Komi Can’t Communicate Review: Anime Doesn’t Get Much Better Than This.

Komi Can’t Communicate had a wave of expectations riding on it for its long-awaited anime adaptation, and it knocked even the wildest expectations out of the park. Let’s take a look at how everything went for the show in the first of what will surely be multiple seasons. Let’s get right to the review!

Komi Can’t Communicate Overview

Komi Can't Communicate

Komi Can’t Communicate, or Komi-san wa Komyushou desu in original Japanese, is a comedy and slice of life anime based on an extremely popular manga written by Tomohito Oda. It was adapted into an anime by Studio OLM, a very well known anime studio known for bringing to life several popular projects like Pokemon and Odd Taxi, among other things.

The anime was directed by Ayumu Watanabe, a veteran director known for directing several critically and commercially successful anime such as Space Brothers and Doraemon. He is also being assisted in direction by Kazuki Kawagoe, another veteran director primarily known for directing Beyblade. You can check out our review for the final episode here! You can out our episodic reviews of the entire series as it aired on international Netflix right here!

Komi-san wa Komyushou desu Review does not contain spoilers –

Komi Can’t Communicate Review- The Plot

Komi Tadano Komi Can't Communicate Episode 1

“Hitohito Tadano is an ordinary boy who heads into his first day of high school with a clear plan: to avoid trouble and do his best to blend in with others. Unfortunately, he takes the seat beside the school’s madonna—Shouko Komi. Gorgeous and graceful with long, dark hair, Komi is universally adored and immensely popular despite her mysterious persona. However, unbeknownst to everyone, she has crippling anxiety and a communication disorder that prevents her from wholeheartedly socializing with her classmates.

When left alone in the classroom, a chain of events forces Komi to interact with Tadano through writing on the blackboard, as if in a one-way conversation. Being the first person to realize she cannot communicate properly, Tadano picks up the chalk and begins to write as well. He eventually discovers that Komi’s goal is to make one hundred friends during her time in high school. To this end, he decides to lend her a helping hand, thus also becoming her first-ever friend.”– MAL Rewrite.

Komi Cheering

When taken at face value, the plot to Komi Can’t Communicate is quite simple and even somewhat generic. The show follows a very episodic “trope of the day” format. Every episode features a different adventure with different people, but nothing that you haven’t already seen a hundred times before. There’s the school festival, the sports festival, the summer festival, a water-based episode, and most other slice of life tropes that you can think of.

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However, the show isn’t quite as shallow as the above summary makes it out to be. Not only does it gain points for doing something to subvert the trope of extra confident/ unusually edgy and morose protagonist, but it also gains some bonus points for doing it in a way that addresses an issue that you don’t see being talked about in most forms of media. As if that wasn’t enough, it is absolutely hilarious and very emotional at times as well.

Komi Can't Communicate Episode 10

The show does the “popular girl” trope better than any other anime that came before it and fills the role with nuance that most people didn’t even think was possible. It created an atmosphere that made one want to cheer for the overpowered protagonist and learn to love her with all of her anxiety issues. It created an extremely believable romantic attraction between the protagonist and the most generic boy around, which all worked wonderfully.

While I wouldn’t call the story of Komi Can’t Communicate a masterpiece, It is still a fantastic tale of love and friendship that does a great job in making you care about everything that happens in it. There is progression, and the show doesn’t get stale for a second, even if some segments are decidedly more interesting than others. It is a remarkably consistent show that never once goes bad and sticks to a theme throughout its runtime.

Komi Can’t Communicate Review- The Characters

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 2

If Komi doesn’t win Best Girl as all of this year’s anime awards, something went seriously wrong somewhere, and we are living in a simulation. That or the awards are systematically flawed and don’t deserve your attention. While it would be unfair to call Komi Can’t Communicate a one-person show, it comes very close. Shouko Komi, the main character, dominates every frame of the show, and for a good reason. She is practically a perfectly written character.

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It is impossible to hate Komi. She is good at everything she tries, without even trying sometimes. But she still does try her hardest at everything that is expected of her. She commands respect and admiration from every single one of her peers and has never even said a single word to any one of them. This kind of treatment would make anyone sick and tired of any such character, but not Komi. She has a secret. She has a vulnerability that makes her far from perfect.

Komi Can't Communicate Episode 7 Water park

You see, Komi’s private life is not as great as you’d think. She desperately wants to talk to people and make some friends because she hasn’t even been able to make one her entire life. Imagine never being able to open your mouth in front of people and thus never having a single soul to share your troubles or achievements with. Imagine a world where everyone is scared to talk to you, and you’re scared to talk to everyone. That’s the nightmare Komi is stuck in. Thus, even a character that looks perfect from the top is made extremely vulnerable. That’s great writing every way you look at it.

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Every other character in the show is a stereotype or a trope which their name reflects. There are some very good characters there, like the wild Osana Najimi and the gentle and caring main character Tadano Hitohito. There is a fantastic supporting cast that is too big to talk about in this review, so you can go back and read our episodic reviews to find out what this writer thought about all of them. Yamai Ren can go suck an egg, however.

Komi Can’t Communicate Review- Art and Music

This was a real point of contention before the anime was even made- would the creators be able to showcase the unique and amazing art style from the manga in anime form? Is it even possible to do so in a medium as fluid as animation? Would the creators and the viewers have to sacrifice manga faithfulness for this one thing? In case you haven’t taken the hint yet, that ended up not being an issue at all, as not only were the showrunners able to adapt all of the manga’s quirks and make them fit perfectly in the anime, they were even successful in enhancing them.

Komi Can’t Communicate looks and sounds like a dream. Every episode, but especially the first one, have movie-quality animation despite there being a lot of manga quirks, such as written information and narration in the show the entire time. The characters all look fantastic, and even Komi’s wide-eyed no mouth look was carried over perfectly from the manga. As you read in this Komi san review, the show did very little wrong.

The soundtrack of Komi Can’t Communicate is also spectacular. The opening and ending themes are both tremendous, and the OST of the show is endlessly replayable. Cinderella by Cidergirl served as a perfect introduction to the series, and if Replica by Mol-74 didn’t exist, Hikare Inochi by Kitri was a lock for the best ending of Fall 2021. Overall, there were very few things that Komi Can’t Communicate got wrong, as hopefully, this Komi Review was able to convey to you.

Verdict

Komi Can’t Communicate comes very close to being a perfect show. Everything it managed to accomplish in its short 12 episode runtime was mindblowing, and there are literally no complaints that wouldn’t count as nitpicking. Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2 can’t come soon enough.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Plot
Characters
Music
Animation
Enjoyability

SUMMARY

Komi Can't Communicate comes very close to being a perfect show. Everything it managed to accomplish in its short 12 episode runtime was mindblowing, and there are literally no complaints that wouldn't count as nitpicking. Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 can't come soon enough.

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Komi Can't Communicate Review: Anime Doesn't Get Much Better Than This.Komi Can't Communicate comes very close to being a perfect show. Everything it managed to accomplish in its short 12 episode runtime was mindblowing, and there are literally no complaints that wouldn't count as nitpicking. Komi Can't Communicate Season 2 can't come soon enough.