TL;DR for this post would be, “I smiled, laughed, got angry, laughed, smiled, got angry, laughed, got angry, smiled, cried and smiled again, in that exact order.”
If you’re looking for a review then I’m afraid that I cannot do that just yet, at least not until the DVD gets their release, for a cheap reason being that so I can actually pull the pictures and do a fine, detailed review of it. Though, I can tell you about good things the movie had left in my head and more importantly, my heart…
Just now I just want to share my very personal movie experience starting right from an hour before the film was rolled.
Nearly two years ago was the last time I’ve actually gone to a cinema. I wasn’t about to let Koe no Katachi slip past my love for drama anime.
I finished writing part 3 of my fan service post just in my favorable time (7:40 p.m.), then I dropped everything and quickly drove off. I planned on actually seeing the movie the day after so I could see it with my friend but I found out bad news the hard way; the movie was only being played on Thursday. My buddy has work on Thursday nights.
So I went alone.
Let me take this chance to tell you honestly that you should NOT be watching Koe no Katachi alone. You don’t have to take your boyfriend/girlfriend; take anyone! Even your grand/parents! I was totally jealous of two teenage boys who came along with their mother, little did the mama knew she was about to be struck by an emotional train she last felt when the man she loves proposed to her.
I went into the cinema 20 minutes before the time stated which was 8:40 p.m.. There I sat alone, literally alone. I don’t know about your country but here in New Zealand we would at least waste 20 minutes of advertisement before the actual content started rolling. The real temporary issue I had was, and I mentioned it, that I was the only person present. For a while I really did think, “B…..b….but, this will be a great movie! It’s Kyoto Animation doing this! Come on! There has to be more anime fans out there!
Thaaaaaaaank God. More and more people actually showed up a few minutes into the advertisements (after 8:45 p.m.).
There came the two teen boys and their mom that I mentioned earlier. They sat next to me so naturally, being a good-willed person I greeted and conversed with them a little regarding what we were about to watch. He told me that he had only just started watching anime and having just watched Kimi no Na Wa (Your Name) the previous week.
Boy, as if one emotional truck wasn’t enough…
Then I queried him about his start of anime viewing. Dude said that he grew up with Naruto as a kid (any 90’s kids would, really) but Fullmetal Alchemist was the first anime he has watched with his full will.
Well done young man. You’re off to the best start possible for a shounen. (Rate my pun game <3)
Just over two hours in there and I nearly pissed my pants simply because of how I wasn’t used to it. The sly then hard hitting comedy of the movie didn’t help with my attempts to hold it in. FYI I sat at the very middle (rows and column wise) of the cinema; moving out of my place could not be any more awkward and disturbing.
P.S. R.I.P. the coke that I bought in a small cup. Thanks to my horrible bladder I didn’t even drink quarter of it.
P.S.S. Thank God I didn’t buy a large cup in spite of excitement.
Now let’s talk about the content I’ve seen (all the while I tried to hold in my piss)
My oh my, Kyoto Animation. I really do understand that nobody is perfect, but why do you guys get so much hate for making mistakes?
Despite of what I just said, Kyoto Animation has the highest rate of commercial success in anime production and sales.
They most definitely were in their best shape at the time they adapted Koe no Katachi into film, trying their hardest to cramp 62 chapters of the manga into it. Like most kinds of adaptations, it’s never a hundred percent translation from one medium to another. For a movie of just a little over two hours, they managed to at best deliver the core message from the original source, covering up to 57th chapter while picking pieces from 58th to 62nd chapters. I think that’s a minor spoiler if you’ve read the manga already but hey, I didn’t say anything about the events in there so… spare me!
The core messages
Because they were the ones I’m most excited to talk about.
1. Special needs and disabilities in general
If being a disabled person really makes you an outcast in Japan then I can’t feel any more apologetic towards a screwed up society. It’s a well known fact that Japan is mono-cultural, individualism is not encouraged at all.
But being disabled is not a choice 😦
Nishimiya Shouko’s disability is severe deafness. Even with those hearing aids, she still struggles to listen. As she becomes more and more prominent in class activities, the overall progress of the class heads for the opposite direction due to her disability in effect. This leads to her usually being secluded and eventually bullied by her classmates.
This one brought out the most anger in me. Koe no Katachi showcases some of the most realistic bullying ways in school and man, kids will always be kids. They are very egocentric; they won’t change their mind until you tell them that the world is falling apart.
Taking that into the context within the early plots of Koe no Katachi, despite Nishimiya’s efforts to brush off hostility, it will only take a kid (not your typical dense as hell protagonist) to brush off her good intentions of wanting to become a friend while thinking that she’s only pulling cute faces for easy attention/friendship.
Speaking of easy attention…
3. Friendship/ownership requirement(s)?!
We often joke in online games about friends, friendships and most surprisingly relevant, “What are they?”
Well in Koe no Katachi, gaining a friend is as easy as saving someone from being bullied (at your own expense). It actually goes a lot further than that but there will be spoilers. Though, I can tell you one thing about the girl in the above picture, Ueno Naoka. She’s a tsundere young lady who truly represents someone you do not want to hand over any kind of permission to. She also shows us that you do not need to be all up and tight to another person to properly interact; just be kind to one another, it’s simple as that.
4. Suicidal thoughts and the commitment of suicide itself!
In 2014, suicide was the leading cause of death for Japanese children between the ages of 10 and 19. This includes all the years characters of Koe no Katachi grew through. It is ever so obvious that the most frequent reason for teenage suicides comes from bullying. As much as I want to happily encourage everyone of you to seek help if you ever feel depression at any point in your life, suicide is practically a last resort for the person in question. To commit suicide, the person must really have feel that they are no longer needed in this world maybe because of their inability to fulfill their wish or the wish of someone they love, be it emotionally and/or financially (yes, money kills!).
God. I really want to spoil this part so much because I’m still feeling shivers down my spine talking about it!
5. What goes around, comes around.
I almost made a fuss out of this because the subtitle for the movie I watched said, ‘What comes around, goes around.’
Like, in the most natural case, you don’t get the hate if you don’t bully at first.
Therefore, sticking to the correct saying that is what goes around, comes around, this film greatly portrays all of the booming effect Shouya received after bullying Shouko in primary school. This is also where most of my tears went to, not when the characters were crying because that’d just be cheap technique to bring out feels (I’m calling out Charlotte on this).
I honestly cannot wait for the DVD release so I can do a full on, spoiler of a review!
Until then, see you in the next post! ^_^