( Notice>>>>>>CONTAINS SPOILERS<<<<<< )
- Shōko Nishimiya (西宮 硝子 'Nishimiya Shōko')
- A likeable girl who was born hearing impaired, and as such was bullied by Shoya and other classmates in elementary school, to the point that she was physically assaulted, and had to transfer away to another school. Her father left the family when Shoko was quite young, because his parents pressured him to file for a divorce and separated from the family after it was learned that his daughter Shoko was a deaf/mute.
- Years later, the bully Shoya searches for her to apologize for his past actions, and as a last gesture before his own suicide. Although Shoko has always held a bit of resentment towards him, she accepts his apology, causing him to postpone his suicide. Unbelievably, she starts to spend time with him, even going on an occasional date with him, once even to an amusement park. She is shown to almost never get angry with her attackers; in fact, she often smiles at them. Others, however, in particular Naoko, thinks she only fakes them out, and at one time calls Shoko out to stop doing fake emotions, as such behavior only makes her seem weak. Shoko does hold some form of self-loathing about her deafness. She becomes suicidal, at one point attempting to commit suicide when she learns that Shoya lost all his friends supposedly due to her. Realizing how depressed Shoko has become, Shoya manages to stop her suicide, but almost with the cost of his own life. After this incident, Shoko realizes how unbalanced she has become, and resolves to do better for her own sake, as well as that of Shoya. She gradually falls in love with Shoya and tries to declare this to him verbally instead of using sign language, but due to her awkward speech patterns, he fails to understand her love confession and remains somewhat oblivious of her feelings. Nevertheless, over time Shoko and Shoya grow very close to one another, and continue to frequently go out on dates.
- At the end of the series, after having studied hair styling in Tokyo for a year on a scholarship, Shoko returns to her hometown and reunites with Shoya for the Coming of Age Day celebrations. It is strongly implied by the manga that Shoya will marry Shoko, and spend the rest of his life with her.
12 Year Old Shoko
With her small frame and delicate appearance, Shoko gives the impression of that of a very precious human porcelain doll. She has pale, evenly toned skin. Her hair color is that of a dusky, smoky pink, and she wears it in a cute, longer length bob cut hairstyle with front bangs to her eyebrows, and side bangs falling just below her chin. Shoko has adorable 'big eyes' that are a medium auburn color, set in a round face with a slightly pointed chin. She stands about 4 feet 8 inches tall, with a slim, almost lanky build of her body. Shoko, at this age, has yet to develop a bust. Although Shoko's mother wanted her to dress and act as if she were a boy, however, Shoko refused to do so, and always dressed herself in the very feminine appearance of dresses and short skirts, typical of that of a little girl. She was always seen as neat and clean, thereby making her an easy target for other students to bully her by disheveling or soiling her clothes. Although somewhat plain and ordinary in fashion style, she always would wear a pretty dress, or a shirt and a mini-skirt to school, as well as at home and out in public. It became common for her to wear one or two hearing aids in her ears, usually made of red plastic. Because of her hearing impediment, Shoko would always be seen with a notebook and writing device, as that is how she would communicate with other people, by writing notes in the notebook.
Early on, Shoko seemed to accept the fact that she was forever hearing impaired. But she seemed to mistakenly think that the condition was the result of something in her early life that she did or did not do, something that she deserved as a supposed recompense. In childhood, she came to accept the mistreatment of herself socially, and would do so without apparent malice, as she was misguided into believing that she was destined to be treated as such for being the deficient outcast. However Shoko was determined to 'play with the cards that she was dealt with' , and such diamond-hard determination, deep personal conviction, and iron clad self-discipline carried her through the many difficult times she experienced when she was a young child.
Since very young, Shoko's misguided mother wanted to raise her as a boy, with male attributes and appearances. However, Shoko had such a strong feminine personality, along with choosing very feminine dress and grooming, and she would have none of that ! She never developed or showed the masculine traits of aggressiveness or dominance. This is why the mother raised Shoko's younger sister, Yuzuru, to be masculine in personality and grooming, and to be the 'boy' who would 'protect' Shoko throughout her childhood. Always mild in temperament and social graces, yet, when Shoya took to physical violence to undeservedly rebuke Shoko, she, so uncharacteristic of her, was able to defend herself in the fight, eventually striking Shoya with her fists into submission. Perseverance also factored in to Shoko's attitudes, and with only a one time exception ( her attempted suicide ), always had a 'never give up' attitude towards life. Even with the social and emotional abuse that she was subjected to as a child, young Shoko was always friendly and composed, and would offer to communicate with people by means of writing in her ever present notebook and pencil.
17 Year Old Shoko
By the time Shoko had reached her seventeenth birthday, she had outgrown her 'little girl' appearance and developed into a cute, pretty, extremely attractive teenage girl. Shoko had evenhandedly achieved the almost impossible and virtually unattainable social status of being simultaneously sweet and innocent, and yet hardcore sexy with a very erotic appearance. Shoko still has a small frame with a thin appearance, but has grown taller with long, lean legs. Her skin tone is evenly distributed, with a creamy texture. Her face is somewhat rounded out, with her anime girl 'big eyes' dominating her face. A shy smile is always present. Her eye color is of a deeper hue now, almost a chestnut brown. Her hair is still a smoky pink, but now with light maroon highlights. It is much longer now, with her bangs reaching straight down to her shoulder blades. For special occasions, Shoko will wear her hair in a cute ponytail, held in the back by a bow. Shoko now has a well developed bust, but of an average size and shape.
Although being from a poor family, she is always kept herself neat and clean, and continues to dress in a plain and ordinary fashion style. She seems to prefer day-to-day mundane clothes rather than the latest, hottest teen fashion. She now attends a private school for the hearing impaired, and wears the female school uniform consisting of a shirt, a sweater vest, a business jacket, and a plaid, pleated mini-skirt. Shoko wears a pretty necklace now. Expected of her very feminine personality, she prefers to wear nice dresses that emphasize her female attributes. For the summer festival, Shoko decided to wear a traditional yukata, much to Shoya's delight. Due to some progress in her hearing abilities, she only wears one hearing aid now. Overall, Shoko gives the impression of a very confident and pleasurable person in plain fashion style and good personal grooming.
Shoko has matured and developed her overall personality, despite many roadblocks, opposition, and downfalls. However, a few undesirable traits still remain, which lead to her first considering, and then implementing suicide. Shoko continues to remain steadfast in trying to better herself emotionally as well as socially. Her loyalty to her family and friends continues to be displayed as an earmark of her devotion to them. This even for her mother who many times is misguided on how to handle her seemingly severely disabled daughter. Shoko begins to gradually develop her own independence so that she can function in society without needing someone to give her baby-sitting style assistance. Her diamond-hard determination is still intact, as evidenced by her progressing in learning sign language, as well as learning to speak out loud to the extent that she can given that she can not hear clearly the speech of others. The seventeen year old Shoko also discovers and has a taste of Eros Love, love that has a romantic and/or sexual connotation. She does a Love Confession to Shoya, ( a request to begin serious dating as a committed boyfriend and girlfriend ), however, because she chose to do this verbally, instead of using sing language, he did not understand the full import of it at that time. And finally, Shoko's Agape Love ( love of what is good and proper ) becomes firmly established in her personality, blocking any hint of revenge or payback to those that emotionally or socially injured her so badly, so that it acts as an anchor and stabilization to her other traits, all for the good.
Unfortunately, a streak of self-inflicted, detrimental false responsibility for Shoya, Naoko, and others plagues her time and time again. It becomes so severe that she feels that she must die in order to supposedly relieve others of their problems, or their problems supposedly with her. This is seen in the fact that she felt responsible for Shoya repeatedly losing his friends, when in actuality it is Shoya's own misery that is driving them away. Shoko is also somewhat gullible, this is shown by the way that Naoko is able to buffalo her into believing that she is the genesis of many emotional problems, when those problems need to be owned and solved by the various ones who create them in the first place.
By the time that Shoko is able to celebrate the Coming of Age day, that is, when she is twenty years old, she is stable enough to establish herself as meaningful self-employed person. Plus due to her natural beauty, she keeps getting cuter and more attractive, whether others notice or appreciate it or not. She has already learned the trade of hair dressing and styling in Toyko, and returns to her village to begin to establish her own clientele of customers, this despite her hearing loss. It is implied that she will begin working in Shoya's mom's hairstyle business, with Shoya as the manager.
- With Family
When early on in Shoko's infancy and childhood, when it was discovered that she was born deaf and would become mute, her intimate contact with the members of her family began to gradually deteriorate. Like she ordered up her disability while her mom was pregnant with her ? Later, it was speculated that mom had an adverse reaction to something that ended up affecting the fetus, such that the developing child was born deaf. The first outward reaction was that her father's parents began to advise and lean on her father to leave the family and file for divorce, which he eventually did while mom was pregnant with their second child. Her father's supposed personal pride and status in life was stronger than his love for his special daughter and pregnant wife.
This left Shoko's mom alone to raise two daughters, although mom's mother, Shoko's grandmother would move in and help from that time forward. With mom having to work all the time, and do everything else about the family by herself, she had little time for any quality parenting. It seems that mom, deep down, would always resent the fact that father left the family supposedly because of Shoko. This would occasionally contribute to strained relations between Shoko and her mom. Another point of contention was the fact that mom wanted Shoko to be raised as a boy, with a masculine identity and expression, supposedly for Shoko's own protection and ability to defend herself as a deaf person. But Shoko had such a strong, unchangeable female gender identity, and always dressed ultra-feminine in dresses and skirts, that mom's plans never took hold on Shoko. Mom then raised her sister, Yuzuru, born a female, as a male in identity and appearance, with the purpose that Yuzuru would be the 'boy' that would 'protect' Shoko all the time.
Shoko was, for the most part, an obedient child, but as she had grown older, and became the object of repeated ridicule and bullying, she developed an iron will along with an independent social relationship with her mom. Over the years, Shoko actually became closer and more intimate with her sister, Yuzuru, then with her mom. Yuzuru was fine with Shoko being a very feminine girl, and Shoko was fine with Yuzuru dressing and being tomboy masculine. Shoko also had a good working relationship with grandmother, who lived with the single parent family.
- With Shoya
- With Miyoko
- With Naoko