REVIEW: ‘Komi Can’t Communicate’ Episode 3 — “It’s Just Stage Fright. Plus More”

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Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 3

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 3 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, illustrated, and written by Tomohito Oda. The voice talent cast for the Komi Can’t Communicate includes Aoi Koga (Love is War) as Shouko Komi, Gakuto Kajiwara (Fire Force) as Hitohito Tadano, Fujii Yukiyo, as Himiko Agari (Edens Zero), and Rie Murakawa (Re: Zero) as Najimi Osana.

The series centers on Hitohito Tadano, an average boy who doesn’t want to make any waves in high school, and Shouko Komi, a seemingly quiet girl who ends up getting praised as an idol at their prestigious prep school. Within the first day of Tadano’s encounter with Komi, he is the first classmate to realize that Komi suffers from social anxiety. 

However, behind her intense and alluring stare and poised demeanor her classmates regard her for, she just wants to make friends but struggles with making connections. Unfortunately, her social anxiety makes that difficult for her, but now with Tadano by her side, she may have a chance at achieving her friendship goals. 

Following the previous episode, Episode 3, It’s Just Stage Fright. Plus More opens with Komi feeling a kindred connection towards a nervous girl in her class. She tries to take steps towards befriending her. However, things don’t go quite as Komi had hoped. The girl in question is  Himiko Agari, a person who also has high anxiety. So much so that her anxiety goes through the roof whenever she has to speak publicly or when other people’s eyes are on her. 

I continue to appreciate that this series consistently reinforces that one of the main focuses of the show about making genuine friendships. In this episode, Najimi’s suggestion to help Komi make real connections with people that are similar to her is an excellent example of this. Compared to Tadano’s approach to assisting Komi to make friends by using her popularity, Najimi’s approach takes into account that for Komi to have become genuine friends with other people,  she will need to connect with them on some level. Especially since Komi doesn’t want friends who treat her like an idol or worship her like a goddess. She, too, just wants to make genuine connections with other people and for them to like her for more than just her looks and popularity. 

Additionally, having Komi meet and help a student who struggles with anxiety or communication each episode is a great plot point.  While assisting other people to overcome their anxieties and communication disorders was not a primary objective, it is endearing and heartwarming to see Komi, who has her struggles, help others over their fears. I look forward to watching Komi’s journey to making real friends and how she helps them as the series continues.

One of the best things about Komi Can’t Communicate is the comedy. What makes the series so funny is how it draws from the differences between how Komi is perceived by others and her actual personality. The animation has a great way of displaying these contrasts of Komi very well. The comedic timing of the animators switching between Komi’s facial expressions and mannerisms is an excellent example of this. Those moments allow us, the viewer, along with Tadano, to see past Komi’s popularity and see she is actually doe-eyed and nervous with hugely drawn eyes and staring blankly. Then, when we see the icy beauty that her classmates only see, Komi looks very intense with sharper features.

Lastly, there is some relatability in Shouko Komi’s character, particularly when it comes to how others perceive her to be. For anyone that has ever been told they look mean or have a resting mean face when in reality they are the nicest person once someone gets to know them, and on a personal level, I relate to that too. Growing up, I was that person who people called mean or angry based on how my face looked, and they didn’t bother to get to know me before they started to treat me as such. Komi’s situation in the series really gets across the frustration and sadness of a person not making genuine friends because of the way people perceive her to be.

Overall, Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 3 is another great addition to the series. The comedy continues to be one of the best things about this series. I especially love how the animators use Komi’s facial expressions and other mannerisms. Shouko Komi’s character is relatable. This episode introduces a new plot point to the series where Komi helps other students suffering from their own communication disorder. I honestly can’t recommend this series enough, and everyone should give it a watch. 

Komi Can’t Communicate is streaming now on Netflix. 


Komi Can't Communicate Episode 3
9.5/10

TL;DR

Overall, Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 3 is another great addition to the series. The comedy continues to be one of the best things about this series. I especially love how the animators use Komi’s facial expressions and other mannerisms. Shouko Komi’s character is relatable. This episode introduces a new plot point to the series where Komi helps other students suffering from their own communication disorder. I honestly can’t recommend this series, and everyone should give it a watch.