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Ok, so I already talked about Blue Period on Sunday, so I figured I might as well talk about the other seasonal series I have been watching: Komi Can’t Communicate. Another series that had a lot of manga hype and another series that I have been enjoying a lot for the most part. While, as of the writing of this post, there have only been about three episodes released, there is enough here to warrant talking about it. With that being said, let us get started.
Komi Can’t Communicate hilariously chronicles the unapproachable and yet incredibly loveable Komi, a girl whose social anxiety renders her unable to speak to people in person. Tadano has managed to find himself in the same school as Komi, although given his self-described “average” qualities, feels a bit out of place alongside his…unusual classmates. One day, he begins talking to Komi through a chalkboard, and the two ultimately become friends. Now, Tadano is on a mission to help Komi open up to others and make 100 friends.
Though it was not represented a ton in public discourse, and the comparison has yet to land, I have seen a few people putting this series next to the likes of Nagatoro, Uzaki, and others as “bait,” and while I can understand this comparison on a surface level, I do not necessarily agree. Whereas the main characters in those series feel designed and written to initiate outrage among certain groups, Komi does not really give me the same vibe. Rather than being an outward, almost obnoxiously energetic character, she feels very much like the opposite, subdued by her anxiety and overall reserved. This is not to say it would be impossible to write a “bait” character in that mold, only that the character of Komi and the story being told feels more genuine.
The show also is not as outwardly sexual as those series, at least not at Komi or Tadano’s expense. The most sexual character so far is probably Agari and at the very least it is out of a genuine attraction to Komi rather than just “lol fanservice.” Granted, this could change later on, but the sense I get overall from Komi Can’t Communicate is a desire to have a conversation about social anxiety through comedy. Whether the series will ultimately succeed in that goal has yet to be seen, but, at least for now, it is not doing a terrible job.
Tadano, on the other hand, is, well…ok. He’s not an outright horrible character, but currently, he feels much more like a lens through which to view Komi rather than a distinct character of his own. In many scenarios, he is relegated to the butt of some admittedly pretty funny jokes, but not much else. That is not to say he does not have potential, however. Clearly there is a storyline to be told between himself and Komi, and while his character design feels fairly bland, I would like to know the motivation behind that flower shape on his head.
Overall, while I am less excited about Komi Can’t Communicate than some other series I have been watching recently, there is still plenty of potential, and though I might not necessarily be able to convince people who have written it off as “bait,” I would still encourage everyone to give it a shot.
How do you all feel about Komi Can’t Communicate? Let me know in the comments below
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6 thoughts on “Initial Results: Komi Can’t Communicate”
I’ve watched through the fourth episode, and my thoughts on Komi are extremely mixed. On the positive side, I like Komi herself, and Tadano is fine as a protagonist — bland, yeah, but at least he does have a spine which I appreciate. Osana is a good sidekick character to both of them as well. On the negative, though, there’s everyone else. The way the rest of the class idolizes Komi is creepy as hell, and the way they knock Tadano constantly isn’t that funny to me. Most of the rest of the class doesn’t seem like it’s worth befriending, really. Worse, all the wackiness I’ve been getting from these side characters has been putting me off badly. Especially in episode 4.
As for the “bait” aspect, I can’t say much. I didn’t have any problem with Nagatoro or Uzaki in that sense, even though those characters were somewhat sexualized, because that made sense in the context of their stories. I also didn’t get the sense at all that those characters were written to bait anyone, though I completely get why the sexual element in them would put people off those series. On that note, I’d say the way Agari in Komi is handled could be seen as inappropriate — was it necessary to make her a sexual masochist? And the less said about Yamai in general, the better.
I’m going to stick with Komi, but I hope it gets less painful for me to watch, because there are things I like about it. I especially appreciate having another series that addresses social anxiety, since that’s something I can relate to. Just hoping it handles the subject decently well. Anyway, sorry for writing so damn much.
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Apologies for the late reply. I definitely agree with sticking to it right now. Yeah, there is definitely some mediocrity in their, but there’s also still a lot of potential. The fourth episodes was funny in very weird, psychotic sense.
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Could you please explain the bait thing to me? It’s my first time hearing it, actually. Is it like, making a relationship seem romantic or sexual when it’s not? Happy birthday again. 🙂
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Hey, thanks again, and sorry this is late. Basically, you’ve summed it up. There is also an element of making the characters look really young, even for high schoolers that I think people are upset about. It also comes from the company level, where people argue that the only reason these stories were turned into anime is because there would be a lot of public discourse, thus promoting the show. Like I said, I think Komi is trying to be genuinely funny, so I wouldn’t necessarily ascribe it those intentions.
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