I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
Shoya saves Shoko but ends up in the hospital, badly injured and unconscious. This whole volume is about the aftermath of Shoko's suicide attempt: Shoko helping Tomohiro finish his movie in an effort to fix what she feels she broke; Yuzuru upset because the pictures she'd kept taking hadn't stopped Shoko from wanting to die; Naoka remembering how she stood by as Shoya was bullied; and Satoshi realizing his desire to become a teacher was all about his own creepy wish to monitor the kids of his own former bullies.
This series is so dark, and this particular volume is pretty violent. Naoka beats up Shoko because she blames her for Shoya being in the hospital, and Shoko's mom attacks (like actually physically attacks) Naoka for beating up Shoko. I wasn't surprised that people like Naoka and Shoya's mother blamed Shoko for what happened to Shoya, but I hated that they did, because she was hurting too. If Shoko's emotional wounds had been able to manifest as physical wounds, she'd probably have been hospitalized too.
I hadn't realized Yuzuru's morbid photography was more than just a phase. Apparently
The bit with Satoshi really, really creeped me out. There was a hint of some of this in, I think, volume 5, in the way Satoshi handled things when he witnessed a younger kid being bullied. He put a stop to it, yes, but the way he did it made me wonder just how scary he'd be once he was in charge of a classroom. This peek into his motives for becoming a teacher wasn't pretty, although thankfully he'd gotten to the point where he'd realized that too. Still, it seems kind of unfair that characters like Shoya, Shoko, and others had to have the most damaged and ugliest sides of themselves put on display for other characters to see, while Satoshi just gets to quietly reconsider his future with no one the wiser.
This volume finally gave readers a few pages from Shoko's POV, sort of. It was basically like getting to see the world the way she sees it, but with none of her thoughts to go with it. Which got me googling whether deaf people think in terms of an “inner voice,” which in turn made me think that Oima really could have done this part better. At some point, I need to see if I can find any reviews of this series written by deaf people.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)