Shōko Nishimiya (西宮 硝子, Nishimiya Shōko) is the female protagonist of the Koe no Katachi series.
While Shōko may not be completely deaf (given the hearing aids she possesses in both ears), her hearing loss is drastic enough to the point that she can be considered clinically deaf. Despite this, it has been shown that though she cannot clearly understand individual words, she can hear various pitches of tones in the voices of other people. Also as stated in Chapter 21, Nishimiya is observed to only wear one hearing aid. This may be a repercussion of Ishida's act of pulling out her other hearing aid, and permanently damaging her ear in Chapter 03.
Shōko is a very easy going person and is able to quickly forgive many, such as Shōya; her childhood bully. She is somewhat clueless and doesn't see herself as a special individual that needs to be pitied. Shōko is also hard to anger and slow to cry, as she has endured a long, painful life; with her mother aside leaving her grandmother to take care of the Nishimiya sisters.
Shōko cares deeply for those around her and rather than blaming the world and people that have hurt her, she blames herself. It has been clearly stated that Shōko hates herself and fears that she is useless. She knows she has been such a burden to Naoka Ueno as classmates, and tries to reconnect her ties and help Naoka and all she has 'tainted'.
As a child, Shōko kept her hair in a style somewhat reminiscent of a bob cut except her hair is straighter around the sides. She usually wears dresses when out of her school uniform.
In her teens, she has grown into a fair young lady with a petite build. She is shown to have chest-length, dusty pinkish brown wavy hair that has bangs reaching the bridge of her nose and brown eyes. She is usually seen in only the school's uniform.
Her school uniform is a navy blue blazer, a blue ribbon, a white blouse, a light brown sweater (vest), a pale blue skirt with light blue details, navy socks and brown shoes.
List of appearances
- Chapter 01 — "Shōya Ishida"
- Side Story — "7 Months Earlier"
- Chapter 02 — "Just One of Those Things"
- Chapter 03 — "Hahahahaha"
- Chapter 04 — "Nishimiya, You Piece of Shit"
- Shōya Ishida: During Grade school, he was her main bully. But after they met again in High School, Shōya asked her to befriend him in which she agreed to. He helped her gather friends but Shōya was uneasy as they met their classmates in Grade School. Shōko then fell in love with Shōya and once confessed to him but he misinterpreted the word "suki" (I like you) as "tsuki" (The Moon). In the end, Shōya wanted to be friends with her alone in which she felt guilty that he is feeling miserable. They both go through a series of life-changing events together, which changes both of their outlooks on life.
- Miyoko Sahara: Sahara voluntarily learned sign language and helped Shōko during Grade School but after she got bullied too, she stopped attending class until their graduation. Shōya helped Shōko find Sahara during High School as she felt responsible for Sahara getting bullied. When they met again, thanks to Shōya's efforts, they rebuilt their friendship and ever since, they meet up with each other every Tuesday on the bridge.
- Naoka Ueno: At first, Ueno was the one helping Shōko to understand what was happening in class during Grade School, but she started to feel hostile towards Shōko after she supposedly slowed down the class and costed them to lose in the choir competition. Ueno then became one of her bullies. After meeting her again, Ueno admitted that despite trying to make up with her, she still dislikes her due to her 'foolish' way of behaving.
- Miki Kawai: Kawai and Shōko appeared to be on good terms during Grade School, and Kawai was never involved in the bullying, or so she says. It is lightly implied she noticed it happening but ignored it to protect her own reputation and popularity. She may have actually found some of it entertaining like the rest of the class. During High School, Kawai was never in bad terms with Shōko as they went to different schools, but she still presented herself as selfish and overprotective of her reputation and hated the past being brought up and refused to take any blame for ignoring the fact that Shōko was being bullied.
- Tomohiro Nagatsuka: As Shōya's friend, Nagatsuka considered Shōko his friend as well and he supported Shōya in his friendship with Shōko.
- Satoshi Mashiba: Mashiba interacted with Shōko in a normal way as he talked and laughed together with her. He helped Shōko to get permission to use Suimon Elementary School for their film. After seeing Shōko's actions, he realized his own selfishness.
- Kazuki Shimada: He never directly bullied Shōko like how Shōya did. When Shōya fell from her apartment, He was the one who helped him get to the hospital and told Shōko not to tell him what he did.
- Yuzuru Nishimiya: Yuzuru is one of the only people aside from their grandmother who has continuously provided support for Shōko both in her past and present life. She is not afraid to stand up for her sister, and would go as far as pushing people away, such as bullies, including the younger Shōya. She loves Shōko dearly and tries her best to protect her. Yuzuru was also shown to engage in fights with her sister, many of them end with Yuzuru leaving the home. Yet we see that even after many fights the two still love each other greatly.
- Yaeko Nishimiya: Shōko and her mother, Yaeko, have a very distant relationship. Although Yaeko does care about her daughter, she has a rather hard time expressing that emotion, for she works non-stop to provide for her loose family; she demanded when Shōko got a haircut that it was to be a shortcut like a boy's in order to make Shōko appear stronger and more intimidating. Once attempting to cut Shōko's hair herself Yuzuru distracted her family by cutting her own shoulder-length hair to be the strong one their mother so desires. Eventually, her heart softens over the course of Shōya's reappearance after he has proven his change by helping her daughters and being there after Yaeko's mother had passed away.
- Ito Nishimiya †: The grandmother of Shōko and Yuzuru is very close and more motherly to the both of them as compared to their actual mother, and she is also extremely supportive to her own daughter who has locked herself away from the family. Ito showed a great amount of enthusiasm in teaching both toddler Shōko and unborn Yuzuru sign language and once again take the burden of being a mother for her grandchildren.
- 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".
- Shōko's surname Nishimiya means "west" (西) (nishi) and "temple, shrine, palace" (宮) (miya).
- Shōko and Shōya Ishida share the same nickname Shou-chan.
- The user ID of Shōko's mail address firstname.lastname@example.org 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.