Shino Can't Say Her Own Name (2018) poster
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 126 users
# of Watchers: 567
Reviews: 3 users
Ranked #26795
Popularity #11100
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Ooshima Shino is a 1st-grade high school student. She has difficulties pronouncing words that start with vowels in front of people. Because of her speech impediment, she does not get along with others. Shino meets Kayo who likes music, but she is tone-deaf. They decide to start a band and Shino begins to change. Edit Translation

  • English
  • Español
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • dansk
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Jul 14, 2018
  • Duration: 1 hr. 50 min.
  • Score: 7.2 (scored by 126 users)
  • Ranked: #26795
  • Popularity: #11100
  • Content Rating: G - All Ages

Cast & Credits


Shino Can't Say Her Own Name (2018) photo
Shino Can't Say Her Own Name (2018) photo


8 people found this review helpful
Apr 21, 2020
Completed 2
Overall 9.5
Story 10
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 8.0
Rewatch Value 10
This review may contain spoilers

The Struggle to Find your Place in the World & the Magic of Friendship

Imagine yourself as a teenage student in a foreign country, where you barely know the language, plus that many people are ready to make fun of you. There, your main concern could be to not make mistakes. Moreover, you might want to avoid crowded places, as more people around raises the risk of being ridiculed, plus that higher number of people laughing at you makes your pain more horrendous. It's like that you are in the enemy camp, feeling constant fear and anxiety. But let's suppose that the situation isn't all gloomy, since among that scary crowd, there are right people for you. The question is that how you can make things better. Naturally, the first challenge is to find some individuals looking sympathetic. If things go well, you'll gain some allies, and besides, some space to breathe comfortably. In fact, your life, properly speaking, begins with such a friend. Then, after gaining enough confidence through friendship, it'll be the time to embrace the public properly. This will be your second challenge. Let’s call the first challenge ‘creating a safe haven’ and the second, ‘finding your voice in society’.

The situation with its two challenges is depicted delicately in “Shino can't say her name”, the story of a high school freshman. Shino suffers from a psychogenic speech disorder, such that she's felled by a severe stuttering in front of others. This makes the beginning of her high school a real nightmare. Not giving up, she looks for some hope and in Kayo, a self-possessed and attentive loner classmate, finds what she wishes. Things go well between them, as Kayo does her part as best as you can imagine. They make friends and after the discovery of Shino's beautiful voice by Kayo, our guitarist, 'ShinoKayo'—their music band—is born. With Kayo's support, Shino gradually feels more confident, starting to talk to the world. If she experienced Hell in the first days of school, with Kayo, she’s kind of manages to “bribe God” and “got a passport to Paradise” as she sings Blue Heart’s song, ‘Aozora’. It seems she needs nothing else.

This is the first half of our story, however, things don't keep going smoothly. A classmate guy— Tsuyoshi—joins their band. Kayo sees this just as expansion of their music experience, though it's a different story for Shino. If with Kayo alone, she could easily forget her speech impediment, now, two normal-speaking people are communicating easily with each other before her. As she can't keep up with them, all the painful experience of being the 'outsider' comes back. Nothing is changed with Kayo, but anyway, Shino feels that her safe haven is gone. In her heart, she angrily asks her dear friend: “Why did you let a stranger intrude our space and destroy our heaven?” But she is aware that it's silly and selfish to want Kayo to be only hers. In the face of this complicated and painful situation, Shino runs away to the old shelter, her room. At the same time, their friendship is too precious to say goodbye to this easily. There is a strong gravitational pull from Kayo's side. This is Shino's dilemma.

And here is the second challenge: Shino might have the best time with Kayo but hiding behind her can't work forever. She needs to face the world herself, otherwise even their invaluable comradeship turns to a destructive addiction (How many promising relationships are destroyed due to over-dependence of one side on the other!). In the meantime, as discussed between them before, Kayo writes a song about “the stuff that happened between them” and sings it at the school festival. This gesture of unwavering friendship removes Shino’s last doubts. In front of everyone, she finally talks about her speech problem properly and introduces herself: “I’m Oshima Shino, from now on, forever!” She becomes part of school.

But a story of friendship is incomplete if we only talk about one side. If the togetherness has some magic, it can't work just on Shino, so how about Kayo? However confident she might be, as a teenager and a human, she also has her own weaknesses, most importantly the insecurity about her tone deaf. But as she tries to support Shino, as well as to manage their treasure—‘ShinoKayo’—she herself becomes stronger. It's being with Shino that gives Kayo enough courage to play the guitar outside home and it's for Shino that she sings at the festival, despite the fact that she knows some people will laugh at her bad singing, something that she hated to confront in the past.

Some viewers might find the last scene showing these three 'friends' separately, each doing their own stuff, disappointing. “Why don't they make music together?”; one might ask. However, what is seen is their friendship in full blossom. As for Shino, she told us before what she needed most: becoming "a normal high school student". And this is what we are witnessing: A nice girl, impressed by Shino's self-expression at the festival, wants to be her friend. Shino's world is expanding, and this is one fruit of her strong bond with Kayo. And even this is the case with the annoying guy, Tsuyoshi: His failed but honest attempts to be a member of 'ShinoKayo' made him notice that instead of forcing himself on others constantly, he needs to take some time to find himself: Now we are seeing him in a lonely corner of the school, a spot that Shino and Kayo were before. And the kind soul—Kayo: More determined and confident than ever, she is playing the guitar on the school rooftop in order to follow her lifelong ambition to be a musician. So, their friendship magically put each of them in the exact place that they should be. But no doubt that when its time comes, the trio will remake their band and sing the most beautiful songs for us; this is what their friendship calls for and this is what we wish!

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5 people found this review helpful
Dec 11, 2019
Completed 0
Overall 8.5
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 9.0
Rewatch Value 7.5
This review may contain spoilers

"The one who was laughing at me... the one who thought I was embarrassing... was me after all."

Firstly, some thoughts from my initial viewing. "Shino-chan wa jibun no namae ga ienai" is a film that stings with how relatable it is; not just to those who've suffered speech impediments, but to all those who are insecure and lack a place in the world. The pain of rejection, casual cruelties, and frustration at oneself isn't soothed by tactless words of encouragement, nor is it truly defeated by the kindness and empathy of others. Shino runs and runs away, whether it is on her two feet or by fruitlessly attempting to circumvent her stuttering. Even when Kayo chases after her and Tsuyoshi attempts to make remands for his teasing, she deflects their understanding behaviours. Alone and having realised that Kayo's faith towards her has never wavered even as the latter was abandoned, Shino discovers the key to 'say[ing] her own name'- expressing herself to the world. Or rather, that the lock which prevented her inability to express herself didn't just exist within her mouth, but also her mind; through her own perceived inadequacy and dare I say, self-loathing. An idiom comes to mind; "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink". Perhaps it should be reworded for this context; "You can give a student a stage to stand on but you can't coax the words out of her mouth."

Then, some pros and cons.
-Quite a lot is left to be inferred by the viewer; for example, why Shino avoids Tsuyoshi even after he amended for his crude behaviour AND she gave the green-light for him to join Shinokayo. Why Shino seems to suddenly demolish the progress she had made in the first half of the film and regresses into her antisocial shell once more. Why what appears to be a feel-good film has a slightly heartbreaking conclusion.

-Realistic characters; everyone presumably has at least one of them in their lives. The attention-seeking clown, the one who is sullen yet secretly kind, the well-meaning parent and teacher who are defeated by their lack of empathy, the one who is mocked and pushed down for a flaw that they were born with. Touchingly, the main trio are all connected by their insecurities and their desire to belong.

-Appropriately bittersweet (but ambiguous) ending. Adachi Shin didn't give viewers what they wanted; to see Shino and Kayo perform together again (possibly with Tsuyoshi on his tambourine). And sadly, that's how friendships often turn out. Ties that are severed won't repair at an instant, let alone at all. Kayo never got to see Shinokayo fully materialise, Tsuyoshi couldn't even be "that one guy in the back" and Shino never acknowledged his apology. Even though the perfect worlds that the three characters envisaged were unattainable (the three are alone in the end and Shino's stutter hasn't vanished), steps have been made in the right direction. That's life, isn't it?

-Deliberately imperfect but endearing musical scenes. Shino's off-key yet joyous singing voice and Kayo's inaccurate yet determined guitar strumming seemed to meld so well together. This odd sense of harmony seems to be a metaphor for the necessity of friendship to draw out one's potential.

-Very fine acting and chemistry. Despite their young ages, the performers pulled their weight to deliver moving, layered performances. Makita Aju in particular was just amazing.

-May be a pro for some, but the film winds up moping for longer than is comfortable or necessary.
-(Also a pro) but how stuff is left for the viewer to infer. I watched this to unwind and ended up feeling more agitated by the end. Sometimes you just want a film that explains everything clearly to you. This ain't it, chief.
-The happiness and sadness in this film seem to alternate until the bittersweet ending. They could've been blended more thoroughly throughout the entire film.

A moving and realistic film overall.

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  • Movie: Shino Can't Say Her Own Name
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Jul 14, 2018
  • Duration: 1 hr. 50 min.
  • Content Rating: G - All Ages


  • Score: 7.2 (scored by 126 users)
  • Ranked: #26795
  • Popularity: #11100
  • Watchers: 567

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