Book Review: A Silent Voice Volume 5

A Silent Voice Volume 5 cover

I hope that everyone is doing well, and thinking of what they would like to do during the weekend.

Things have been going fairly well, even if it is not completely to my liking.

The final few preorders have yet to arrive, but I at least have a few books left of a series to tide me over.

So far, out of the seven titles that comprise that series, I have covered four of them and only three remain.

Today, I will be reviewing one of those remaining titles, which is called A Silent Voice Volume 5 by Yoshitaka Oima.

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

Shoya and the gang start getting things done in preparation for the movie contest, such as deciding roles and having a script, and everyone is psyched.

However, when Shoya and Satoshi go to scout out venues for one of the scenes, the past comes back to haunt Shoya and he ends doing something that may put a damper on all of the progress that he has made.

While most of this series has been rather enjoyable, that does not mean that things will end on a high note, much like how I was very disappointed with how Agatha Christie's A Pocketful of Rye ended, especially because this book is the antepenultimate entry in the series.

Fortunately, after reading this book, I can gladly say that this series has not tanked just yet.

From the moment that I started reading this volume, I did not want to put it down for any reason, even though I have to satisfy the same needs that everyone else has.

Now, it can be something to make a work that starts off in an interesting way, but many of the series that I have read over the course of my life, whether they be manga, which I have been heavily focused on recently, or prose fiction, tend to go downhill the closer to the end I get, with a few exceptions here and there, and that really disappoints me.

However, I have now reached the antepenultimate volume of A Silent Voice, which is meant to start bringing the story towards its final conflict, if not start the final conflict, and Yoshitoki, as well as those that compile the chapters into volumes over in Japan, keep starting and ending things in a way that holds my interest.

This is how a series should be delivered, and all those behind this series, from Yoshitoki Oima and his staff, if he has any, to Kodansha's Japanese branch, did a great a job.

Seriously, if series were this good in the world of fiction, I would not become bored out of my mind with trilogies like the Divergent series and so many other that seem to be popular where I live.

Unfortunately, works of fiction are all created by mankind, and mankind cannot consistently turn out gold over and over, so all I can do is just wait and see what happens in the future.

I also liked how Shoya never really got over the past, even though he was reunited with many of his friends and classmates from grade school.

Even though life may demand that we get over things quickly, especially if one were in a situation in which the only person that could help them was the same person that raped, attempted to kill, or abused the individual or somebody close to said individual, like Akira Sengoku had to do back in Cage of Eden Volume 5, human beings tend to complicate things anyway because of how they feel and what they think is true, much like how Kakeru Narasue and Naho Takamiya from Orange, a series which a blog post by Tony Yao on Manga Therapy says describes depression perfectly, were not able to immediately reconcile after an argument about Kakeru's grandmother.

After all, I doubt that there is anybody out there that can say that there was not anything that happened in their life that does not still affect them, otherwise none of us would have any regrets in life.

Likewise, because Shoya was ostracized for bullying Shoko to the point where she changed schools, and kept trying to avoid certain people, it was obvious that Shoya never really overcame his past, and seeing him being confronted for it, when Shoya gets suspicious of Satoshi's conjectures, it seemed like Yoshitoki is finally going to have Shoya go through one of the most important things for forgiveness, which is forgiving himself for the mistakes he made.

While people can say that forgiving is such a simple task, and that anybody who makes excuse for not letting go of the past of not truly forgiving, the person who committed the wrong needs get over what they did and accept it, and that in of itself takes time to overcome, especially if the psychological damage to themselves came because of the improper usage of the BITE model, which many, but not all, benign, or seemingly benign, religions, cults, like the Kingston Clan and Heaven's Gate, and individuals tend to do.

Seeing how Yoshitoki Oima included this in this story, it makes everything seem much more realistic and shows the importance of forgiving oneself, and it makes me want to give him a big round of applause.

Honestly, there would be more fictional characters, or real, if you want to include religious texts that are believed to be true history, out there that seem to be truly human if writers understood how humans act and how things that seem so simple can be complicated.

Unfortunately, I do not see a day where people will take the time to understand how humans truly work, and will continue to accuse the priest and the Levite from the parable of the Good Samaritan of being hypocrites, instead of taking into consideration that they may have had good reason not to help, as Mormon Heretic, a blogger that views himself as a good heretic on the about page of his own blog, brought up in a post on Wheat & Tares, but that may very well change when people finally understand the importance of doubting everything in our lives.

Another nice thing about this volume was how things started to become a little more serious, even though there were still moments that could truly be funny.

Back in the first volume, I got the impression that this serious was going to be mostly serious in tone, because I was aware of the rough times that Shoko and Shoya experienced in life and Yoshitoki did not do anything to glorify what was shown, much like how A-1 Pictures did not glorify the abuse that Kayo Hinazuki experienced at the hands of her mother in Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, and the humorous aspects seemed to crop up a bit more as the series went on.

However, unless the work's main focus is comedy, like it is for Baka & Test, D-Frag!, and Rat Race, the comedy should not overshadow what made the work great to begin with, or even ruin an atmosphere, like it did in Rewrite episode 10.

So far, Yoshitoki has been able to maintain that balance straight through to this volume, and it really helped to bring out all of the emotional feels of the scenes, such as when Shoya got into an argument with his friends.

Unlike many other writers, I highly doubt that Yoshitoki is going to mess things up in the final two volumes, but it is possible for things to go horribly wrong, but, for now, I still feel like giving Yoshitoki some major props for doing something right.

The thing that I liked the most though was how this volume ended.

While I do not want to give too much, I guess I do need to explain a bit.

After the falling out with his friends, Shoya does things with the Nishimiya sisters, and obviously shows signs that he is troubled by the falling out by his actions and demeanor.

However, Shoko seems to be having troubles her own, and when she leaves the grounds of the fireworks display, her mother and sister know nothing about it, Shoya becomes worried, which prompts Shoya to go find her, only to find out that she is about to commit suicide and he rushes to save her.

Seeing all of this happen, I am wondering why Shoko decided to do what she did, and even if she and Shoya would survive, even if I remember how things will turn out.

This is reminding me of the encounter that Shuichi Akai and Hidemi Hondo, who I usually call Kir, had back in volumes 58 and 59 of Detective Conan.

As I brought in my review of the 58th volume of Detective Conan, the biggest problem with rereading content or checking out the original source, depending on how faithful the adaptation was, is that the suspense is killed because the outcome is known.

Here, however, even though this is my second time reading through this series, the suspense was not killed at all from knowing what the outcome would be, which gives me the impression that Yoshitoki handled these events just as well as Gosho Aoyama handled the incident between Akai and Kir.

This is what makes a work of fiction great, because it give the fans a reason to go back and read the whole thing over again, and if fiction writers can learn to write like this, fiction would be a whole lot better in general.

Nice job, Yoshitoki. I hope that you do not go against my expectations and disappointment me in the final two volumes.

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

Because my attention was held from beginning to end and begins to show the important of forgiving oneself, still did not have any humor that ruined the atmosphere, and had me wondering what was going to happen next, even though I already know what is to come, this book was one of the best books I have read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, nothing really seemed to bother me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.

Considering how there was quite a bit to like and the quality of the story has not gone down, even though it was the antepenultimate volume, this was definitely worth reading.

I only recommend this to fans of A Silent Voice, because they would be able to enjoy this the most and there are only two volumes after this.

If you read this book, What are your thoughts on A Silent Voice Volume 5? Please leave a comment and let everyone know why you liked or hated this book, especially if your reasons are different from why I liked the book.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, so that I can continue writing up reviews.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.