Even heavier than the summary suggests
Man, this is a heavy series!
We start A Silent Voice by being introduced to Shoya. He’s an elementary school boy and thus, a total jerk. He bullies people in general, but really targets Shoko, a new girl in his class who is deaf. With the support of his friends, he bullies her relentlessly in order for others to find him funny. When he finally goes to far, the rest of the kids turn their back on him (even though they’ve been terrible to her as well) and Shoko changes to a different school. Because of this Shoya becomes a recluse, losing all his friends and then becoming the target of the same abuse he leveled toward Shoko.
As the series continues, it’s 5-6 years later when Shoko and Shoya reconnect. Shoya apologizes to her and tries to learn sign language in order to express how sorry he is and try to move on. Shoko accepts this apology and the two become tenuous friends with an obvious undercurrent of romance blossoming between them. Though Shoko has forgiven Shoya, her family has not and her mother goes out of her way to tell Shoya that he’s useless and unworthy of living and shouldn’t associate with her daughter. Shoko’s sibling also jumps in to try and defend her, but slowly becomes friends with Shoya, or at least tolerates him. This series gets very dark as we see Shoya repeatedly clearly depressed and contemplating suicide. If not for his mother, he would have killed himself, and the series handles this pretty well. I wasn’t expecting this to be so heavy and emotional, and I would definitely plan on reading something lighter right after because phew. It got to me. Very enjoyable series overall.
Title: A Silent Voice (Volumes 1-3)
Author: Yoshitoki Oima
Three Descriptors: Dark, Heavy, Emotional