Komi can’t communicate: Manga or anime?

Photo from: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/713U7787WCL.jpg

Photo from: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/713U7787WCL.jpg

Barrett Nice, Writer

Komi can’t communicate or Komi-san wa Komyushō Desu is a Manga series written by Tomohito Oda that has 23 existing copies starting in 2016, 15 of them being printed in english. There is also a new anime currently coming out to Netflix as of 2021 October 6th (Oct, 21 for America). The manga has also had a tv drama that aired in Japan. 

Shoko Komi is a high school girl who has crippling social anxiety leading her to have never uttered a single word nor sound in her life as well as the fact everyone she meets is absolutely stunned by her grace and beauty. Hitohito Tadano is just an ‘ordinary high school guy’ with good communication skills and can tell Komi’s feelings and thoughts and can understand she is just a regular high school girl who wants friends and relationships but doesn’t know how to approach people. They meet and become friends in the first chapter of the manga and Tadano makes a promise that by the end of high school he will help komi make 100 friends. The manga series is a comedy romance, and slice of life where Tadano helps komi make friends with a little splash of romance added into the mix. But can the anime live up to the manga’s high standards?

As of recently I myself have seen all the episodes available on Netflix plus have read and own all available english copies and have my own opinions. First off the manga style is gorgeous and has its own little quirks that I’m glad the anime has also incorporated. For example, when Komi gets excited about something with a little bit of an uneasy feeling, she gets cat ears that pop up on the top of her head and her facial features get very cartoony which the anime has included, which I think adds to the anime’s reputation. As well as the fact that in general Komi resembles a cat as seen in one of the first scenes in the anime and manga. Something that exceeded my expectations was the anime’s intro. I had low expectations to begin with because it was a Netflix original and normally the intros for those aren’t as good. Yet I was proven wrong, and the intro is actually really good. 

Somethings I didn’t like about the anime is the person casted for Najimi’s voice actor. The voice for them should definitely be more gender neutral and in between male and female presenting because they are genderfluid. Another critique I have is the fact that they chose to animate komis bangs in the Original style, instead of the modified version which appears later in the manga. In the original style her bangs are more curved and circular and later in the book the writer decided to change that shape to form more of a V shaped end. I like it better because it makes her bangs look more defined. Overall the anime adaptation is an 8/10 compared to the manga which is a 10/10.