Komi Can't Communicate is the must-watch anime of this season and had been anticipated by avid manga readers for a very long time. After several other slice-of-life manga received anime adaptations (such as Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!, Teasing Master Takagi, and Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro), fans were chomping at the bit to finally see Komi make her animated debut. Now that the series is here, did Komi Can't Communicate live up to the hype, or did the anime fail to live up to expectations?
Spoiler alert: It lived up to the hype.
Let's see why!
Komi Can't Communicate tells the story of a young girl suffering from Comyushou (Communication Disorder). Komi struggles to utter even a word to her peers due to crippling anxiety and is forced to resort to scribbling her thoughts down on paper whenever she wants to express herself. A life of quiet normality may not be so cumbersome for Komi under ordinary circumstances. However, due to her beauty, Komi is adored as the class Madonna and gains incredible amounts of unwanted attention. Komi has resigned herself to a life of silence but it is not until young Tadano uncovers her secret that things start to change for Komi.
Tadano tasks himself with securing Komi 100 friends. He works together with her, helping Komi tackle daunting tasks such as ordering a coffee by herself, asking someone if they'd like to be friends, and telling someone they have food stuck on their face. Along the way, we are introduced to more and more unique characters, each with their own traditional character traits (as referenced during the maid café episode). Each of these characters learns of Komi's plight at separate intervals and seeks to help Komi achieve her goals. Komi Can't Communicate is a slice-of-life comedy romance anime that seeks to push the boundaries of communication orders through its light-hearted yet serious tone.
Starting with outward appearances, Komi Can't Communicate is beautifully animated. The show has clearly used its budget wisely as the characters' expressions are smooth and fluid. Komi Can't Communicate often takes the same approach that Nisekoi did with regards to its comedic animation. Characters will dip in and out of their real-world faces in favor of sporting exaggerated caricatures of the overwhelming emotion they are feeling at the time. Komi herself often rests with her eyes wide open with no nose or mouth (connoting her desire to make as little noise as possible). All of these elements only add to the story Komi Can't Communicate is trying to tell.
The characters in Komi Can't Communicate, although amusing, feel a little one note at times. As evidenced through the Maid Café episode, the secondary characters tick stereotypical anime character boxes. We have the "always genki" Osana Najimi, as well as a tsundere, a klutz, a chuunibyou, a yandere, and several others. While this is not inherently a bad thing and this anime does the right thing in sidelining these characters (only calling on them for a punchline or two), aside from the main pairing of Tadano and Komi (and, at a stretch, Najimi), none of the other characters offer much of anything. Each new character falls in love with Komi and proceeds to act out their stereotype while simultaneously being in love. Hopefully, Komi Can't Communicate can give some more love to its secondary cast in season two.
At its core, Komi Can't Communicate strives to give a voice to those with Communication Disorder, that they otherwise would not have. Komi's situation, while used for comedic effect throughout the series, is always treated with respect and delicacy. Her friends never mock her for being unable to speak, and always try to help her improve (only giggling when perhaps fails to complete a task). Through this help, Komi is slowly but surely able to assert herself both through pen and paper and vocally as well. The message at the heart of Komi Can't Communicate is to not look at those suffering from social anxiety with malice but to welcome them in and hear what they have to say. Komi Can't Communicate executes this vision expertly.
Komi Can't Communicate is a hilariously enjoyable slice-of-life romance comedy anime. Its funny and exciting moments are perfectly balanced between its more somber and serious ones. This anime is rooted in reality as many people in the world do suffer from crippling social anxiety. Perhaps not to the extent as poor Komi, but silencing these individuals will do more harm than good. If you are on the lookout for a romantic comedy with a thought-provoking message, look no further than Komi Can't Communicate! What do you think of Komi Can't Communicate? Did the anime live up to the hype or do you think it is overrated? Be sure to let us know down below!