‘Komi Can’t Communicate‘ is a slice-of-life comedy anime based on the manga of the same name created by Tomohito Oda and published by Shogakukan Inc. The show is directed by Ayumu Watanabe and Kazuki Kawagoe for the Japanese animation studio OLM. The first season consists of twelve episodes and is streamed in North America via Netflix.
Hitohito Tadano (Gakuto Kajiwara) is entering his freshman year in high school with plans to keep his head down after an embarrassing incident at his previous school. He is mesmerized by Shoko Komi (Aoi Koga) a beautiful girl in his class that seems to be popular. However, he soon learns that she has a social phobia, making her nervous and unable to speak with all of the attention. They two begin to communicate through writing and he agrees to help her find friends. These include the troll Najimi Osana (Rie Murakawa), the obsessive Ren (Rina Hidaka), immature gamer Nakanaka (Rumi Okubo), and nervous-wreck Agari (Yukiyo Fujii). Tadano and Komi also grow closer together as he meets her family, go to events with their crowd, and helps her come out of her shell.
The story is a charming take on the coming-of-age tale about how a little bit of kindness and recognition of someone’s inner issues can bring about some good vibes.
Komi is a sweet and charming girl who, despite being popular, struggles with being involved with her class. The show does a good job of creating humor around the situation without being mean-spirited or making fun of her directly. Likewise, Tadano is a charming teenager who is an everyman and wants to help Komi meet friends. He has no ulterior motive and that is refreshing.
As we see Komi do things like going shopping, participating in school events, interacting with strangers, and even working at a job, we get attached to her and her new inner circle, well some more than others, but it is an inspiring and entertaining journey.
There is one flaw with the overall story. Komi’s popularity in school sometimes is a hamper to the plot. I’m sure the writers were thinking it would be a shortcut to her developing friendships. Honestly, I think making her a wallflower would have been better as it would create more challenges.
That being said, I have spoken with someone who had a severe social phobia when she was in high school who watched the show. She said Komi’s behavior and interactions were at least very similar to her experience in high school, minus the accidental popularity.
Now, I do not get into the sub and dub debate within anime fandom. Naruto I liked more in the original Japanese while Cowboy Bebop is one that I prefer in the dub. As a rule, I like both equally and I think the competition between the two factions is silly. This being said, this Netflix dub changed things and made the show worse.
It was not the English voice actors’ fault. For her few speaking roles, Amber Lee Connors did a good job as Komi and likewise for Kyle McCarley as Tadano. That was not the issue.
Netflix made changes that were clearly meant to kiss up to the woke crowd. In both the manga and the subtitled anime, the character of Najimi is a somewhat effeminate person who likes to confuse friends and foes alike, but for laughs. However, in both the manga and the original Japanese, Najimi clearly identifies himself as a dude. Multiple times. However, Netflix used the confusion to create an opportunity to virtue signal to a bunch of SJWs by making him seem “gender-ambiguous.” These SJWs do not even watch anime as they are too busy writing She-Ra: Princess of Power fanfiction.
Funimation got in trouble for toning down a joke in one show, where some even said they engaged in censorship, but Netflix gets a pat on the back from the access media and the social media idiots when they censor in a different way. As a result, I will be exclusively watching the subs going forward.
Despite this, I still think Komi Can’t Communicate is a delightful and charming story that is both wholesome and encouraging. It is one slice-of-life that I cannot recommend highly enough.
Check out the teaser below:
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Inappropriate comments, Disturbing images, Minor language, Suggestive humor and themes
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Akame ga Kill and Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
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Komi! I love this anime