Koe no Katachi is a very heartwarming manga about a bully guy and a deaf girl. Yes, the main male protagonist is a bully, or rather was a bully. Meanwhile the main female protagonist is a deaf. Imagine if two different kinds of people met under such circumstances. What could possibly happen?
Art – 18/20
I find the art very cute and nice. Despite the characters being that simple, the details are actually quite good and I like it. The only parts where it made me feel creepy is when the main male protagonist, Shouya Ishida, smiles or grins. The way the mangaka draw him is just creepy and I feel awkward looking at him.
Story – 42/50
The story is about a guy named Shouya Ishida, who is used to be a bully and a girl named Shouko Nishimiya, who is a deaf. Their lives totally changed when Shouko transferred in Shouya’s school.
You can read more information about the manga in the myanimelist website.
I find this manga unique because of the set of characters involved; bullies and deaf. In shoujo genre, main protagonist who are bullies usually end up being sweet towards the main protagonist as the series progress, while in shonen, bullies are usually just bullies. But in this manga, it shows the perspective of the bullies; what they actually feel and how they actually regret bullying. Though we do not know for sure that all bullies feel the same way like the characters in the story did, but the manga did show what happens after; to those people who regret and who did not; and to those people who just watched and who are actually involved.
Another unique factor of this manga is the deaf main female protagonist. At first she communicates through writing but later it became a way for the others to bully her. So that is why I think this manga is a challenge for the mangaka since words are only limited for this kind of character and it can only be expressed through actions. And this is a manga so it is more challenging. And even though the perspective is mainly from the main male protagonist, the mangaka actually did convey the story properly from the main female protagonist by using the people surrounding her.
And the most important thing that I read in this manga is how the main male protagonist made an effort to change himself and those people who were involved and who will be involve. And how their lives changed and how it will change in the future. It is nice.
Enjoyment/Impact – 26/30
To be honest, I have read the One Shot like five times already and decided to drop it after reading. I actually felt bored with the One Shot so it took me time to continue reading the whole manga. And I was glad to make the right decision to continue reading until the end. And yes, I pretty much enjoy the manga even though the ending was a bit of a cliff hanger. It is like the author telling us to use our imaginations. And it made me think that if I were these two, what will actually happen to me after experiencing what they did.
And this is probably a spoiler but I will write it anyway since this one is my most favorite part: the main female protagonist perspective chapter. In this chapter, the letters in the bubbles are actually chopped or barely readable so in this way you can somewhat experience what the protagonist hears, sees, and understands in her everyday life. And I heard that this manga will have a movie adaptation but I think this part would probably be different since it will be reenacted by the anime character. But when you read the manga, you will actually experience it yourself by reading the texts yourself. You will feel what it is like to be the main female protagonist when you read that chapter. It was really clever.
Anyways, I enjoyed reading this manga since I really like drama after all. And the romance in this manga is a bonus. It just light but cute and kind of awkward. Laughs.
TOTAL – 86/100
I recommend this manga if you love drama genre stories or even if you do not. The story is great and heartwarming, and I find it unique. It has a very nice touch of the different kinds of people in a bullying scenario. And what is more is that it involves a deaf person. The romance is a bonus. Actually I find the story more important that the romance this time even though I am a fan of romance genre stories.
Also, this will have movie adaptation this 2016 but I suggest you still read the manga for a different kind of experience especially for that chapter I mentioned. 🙂