Episode 2 of silent was, as I expected, an emotional rollercoaster…
Essentially told from Sou’s perspective, from the moment he realized he was losing his hearing and what that meant for himself and his loved ones, including – Tsumugi.
It’s revealed that he once tried to tell Tsumugi, but that he lost his nerve when he realizes how much she loves listening to his voice.
He broke up with her to save her from the sadness of being the girlfriend of someone who is losing their hearing. He didn’t want to hurt her.
After running away from her at the train station, he realizes he still has her earbud. They meet up so he can give it back to her. He tries to leave right after setting on the table, but she stops him. The two have a short and understandably strained conversation.
Later that night, Tsumugi tells her boyfriend Minato (Oji Suzuka) that she’s met Sou, and he reveals that he knows he has lost his hearing. He is surprised by how well she takes the news and gives her a flyer for a sign-language course, which Tsumugi signs up for.
In class, Tsumugi learns that some who lose their hearing later in life choose not to speak (even though they have the ability) because it’s too painful mentally. She realizes this is what has happened to Sou. He can speak. He just doesn’t.
The second time she meets Sou, she is excited to show him what she’s learned – even though all of the information she signs to him, he already knows (her name, date of birth, and family size), but he can tell she’s very proud of herself.
The two run into Minato after the meeting, and the silent exchange between the three of them is deafening.
It’s clear that Tsumugi loves Minato very much, and while Minato is head-over-heels in love with Tsumugi, he also knows her feelings for Sou (and the truth that Sou would never have broken up with her if he hadn’t been losing his hearing). But he’s not acting like a jealous boyfriend, at least not right now. Instead, he’s actively encouraging her to be a part of her friend’s life – which is commendable. I hope he doesn’t end up being the series’ villain.
I also have to mention Kaho, who plays Sou’s friend Nana Momono (also deaf). She’s a little imp, and I absolutely adore her.
I know I’m bias, but all-in-all this series is really well done. The only thing I can say that’s even remotely negative is that there were a few spots in episode one and two where the sound editing seemed a little off – which could just be the Viki cut of the series (there were similar issues with their edited episodes of the BL series Until We Meet Again). But, I love it.
During the MC portion of a recent Naniwa Danshi concert, Shunsuke Michieda, who played Ren’s love interest in last year’s BL dramedy Keita Hatsukoi, mentioned how, after seeing the episode, he had to sit with his feelings. I completely understand the sentiment. This is going to be one of those series that I have to decompress from.
Episode 3 of silent will stream Friday on Viki.