Komi Can’t Communicate

Recently I’ve been trying to find some Anime’s/Manga’s to get into. Mostly to expose myself to more Japanese language to help me understand it, but also for entertainment. This is one of the first ones I came across and I’m glad I found it.

⚠️ Warning, this post contains some early story spoilers.

A picture of the main character komi (right) holding up a note written in japanese.

Komi Can’t Communicate/古見さんは、コミュ症です is an ongoing manga series. It tells the story of a high school girl named Shoko Komi who has a really hard time communicating with people as she suffers from extreme social anxiety. Something which I have and still do suffer from, though admittedly not as bad as Komi does. When I picked this up I will admit that I instantly read through the entire manga as is it stands to date in about a week if not faster. As of writing there are 24 volumes, 25 isn’t out for another few weeks yet, with 26 & 27 coming later this year. I will be getting them as and when 🤩.

Now I don’t read often, mostly as I find it quite boring when the content isn’t something I’m super interested in. But this I would actually voluntarily read. Similar to Lonely Castle in the Mirror, a book I read recently that I have a post in the works for as well. I read that in a similar vain and was excited to finish it. I did also watch the anime adaptation, in Japanese with subtitles and it does a really good job of bringing the manga to life. Watching it is a good alternative if your not into the manga, but note it is very far behind the current manga’s being released. The anime currently has 2 seasons as of writing which covers volumes 1 – 9 and the start of volume 10.

An intense moment with a boy (left) being tapped on the sholder by Komi (right) with a shock moment.

The story mainly covers Komi’s goal of making 100 friends, something which starts with the help of her first friend Hitohito Tadano. Tadano notices Komi struggling to say anything and being incredibly nervous, shy & anxious about everything that she says/does. He’s the first to actually notice this and provide a compromise with writing on the blackboard at the back of the class. Komi had managed it earlier in the class. Komi is able to communicate by writing things down and explains the situation and how she feels. She is about the leave after explaining it all when Tadano starts writing a question the blackboard. They then share their first conversation on the blackboard. Its a really sweet moment between the two and starts off one hell of a friendship.

A screenshot of Komi (left) & Tadano (right) writing on a blackboard in japanese.

What follows is just an amazingly well made collection of moments through the year with Komi constantly been misunderstood as someone totally different to who she is on multiple occasions. She’s also the most popular member of the class, being very attractive and all. She’s even made as class “god”. A role the class made just for her as she couldn’t really handle being the class rep. Tadano ended up being the rep. I really love the visuals through the manga, mostly the way Komi is represented. I loved the notepad conversations & the way Komi is drawn with just the eyes, its kind of cute 😻.

A screenshot of Tadano (left) looking at Komi (right) who has just jumped in the air in joy at making her 2nd friend.

As I eluded too earlier, I really connected with this anime/manga. Komi’s struggles to talk and how she reacts in social situations is very similar to how I’d react in some cases. I’ve certainly come out of my shell over the year and am far better at talking to people than I was a few years back, but I still have some of these exact anxieties. The manga also brings up talking fast as being a communication disorder which feels right given how I naturally speak really fast. To the point where I have to repeat myself wayyyyy to much. To the point were its annoying to me.

But it also nicely conveys exactly how I feel after conversations with people. I’m immediately thinking did I say something wrong? was that appropriate? I should’ve had said that! etc. As well as the nerves people like me can suffer from, from even the most mundane things, like making a phone call, arranging to meet people or even just going somewhere totally new. It piles up and the manga nicely shows that this can keep you up at night. I know it does for me sometimes, I often loose sleep from overthinking like this about pretty much anything. Its nice to see it represented. for a change.

A screenshot with Komi & Tadano (right) in shock at what is being shown to them on the paper being help by another classmate (left).

Overall I really recommend people give this a watch/read. For me its something I’m looking forward to reading now, can’t wait for the next volume in a few weeks, its really kicking off on a long running story beat now and I’m loving it.

* All media in this post is from the Komi Can’t Communicate Anime series on Netflix. No copyright infringment is interned in their use & belongs to its respective copyright holder(s).