot of conversation for merely existing. People can enjoy or not enjoy fan service, but Lynn is here to argue that regardless of that personal preference, fan service does have a reason to exist. This is another piece that is obviously not going to draw agreement from everyone but is a worthwhile perspective regardless.

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Top 10 Most-watched Donghua of 2021 in China – Yu Alexis/Yu Alexis

The space of increasingly popular Chinese Donghua is one that has alluded me for a long time. I would also be willing to bet the same is true for many of the people reading this. However, Yu Alexis is here to discuss the most popular of these series from 2021 and why they are doing so well. After looking into some of these series, I am genuinely curious about getting into Donghua, but before any of you do I highly suggest checking out their full list.

My Dress-Up Darling Episode 4 Review – Best In Show

Episode 4 of My Dress-Up Darling is right around the point where the show genuinely comes into its own. What in its initial couple of episodes felt a little shallow and painfully unfunny suddenly brought out the best in its two leads. Crow, of course, talks about this much better than I ever could and in a way that really highlights the episode’s strengths. Definitely a worthwhile read.

After Rain Comes Sunshine – Lita/Lita Kino’s Anime Corner

I do hope that in the year 2022 the anime community can still appreciate a good AMV every once in a while, yeah? Well, Lita is here to deliver. Using the 2018 anime After the Rain along with the song by Nickelback of the same title, she retells the story of the anime in the context of the song. It focuses on the difficult nature of the main characters’ relationship and how it may look weird from the outside, but that it should not influence their support for each other in a non-romantic context. Overall a great post and one that deserves some attention.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood Review – Tequila/Core Reviews

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has long been a cultural phenomenon, with people around the world enjoying anime and manga alike. However, Tequila has brought it back to the beginning, reviewing the show’s first season Phantom Blood. She discusses elements of the series like the relationship between Jonathan and Dio, and the series’ overall unpredictability. Overall, a great review, and one that I recommend.

Review – Fruits Basket – 1st Season 2019 – Courtney/The Anime Tourist

Fruits Basket is a series that for many in the anime community has some very fond memories associated with it. Well, Courtney is here to talk about the 2019 remake which, for the most part, was received fairly well. Does this also include The Anime Tourist? Well, you’ll have to read to find out, but regardless it is a great review. I highly recommend giving her review a read.

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How Anime Episode Reviews Capture The Moment and Promote Conversation – Karandi James/100 Word Anime

Recently, the conversation of how people enjoy anime has arguably become just as important as what anime they are enjoying. In their submission, Karandi takes the time to talk about episode reviews and why they are important to the community. The debate rests on the bigger divide which has occurred recently between companies like Netflix who traditionally release their series in batches and traditional anime release schedules which are usually weekly. Regardless of your opinion, it is an interesting discussion to have and definitely a worthwhile read.

Spoiler-Free Review: Sword Art Online the Movie -Progressive- Aria of the Starless Night – Matt/Matt-in-the-Hat

I’ll be totally honest: I have not watched anything Sword Art Online-related since I finished the first series back in 2014. However, its universe has expanded significantly since its debut in 2012. multiple seasons, spinoffs, and even movies, including the one Matt discusses in this review. While I will not give away his entire opinion, he does seem to think fans of the series will not be disappointed.

30 Best Cooking Anime Shows to Make You Drool! – YumDeku/MyAnimeGo

For better or for worse, it feels like a lot of people’s image of food-centric anime looks like Food Wars. This is not to say it is a bad show, but there are a lot of great series that inhabit this anime sub-genre. Luckily, Yum Deku is here to show everyone exactly that, as he goes through a laundry list of great series on the subject including one of my personal favorites Sweetness and Lightning. Given its length, I am sure those reading will also find something they enjoy.

Nora’s Weekly Anime Digest – Winter 2022, Week 3 – Nora/It’s Your Fault That I’m Not Popular!

It is crazy to think that the winter season of 2022 is already coming to a close relatively soon. However, It is always fun to take a look back to the beginning of a season. After all, some perceptions can change rapidly from episode to episode. This is why it was especially fun to read Nora’s thoughts on the winter season when there were only 2-3 episodes out. Anyone who is feeling that end-of-season nostalgia should check out this post.

Akebi’s Sailor uniform is okay (bit weird) – Roki B/Solitary Cubbyhole

Continuing our theme of the winter season, this post looks at a show that I think had a pretty collective response from the anime community of “foot fetish? foot fetish.” Still, as Roki points out, there are other things to appreciate such as the dynamic between the main character and her sister, while also giving off the typical “cute girl” vibe. I still recommend reading the entire post, as it is short and gets to the heart of the show very quickly.

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Anime Reviews: To Do or Not To Do? – Lyn/Tabibito’s Anistory and Beyond

I think it might be fair to say that most of us in the ani-blogging community, at least to some extent, take for granted the fact that we have an audience, to begin with. After all, not everyone approaches reviews in the same way, as is evidenced by Lyn’s post here. Sure, lots of us appreciate reviews and the perspective they bring, but not everyone reads them, nor is everyone necessarily a person who writes them. She provides a genuinely interesting perspective on criticism which I think is well worth anyone’s time.

Sabikui Bisco – Official English Sub – Scorpz/Scorpzgca

Writer Scorpz talks briefly about another Winter premier: Sabikui Bisco. It is a series set in post-apocalyptic Japan which was supposedly caused by mushroom spores. Bisco, wanted as a criminal for spreading these spores, is, in reality, using them to help return the earth to its previous state. Scorpz provides some key information as well as showcases the show’s trailer, so if this is a series that sounds interesting, definitely give it a look.

Anime Corner: Lupin the 3rd: The First Review – Chris Joynson/Never Argue with a Fish

Lupin the 3rd is a series with a lot of history behind it, and I do mean a lot, as its original manga was released in 1967. However, the series has continually been updated and redone in a variety of fashions, including in its latest film. Here, Chris Joynson of Never Argue with a Fish breaks down the film and gives his final opinion on the matter. Lupin is not a series I traditionally keep up with, but it was nice to read his thoughts regardless.

Celeste – Ellie/The Almighty Backlog

Make no mistake about it, Celeste is an indie video game darling. It has received nothing but praise since its release back in 2018 and has been released on virtually every console. Yet, for as much as the game seems to be loved, Ellie has a different take. While she certainly gives the game its due diligence, she also discusses the nature of games that are made challenging on purpose, and how not everyone plays games for a challenge, a conversation that has only gotten more widespread in the last few years. It is a substantive review, regardless, and highly worth the read.

Top 10 Cosy Comfort Characters For When You’re Feeling Under the Weather – Oona Tempest/Sweet and Spicy Otome Game Reviews

Hey, all you *check notes* “plague-infested couch gremlins…” Are you looking for some comfort characters? Well, then this is the right place. Otome enthusiast Oona Tempest has some great recommendations. At least, I think so? I have never actually played an otome game before, but I can definitely see how some of these characters would come off as fairly attractive. Regardless, give it a read.

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Ziggurat 2 – A Review – Static/Overage Gaming

In a gaming landscape that spans triple AAA developers to single-digit indie studio teams, it is actually pretty easy to find hidden gems. I get the feeling that Ziggurat 2 might be one such game. Writer Static talks about the sequel to the original Ziggurat, a game that focuses on rebuilding its namesake, a prison that houses magical creatures. They go pretty in-depth while focusing on and scoring the categories of graphics, sound, gameplay, and how much fun the game is. Idk, it has me pretty convinced, and I think those reading might be as well.

Moonrise [Game Review] – Matt Doyle/Matt Doyle Media

Want a werewolf story with visual novel mechanics, replayability, and good gender/sex representation? Well now you’re just being a little specific, huh? Still, Matt seems to have a good game for that. In this post, They talk about the game Moonrise, a romance werewolf story where choices matter and there are plenty of love interests to choose from. Those who enjoy this genre of game will probably get a kick out of it, but I highly recommend reading the whole post for a full breakdown.

8 Recommended Romance Webtoons – Nabe-Chan/Geeknabe

Oh, golly gee do I love me a good romance. It is a genre that has a pretty big market across both anime and, in particular, manga, webtoons, etc, and yet, there are probably plenty of those reading who are looking for more romance stories. Well, you’re in luck. This article from Nabe recommends some romance webtoons that she thinks many of those reading will enjoy. In particular, I found her description of Under the Oak Tree by Kim Soo-ji to be fairly enticing. Hopefully, there is also something on this list for all of you as well.

Manga Recommendations for Otome Game Lovers – Naja B./Blerdy Otome

Hopefully, after reading this JCS you’ll be set with recommendations for a while. Here, Naja gives some recommendations for those who also happen to be fans of otome games. There are a lot of great series on this list, but the one that stands out for me is definitely Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku. While I have yet to read the manga proper, its anime adaptation was a lot of fun, so imagine there to be plenty in the manga as well. Before reading that though, definitely check out the rest of Naja’s post.

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My Top 10 Most Anticipated Manga of 2022 – Alyssa/Al’s Manga Blog

Rather than regular recommendations, Alyssa talks about her most anticipated manga of the coming year, with the focus being on physical releases to North America. There is a lot to like on this list, as it has a lot of titles which I have heard a good amount of buzz over. I myself am looking forward to The Tunnel to Summer, The Exit of Goodbyes by Mei Hachimoku, although given how interesting it looks, I may end up reading the light novel instead. Regardless, she has some great taste and I highly recommend checking out this article.

First Manga Haul of 2022 – Takuto/Takuto’s Anime Cafe

It is always fun seeing what people are watching and reading, and what better way to do that than with a giant haul video? I have not seen a ton of these pop up on my YouTube page, partially because I am not as tuned into to mangaTube, but also because it seems that supply chain shortages are making them harder to do. Still, Takuto gets a lot of interesting stuff in this one. In particular, a series I am looking forward to checking out is A School Frozen in Time, which gives me a lot of Sunny Boy vibes (despite the fact that I have yet to finish it). Definitely give this video a watch.

Review – Love Story of Hoshino Zoo – Millia/The Tender Fujo

Sometimes, when a person is feeling down and they are not really sure what to do, all they really need is a story about anthropomorphic animals. In this post, Millia writes about a BL manga centered around a squirrel at the zoo. Well, to be more accurate it is about the animals at the zoo, which artist Kurihara can talk to. Definitely seems like a fun enough read, and I highly recommend reading Millia’s post.

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The Apothecary Diaries Review – Elizabeth Howie/Religiously Nerdy

Craving a mystery about a palace worker and her dreams of escaping her boring day job? It looks like this may be the series for you. Elizabeth Howie of Religiously nerdy writes about The Apothecary Diaries, a series that, on the surface, looks pretty normal. However, I also get the feeling that there is a lot more going on, especially with the main character MaoMao. I suppose I will just have to read and find out, and while I am doing that, read this post to find out more about the series.

Blu-ray Review – Red Angel – ManInBlack/MIB’s Instant Headache

War films are very often not about the wars themselves, but rather the tolls they take on the individuals involved. Red Angel, as ManInBlack discusses in this piece, is one such film. An enthralling drama about the horrific experiences of a nurse during the second Sino-Japanese War, it reveals the tragedy of “the effects of war on those whose role is crucial yet always seen as peripheral.” This review does a great job at breaking down the film into its baser elements while also understanding how they come together to be even greater.

Plurality: In Defense of Endogenic System – Leth/Yuki/Lethargic Ramblings

Life…is hard. Controversial statement I am sure, but it is true. However, I cannot imagine what it must be like living with two separate selves. In this post, Leth and Yuki talk about his and her experiences with Plurality and why those whose additional selves who were not born out of trauma, known as Endogenic Systems are valid. It is a subject in which I am nonetheless fairly ignorant, but the two of them do a great job at explaining regardless. Highly suggested reading for those who are interested in the topic.

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After So Long, Some New Music – Scott/Scott’s Muse

I am ashamed to say that I did not know that the mecha man himself also happens to do music?! Maybe it should not be that much of a surprise considering how talented and awesome he is. Regardless, Scott shares a bit of new music he has recorded, covering both jazz and classical music on the trumpet. All of it is genuinely very good and entertaining to listen to, so take five minutes and give it a listen.

Immersive Reading: How to Get the Most Out of Your Reading Experience – Megan/Nerd Rambles

I think it is fair to say that most of the people reading this are also fans of reading, otherwise, why are you reading a blog? However, when it comes to sitting down with a good book, is it possible people are doing it wrong? Ok, maybe not wrong, but as Megan argues, immersive reading can be a great way to enhance one’s experience with a piece of literature. It is something that I feel gets made fun of in a lot of sitcoms, mainly at the expense of middle-aged women characters, but there are definitely a lot of positives, so give this a read.


Thank you all for reading. I know this is coming out a bit later than usual, so I would like to apologize once again, and also say thank you for all of the wonderful submissions. The next Jon’s Creator Showcase will be hosted by none other than Art of Anime. For those who missed out this time, or those who want to participate again this month, feel free to submit here.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Thanks as always to our amazing patron Jenn for the support!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Final Thoughts: A Silent Voice

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It is has been over three years since Kyoto Animation released what is probably one of their greatest works since the studio’s founding in 1981. While maybe not the grandiose, love story spectacle that propelled “Your Name” to its spot as one of the best selling Japanese films of all time, “A Silent Voice” is not only an arguably better film, but one that carries a lot more weight in its subject matter. Here are my final thoughts.

The Story of A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice tells the story of Shoya Ishida and Shoko Nishimiya. While attempting to kill himself, Shoya recalls the days of his elementary school. During those times, he was happy, had plenty of friends, and almost no problems, that is, until Shoko Nishimiya transferred to his school. It wasn’t long, however, before Shoko’s deafness made her stand out among the elementary school kids. Soon enough everyone was bullying her, Shoya most predominantly, but with everyone more or less sitting back and laughing. Eventually, it gets so bad that her mom calls, prompting everyone to sell out Shoya as the only culprit, leaving him angry at Shoko. This all leads to Shoko leaving the school.

Fast forward back to the present. Shoya, now in high school, is alone with no friends. Feeling some level of guilt, he decides to try and reconnect with Shoko as a way of apologizing. From there, the two of them slowly build their relationship.

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Hating That Which is Different

A Silent Voice’s central conflict comes from Shoya’s horrible past. At the beginning of the film, he feels so bad about his own life and the things he did to Shoko that he tries to kill himself, but stops at the last second. That horrible past, of course, was bullying Shoko because of her deafness. Because her hearing made it slightly inconvenient to communicate, the kids around her saw this as a reason to hate who she is.

Most important, the lesson to take from Shoya’s past is that the kind of hatred that treats people differently because of who they are is quite literally childish, and ultimately stems from an animalistic fear of that which people do not recognize.

On Redemption and Self-Hatred

Throughout the film, Shoya and Shoko approach their friendship from two very different places, but one that still leave them with self-hatred. Shoya sees his actions as a reason to not only reconnect with Shoko, but to keep himself isolated from others. In his view, the loneliness he feels after being shunned by his classmates is deserved. Part of this does come off as a bit of a martyr complex on Shoya’s end. He sees himself as the only person who should suffer, even though he knows that others also took part in bullying Shoko.

Shoko, on the other hand, almost seems to still hate Shoya for most of the movie. Now, this is understandable given that Shoya went out of his way to make her life horrible during elementary school. However, it is still really weird given the fact that she continues to hang out with him. This, combined her having romantic feelings for him likely created the turmoil which prompted her to attempt suicide.

Because both of them hold in these feelings of self-hatred for so long, it creates a toxic relationship that neither of them quite realize they are in until it is almost too late. Still, by the end of the film they understand each other enough to let these feelings go, which allows them to be true friends.

Sending the Wrong Message?

One thing that has been highlighted by writers and content creators much smarter than myself is the dynamics between characters and how they can reflect real life relationships. Someone who does really well is The Aficionado, so go check them out. As for A Silent Voice, its safe to say that the dynamics are a bit odd, at least for Shoko anyway. Having a former bully come back into your life wanting to be friends can be a bit awkward to say the least, and is, again, part of the reason why she attempted suicide. Now, its true that in the end the two do end up casting aside their guilt, but it is worth thinking about whether or not sending the message of accepting your abuser back into your life is a good thing.

Good Writing Things That are Good

There are always a few things that good stories do to set themselves apart from other good stories, to show that they are willing to go above and beyond in order to make the best moments even better. One such great moment is near the end of the film, when Shoko tells Shoya she is going to go home and study. Now, this alone makes it somewhat suspicious, but the film adds to this foreshadowing when Shoko, instead of signing see you later instead signs what I presume was simply goodbye. Then, when Shoya goes back to the apartment shortly after to get Yuzuru’s camera, he almost immediately recognizes what Shoko is going to do because he was planning on doing the same thing.

Another one of these moments is actually a fusion of writing and animation. In order to visually represent Shoya’s fear of connecting with and looking at other people, the film uses giant blue X’s which appear on the faces of those he either does not know or is scared to talk to. While it is not particularly complex, it does add to the overall presentation in a way that makes for more emotional scenes, like in the final moments of the film where Shoya overcomes his guilt and is finally able to see everyone for who they are, and so all the blue X’s that were covering his classmates faces then disappear.

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The Animation

There is not much to say about A Silent Voice’s animation other than that it is amazing. While it is true that the film is not action heavy like some of Kyoto Animation’s other projects such as Beyond the Boundary, there is still a lot of care put into the film’s animation. I already mention the blue X’s, but one other part that stands out is the character designs. Something that lesser anime projects can often suffer from are lackluster character designs that don’t inspire many to remember any of the characters. However, A Silent Voice has no problem with this whatsoever, and the character designs are noticeable improvement over the manga.

The Dub

As I re-watched the movie on Netflix for this post, I decided it would be a good idea to give the dub a try, since I had never heard it before. Luckily, the dub manages to deliver in spades. Each of the actors did a great job portraying their characters and made them all feel unique. Some of the best performances came from Robbie Daymond and Lexi Cowden, who voiced Shoya and Shoko respectively.

Conclusion

A Silent Voice is maybe not among my personal favorites, but it is a film that accomplishes everything that it sets out to do. Not only does it talk about important subject matter, but manages to do so with one of the most beautiful presentations in recent memory. It is almost guaranteed to live one in the hearts of those who choose to watch it.


How do you all feel about A Silent Voice? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!