ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Komi Can’t Communicate’, Volume 10

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Komi Cant Communicate Volume 10

Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 10 is a romantic-comedy-drama manga created by mangaka Tomohito Oda. The English-language release of the manga is from VIZ Media. Komi Can’t Communicate focuses on the continuing story of Shoko Komi, a young high school girl. On the outside, Komi is considered a calm and cool beauty because of her quiet and elegant demeanor. However, the truth is that she suffers from a communication disorder that hinders her from verbally talking with others. Thanks to her first friend Tadano’s help, she works to overcome her communication disorder to achieve her dream of making 100 friends.

Following the previous volume, Komi is starting her second year of high school, and she’s feeling a bit melancholy that all the good times of the last year are now behind her. How can anything else compare? But when Komi runs into a girl in her new class with an outrageous fashion sense crying in the bathroom, she’s able to put all her wonderful friend-making experience to use and reach out to another person in need.

This volume brings Komi’s progress and story to a full circle and opens a new chapter in her life. Ten volumes ago, at the beginning of this series, Komi took her first steps to make friends and overcome her fears. There’s even a chapter that reflects how far she’s come in the last year. Now in this volume, it is like she has stepped into the role of helping someone else overcome their social anxiety and fear by supporting a new character,  Rumiko Manbagi, by becoming her new friend. Even though she still has her communication disorder, she has made a lot of progress in making friends and getting over her fears. She just needed that first friend to help her out, and now she’s gotten to the point she does that for others.

I think it also important to note; this series isn’t about Komi changing herself or getting rid of her communication disorder to make friends. It is about her making friends like herself and people accepting her the way she without the need for her change. In this volume, when Komi can interact with Rumiko’s friends and not feel the need to change herself or act differently to fit in. I mostly thought it was beautiful that they were accepting how she communicates because it reinforces making friends with others without changing oneself.

I have always enjoyed the mangaka’s, Tomohito Oda, art style in this series. It is cute, lighthearted, and stylish, but they also know how to capture emotional expressions on the characters’ faces without changing the style. For example, in this volume, when Rumiko breaks down in tears in front of Komi, the expressions on their faces shift to match the somberness of the moment. I found this impressive because while the primary genre for this series is a comedy, it shows how versatile the mangaka’s skills are that they can adapt their style to fit the mood that calls for them.

Since the beginning of this series, there has been a character on my mind that I would like to see more depth and insight added to, and that character is Najimi Osana. Najimi was one of Komi’s first friends and is the complete opposite of her in every way. While Komi struggles with communicating with others, Najmi has a phenomenal communication ability and can quickly get close to anyone within a few minutes of meeting them.

Described as a mysterious person whose gender is unknown, Najimi doesn’t identify as male or female. They usually serve as the comic relief in the series. I  would like the mangaka to explore another side of the character, Najimi. Throughout the series, there have been chapters that focus on other side characters and give more insight into their personal lives outside of school. So far, I have not seen a chapter that centers on Najimi, and I would be interesting to get more insight into their character besides being comedic relief.

Last, Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 10 hints at the beginnings of a love triangle, and I am so excited to so more of it as it begins to take shape. Komi Can’t Communicate is described as a romantic-comedy-dramahowever, I haven’t felt much drama from the series. But now that Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 10 introduces this dynamic into the story, I am very interested to see what will come from it as the story progresses.

Komi Can’t Communicate Volume 10 marks a full-circle moment for the series’s heroine while also opening a new chapter of her life. Komi steps into the role of helping other characters overcome their fears of making friends. I’m hoping that in the volumes to come, we can see more of Komi stepping into this new role of helping others make friends. The mangaka’s artwork impresses me with how adaptable it is to fit the mood and emotions as needed. Additionally, as the series continues, I hope the mangaka will do a chapter focused on Najimi and give more insight into that character beyond them being the comedic relief. I can recommend picking this series up enough, especially now that drama looks like it will pick up as a love triangle starts to form.

Komi Can't Communicate, Volume 10
4.5

TL;DR

Komi Can’t Communicate, Volume 10 marks a full-circle moment for the heroine of the series while also opening a new chapter of her life. Komi steps into the role of helping other characters overcome their fears of making friends. I’m hoping that in the volumes to come we can see more of Komi stepping into this new role of helping others make friends. The mangaka’s artwork continues to impress me with how adaptable it is to fit the mood and emotions as needed. Additionally, as the series continues I hope the mangaka will do a chapter focused on Najimi and give more insight into that character beyond them being the comedic relief. I can recommend picking this series up enough, especially now that drama looks like it going to pick up as a love triangle starts to form.