A Silent Voice is a new animated film about a lead character who is bullied for being deaf. While most anime in Japan is broadcast without closed captioning on TV, the creators insisted on being inclusive for those who are hearing impaired by putting subtitles on the theatrical release.
Based on the manga comic Koe no Katachi (lit “the shape of a voice”) or A Silent Voice starts off with Shoko, a new student, transferring into elementary school. Shortly after transferring, she becomes the victim of bullying at the hands of her classmate, Shoya, because of her hearing impairment. The cycle of bullying persists until the characters reach high school and the bully begins to regret mistreating the deaf lead when they were younger and tries to right his wrongs.
Theaters across the nation will be showing the film with Japanese subtitles for the hearing impaired. This is a great move as most of the anime shows in Japan are broadcast without closed captions until released on DVD. Even with DVD releases, many publishers only include English subtitles rather than the Japanese subtitles.
Accommodating deaf audiences in relation to a story about a deaf character really delivers hope for those who are hearing impaired.
A Silent Voice will show in a subtitled version between September 24 and 30th nationwide.