Manga comes to the rescue of a deaf schoolgirl

by Beatrice Credi - 2015.02.16
Manga comes to the rescue of a deaf schoolgirl
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A manga comic has been launched in France that portrays disability like never before in the world of Japanese comics. A Silent Voice is the story of Shoko Nishimiya, who has been deaf since birth. She wears a hearing aid but still struggles to understand conversations and therefore what is happening around her. Her father abandoned her because he was frightened by her handicap, leaving her mother to bring her up alone. When the young girl starts a new school, despite trying to fit in, she becomes the target of Shoya Ishida, who makes life difficult. Shoko is bullied psychologically and physically by the boy, while her classmates and teachers stand by. That's until her family complain and the headteacher steps in. From that moment on, everything changes for Shoko. The other pupils take her side against Shoya. The author, Yoshitoki Oima, is only 18 but she manages brilliantly to talk about a sensitive issue that is often ignored: the harassment suffered by students with disabilities.

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