Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Both in the beginning and towards the end of Koe no Katachi there’s a fundamental scene where Ishida walks in the school hallway in anxiety while avoiding eye contact with his fellow students. The key difference between the two scenes is that the first one was done in a subjective point-of-view while the last one in an objective point-of-view. The difference in POV was to visually accentuate the contrast in narrative between the beginning and the end.


Subjective POVs are usually shot in first person perspective and this is exactly how a large portion of the first “hallway scene” was shot. In this POV the audience sees the world from the character’s eyes, a far more visually and emotionally engaging experience. The viewer is in Ishida’s shoes as he walks through hallway, nervously looking down at the ground and avoiding the faces of other students. The camera shakes and moves unevenly. This motion of the camera not only emulates Ishida’s movement but also highlights his discomfort and immerses the audience into his social anxiety.

Towards the end of the scene there were two eyeline matches consisted of close-up shots of Ishida’s eyes looking down then a cut to a shot of the ground. The use of eyeline matches was to further drive the point that you are seeing and experiencing the world in Ishida’s eyes during this scene.


The last “hallway scene” was shot in an objective POV where the audience is more of an observer. Again the camera gives a view of the hallway floor but this time it’s a side view shot with no shaky movement, just a simple lateral tracking shot. There were no eyeline matches, just simple cuts between some straight medium shots.

The contrast between subjective and objective was to reflect the shift in narrative. The subjective POV of the first “hallway scene” was to have the audience experience Ishida’s isolation first hand. The objective POV of the last “hallway scene” was to allow the audience to observe that Ishida is no longer completely isolated. Even though his social anxiety is still present in this scene, he now has a friend in Nishimiya walking by his side and providing emotional support.

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