REVIEW: ‘Komi Can’t Communicate’ Episode 2 — “It’s Just a Childhood Friend. Plus More”

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Komi Can't Communicate Episode 2 

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 2 is a Japanese Netflix Original anime directed by Ayumu Watanabe and animated by Studio OLM. This slice-of-life comedy anime is an adaptation of the popular manga series created by Tomohito Oda. The voice acting cast for the Komi Can’t Communicate consists of  Aoi Koga (Love is War) as Shouko Komi, Gakuto Kajiwara (Fire Force) as Hitohito Tadano, and Rie Murakawa (Re: Zero) as Najimi Osana.

The series’s premise centers on an average high school boy, Hitohito Tadano, and Shouko Komi, the most popular girl at their prep school. Tadano is the first classmate ever to notice that Komi suffers from social anxiety. And behind the icy, beautiful, and poised demeanor she has become known for throughout their school, she just wants to make friends. Unfortunately, her social anxiety makes that difficult for her, but now with Tadano by her side, she may have a chance at achieving her goal.

In Episode 2, “It’s Just a Childhood Friend. Plus More,” Tadano is full of optimism as he takes the next steps to help her make friends. However, Tadano quickly realizes that assisting Komi to make new friends will be more challenging than he first thought. Komi’s popularity and the social position the other students regard her as cause a barrier for new friendships. Tadano tries to enlist the help of a talkative classmate who is friends with everyone, but they quickly turn him down.

The animation quality in this episode takes a bit of a step back compared to the previous episode. It is not a huge difference, but the change in quality is noticeable. Compared to Episode 1, which felt like it was animated on a cinematic scale, Episode 2 definitely feels more suited for a television screen. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and understandable when animating a weekly series; I wouldn’t expect every episode to feel like something made for the big screen. 

Episode 2 introduces the opening and ending sequences, which are very catchy and a perfect fit for the series. The music and animation in the series’ opening are lively and energetic, making for a cute bop. Whereas the ending, much like most anime, is a bit more somber than the opening. It is a little slower but still melodic and catchy. A nice touch that I enjoyed about both the ending and opening is that they tell the story of Komi’s past troubles when it comes to making friends and how she is striving towards overcoming her fears to make friends. 

This episode touches on some of the deeper complexities and challenges of making friends, such as the influence of social positions. For example, Tadano assumed that because Komi is so popular and admired by all of their classmates, it would be easy to help her make friends if she just told other students that she wanted to be friends. However, that quickly backfires when Tadano is chewed out by Yamai.

Tadano and Komi are an interesting juxtaposition. On the one hand, you have Tadano, who himself remembers his social standing is pretty low; he is not that popular and doesn’t have many friends at school either. On the other hand, Komi’s social position and the way her classmates see her make it hard for other people to approach her in the first place. Perhaps because they assume she must already have plenty of friends because she is so popular. Or maybe her quiet demeanor and icy stare are interpreted as she doesn’t want to be approached by people. When in actuality, that is just her nervousness caused by her social anxiety,

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 2 also introduces Najimi to the series, who might just be my favorite character next to Komi.  Seeing them interact with Komi in this episode was so entertaining because Najimi is essentially the complete opposite of Komi regarding personality and people skills. While Komi is extremely shy and quiet, Najimi has this magnetic personality and possesses great people and social skills that make them able to make friends with just about anyone. However, when the two of them try to communicate with each other at first, it’s like the contrast between their personalities cancels each other out. Which just leaves them both standing in nervous and awkward silence.

Overall, the series delivers another great episode packed with humor, thoughtful moments, and subtle touches on the complexities of making friends. The animation in this episode takes a slight step back compared to the cinematic level we got in the first episode. However, it is entirely understandable, and the animation still does right by the series. The anime opening and ending sequences are a perfect fit for the series as they compliment the series exceptionally well with their catchy beats and vivid animation. Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 2 reaffirms my expectations for this series and yet again shows why this show is refreshing, unique, and has excellent potential to be one of the best slice-of-life anime series, not just for this fall season but of all time.

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 2 is streaming now on Netflix.


Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 2
  • 9.5/10
    Rating - 9.5/10
9.5/10

Summary

The series delivers another great episode packed with humor, thoughtful moments, and subtle touches on the complexities of making friends… Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 2 reaffirms my expectations for this series and yet again shows why this show is refreshing, unique, and has excellent potential to be one of the best slice-of-life anime series, not just for this fall season but of all time.