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Shōko Nishimiya (西宮 硝子, Nishimiya Shōko?) is the female protagonist of the Koe no Katachi series.

Born mostly deaf, Shōko often faces difficulties in communicating and connecting with others, causing her issues during her childhood. Particularly with Shōya Ishida, who became her bully during sixth grade. When Shōya comes back into her life five years later, Shōko accepts his friendship and begins experiencing the connection with others she’s wanted for so long. However, the trauma from her past causes her self-loathing and tendency to blame herself to reveal themselves. Despite this, Shōko begins to learn the value of her life with the help of Shōya, as well as helping him realize the value of his.


In her youth, Shōko had a strong desire to connect with people around her. However, due to difficulties in communication, she was often met with misunderstanding, disinterest, or bullying. Her hope of making friends was symbolized to her by the communication notebook she brought to Takeuchi's class, and she temporarily gave up this wish after Shōya Ishida tossed this book into the school’s pond.

After facing isolation of both external and self-imposed varieties for many years of her life, Shōko has become a melancholic and self-loathing person in her late teens. She is plagued by guilt over what she sees as her own role in the dysfunctional situations of her past, including both her school and family life, and she has developed a tendency to blame herself when things go wrong even when she alone is negatively affected. Due to her lack of confidence in her own perceptions and desire not to be a burden, she struggles with avoidant behaviors, which ultimately exacerbate her feelings of guilt and inadequacy. However, these negative feelings are usually hidden beneath the more obvious positive parts of her personality.

At her core, Shōko is a kind and compassionate person who is rather easygoing and she is shown to be very patient and forgiving, even to her former bully Shōya, whose friendship she earnestly accepts when years later he expresses regret at mistreating and failing to understand her. She also expresses a caring and nurturing side, as seen when she tells Shōya that it makes her happy to give others what they need. Although her disability makes certain parts of her life difficult, Shōko never feels the need to be pitied or treated specially.

Being a visually focused person by necessity, Shōko has a fondness for visual metaphor and symbolism, as exemplified by her feelings toward her sixth grade notebook, her affection for Madagascar periwinkles in the language of flowers, and various other actions over the course of the story. Contrary to most people's expectations, she is rather analytical and perceptive, and she is usually quick to discern the content and subtext of conversations even when they are not signed to her. However, she tends to lack confidence in her own judgments of social situations, which causes her to highly value others' honesty, even when that honesty is harsh. This quality explains her sixth grade desire to be friends with the tactless but honest Shōya, and it is part of her reason for associating with Naoka Ueno in adulthood.

It is through her growing friendship with Shōya that Shōko embraces more of herself and starts to express her emotions more openly, revealing moments of anger, sadness, and genuine happiness. After being saved from her lowest point, Shōko chooses to confront her negative feelings and starts accepting the value in her own life even with its imperfections. After assuming this more realistic and proactive mindset, she finds greater success enriching the lives of the people around her, finally achieving her desire to be a source of strength for others. The culmination of her growth is shown in her choice to move to Tokyo after graduating, finally looking forward to her own dream of becoming a hairdresser, which was partly inspired by her childhood encounter with Miyako Ishida (Shōya's mother) at her salon.

Physical appearance[]

Shōko has straight, dusty rose colored hair that she wears in various styles and lengths throughout the series. Her eyes are round, with large brown irises that give her a welcoming look. Noticeably, Shōko’s hair tends to obscure her ears from view when not tied into a ponytail or bun, possibly a visual choice to indicate how open she feels to the world compared to others.


At twelve years old, Shōko wore her hair in a bob style while keeping her natural bangs. She is of average height and weight for her age, being almost as tall as Shōya Ishida during this time. Her head also appears slightly more round than her future self.

Shōko’s most common outfit was a light pink t-shirt, plaid yellow skirt, and sneakers. However, She would also wear various styled dresses with coats instead.

Teen/Young Adult[]

As a teen/young adult, Shōko has grown her hair out a considerable amount, now being about chest-length. She has grown decently taller since childhood, though she stands at a pretty average height for a young woman. She has also retained a fairly slim physique. She has a scar on the edge of her right earlobe, caused by Shōya Ishida pulling her hearing aid out of it. She has also lost hearing in her right ear completely since childhood, though the reason why is never specified. She can still be seen wearing a hearing aid in her left ear, however.

Nishimiya Shouko uniform

Shōko in her school uniform.

Her school uniform consists of a navy blue blazer, a white blouse with a blue ribbon, a cream colored sweater vest, a plaid blue and white skirt, and brown dress shoes. However, Shōko is often seen only wearing her white blouse and blue ribbon as the top of her outfit.

Unlike Shōya, Shōko wears several outfits outside of her school attire that are distinct from each other. During casual outings, Shōko will wear jackets, shirts, dresses, leggings and even denim.

List of appearances[]

Volume 01[]

Volume 02[]

Volume 03[]

Volume 04[]

Volume 05[]

Volume 06[]

Volume 07[]


Love Interest[]

Shōya Ishida: Shōko first met Shōya when she joined his sixth grade class, reaching out to him several times in hopes of becoming friends, even after he became her bully. Eventually, she would transfer out of the school, encountering Shōya five years later after her sign language class. Unsure of his intentions, Shōko initially runs away before deciding to hear him out, shocked to see that he came to return her communication book and that he’s learned sign language. When he unexpectedly asks to be her friend, she accepts, beginning a bond that would change both of their lives forever.

Shōko doesn’t see Shōya again until two weeks after their reunion and first trip to the Suimon Bridge, due to Shōya’s hesitance and the interference of Yuzuru Nishimiya. Shōko notices Shōya’s presence after Yuzuru and Tomohiro Nagatsuka get into a scuffle, catching up with him as he flees in embarrassment. Like Shōya, Shōko wants to grow their friendship but worries whether it could be considered genuine, ultimately affirming her desire to know more about him.

Through their friendship, Shōko becomes more open and expressive, with her experiencing genuine happiness more often than before. She even develops feelings for Shōya, evident as early as Chapter 21, though when and how these feelings began are unknown. Unfortunately, Shōya misunderstands her confession which upsets her, though they continue to grow closer after this. Their bond culminates when they reunite after Shōya saves Shōko’s life and awakes from his coma. They have a heart-to-heart where Shōya finally apologizes for his past actions and asks Shōko to help him live. Touched by his words, Shōko makes a promise and the two finally begin to truly understand each other.

Although whether they are or will become a couple is purposely left ambiguous at the end of the series, it can be inferred that Shōko’s feelings for Shōya didn’t disappear after the misunderstanding and more likely strengthened as they continue to grow closer. Evidence for this includes Shōko profusely blushing at Shōya’s swarm of compliments, her dreaming of Shōya and becoming deeply distraught over the thought of him passing away, and her offering to guide a nervous Shōya around his school festival before becoming flustered when he holds his hand out for her to grab. Yuzuru’s continued support of her sister and Shōya potentially becoming a couple also suggests this possibility.


Miyoko Sahara: Miyoko is the only friend that Shōko makes during her time at Suimon Elementary, with her being the only classmate willing to learn sign language. However, Miyoko stops attending class shortly after their friendship begins, something Shōko internalizes and believes to be her fault.

Years later, Shōko expresses a desire to see Miyoko again to Shōya Ishida, who eventually finds and brings her to the bridge to reunite with Shōko. She and Miyoko quickly reconnect, with Miyoko becoming Shōko’s closest friend aside from Shōya. The two frequently meet up on the bridge and occasionally hang out at places like the karaoke bar or water park.

Their friendship is slightly dampened after Shōya pushes everyone but Shōko and Yuzuru Nishimiya away, though she and Miyoko don’t personally have any issues with each other. They reunite after Shōya is hospitalized, with Shōko encouraging Miyoko to keep the costume she was working on for the group’s film project. Coincidentally, Shōko and Miyoko decide to move to Tokyo after graduation, though for unrelated reasons.

Naoka Ueno: For most of the series, Shōko doesn’t have a pleasant relationship with Naoka, though the hostility is purely from Naoka while Shōko is rather neutral toward her, wanting to be friends rather than enemies.

At first, Naoka was the one helping Shōko to understand what was happening in class during sixth grade, but she started to feel resentful towards Shōko after believing she was burdening the class. Naoka helped bully Shōko for several reasons pertaining to her crush on Shōya Ishida, though Shōko was largely unaware of Naoka’s actions and opinion of her.

When they meet again years later, Shōko is surprised to see Naoka after so long and is curious about what she and Shōya are talking about after her hearing aid is pulled out. Shōko doesn’t express any malice or hatred towards Naoka, even after Naoka brings her into the Ferris wheel and says she hates Shōko. Shōko even attempts to reach out to her and resolve their issues at several points, though she is met with Naoka’s tendency to lash out.

Ultimately, Naoka seems to start coming around towards Shōko and tries to like her, despite her reluctance to do so. At the end of the series, the two appear to get along way better than they ever had before, likely now being true friends.

Miki Kawai: Miki and Shōko appeared to be on good terms during sixth grade, though Miki is implied to have participated in badmouthing Shōko. She was a bystander to the bullying of Shōko, though she ignored it to protect her own reputation and popularity.

When they meet again years later, Miki is genuinely rather nice to Shōko and informs Satoshi Mashiba of her deafness. Miki tends to play ignorant to the past, though none of her negative feelings are directed towards Shōko. When meeting again after Shōko’s attempt to take her own life, Miki hugs her and tries explaining that accepting one’s own flaws helps them move forward, though Shōko doesn’t appear to entirely hear Miki’s speech, returning the hug regardless.

Tomohiro Nagatsuka: Shōko and Tomohiro mutually met through Shōya Ishida and for a long while their friendship was by proxy of him as Tomohiro admits. It’s unknown how Shōko feels about Tomohiro, but appears to get along with him and considers him a friend to some degree.

After Shōya falls into a coma, Tomohiro sits down with Shōko at the hospital and tries to understand why she would attempt to take her own life, telling her that she is Shōya’s “big friend”. The two begin interacting on their own and establish their own connection by working together to continue the film’s production.

Satoshi Mashiba: Satoshi acts sincerely towards Shōko, being initially fascinated by her being deaf, although he still treats her normally in their interactions. During a trip to the hardware store, Satoshi and Shōya Ishida find Shōko trying on a ski mask, which causes them to laugh and her to feel embarrassed. Satoshi puts a ski mask on himself and jokes about how he looks in it, quickly lightening the mood.

Later, as Shōko wants to continue working on the film, Satoshi expresses his support for the idea and even helps her get permission to use Suimon Elementary School for their film, approaching Takeuchi and apologizing for his previous behavior.


Yuzuru Nishimiya: Yuzuru and Shōko share a very close bond, both sisters caring deeply and wanting the best for each other. Yuzuru is especially protective of Shōko, doing things she believes will be in her best interest, though this can backfire and end up causing conflict between the two.

Though Yuzuru has good intentions, she doesn’t realize that Shōko isn’t as helpless as she thinks and is capable of taking care of and making decisions for herself. This tends to cause conflict between the two at times, a key example being Shōko’s anger at Yuzuru when she got Shōya Ishida suspended from school.

Much like her younger sister, Shōko shows concern for Yuzuru at multiple points and similarly wants to help and protect her as well. When Yuzuru ran away from home, Shōko went to look for her despite how late and rainy it was. After their grandmother Ito Nishimiya passed away, Shōko noticed Yuzuru’s depressed behavior and tried thinking of ways to help her through her grief. Shōko is even the one to submit Yuzuru’s photo to a local contest and give her the chance to try school again.

Though not as overt as Yuzuru, Shōko looks out for her younger sister and wants her to invest in herself, much like their grandmother wanted. She even hesitates moving to Tokyo because of how sad Yuzuru will be without her around, though she ultimately decides to go.

Yaeko Nishimiya: Shōko has a very distant relationship with her mother for a long time. Yaeko cares deeply about Shōko, but she has a hard time expressing her love due to the desire to make her daughter strong by acting strict and aloof toward her.

Although Shōko’s thoughts on her mother are never stated, she doesn’t appear to resent Yaeko or believe she doesn’t care the same way Yuzuru Nishimiya does. Based on her nature, it can be inferred that Shōko chooses to see the best in Yaeko and somewhat understands that her mother loves her despite how cold and forceful she can be.

Eventually, Yaeko begins to change after the death of Ito Nishimiya, becoming more motherly and vulnerable to Shōko and Yuzuru. Yaeko does initially push back against Shōko’s desire to move to Tokyo after graduation, though she soon comes around and accepts whatever decision her daughter makes.

Ito Nishimiya †: Shōko was close to her grandmother who had been her primary caretaker since she was three years old. Unlike Yaeko Nishimiya, Ito took the time to learn sign language and could properly communicate with Shōko. Ito had been one of Shōko’s only sources of support and encouragement for a long time, which most likely nurtured her into becoming the kind and compassionate girl she is. After Ito’s passing, Shōko mourns in a surprisingly reserved manner, though her sadness is clearly visible.


  • The name Shōko means "nitre" (硝) (shou) and "child" (子) (ko).
    • The name Shōko (硝子) is another way of reading Garasu (硝子), meaning "glass, pane".
  • Shōko's surname Nishimiya means "west" (西) (nishi) and "temple, shrine, palace" (宮) (miya).


  • Shōko and Shōya Ishida share the same nickname of Shō-chan.
    • Their birthdays are also one day apart, Shōko's being the 7th of June while Shōya's is the 6th.
    • It is worth noting that Shōya's birthday, June 6th, is the Hearing Aids National Memorial Day in Japan since 1999.[2]
  • The user ID of Shōko's mail address nichinichisou0607@mokomo.ne.jp is a pun of the initial sounds of her name and a flower plant Madagascar periwinkle (日々草, nichinichisou in Japanese) plus her birth date.
  • Lexi Marman-Cowden (Shōko's English voice actress) is also deaf.


  1. A Silent Voice Chapter 42; Events take place after June 7th, Shōko's canonical birthday.
  2. 私たち日本補聴器販売店協会と日本補聴器工業会は、6月6日を「補聴器の日」と制定します。 (in Japanese) ー Japanese Federation of the Deaf.