Book Review: A Silent Voice Volume 3

A Silent Voice Volume 3 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well, and making some nice plans, if you guys like celebrating what is come next week.

Aside from no longer having my beloved quiet, things are going pretty well, especially because the next one of my preorders should arrive soon.

However, while continuing to wait, I will continue on with the series I bought from Amazon.

So far, I have covered two of the seven titles and five more remain.

Today, I will be reviewing another one of those titles, which is called A Silent Voice Volume 3 by Yoshitoki Oima.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.

With the acceptance of Shoko family, Shoya and Shoko seem to be getting closer and try to get into contact with one of Shoko's friends from grade school, so that he can restore what he took from her.

However, when he gets in contact with another person from his past that hated Shoko as much as he did, things start to get rocky again because she calls Shoya and Shoko's friendship fake, and if he does not do something soon, the progress he made would end up being for nothing.

I must say, this has been a pretty enjoyable read.

Just like with the previous volumes, the moment that I started reading this, I found myself so caught up in the experience that I did not want to stop reading for any reason, even though there were people around that were poking fun of me being my mostly introverted self, instead of actively participating in their conversation.

Now, some of you guys might be thinking that it grasped my attention relatively quick, since it has not been that long since I read the other two volumes, but, that is not the case at all, seeing as how I follow a few series in which volumes do not get released for a while, such as Cage of Eden's final volume, which is supposed to finally be released here in May of this year, according to Amazon.

While the real reason is not because of this volume starting in a way that could serve as a good introduction to the series, like it was for the previous volume, a good portion of it was because I did not feel lost, even though it did not start where the last volume left off.

Yes, this is not much of a problem with manga in general, as I have brought up quite a few times in other reviews, but there are times when I do tend to feel lost while reading a story, such as when I was reading Weston Kincade's Invisible Dawn, at least before I got used to the way in which Weston wrote the story, and since Yoshitoki did not end the previous volume during a point that was rather important to the story, he does deserve some praise.

If this kind of consistency can be maintained, then I have no doubt that my opinion of this would remain the same as it was when I first read it over on Crunchyroll, which would be a relief, considering that not every series that I revisit is as good as I remembered it to be.

I also liked how the comedic moments still did not ruin the atmosphere in the story, even though they are now appearing a bit more frequently than they did back in the first volume, and still remain funny.

As most people should know, I enjoy some good comedy as much as anyone else out there, such as a video with subtitles that purposely do not let the audience know what is really going on and the ever popular SNL Celebrity Jeopardy skits, but many anime and manga either add in inappropriate or unnecessary humor or the humor that was present has become rather stale, like what has happened with Detective Conan.

Here, however, the humor found in this volume, while it is still the typical low class humor normally found in manga, still has me laughing, even as I get closer to the halfway point of the series.

I am not too sure about you guys, but I cannot think of too many works of fiction out there that can make me feel like laughing for this much of a series.

Then again, since this series is only seven volumes long, it does not seem like it would be too difficult to keep things funny, so I guess that I can only give Yoshitoki a light amount of applause.

Hopefully, Yoshitoki does not ruin things after this, because I kind of remember some of the events towards the end being fairly emotional, though not as emotionally charged as Harley Hartwell confronting the culprit in episode 118 of Detective Conan or Ryner Lute fighting Sion at the end of The Legend of the Legendary Heroes.

Another thing that I liked was how Shoya stood up for Shoko when a former classmate entered the picture.

When Tomohiro tried getting Shoya to go over to a cat café, which he thought was a hostess club or something similar, Shoya thinks that there might be a possibility that the former classmate and Shoko could be friends, and eventually gives up that idea.

Later, when that former classmate shows up and tries to harass Shoko by taking her hearing aid, and wondering Shoya if he was going to play with it like he used to, he gave the hearing aid back to Shoko and told the classmate that they were friends now, even going so far as requesting that she apologize to Shoko for what she did.

It really seemed like he was finally making up with Shoko for real, even though a discussion later on in the book states, and causes my favorite part of the book to happen, that what he is doing may not be what a true friend would, and I was happy to see that he was no longer the jerk that he seemed to be in the first volume.

After all, this story focuses just as much on Shoya's troubles as it is currently focusing on the bond of friendship, and this is only the volume before the halfway point, so it would not make too much sense if Shoya did not continue to change like he has.

As a result, I feel like giving Yoshitoki a bit more applause then before, but not too much, since it has been quite some time since I actually read this series.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Shoko and Shoya both started to question their friendship after the encounter with the former classmate.

As nice as it has been that this series never really seemed to be that disappointing for three volumes in a row, things would not seem to be that realistic if Shoya's troubles disappeared right then and there after finally gaining the acceptance of her family, because Shoya was not the only one that treated Shoko poorly back in grade school, seeing as children do not readily accept people who are too different from them.

Of course, even if these sets of events never cropped up, I highly doubt that either Shoya or Shoko would be able to truly consider themselves friends for too long.

For example, in the church that I attend, there are many parishioners that say that they are my friend and certainly do not treat me badly, but when they come try and get me to join in on what they are doing, because they think I need to come out of my shell and/or they think that I really am in God's church and do not know nor acknowledge it, when God's church is not actually a church that you can find anywhere on Earth, I end up thinking that they are only trying to be friendly because I am part of their group and are trying to get me to conform to their standards, even when I know that is not what they intended.

If they cannot come off as genuine and accept me for who I am, I cannot really consider that person a friend, since they are nothing more than a “pretend friend”, as it is called in this volume.

Likewise, after not talking to each for a while after that girl harassed and mocked Shoko and Shoya's other friends, Shoya messaged Shoko and asked if they were really friends, to which she replied saying that she was wondering the exact same thing.

By including this kind of moment, Yoshitoki not only made things seem a bit more realistic, but also made things a bit more emotional because Shoko said that she wanted to get to know Shoya, so that nobody will ever call their friendship fake ever again.

While the previous volume gave me some pretty good reasons to continue reading this series, seeing this exchange and how it ended make me want to read the next volume right here and now, instead of putting things on hold and read another one of the titles that I preordered back in December.

If it was a new series, I would most likely do just that, since I do have all seven volumes of A Silent Voice, but that preorder is not a new title and I do not feel like burning myself out on this series like I did with Yu Yu Hakusho and Rurouni Kenshin's Jinchu arc, so I will just have to resist that urge.

Still, I feel like giving Yoshitoki some major applause for continuing to deliver a fairly solid story and hope that he does not drop the ball in the future volumes.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked.

Because my attention was grabbed fairly quickly, like with the previous volumes, and the comedic moments not only do not ruin the atmosphere but also continue to be funny, as well as the fact that Shoya and Shoko continue to have troubles while trying to get closer to each other, this book was very enjoyable.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, only one thing really bothered me.

The book seemed to end too abruptly.

According to the Table of Contents, this book is supposed to contain chapters 15-23, and, even though the same typo found in these chapters on Crunchyroll exist in this volume, it does contain the entirety of each chapter.

Unfortunately, when I reached the end of chapter 23, I thought that I arrived at the beginning of the chapter, and almost nothing happened.

If I had to say why this is the case, since I already said that Kodansha included all the chapters in this volume in their entirety, it is because Kodansha did not put in anything denoting that the end of the volume had been reached like they had in the previous two volumes.

What the heck, Kodansha? You have been publishing manga for quite some time, and you forget to do even the most thing in world?!

Yes, not every manga publisher does this, especially because no volume of Detective Conan released by Viz, according to recent memory, but Kodansha is one of the people who normally does it, and since the previous volumes had such a notice, they should be ashamed.

Reader expect to have consistency between every publisher's releases and Kodansha is not delivering on this aspect.

Seriously, if I were not waiting on Cage of Eden's final volume, I would not even bother supporting these guys any more.

First, they take away the Japanese honorific definition list and produce a horrible Table of Contents in Negima! Volume 34.

Now, they do this?!

Who is checking these volumes before they get released over at Kodansha? My guess is nobody, because this blunder made me think that content was missing when it is not, and I doubt that I am the only one that hates seeing shoddy work like this because it hurts the overall quality of the work.

Please get your act together, Kodonsha! If you don't,then you will not just be losing the money you get from me, but almost everyone that likes the many different series that you release.

Fortunately, if they do go up in flames, like I hope they do at this point, then this series will not be going with them, since all of the volumes have been released, so I do not care too much about their fate.

While there was only one major problem with this, the issue was bad enough to make this one of the worst releases I have seen from Kodansha Comic's USA.

Despite the fact that the only problems found were because Kodansha did not check out what was about to be released to the public, the good balanced things out to make this worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of Yoshitoki Oima and A Silent Voice, though I strongly recommend reading the chapters on Crunchyroll instead of buying this book.

As for everyone else, it might be worth giving a try, but because I am not too sure if Kodonsha improved or got worse from here, I think you are better off reading this series on Crunchyroll.

What are your thoughts on A Silent Voice Volume 3? Did you like it or hate it? If you hated it, was it because of something Yoshitoki Oima or Kodansha did or was it just not your cup of tea? Was there anything that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.