I certainly did not expect to enjoy this series as much as I am. I thought the concept was fun, if not a bit ridiculous, but I've been prese4.5 Stars!
I certainly did not expect to enjoy this series as much as I am. I thought the concept was fun, if not a bit ridiculous, but I've been presented with something ingeniously solid and entertaining. I mean, it's the apocalypse... with extremely unbeatable magical girls with insane super powers! It's gory, it's smart, it's tense! And it doesn't shy away from character development. Plenty of times with apocalypse/action scenarios, the characters are never fleshed out (oh, geez, that could be a bad pun). Every "main" in this series has their story, has their moment, and they're all genuinely fighting for the world, if not for each other. Some characters are a bit warped, but hey.. that's bound to happen. The cop is actually turning around rather nicely, despite his unsavory personality. The art work is simply phenomenal. If you can handle the blood and dismemberment, check out this guy's artwork. Just amazing.
And the twists on top of cliffhangers? Mind blown. Can't wait for more of this.
There were some issues/situations that were glanced over in this volume, and a few were resolved in an annoyingly rushed manner. Even though I do notThere were some issues/situations that were glanced over in this volume, and a few were resolved in an annoyingly rushed manner. Even though I do not agree, necessarily, with this chunk of story line, doesn't mean that dragged the whole thing down. It's definitely looking at a scenario through a different cultural lens, and some readers may have a bigger problem with that. An element or two stooped to soap-opera-level, and I shook my head at it (that doesn't happen that way..). But, the author wanted that as a plot device, and she ran with it. Okay. I'll let you have it.
Despite those unnamed flaws (for spoiler's sake), I did like how this volume took up the theme of forgiveness and being bigger than hatred. Hate would have been so easy for Maria in this volume, but she strove to be better than that.
On the other hand (hah, I guess that could be a pun), I really want to punch Shin in the nose right now. He started off as an intriguing love interest, but now he's getting obnoxious, in his own way. Not as bad as that Shintaro guy, but still. Punch in nose....more
What else can you expect from the awesome author of Cat vs. Human besides an adorable and amusing beginning chapter book about a cat finding his "pet"What else can you expect from the awesome author of Cat vs. Human besides an adorable and amusing beginning chapter book about a cat finding his "pet"? It's a fun perspective, the cat's-eye view of finding his human. My cat was brought to us in a similar fashion, so I had a great time imagining Harry going through the same steps that Oliver did. And I liked that Oliver was in denial for 4 of the 5 chapters about his staying with "Freckles" and her mom. Just passing through, taking advantage of their tuna-mac-n-cheese and awesome supply of boxes to play in. This is fantastic for beginning readers, because while the text is minimal, it's smart and does not talk down to its reader. It's very conversational, and kids can easily get into it. It's broken up into reasonably sized chapters for the age-group, and is filled with wonderful illustrations to help tell the story. I mean, look at that face...
Such a super cute book. I hope there's a second one eventually....more
Compared to many of the other reviews, I realize a 3 is rather low. This is a difficult book to rate, but I have to stick to my usual system of enjoymCompared to many of the other reviews, I realize a 3 is rather low. This is a difficult book to rate, but I have to stick to my usual system of enjoyment. This book has a very important and heavy theme, and that can drag a reader down. I've given depressing and infuriating titles greater ratings, I'll admit. I think the only thing really holding this volume back was pacing. Still, this is a story that everyone should read. Because bullying is no joke.
I was bullied in elementary school. I'm sure nearly everybody can say that. Personally, I was bullied for my weight. I was heavier than your average girl, and it singled me out. My main opponent was a group of four to five boys. Luckily for me, words were their weapon, and I didn't have to fight. Didn't stop me from kicking them in the shins from time to time, but words can hurt just as much, if not more. That's one of the things in this book that really bothered me and made me super angry. These kids would talk about Nishimiya, not just behind her back, but right in front of her. And she couldn't defend herself because she couldn't hear them. And nobody stood up for her.
EVERYONE IN THIS BOOK IS A GIANT JERK!
Nobody is upstanding. Everybody sucks. Everybody, except Nishimiya, who is wonderfully forgiving and kind, even when the world is just spitting in her face. Even her fucking teacher (excuse me) finds her annoying and laughs occasionally when she's being picked on. For crap's sake, why did you become a teacher if you treat your students like this? The school does little to help Nishimiya, and that confuses me, but I'm not the most familiar with Japanese Public School requirements. They didn't even bother to bring in someone who knows sign language. Plus, her mother! Her own mother thinks her daughter a pain, and makes fun of her disability in front of her "because she can't hear it anyway." She lashes out at people who are trying to help. She's just a horrible person.
Our main bully, Ishida, may not be the worst, but he certainly learns his lesson the slowest. His whole thing is "winning the war against boredom," and teasing the new deaf kid is his new game. King Jerk. So when the bullying escalates to a level that gets the principal's attention, the rest of the jerks throw him under the bus. Welcome to Karma. Now he knows exactly what it feels like to be bullied. And it's not a pretty picture. This, luckily, helps him see his errors. By the end of this first volume, we see that he regrets his actions and wants to make amends. A tiny sliver of redemption.
Bullying everywhere is horrible; but, somehow, in Japan, bullying reaches new levels of despicable. You see it in a lot of their literature. There is such a huge pressure for conformity, that any strangeness or uniqueness tends to be a target to be squashed. And many authority figures turn the other way, because it's also a "lesson" to kids. You are responsible for what happens to you. Asking for help or looking for someone to lean on can be seen as a weakness. And that's why those who suffer have to go it alone so often. It ticks me off to no end, but we need to read stories about it. It needs to lead to a discussion for change.
A Silent Voice is a good manga, but it's hard to read. It may be a trigger for some readers, which will make it even harder. But it holds an important message. It's something young kids should be required to face, especially in a world that makes it easier to bully. I didn't have social media when I was being bullied in elementary school. Thank God. But what about kids today? We need to find a way to show kids the consequences before they go too far. Before Karma comes for them, and it takes way too long to make amends. They can only hope others take the high road and either learn to ignore or learn to forgive. ...more