News Ticker


Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2015: Koe no Katachi

Apparently, there is already an early kickstart to the new year for manga enthusiasts; 'Kono Manga ga Sugoi! is an annual mook published by Takarajimasha which compiles the top must-read manga of the year. The rankings are divided into 'Otokohen' and 'Onnahen' which simply mean the men and women's sections. I saw the mook on sale at Books Kinokuniya but didn't feel that it was necessary to have it. Instead, my gaze fixed onto the little lower-right corner - the #1 manga in the men's department is what I've picked up recently: Koe no Katachi by mangaka Ooima Yoshitoki.

Originally a one-shot back in 2011, Koe no Katachi was later remade into a series which began serialisation in December 2013 in Weekly Shounen Magazine. The manga has received wide reception with the one-shot being awarded the 80th Weekly Shounen Magazine Rookie Manga Award, and the first volume of the remake requiring emergency reprints. It has also been recognised for its feature of a deaf heroine. As of now, the manga has officially concluded with seven tankoubon; the final volume was released on December 17th. I can't wait to share my find with all. Here goes!

Koe no Katachi begins with a blunt remark by protagonist Ishida Shouya: "Nishimiya Shouko. I hated that girl." Shouya proceeds to recount his difficult path to redemption following an awkward encounter with Shouko at the hallway of what seems like a sign language school. The flashback takes us to Shouya as a sixth grader. Shouya was the daredevil, always dirtying himself and getting into trouble. He was quite popular in class though. Shouya didn't care much about a lot of stuff and wished life wouldn't be so boring. Then, Shouko came along.

Shouko had transferred to Shouya's class in sixth grade, and almost immediately caused a stir within the class with her deafness. Her presence triggered Shouya's interest however in an appalling way. His increasing boredom meant that he could make fun of Shouko as a convenient excuse. Gradually, things escalated and spun out of control. Shouko became brutally victimised which even included physical violence. Eventually, the tables were turned with the school principal's account of an incident where $1.7 million worth of hearing aids belonging to Shouko had been consecutively destroyed. Shouko got a transfer and Shouya was ostracised.

Fast-forward to the present and Shouya is now in high school. The previous incident prior to the flashback where he spotted Shouko is the catalyst for Shouya's long road to redemption. He catches up with a frightened Shouko and surprises her with his sign language. Through that incident, both have finally reconnected for the first time in many years. However, the road ahead is still filled with past demons and such, which prove mentally and emotionally draining for Shouya and Shouko. Shouko expresses her wish to meet her ex-classmates from back then, and from Shouya's various efforts in reaching out he gradually comes to terms with the wounds of his past as well.

I know that this sounds really cliche, but fate has got me acquainted with Koe no Katachi. Before that, I've seen the tankoubon around at Books Kinokuniya but that was all to it. I would notice the books on and off and as usual not pay much attention to them. The turning point is the mook mentioned at the beginning. Out of so many books in such an enormous bookstore, my eyes simply stopped at the glaring print on its front cover. Koe no Katachi is the #1 manga in the men's department. I knew right then that I shouldn't waste anymore time putting this off. I'm sold.

I can't wait to indulge further in this series. I hope that somebody out there would love it too.

Eccentrically Yours.

Written by J.Fluffysheep ♪

Share This:

Post Tags:

No Comment to " Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2015: Koe no Katachi "