Yoshitoki Oima completed her controversial series “A Silent Voice” late 2014 in Japan, and roughly a year and a half later, Kodansha Comics released the English conclusion in May.

With a quick glance, one would assume that the story would be about a troublesome boy who bullies a girl that stands out in his elementary class. The boy is Shoya Ishida and his recipient of his cruel abuse is Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf girl. The constant bullying resulted in Nishimiya transferring to a different school and Ishida instantly felt the initial retribution for his terrible deeds.

“A Silent Voice” skipped to Ishida’s senior year in high school. He chose isolation from his peers as his penance and his self-loathing drove him to plan for his end game. He wanted to find Nishimiya to apologize before making his “departure,” but the gears of fate started to move when the two finally met again.

Some would consider this manga categorized under the slice-of-life genre, but this title takes a tough chunk of reality and throws it hard to the readers. Oima’s series pulls and tugs on a wide range of emotions as we follow Ishida’s story of redemption. She brings in real issues that affect people, a cast of characters readers find relatable and attention to details into seven volumes.

Her work also brings up other serious issues like depression and suicide, concepts that are never easy for anyone to deal with. “A Silent Voice” reminds readers to work to be kind to others because someone wants to be kind to them. The human experience is never a lonely one.

Kyoto Animation recently created a website for the animated adaptation of “A Silent Voice.” The studio plans to release the film in Japan on September 17 and no announcements have been made yet on an English release.

Anime News Network reported that Oima will have a new project out in fall in the fantasy genre. For more information, visit kdanshacomics.com or your local manga vendor.

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