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A Silent Voice: 5 Ways The Manga Was Better (& 5 The Anime) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Anime adaptations of manga are able to breathe life into a static presentation, but manga also has advantages over anime adaptations.
A Silent Voice tells the phenomenal story of a boy named Shoya who finds a reason to live after expanding his world due to befriending a deaf girl he used to bully in middle school. It covered a lot of important topics, such as bullying and mental health.
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Originally a manga series, a film adaptation made by Kyoto Animation was released in 2016. Both versions are great, with the manga being able to expand the story more while the movie was able to implement things into it that the manga wasn’t able to. Each version has advantages over the other.
While A Silent Voice tells the same story in both adaptations, the manga has a lot more scenes and the order they are shown in makes more sense to the plot. The order of scenes gives readers a better understanding of who the characters were and how they developed over time.
Due to cutting out parts of the manga, the movie jumps around more often, especially in the first twenty minutes, which makes the pacing feel rushed. The movie showed everything that it needed to in order to make its audience understand the importance of the story’s beginning, but it didn’t have the impact that the manga had.
When an anime cuts out parts of a manga, it usually isn’t as good. However, the film adaptation of A Silent Voice proves that this is not always the case. Though there are many scenes that manga readers wish were in the film, it also cut out the worst parts of the source material.
This resulted in some characters being more likable in the anime. There were things that were unnecessary to not take away from the parts of the manga that the movie kept, though there are some things that the anime should have kept in.
The movie didn’t include some of the best parts of the manga. A lot of things that happen in the first volume of the series were not shown, such as what Shoya’s life was like before meeting Shoko. This allowed readers to understand him more prior to his meeting Shoko and the other main characters.
RELATED: Shoya & 9 Other Silent Voice Characters Who Redeemed Themselves
Shoya’s not the only character that fans got to learn more about by reading the manga, as it also explored the Nishimiya family through a lot of flashbacks in the series. By getting to know their pasts, readers were able to care about the main characters in ways that they couldn’t through the film.
There were times throughout the manga when the story was either very light-hearted or dark. While the film still kept its mature themes and the most important moments, such as Shoya saving Shoko’s life, it didn’t go as far as the manga did in other areas.
Instead, it did a better job of balancing the light and dark moments. It even replaced some scenes with original stuff, whether comedic or gloomy. These changes highlighted the different tones of storytelling throughout A Silent Voice.
As the main character of A Silent Voice, it’s important for fans to understand Shoya as much as possible. The manga did a great job at letting readers know exactly who he was by dedicating a lot of the story to showing his inner thoughts.
He’s the main focus of the story no matter what’s going on, and those that read the manga understand where he’s coming from and why he decides to do the things he does, even if they can’t be justified. The manga version’s Shoya proved to be a better character because it showed audiences his inner thoughts.
While the movie didn’t show much of Shoya’s inner thoughts, it instead showed audiences the way he viewed the world. By understanding how he looks at people and sees things around him in a more meaningful matter, fans can appreciate his character in a way that the manga didn’t show.
Having fans look through Shoya’s eyes is just one of the examples of how the camera work is amazing in the movie. There are many scenes that have unique angles and make viewers feel more than they do in the manga, which is something that few animated films achieve.
Besides Shoya, the other main characters of A Silent Voice are Shoko, Yuzuru, and Tomohiro, with Naoka also playing a very important role in the story. The other three characters in their friend group, Miki, Satoshi, and Miyoko, aren’t nearly as important in the movie as they are in the manga.
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While they’re barely memorable in the anime, the manga allows readers to learn more about them. Though these three characters weren’t as important as characters like Yuzuru or Naoka in either adaptation, it’s good to see them as something besides people that simply follow the main cast around.
One of the greatest things that anime can do that manga can’t, no matter what the story is, is having a wonderful soundtrack. The music in A Silent Voice fits the themes and plot of the story phenomenally and the film wouldn’t be the same without it.
The pretty piano pieces that play throughout the movie do a great job at capturing the feelings of each scene and making audiences care a lot more about what the characters are going through. The best example of this is at the end of the movie, with the iconic piece, “Lit,” which plays as Shoya embraces the world around him.
The manga has subplots that weren’t included in the movie, with the biggest being that the main characters worked together to make a film. This was how Shoya’s group of friends really came together.
Throughout the production of the film, they all got to learn a lot about each other and, despite not agreeing on many things, they were able to put their differences aside. This allowed the characters to have stronger connections than they did in the anime.
Though the movie may be called A Silent Voice, it wouldn’t be as good without the voice acting. Similar to the soundtrack, so much more is added to the film due to the voice cast, especially Shoko’s voice actresses.
Shoko is played by Saori Hayami in the sub and Lexi Cowden in the dub, who both portrayed Shoko wonderfully. Actually hearing her speak in the anime rather than reading the incorrect spelling of words in the manga makes it so fans can understand her character better.
NEXT: A Silent Voice: Every Main Character, Ranked By Likability
Kit Morris is a list writer for CBR and Game Rant. He got into anime when he was in high school, starting with Attack on Titan, which eventually became his favorite franchise ever made. He is also a fan of other anime, such as Death Note and The Promised Neverland. Feel free to follow him on Twitch, badgamerkit, and Twitter, @CreatORoyalty.


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