Koe no Katachi - A Story of Bitter Truth


Do you know someone who is impaired yet tries to fit in the society? They were bullied and being outcast-ed  by some of us. But instead of drowning in despair, they strive to be able to do what "normal" people do whatever disability they have.

I was able to read a manga entitled "Koe no Katachi" or "The Shape of Voice" in English translation. It was a one-shot manga that reflects the cruel nature of humans as a whole. It made a buzz on the Japanese manga readers. It was issued last February 20, 2013 on  Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine.

The story covers a young girl in Japanese middle school named Nishimiya Shouko, who happens to be deaf. She introduces herself to her class, but is met with jeers as she is blamed for bringing the class down because of her disability. Nishimiya is repeatedly bullied to the point where her classmates started to mess with her hearing aids. However, she tries to be polite towards a male classmate named Shouya Ishida, who finds her creepy regardless. It’s all fun and games until the principal tells the class about a complaint from Nishimiya’s parents regarding the broken hearing aids. Ishida becomes the scapegoat, despite everyone being guilty of bullying her in the first place. He then gets bullied and feels depressed. Both Ishida and Nishimiya get into a fight over the latter’s “weak nature”. Nishimiya transfers to another school afterwards. Ishida learns that she has been sticking up for him after he was kicked out by his clique by wiping his desk free of derogatory graffiti written by his former friends. The two would meet 5 years later, where Ishida learned sign language to redeem himself and officially build a friendship with Nishimiya.


koe no Katachi reflects the notion the bullying is a common practice of students whether it is on high school or college or in the case of other countries, in middle school. of course, with these bullying practice, it raises the notion of the people about how a bullied child do to survive the harsh world of being bullied. Despite their weakness and capacity, they always yearn a feeling of acceptance and belonging.

What makes the things worse is that the very teacher that takes care of Nishimiya tolerates what his students do and in a certain point said to himself that Nishimiya was a "Baggage". 

I give Kodansha a four thumbs up for making a manga like this and because he had the guts to say “You know what, this story HAS to be told and we need this talent to shine.” On my opinion, the best lesson that you can learn on this story is that we must always respect everyone whatever kind of person you encounter and what are their limits and disabilities. Looking beyond stereotypes and keeping yourself an open minded person and listening on the perspectives of the people around you, you can have a deeper understanding about things that are around you.

The story makes me cry since I absorbed the story and makes me want to cry out every time I remember how the story moves. Maybe because I could relate a little to the characters or it just touched my heart and made me move and want to share the story. I suggest that you read this and Tell me what you think. I hope that this could make you realize something.

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35 comments

  1. If it's a story you really feel like relating you and more so if the same has happened in your actual life experience then even if it's posted on a sheet of dirty paper or gum, it will move you to tears, I understand.

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    1. yeah, I agree with that, any medium will do if you want to make people realize something.

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  2. The story seems compelling. I like stories like this where reality is told in a straightforward manner.

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    1. It really is a good story and the message is clear. :D

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  3. This kind of story should be shared among elementary students, so they'll be more aware that there's nothing good about bullying.

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    1. Yeah, I am trying to spread this especially to my alma mater back in my elementary years...

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  4. I guess bullies are the weakest kind as they have to let others feel weak to be strong. I think this is a great story.

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    1. It really is! :D
      Try reading it if you have free time. :D

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  5. Very timely theme of story, but this time it's a manga anime. Many can relate to Koe no Katachi.

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    1. Indeed, even though it is produced as a western novel, I'm sure that many can relate to Koe no Katachi. :D

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  6. Sometimes people are so cruel, and your characters are existing in real life. I hate those ill mannered individual, they don't deserve to live in the real world.

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    1. But can you give second chances to them? I'm sure that there are goodness in their hearts too and will change if you help them.

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  7. i love that bullying issues are also being tackled on this medium. nice one

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    1. It is common now and we must do something to notify the world about the practice of bullying. :/

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  8. "Koe no Katachi" is interesting and i am searching more about this manga. Thanks for blogging about this. Anyway, I support the cry against bullying!

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    1. I hope that you find the story good. :D

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  9. Seems like a story which tugs at the heartstrings. I guess we all have felt left out at some point in our lives, so we can all relate to this.

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    1. Agree all of us will always have a time that they are left behind.

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  10. I hate it when somebody is being bullied because of the disability. My eldest was being bullied before as a kid in the Philippines because he is different and I felt pitty with him everytime he talks to me over the phone about this.i was overseas and can not do anything.

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    1. I understand how a mother feels when they can't do something about their kid being bullied. I hope that your eldest son is in good hands now. :D

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  11. I used to get bullied when I was still in grade school and even in highscool. Now those people seem to be afraid of me now whenever I'm online or they see me in real life.

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    1. You know what they say, Life runs in circles. :D

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  12. Oh that's sad. I was a victim of bullying too while in elementary. I used to wear thick eyeglasses because im a near-sighted person. From grade two until high school I swallowed all their bullets to me. If you ignore them, then they will cool off.

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    1. yes, they will get tired when you ignore everything they will throw at you but it doesn't apply for everyone.

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  13. It is a great story and it also made me cry a little.

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  14. A genuine true-to-life story. Bullying is a common practice at secondary school levels in our school. Lucky for me, I haven't experience one since I always threw a punch on the face to anybody who wanted to bully me.

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    1. Fighting back is sometimes good to defend yourself and to show that you should not be made fun to.

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  15. i truly enjoyed reading this which is very related to ones life. I've there than that. even in this blogging world, Bully still appears to be there. sad but this is the true will of life. xx

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    1. There are bullies everywhere, though i hope that they should sometimes just let a person be.

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  16. I like the plot of the story and I am a manga fanatic especially Naruto and others. Saan pwede mabili it sa pinas?

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    1. I don't know any major manga store in the Philippines though, I buy one on National Bookstore If I am lucky enough to find one.

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  17. I like this!! I love mangas and this one has a really great story line.. :)

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  18. Great analysis, i've been looking for one from a positive perspective of this manga for a while now, and you've done it.
    Thanks!

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    1. Your Welcome. I am glad to be able to be of help for your search.

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