This month’s topic for May “Strength” had me pumped up.
If you have ended up here, be from my fellow member Arria’s post and I welcome you. It’s that time of the month again for my Owl’s topic post for the carnival. I have to admit, was very excited for this topic we are covering for the month of May “Strength”
“Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength.”
In anime, characters struggle with inner demons or physical weaknesses that make them feel insecure and prevent them from achieving goals. Yet when these characters overcome their adversity, they can finally be able to express who they are or in other words, “Free to be Me.”
For this tour, we will be exploring anime characters that have overcome adversity due to a personal insecurity or physical weakness. It is these type of characters that many anime fans may identify as role models because fans are able to feel empathetic towards these characters’ struggles and insecurities.
If your not familiar with the group I am apart of, we are known as Owls, group of Otaku bloggers. Whom every month we do blog tour posts on the related topic at hand, our goal is to spread positivity and promote of human equality, gender, race and all round acceptance. We use anime as our outlet to express our points relating to the topic again and joining owls has been so much.
When don’t we ever face our demons? We want to run, hide, anxiety kicks us in the face. You, I probably have been there many times, the greatest strength of all is to own up to all of it. But…. we know this already? We know we should but you just seep into denial and people see this as weakness. What else is seen as weakness? From past mistakes you’ve made? The prejudgement of others making a assumption like that, they don’t know. Not knowing of what your going through, your battle inside of you. Who are they to say this? We work through things at our own pace, So what if you want to hide from all the mess? Who saids that weak?
Before delving into the series I’ll be highlighting in this post, I wanted to speak from a personal place. For myself as a person, I’ve never felt like a strong person but this thinking comes from having Autism. There was a time I would never be telling people this, let alone in a post like this but now I’m older, think different. To give you a better understanding my autism, I’m classed as a high functioning adult, most people I talk with would never pick me to have it. It’s not been fun at times dealing with or having this condition, people’s understanding of it is different to how I perceive it.. Never until now that I’ve truly accepted that this is a part of me, I denied a lot in my childhood and teens.
It’s no secret that you can assume, that yes I was bullied. Socialising with people was always difficult, even now I still struggle at times. Constantly was the target for the bullies, it got to a point where I called the people who bullied me friends. Why? because I didn’t want to feel utterly alone, it was sad actually. All the time I denied that part of me that set me apart from other people, wishing I wasn’t so socially awkward, not understanding certain conversations people had. It just set my anxiety off like a rocket, but I’m talking a different anxiety that you may be thinking of. For anyone who has autism or condition like me, the anxiety aspect is very vastly different, I would call them whenever I had them, mental meltdowns. Everything just stops around me and I’m focusing on solely what is causing me the anxiety, it’s like being in a dark hole 24/7. I don’t expect people to fully understand but that’s a basic outlook.
Having autism has many trials on a daily basis and for someone like me you want to feel normal. Ha but what is normal? I wanted to be a more confident, smarter person but knew I wasn’t. Even now I still feel the same on that issue, that I’m not a strong person, situations I ever dealt with, I would deal with on my own. I’d keep it all bottled up inside then when it all poured out reaching my limit, I’d feel so weak. The quote above perfectly describes of when it’s just killing inside, lying to yourself that your okay when your really not.
Denial Of Ourselves
All you ever want to be is heard, have a voice? A Silent voice delves into this scope in such a relatable sense, that resonates so easily. Two protagonists Shoko and Shoya both had to face things that put them in that dark pit. Shoko is hearing impaired, deaf and becomes the centre of Shoya’s amusement during middle school. Shoya liked to never be bored, trouble maker thus bullied Shoko all the while. For those who have condition like mine or whatever may be, born blind, deaf it’s would only feel natural to connect with Shoko’s character. The bullies wouldn’t think about the impact they were placing on your fragile mindset, for the future, all about amusement. Shouko’s passionate effort to make friends with her class mates is warming yet wrenching to the heart, as others ignored neither wanting to try to understand or befriend her.
When those cannot understand or comprehend just sets you on the path of doubt, after trying and trying. This is how Shoko felt, lead her to feeling like she was a burden on others, constantly saying over and over “Sorry”. Leading to the point of her attempting to end her life, that scene in the movie is so serial and daunting honestly. One quote I could never get out of my head that Shoko said to Shoya “I’ll be unhappy if I’m with her”. Full of such sadness and guilt, you can imagine Shoko was at point of screaming on the inside, to be heard. Faking your okay is the easy way out, Shoko was running away but when have you or I ever done what Shoko did?
I resonated with Shoko’s character so easily, to know what it feels like to say sorry over all the time. I said a lot, because I felt like that was all you could say, if I didn’t understand something in a conversation, was quiet in the background. People would tell me to speak up more but again the word “Sorry” would just keep going on, like a record player. Shoko felt like she had tried enough but Ueno fellow friend on Shoya, screamed to her she was using an excuse. Ueno’s frustration just reminded me of those who don’t wish to understand, the strength it takes you to pick yourself up. From meeting Shoya again, Shoko slowly began to be less shy and was all at her pace. Personally Ueno’s character never appealed to me but she played a part in Shoko push out of her pit.
Shoya you won’t be able to not connect with, he puts it harder on himself more than Shoko did I feel. From bullying Shoko constantly caused her to transfer schools, resulting Shoya being excluded and bullied himself. Shoya entering into high school, became he’s very reserved and blocked out everyone, true denial of himself. You have to imagine the constant guilt, blame from what he did to Shoko, being a constant reminder. Left feeling to the point of hating himself. It built up this wall that blocked out anything, not wishing to get close with anyone. The representation in the manga and film of Shoya’s resent to not getting close to others, you’ll see people with crosses over their faces.
Shoya and Shoko are quite the denying pair but should this be seen as weak? There are points in our lives where we just don’t want to deal, where the greater strength comes from facing what it is we must, but we need that push. Don’t we?
To Redeem, To Be Heard
Shoya had it hardest out of the pair, feeling past guilt he couldn’t escape then meeting Shoko again when their older. The whole time inside he was screaming, screaming pain of someone to just hear him out, but his anxiety and guilt would not allow that. It all got to a point like for Shoko, of wanting take his own life, again seeing this serial concept is so sad. Some of us just want to be heard out, not judged for past tense things but we pull ourselves back, fearing no one will want to hear. Exactly what Shoya was dealing with, learning sign language and trying to befriend Shoko wasn’t easy for Shoya. His attempts were questioned as just selfish to make himself better or he was still running away but it’s so clear he was really trying. Even when others shut him down.
All Shoya wanted was to redeem himself but he didn’t know what was the right way to go about. What was the saddest for Shoya, he felt like he wasn’t allowed to have friends or anyone listen to him, didn’t feel like he had the right too. Though Shoko the centre of why he wanted to redeem, the only one who didn’t shut Shoya down. All it can take is one person to give you a chance, a second chance. There’s no way I could hate Shoya’s actions for the full steam effort he puts into, trying to break free of the guilt he hung onto. It takes right up until the end when Shoya releases all of his anxiety and guilt, his sorrowful plight towards Shoko is truly beautiful.
Shoya’s strength to hold on even though it was painful, is something we should see as inspirational. Myself envies Shoya as in the end he had someone who would hear him out, during my high school time, never did I have a single person. Isn’t it enough to show how important to feel your input matters? Shoya and Shoko are not weak in dealing with their own denial and anxiety, it was at their own pace. The greatest strength to be seen here was just hanging in there even at the darkest time. Shoya and Shoko made a bad decisions but still were their for one another, second strength right there. To rely on one another even if either was not feeling at their best, Shoya showed this when Shoko was about to attempt suicide. This is why listening, just listening can give someone such strength alone.
Strength In Numbers
Shoya and Shoko gave each other strength. Along side them the people past or new they befriended, this benefited I feel mostly for Shoya. At the end of the movie is the most beautiful scene that brings you tears for Shoya and the lead up to you will feel was more than worthwhile. Shouko and Shoya were able to both face their anxieties and lingering guilts together, its true they say strength in numbers. We can’t face our demons alone at times, the simple allowance of someone listening, just be there, it’s an indescribable feeling, let me tell you. We all want to feel like we have a voice in this world, to be heard, Do yourself a favour after reading this, go watch A Silent Voice. Beautiful story of redemption in such a youthful, real aspect that you’ve never seen before.
That concludes my owls post, I hope you all enjoyed. I added some personal aspect in this one as this topic hit home for me. Be on the look out 26th for Taku’s post.
I’ll see you guys in the next post !!