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A Silent Voice

© Yoshitoki Ōima

A Silent VoicebyYoshitoki Ōima

Translation: Christine Steinle

> nominated by the audience

Egmont Manga

Extract (German)

When comics address social problems, and do so explicitly with the support of an interest group, they can all too often be filed under the unfortunate category of “well-meaning”. A Silent Voice, however, is a very different case. For evidence, you need only look to the fact that artist Yoshitoki Ōima had to expand her manga twice because of its immense success. Eventually, her original 48-page story became a series that filled seven large paperbacks. The comic explores the problems that a deaf girl, Shoko, faces at her state school. One of her classmates in particular, Shoya, makes her life a living hell. The bullying gets so bad that Shoko has to leave the school. When the incidents become public, however, Shoya also has to switch schools. The pair meet again in secondary school, and Shoya seizes the chance to patch things up with Shoko and get to know her properly. The touching story addresses and dismantles prejudices and misunderstandings about people with disabilities, without ever waving a pedagogical finger – making Yoshitoki Ōima’s manga an exceptional piece of work.