REVIEW: ‘Komi Can’t Communicate’ Episode 4 — “It’s Just a Physical. Plus More”

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Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 4

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 4 is a Japanese Netflix Original anime,  directed by Ayumu Watanabe and animated by Studio OLM. The slice-of-life comedy anime is adapted from Tomohito Oda’s popular manga series. The voice acting cast for the Komi Can’t Communicate consists of  Aoi Koga (Love is War) as Shouko Komi,  and Gakuto Kajiwara (Fire Force) as Hitohito Tadano, Rina Hidaka as Yamai Renand  Rie Murakawa (Re: Zero) as Najimi Osana.

The series follows Hitohito Tadano, an average high school boy, and Shouko Komi, the most popular girl at their prep school. Upon entering their first year of high school Tadano discovers that Komi suffers from social anxiety and is bad at communicating with others. Despite the seemingly 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 to make her dreams come true.

In Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 4, It’s Just a Physical. Plus More, during the school health checkup, a competitive classmate Tadano is determined to clock better results than Komi, whom she sees as her ultimate rival. Meanwhile, Tadano is nowhere to be found for the day and while Yamai Ren makes a move to be friends with Komi. As usual, the animation for this episode of Komi Can’t Communicate did not disappoint. The animators do a great job of delivering some striking scenes that capture the mood and the humor of the episode effectively. This definitely comes in handy in this episode as things take a slightly darker tone in some moments.

This week Komi Can’t Communicate took things to a slightly darker place, than what I have come to expect from the slice-of-life comedy series to date. Even if it was intended for the dark moments to still come off as comedic.  It is worth noting and remembering that Komi Can’t Communicate is an anime that pokes fun at anime tropes and character archetypes. In fact, it is now of my favorite things about the series. I look forward to seeing what anime archetypes will be introduced into the series for Tadano and Komi to interact with.

In this episode, it just so happened that the series introduced the yandere character in the form of Yamai Ren. If you are not familiar with the term yandere, in anime it refers to a character, usually female who becomes violently possessive of a love interest. For Yamai, that love interest is Komi and she is willing to do literally anything to be Komi’s one and only friend.

The issue I had with this episode was that the intensity of Yamai’s actions just didn’t work that well with the comedic tones of the slice-of-life series. So some moments that were probably meant to feel more comedic fell a little flat. Unfortunately, it missed the mark for me a little. However, other viewers may feel differently. I think this episode really comes down to how well-received Yamai’s character by the audience and going in with the understanding the series making fun of this character type.

And I don’t necessarily dislike Yamai’s character. I even had found her character to be funnier, in a dark humorous way, in the manga and in previous episodes leading up to now. But this episode focuses a lot of time on Yamai so it has a hard time balancing the portrayal of her actions and obsession towards Komi with the comedic tone we have come accustomed to in this series. My hope is that as the show goes own the series will improve the comedic delivery when it comes to Yamai’s character.

I was however thoroughly impressed with the performance of Rina Hidaka, the voice actor of Yamai.  For example, Yamai puts on a facade with most of her classmates known her to be sweet, kind, and popular. While the other side of her is threatening and obsessive. Hidaka does an awesome job of capturing and switching between both of Yamai’s personas seamlessly.

Despite some of the comedic balancing issues in Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 4 there were some great emotional moments and character growth that came out of it in the end. For example, in this episode, Komi stands up for Tadano against Yamai’s insults of him not being worthy to be friends with someone like her. As the series goes on, it is great to see Komi slowly grow and progress towards overcoming her fears. Watching her character’s growth and development is something that keeps me coming back for more each week for this show.

Overall, while Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 4 felt like the comedy was off balance I still think it is well worth the watch for the great character development moments for Komi. As usual, the animation does not disappoint in the episode either. Although the introduction of Yamai as the yandere archetype took this episode to a slightly darker place than usual.  I look forward to seeing if the series can improve balancing out the intensity of the character with the comedic tone of the slice-of-life series.

Komi Can’t Communicate is streaming now on Netflix.


Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 4 — “It’s Just a Physical. Plus More”
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    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Overall, while Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 4 felt like the comedy was off balance I still think it is well worth the watch for the great character development moments for Komi. As usual, the animation does not disappoint in the episode either. Although the introduction of Yamai as the yandere archetype took this episode to a slightly darker place than usual.  I look forward to seeing if the series can improve balancing out the intensity of the character with the comedic tone of the slice-of-life series.