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Koe no Katachi (Movie)

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Koe no Katachi: The Movie (映画 聲の形 Eiga Koe no Katachi), known as A Silent Voice: The Movie in English, is a Japanese animated film produced by Kyoto Animation, directed by Naoko Yamada and written by Reiko Yoshida, featuring character designs by Futoshi Nishiya and music by Kensuke Ushio. It's an adaptation of the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Yoshitoki Ouima. The film premiered in Japan on September 17, 2016 and worldwide from February and June, 2017. An English dub was released on April 2, 2019.

Plot Summary

The movie chronicles the emotional, social, and spiritual attributes that are manifested by a group of adolescent schoolmates in elementary school, especially as to how they relate to a hearing impaired girl that is introduced into their group. Each teen reacts to the newcomer in a different way, including many varied and negative reactions and outcomes. Shoya Ishida, a former delinquent bullies the deaf girl, Shoko Nishimiya, with his friends joining in. Finally, when Shoko is forced to transfer to another school after enduring a period of the most cruel bullying, all of Ishida's friends, as well as the teachers, blame him for bullying her into leaving. He is made the scapegoat, despite the varying levels of culpability that others have had in torturing her. This results in Ishida himself being bullied and ostracized well into high school. He comes to the conclusion that there is really no point in having friends. Having no plans for the future, Ishida even attempts suicide. But with redemption being offered, he learns sign language and unexpectedly reunites and befriends Shoko, who is still very lonely due to her hearing impairment and extreme shyness. By then, Shoko herself is contemplating suicide due to her own social and emotional problems. Presenting teenage companionship and social relationships in a frightening, yet compelling way, it is a movie showing the many facets of teenage friendship, pride, betrayal, ostracism, redemption, and genuine love.

Production

On April 8th, Kyoto Animation revealed the film's release date, teaser visual, teaser videos, the staffs involved and main characters' design.

The movie adaptation of the manga was announced in the manga's final chapter that was released on November 19, 2014, later specifying that the adaptation will be an anime theatrical movie on December 17, 2014. In the Weekly Shōnen Magazine's 46th issue of 2015, that released on October 14, 2015, Kyoto Animation and Naoko Yamada were announced to be the animation studio and director of the film adaptation, respectively. The film's distributor, Shochiku, listed the movie adaptation release in Q4 2016. On April 8, 2016, the movie adaptation's official website opened, announcing that Reiko Yoshida will be writing the scripts for the film, Futoshi Nishiya will be designing the characters, and the movie is scheduled for release in Japanese theaters on September 17, 2016. Kensuke Ushio and Pony Canyon composed and produced the music, respectively. The movie's theme song, titled "Koi wo Shita no wa" (恋をしたのは), was performed by Aiko, while "My Generation" by The Who was used during the opening credits.

Distribution

The anime movie premiered in 120 theaters across Japan on September 17, 2016. It was screened at the 2016 Scotland Loves Animation festival on October 22, 2016, and at the ICA in London on February 5, 2017. Anime Limited distributed and released the movie in the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 15, 2017. Purple Plan released the movie in Singapore and Malaysia on March 9, 2017. Madman Entertainment released the movie for a limited duration in Australia and New Zealand from April 9, 2017 and April 16, 2017, respectively. In 2017, Konnichiwa Festival released the movie in theaters in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Peru, for a limited time in May, while in countries like Argentina and Uruguay, the film will be released by Anifest, having a theatrical release in June. Pioneer Films released the movie in the Philippines on May 10, 2017 nationwide. The anime movie had a screening at Anime Expo, USA, on July 3, 2017, where it was announced that the movie will have a limited release in U.S. theaters in October 20, 2017. The English language adaptation features a deaf voice actress named Lexi Cowden playing the lead character, Shoko Nishimiya. The Blu-ray home video volume was released in Japan on May 17, 2017, which contains two animated videos of the film's theme song and "Speed of Youth", one of the original soundtracks by composer Kensuke Ushio.

Reception

Box office

The film opened at #2 at the Japanese box office behind Makoto Shinkai's Your Name, and grossed a total of ¥283 million yen from 200,000 admissions within two days of its premiere across 120 theaters. As of November 30, 2016, the film has grossed a total of over ¥2.2 billion yen from 1.7 million admissions. It ranked at #16 on Nikkei Hit Ranking for 2016. It was the 19th highest-grossing film in Japan in 2016 and also the 10th highest-grossing Japanese film of the year in the country (tied with Death Note: Light Up the New World), with ¥2.3 billion yen (US$19.56 million). A Silent Voice earned $19.56 million yen in Japan and $2,936,334 USD in other territories for a worldwide total of over $22 million. It has grossed CN¥43.4 million in China.

Critical reception

Makoto Shinkai, director of Your Name, called the film a "fantastic piece of work" and a "polished and grand production" which even he is unable to replicate. It won "Best Animation of the Year" in the 26th Annual Japan Movie Critics Awards, where director Naoko Yamada also received praise for her work on the film. At 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the film was selected as one of the nine finalist feature films in competition. On review, the aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, gave the film has an approval rating of 92% based on 24 reviews, and an average rating of 7.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "As beautifully crafted as it is powerfully written, A Silent Voice looks at teen bullying from a soberingly hard-hitting perspective that's uncommon for the animated medium." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 78 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Trailer

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