Although I love reading, anime is my typical gateway to manga. Meaning, I fall in love with an anime and one of two things happen. One, the studio won’t make another season (even thought there is plenty of source material). Two, I don’t feel like waiting for the next season. I must know what happens next. Sometimes, I’ll try a manga on a whim. If I like it, I’ll look into it. It’s rare for a manga I read out of the blue to have an anime. The last time this happened to me, I borrowed Anonymous Noise. About four years ago, I read a few volumes and watched Season One Subbed (English Subtitles) on Amazon Prime. Last month, I felt like taking a chance on some manga. That’s how I found out Komi Can’t Communicate.
Komi Can’t Communicate is about a teenage girl that has social anxiety disorder. She’s so crippled by her own mind that it’s even difficult to exchange greetings with others. Sadly, most people outside of her family don’t understand how hard it is for her to form connections with others. After some observations, her first friend, Hitohito Tadano, asks her plainly if she has a hard time communicating. He decides to help Komi make 100 friends. Sounds easy, right? Well, their private school is full of unique chatacters. Making friends may not be as easy as Tadano thinks.
The Japanese manga series debuted May 2016. If your wondering how Tomohito Oda’s series is doing, the 27th Volume was released October 2022. That’s plenty of source material for an anime, which is available to watch on Netflix and Crunchyroll. Season One of Komi Can’t Communicate aired October 7, 2021. English speaking viewers can watch Season One and Two Dubbed (English Audio).
The anime makes a point of describing what Social Anxiety Disorder is at the beginning of each episode. It doesn’t mean people with this disorder don’t want to form genuine connections with others. Since the show starts with Komi’s class treating her like a goddess, I wasn’t sure how they’d show the hardships of Social Anxiety Disorder.
Since I’ve only read Volume One and Two, my opinion on the animes commitment to the source material isn’t that strong. From my perspective, the anime respects the manga. Only small changes were made for censorship.
I wonder how the characters would react if Komi wasn’t pretty. There’s a lot of misconceptions about Komi’s personality in the show. As people get to know her, they find her true nature endearing and wholesome. If she didn’t meet anime beauty standards, would her social anxiety come off as misplaced superiority? Tomohito Oda addresses this thought later in the series. I won’t tell you how, but I’ll tell you when it’s addressed in the anime. It’s Season Two, Episode Three (Feelings; Fantasies; Invitation to Lunch; Roasted Potatoes).
If you enjoy Slice of Life anime, consider watching Komi Can’t Communicate. I must warn you, there’s a lot of fan service (suggestive appearance and situations) in this anime. I wouldn’t compare it to Fairy Tail, but it’s kinda hard to miss when it happens.