He has lived a 'lone wolf' life after being blamed for the sole bullying of Shōko Nishimiya during elementary school. Six years later after meeting Nishimiya again and befriending her, he starts to gather new friends together, along with old ones he had during elementary school. Despite the changes in his life, Ishida still struggles to make up for what he did in the past.
During grade school, Ishida loved to go on self-imposed adventures and played a lot, in what he described as a battle against "boredom". He always played pranks with living things or other kids. After Nishimiya transferred to their class, Ishida became more devious as he always mocked Nishimiya, which resulted in him receiving scoldings from his teachers often.
After he became the scapegoat for the bullying of Nishimiya, Ishida was isolated from everyone and became a very introverted individual. He was deeply filled with regret for all the things he did to Nishimiya, and started to contempt others. He also slowly grew to hate everyone and see them as "pretenders", such as Mashiba (who he thinks brown hair doesn't suit him), or Miki Kawai (calling her a hypocrite though initially, it was not a complete lie). Above all, Ishida hated himself for having bad thoughts about everyone else.
After reuniting with Nishimiya in high school, Ishida starts to gain friends, hang out and laugh more. Throughout this time, he has the objective to give Nishimiya back the happiness he once took and helps her find the old friends she once had. Even with these acts of atonement, Ishida still struggles in moving on when he remembers his past mistakes and the isolation that followed.
Despite getting mad at someone, later on, Ishida usually is the first one to apologize for his actions and thinks he doesn't have the right to do so. He admitted to Tomohiro Nagatsuka that he became the way he is now because of Nishimiya.
Ishida has black spiky hair that seems to grow backward and has small dark-green irises. When in casual clothes, he is always seen in a black shirt with the tag sticking out at the back and six pocket khaki pants, or sometimes long pants. Shōya is very tall compared to his classmates and stands out in height compared to everyone. He is taller than Miyoko, who was presented as 5'11 in the manga series.
12 Year Old
Shoya at this age presents himself as an unkempt and uncaring adolescent. He is of average height and weight for an tween boy, although he is the tallest ( but not by much ) of his three member boy's gang. He has a square, somewhat flat face with a pointed chin. Shoya has narrowed, beady eyes of a dark grayish-brown color, with thick eyebrows. His short hair is jet black, always looking dirty and uncombed, that forms into many tiny spikes all over his head. With a pale skin tone that looks unwashed, it gives him an appearance of a somewhat darker skin tone all over. Shoya has narrow shoulders, and a flat chest. His arms and legs look spindly, like he might be malnourished (although in fact he was not).
Shoya wears anything that he wants to, mostly clothes that make him look sloppy and casually unconcerned. Many times his clothing would be wet, from jumping into the rivers or other bodies of water on the way home from school. Such appearance seemed to be awe inspiring to the boys in his gang. On the day that Shoko was introduced into the sixth grade classroom, he was wearing a maroon with black stripes long sleeved shirt, with a grimy black short sleeved t-shirt over it. The clothing tag on the back of his black shirt always would stick out. He had on a well worn pair of beige cargo shorts, and dirty gray school shoes.
17 Year Old
In the five intervening years, not much has changed in Shoya's appearance, other than he is taller and somewhat thinner. He is of average height and weight for an teenage boy, although he looks somewhat lanky. He has a square, somewhat flat face, slightly hollowed cheeks, and is showing a pointed chin. Shoya has narrowed, beady eyes of a dark grayish-brown color, with thick eyebrows. This gives him a mournful, tragic facial appearance. His straight short hair is jet black, always looking wind tossed and uncombed, that forms into many tiny spikes all over his head. With a skin tone that looks gaunt and haggard, this gives him an appearance of a somewhat darker skin tone all over. Shoya has narrow shoulders, and a flat chest. His arms and legs look spindly, like he might be malnourished (although in fact he was not).
No matter what Shoya wears, his clothes always look ill-fitted, like they are just hanging off of his body. Most often he is seen wearing the male school uniform, consisting of a dress shirt that is not buttoned up at the neck, a loosely tied tie that is becoming undone, baggy brown pants, and a brown jacket that always looks wrinkled and well worn. His school uniform is also the outfit that he was wearing on the day that he was going to commit suicide. When not in school, then any other time Shoya dresses sloppy casual, such as in a shirt and work pants, or a shirt and worn-out cargo shorts. The only time he gives any attention to what he is going to be wearing seems to be the times that he is going on a date with Shoko, or will be with her for any period of time. At least then he will look clean, properly dressed, and somewhat presentable.
List of appearances
- Chapter 01 — "Shōya Ishida"
- Chapter 02 — "Just One of Those Things"
- Chapter 03 — "Hahahahaha"
- Chapter 04 — "Nishimiya, You Piece of Shit"
- Chapter 05 - "Reject"
- Chapter 06 - "Why?"
- Chapter 07 - "I Gave Up Once Before"
- Chapter 08 - "'Friends'?"
- Chapter 09 - "The Right to Be Here"
- Chapter 10 - "That's Just Great"
- Chapter 11 - "That Face"
- Chapter 12 - "Sis"
- Chapter 13 - "Struggle"
- Shōko Nishimiya: He bullied Shōko during grade school, taking away her happy days as a regular student. Six years later, instead of apologizing, he asked for friendship which she happily accepted. He then treated her normally and ensured that he would give her proper treatment, repenting for his sins. Shoya takes Shouko out to places with or without Yuzuru, during this time Shouko began growing a liking to Shoya and she began to enjoy his company, we do see later down the line that Shouko confesses her love but Shoya is unable to understand. It is implied that the two of them end up together though.
- Yuzuru Nishimiya: Yuzuru was hostile towards Ishida at first because she was aware of what he did to her sister in the past. After seeing that he really regretted his actions, she became good friends with him and together they help support Shōko and keep her from being treated badly by others. Ishida was also the one whom Yuzuru relied on when she was deeply saddened by her grandmother's death as they had a close relationship and her grandmother was the one who supported her the most, while she was not on good terms with her mother.
- Tomohiro Nagatsuka: Nagatsuka was the first person that Ishida befriended after six years of isolation. He was the first to have his 'X' on his face peel off, which showed that Ishida trusted him. Ishida happened to see him being bullied by some guy who took his bike from him. Subconsciously, Ishida suggested to the bully to take his bike instead, and as he walked home from school, it finally sank into him that his bike, which originally was his mother's, was permanently stolen. Nagatsuka then returned beaten with his bike, and it turned out that he looked for it and found it on a grassy plain. Ever since then, their friendship started to grow. Nagatsuka and Ishida are now good friends and hang out together, and they are currently creating a movie together.
- Miyoko Sahara: Shōko requested Ishida' in finding Sahara because she felt guilty of hurting Sahara as Ueno's group insulted her when she volunteered in learning sign language to ease Nishimiya in communicating. Sahara happened to be away when Ishida began bullying Shōko and he told her what he did to her. She just listened silently and left a little upset at what Ishida had told her. Later that evening, she gave him a message telling him that it was okay now and thanked him for connecting them again. He received an image of them together for thanking him.
- Naoka Ueno: Ueno was the closest girl to Ishida during grade school as he admitted to himself. He first thought she could be friends with Shōko too like Sahara, but she continued to act mean towards Shōko and her hate towards her had only increased. She confessed to Ishida how she always liked him. Due to her attitude towards Shōko, Ishida didn't care about her–seeing her with an 'X' on her face. Despite avoiding her, he didn't get mad whenever she visited his home or crashed inside.
- Satoshi Mashiba: Mashiba first approached Ishida when asking to be the main actor of the film he would be making with Nagatsuka. Nagatsuka was against his joining of their film creation team, as he only allowed Ishida's close friends to be included in the movie. However, since they lacked people for the movie creation, Ishida was not against it, and he didn't mind getting along with Mashiba at all.
- Miki Kawai: At the high school, Kawai started to be friends with Ishida again after getting acquainted with Mashiba. She liked Mashiba and wanted to get close to him, and she seemed to ride along with everything Mashiba approved on. Ishida first started approaching her by asking about Sahara, but afterward. she approached him as requested by Ueno. Later on, she often hangs out with Mashiba and acts as if she was close friends with Nagatsuka or Ishida as well.
- Kazuki Shimada and Keisuke Hirose: Ishida used to be close friends with Shimada and Hirose and they jumped together off a bridge. They still continued to hang out in his house reading manga or playing video games. After he got bullied, they avoided Ishida and hated him. Meeting Shimada again at a food stall in an amusement park, Ishida stiffed as he served him the order. He was not happy with their meeting and found it bothersome as he looked for Ueno who set it up.
- Miyako Ishida: Ishida's mother is a hairdresser and has her own shop at the ground floor of their house. Unlike Nishimiya's mother, she is not strict and seems to let her children do what they want. When she found out Ishida is responsible of Nishimiya's lost or broken hearing aids, she immediately withdrew in the bank and paid the total cost of the hearing aids. Ishida decided to wrap things up around him and paid back the money his mother used. She later discovered Ishida would have committed suicide when she realized her son's odd behavior during the entire day. When he tried to answer, she was outraged and swore that she would burn the money he earned unless he told her he will not attempt suicide again. Even after begging several times and promising not to attempt again, the money ended up burning anyway (accidentally).
- Sister: Shōya's sister was seen from behind in the firework scene standing next to her mother and her daughter. When Ishida was in grade school, she was always seen sleeping in her room with a guy. Ishida told his friends she had brought about thirty men in their house. The last one was a Brazilian named Pedro, whom she later had Maria with.
- Maria Ishida: Maria is Ishida's niece. Visitors often told them they have a foreigner in their house in which he replied she was the daughter of his sister and her father was a Brazilian.
- Pedro: Pedro is Ishida's brother-in-law. Not much is known about their relationship, but Ishida seems to like Pedro a lot.
- The name Shōya means "commander" (将) (shō) and "also" (也) (ya).
- Shōya's surname Ishida means "stone" (石) (ishi) and "field, rice paddy" (田) (da).
- Yuzuru: "How's it got anything to do with you?"
- Shōya: "Because I'd like to think...it does. / ...Because I don't want to have any regrets."
- ― Shōya to Yuzuru in Chapter 30
- Ishida and Shōko Nishimiya share the same nickname of Shō-chan.
- Ishida misunderstands (suki) "like" to (tsuki) "moon" as Shōko confessed to him and he replied "the moon is beautiful." Natsume Soseki, the most acclaimed novelist in Japan, once taught to his student that the English translation of "I love you" is "The moon is beautiful."
- In the manga, Ishida had dark brown eyes while in the animated movie, he has dark green eyes.