The opening greeting of the movie Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) was held at Tokyo’s Shinjuku Piccadilly on September 17, 2016.
Eight members of the cast made an appearance: Miyu Irino (Shouya Ishida), Saori Hayami (Shouko Nishimiya), Yuki Kaneko (Naoka Ueno), Yui Ishikawa (Miyoko Sahara), Megumi Han (Miki Kawai), Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Toshi Mashibasa), Mayu Matsuoka (Shouya Ishida in elementary school), and the director Naoko Yamada. They talked about their thoughts and revealed some stories.
This movie features sensitive topics like bullying and hearing impairment, but Irino was told by the director that the core of Koe no Katachi was the ‘connection between people’. Irino commented that ‘When I wasn’t sure how to act Shouya, I was able to act it out with a wish in my mind to connect with people.’ He also said that the director gave him an advice to play ‘like a large, small animal being intimidated’. He tried to develop that image and to act accordingly.
Matsuoka was also given a unique advice from director Yamada: ‘like a hamburger steak!’ Matsuoka admitted that he shouted ‘hamburger steak!’ many times during the recording.
Director Yamada often gives unique advice like those above. When asked for the reason he said, ‘If I give them a straight advice, it would fix the image of the character for them so I’m trying not to be straight.’
Hayami commented on her character that ‘she is a female who is trying her best to stand up as a human being. I tried not to add ad-lib but I would be happy if you could pay attention to Shouko’s cute scenes like her boasting face in a tiny part of the screen.’ Yamada director commented on Hayami’s Shouko Nishimiya with a smile, ‘It is truly attractive that her instinct and reason are coexisting. She became a good Shouko.’
The elementary school Shouya Ishida in elementary was a difficult part. He bullies Shouko because of her hearing impairments. Emphasizing that he is not backing up Shouya’s bullying, Matsuoka said, ‘I first thought how mean Shyouya was. However, the director told me that if I look at it differently, it was a pure emotional movement when an elementary school student found something interesting. So I decided to love him the fullest.’
Matsuoka was chosen by director Yamada because of one of his drama acts. When it was brought up, Matsuoka showed his confusion as to why he was chosen among so many experienced voice actors. Irino commented that ‘he seemed to be having a hard time at some scenes but the feeling of wanting to tell, a theme of Koe no Katachi, was well-expressed in the scenes.’ Hayami also commented that ‘in the scene in which little Shouya and Shouko tell each other their feelings, I thought that my voice and Matsuoka’s created a fantastic harmony.’ Matsuoka seemed to be reassured by their comments.
At the last greeting, Irino said, ‘I was worried about shortening the seven volume series into a two-hour movie, but when I watched the completed work, I thought that it was really good. The expression is different from the original manga, but the feeling of wanting to connect, the most important aspect of the series, is well-expressed in the movie.’
The Movie Koe no Katachi
Has been released since September 17.
Distribution : Shouchiku