In order to understand better, communication is vital. Misconstruing and misinterpreting words and sentences can be detrimental, life and death. That’s why all of us are bequeathed with a voice to speak and a mouth to channel it out. And so I noticed that there are some anime characters who communicate with others without using their mouths. How do they do it? Sign language and the likes of course. If you were like this, your strict father may have told you off if you are having gold in your mouth! Is it that hard to just speak normally? Well, there are always 2 sides of a coin. Though some of the characters have voices and the ability to speak, there are reasons why they can’t. In a way, it makes the job of the seiyuu much easier, don’t you think? Less lines to remember. So listed below are the anime characters who communicate without speaking that I know of:

Genma Saotome (Ranma 1/2)
Genma Saotome

Form of communication: Signboards.
Why can’t speak: Pandas can’t talk, duh…
When speak: Whenever he transforms back into his original human form.
Seiyuu: Kenichi Ogata.

Megumi Yamamoto (Special A)
Megumi Yamamoto

Form of communication: Sketchbook.
Why can’t speak: To protect her beautiful singing voice that she reserves for (oh, pulease…).
When speak: Besides singing, the first time we hear her spout out actual words was when she had to lie to Jun and Ryuu that she is going out with Yahiro.
Seiyuu: Ayahi Takagaki.

Meru Otonashi (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei)
Meru Otonashi

Form of communication: Handphone.
Why can’t speak: Apart from her name play which literally means ‘no sound’ (otonashi), she is very shy and communicates via her handphone text and SMS (‘meru’ as in mail).
When speak: There was an episode whereby her dad held auditions for people to dub her voice in real time! And another episode whereby it’s an apartment lady knows everything about the universe that has the impossible possible like Meru talking.
Seiyuu: Each episode has a random character voicing her (probably for the huffing and squeaking sounds) but Chiwa Saito was credited in the episode on Meru’s brief talking.

Suzuho Hasegawa (Macademi Wasshoi)
Suzuho Hasegawa

Form of communication: Sketchbook.
Why can’t speak: Because she is so shy.
When speak: Every time she transforms into her alter ego. That means a total opposite change in character as well.
Seiyuu: Ui Miyazaki.

Daimaru Sumiyoshi (Excel Saga)
Daimaru Sumiyoshi

Form of communication: Text and words appearing and floating across the screen.
Why can’t speak: It’s supposed to be his unique characteristic as a character in the show.
When speak: Never. Though ironically he is the ‘voice of reasoning’ among his colleagues in the Department of City Justice. And ironically enough too, he is the butt of jokes among his peers.
Seiyuu: Nil.

Kuchinashi (Needless)
Kuchinashi

Form of communication: Sketchbook.
Why can’t speak: The only reason I can think of is because her name literally means ‘no mouth’ or more appropriately ‘no voice’.
When speak: The only time she ever said a proper word and shocked everyone was unleashing her Fragment ability called Lilith Temptation. I guess she needs to say its name out or else that ultimate fragrance attack will never work. Haha.
Seiyuu: Minori Chihara.

Celty Sturlson (Durarara!!)
Celty Sturlson

Form of communication: PDA.
Why can’t speak: She has no head, so how can she have a mouth to speak?
When speak: Because it will be a real pain to every time read her typing, it is much easier and convenient to give her a ‘voice’ and ‘narrate’ them like as though she’s having a conversation. And since some of the characters know her pretty well, they can actually guess what she’s going to say like as though they’re really talking to her. Pretty ironic too, eh?
Seiyuu: Miyuki Sawashiro.

Elizabeth (Gintama)
Elizabeth

Form of communication: Signboards.
Why can’t speak: Heck, we don’t even know what kind of species this is (is it a duck or penguin?), how do we even know what kind of sound it makes?
When speak: As part of the parody and humour of the series, those familiar with the series will know that some old guy who is supposed to be the director of the series. Whenever he ‘comes out’ of the ‘suit’, it’s usually some rebuttal, joke or warning. For the record, Elizabeth’s first speech via that old geezer was during the Benizakura arc.
Seiyuu: Probably Shinji Takamatsu the director himself.

Shion Yasuoka (Shion No Ou)
Shion Yasuoka

Form of communication: Notepad.
Why can’t speak: Greatly traumatized after witnessing the death of her parents right in front of her eyes.
When speak: In the final episode whereby she won the shogi game and got her voice back to tell Hani that she is her family and friend.
Seiyuu: Ayako Kawasumi.

Kukuri Tachibana (11eyes)
Kukuri Tachibana

Form of communication: Sketchbook.
Why can’t speak: After a failed experiment that took the life of her brother in an alternate world, she went berserk and destroyed a facility doing experiments on children with special abilities. Not wanting to remember her painful past, she sealed off her powers and has no memories prior to the first 13 years of her life. This also results in her losing her voice.
When speak: I didn’t see this anime really so I don’t know if she ever opened her mouth to say any words. But she has a seiyuu who voiced her so that means… Unless they’re just weak sounds… Can somebody enlighten me about this? Edit: In episode 11 when she is about to face off with Liselotte.
Seiyuu: Noriko Rikimaru.

Silence Is Golden…
This list is not meant to be definitive as there may be other such anime characters that I have yet discover. Probably they haven’t speak out, the reason why I can’t ‘hear’ them. Haha! Just kidding. Whether these said anime characters communicate effectively is another matter. Due to their reasons, we should respect that this is their most comfortable and feasible way to communicate with the rest of the world. Environmental-wise, it may be not a good thing if the environmentalists find out that they ‘wasted’ lots of paper or cut down lots of trees to make wooden signboards just to convene what they want to say. For the ones using electronic devices, maybe they have to keep up with the constant changes in technology to do so. I think I have said this before some time long ago in my blog and I will say it again. Just because one doesn’t talk very much, doesn’t mean he/she has nothing to say at all.