I can see how this movie would resonate with teens and slightly older young adults. I would have found it quite absorbing fifty years ago when I would have fit that category. It covers a lot of the topics that frustrate young people today, like anxiety, depression, bullying and even thoughts of suicide. These are a hallmark of teens who feel they don't fit in and desperately attempt to connect with someone or something that would give meaning to their lives. I think the story made it's point well before it finally ended, thereby dragging out a theme beyond the two hour mark when it could have spared a handful of disconnected and disjointed scenes. The film makers utilize an interesting dynamic with the use of X's to cover the faces of virtually everyone in Shôya Ishida's sphere of influence, which illustrates the alienation he feels in his day to day existence. The X's only fall away when he makes a meaningful contact with that person, thereby opening up the possibility of friendship. It does take the entire picture for Shoya to achieve his 'a-ha' moment where he learns he doesn't have to be afraid, though it took a near death experience to finally get there. The character of Shoko Nishimiya also occupies a significant part of the story as a deaf girl who would like to be friends with Shoya, but misunderstandings as early as grade school stand in the way until Shôya embarks on his path of redemption for the grievances he caused as a young awkward bully himself. The title of the picture not only relates to the presence of Shoko, but in a way, may aptly describe the inner voice that helps Shôya to eventually find his way.