This....this is what should be published and serialized.
Particularly because it deals with a subject I find is swept under the rug all too often.
Yes its sad and it makes you angry that we humans are capable of such mistreatment towards others, but it DOES happen.
I know this because as a hearing impaired student like Nishimiya, I dealt with that throughout my grade school years. Still impacts me even now when I'm 21. And reading this just brought it all back to me. Although not all in a bad way, but the fact of how hard we both worked at trying to "fit" in the class and were pushed down or away because people didn't understand and thought I was a hassle because of my impairment. And the truth was they got tired of making allowances for me and resorted to this.
The stark reality of this is very true.
Now the rest is spoilers so unless you've read it, don't click it please. :3
While sure Ishida deserves it from bullying Nishimiya, I have to applaud his actions to redeem himself. It takes a lot of guts to show yourself to the bullied victim. I know this because, while it may seem like something that can't be easily forgive and just a way for the bully to escape the guilt just as the pain will always remain with the victim for life, I've had bullies come back to me and apologize and stuff. Yes I forgave them. Stupid I know, but there was a part of me that knew if I didn't I would let the hatred consume me or that I'd never escape it. It was through forgiveness I could free myself in a way. Sure it wasn't much but I appreciated and was even shocked they reached out to me the way they did.
Sure it may seem unrealistic for the girl to have gone as far as to forgive him and be that good of a person. But if you think of it, she's just that nice--I mean, I did the same myself. And yes there are some things that were done to me that won't ever go away or be forgivable, but I want to look forward on life and not be weighted down by such things, I think that's how Nishimiya sees it.
The message that Yoshitoki-sensei has strive to present to us is an important one. Treat others others the way you want to be treated. And there's always goodness in people--no matter what they suffered through. Also this shouldn't be dismissed but should be exposed and be aware that it happens. It cannot remain a dirty little secret or a skeleton in the closet, they must come out--yes, even the skeletons, because we owe it to the victims.
Nishimiya reminds me of myself a lot. The way she silently takes it all, all the "I'm sorrys", how she calmly faces everyday and endured it all. Even the fight between her and Ishida struck a chord in me. Her expression, wanting to be friends and wanting to be understood and heard, and Ishida's words about her being "weak" and a "coward" for not using her voice (when she had been all along), she wanted to prove something to him. And all the anger, frustration, disappointment, sadness she has bottled up inside her through it all...she just snapped as anyone would have done in her situation.
This is mainly because she knew no one else was doing anything to help her, even the teacher (who was WELL aware of it all) allowed it to happen. I've had teachers that either stood by or made things worse or helped the bullies. I've had bullies spin it their way while throwing one of their own under the bus. I've had bullies that I befriended only to return to the "group" afterwards and backstab me. I've had a principle make me apologize to my tormentors because they made it seem that I started it or something. It just got so ridiculous that I just stopped bothering with it and just went invisible....eventually I was left alone...somewhat.
And even more so I still got blamed for various things I wasn't even a part of lol.
They always say its the victims fault for not standing up for themselves, but to be honest, its those involved--the bullies' AND bystanders' faults. Even teachers who are sworn to protect their students and prevent such disgusting behaviour, its utterly ridiculous.
Just who can you trust if not yourself?
No one else BUT yourself in Nishimiya's case (and mine too).
I'm just proud that despite all that, she didn't become bitter or anything, she remained true to her self. All she wanted was to be accepted and belong and never gave up (at least not completely). She hung in there like I did.
And Ishida, I'm impressed he actually made those changes in himself after she left. Learning sign language is no easy feat. And to actually make the actual step of actually meeting her again (might have been on purpose, might have not) but to be honest that takes a LOT of guts to see the victim again after so long face-to-face, not knowing how she would respond. I applaud him actually.
Personally everyone should read this. This is not something to just be angry or sad or whatever about and just dismiss it. It is something we have to come to terms with and actually take action. Otherwise we're just letting others be subjugated to the same level of torment and treatment. We can either do something or just rant and rage and do nothing (same thing as being a bystander)--what exactly is stopping us from standing up to a bully? If we all stood up and helped out the victim, then the bullies (who are COWARDS) would stop. I've stood up for others, despite them never truly standing up for me or remain at my side. But that never stopped me. It's just the matter of who got the guts to stand up, and actually do it.
All in all, I think all should read this at one point or another.
OHMYGOD, apparently this is getting serialized! YESH. <3333