A Sign of Affection

A Sign of Affection

A lighthearted yet sincere deaf romance with a delicate touch


TV Show

Japan, United States of America
Animation, Comedy, Drama
Kaede Hondo, Nao Toyama, Ryota Osaka
24 min


Thank you for the serotonin.

What it's about

Yuki Itose is a deaf university student that communicates through sign language, text, and lip reading, but only in Japanese. When a foreigner asks her for directions, a young man comes to her aid, catching Yuki’s attention.

The take

With its slice-of-life approach, A Sign of Affection immediately tugs at the heartstrings with its sweet romance between a deaf university student and a multilingual traveller from manga duo Suu Morishita. The anime adaptation sees the world in Yuki’s eyes, with delicately lined shapes and pink-tinted watercolor paired with Sumire Morohoshi’s sweet voice, and it’s lovely to see the unjaded, kind way she interprets the world. The series does have some of the familiar romance tropes, like love triangles, wingman friends, and the glowy, bokeh lighting, but it’s sort of the point in this charming show. A Sign of Affection likens the careful, hesitant way of falling in love with the way Yuki interacts with the world, or rather, the reactions abled people have to her disability.

What stands out

Perspective. A Sign of Affection would automatically gain comparisons to A Silent Voice due to the characters, but the two differ in that this anime comes primarily from the deaf female lead, rather than the able male lead. This distinction doesn’t necessarily mean that this show is superior to the 2016 film – after all, they handle different themes – but it definitely colors the way we perceive the day-to-day reactions someone like Yuki would get in real life, especially the condescending way Oushi (and other well-meaning, but ignorant people) behaves.


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