REVIEW: ‘Komi Can’t Communicate’ Episode 9 – “It’s Just a Country Kid. Plus More”

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Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 9 - But Why Tho

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 9 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 written and illustrated 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.

In Episode 9, “It’s Just a Country Kid. Plus More,” summer break is officially over and Komi and her friends return to school. On the first day of school everyone is thrilled to see Komi again, but a student name Inaka starts to follow her around. Meanwhile, later in the episode, Komi gets invited to a new friend’s house to play video games for the first time. Although she is nervous about her first time visiting a friend’s house and playing videos games she still goes.

I found Episode 9 to be very refreshing because it went back to the basics. The last few episodes of Komi Can’t Communicate have had more focus on the slice of life theme of the show, which isn’t a bad thing, I actually enjoy those moments all. However, one of the best things about this series to me is that it shows communication anxiety can take on different forms and looks different for everyone. For example, in this episode, that character is Inaka, a young girl from the countryside who is embarrassed by her accent because she is afraid her classmates will think she is a bumpkin. To avoid her classmates hearing her accent, Inaka did not speak at all the previous semester, which resulted in her feeling isolated and alone.

The animation, timed with the comedic moments, pack a laughable punch in this episode.  Especially as the show continues to lean into the gag of Komi being perceived as being flawless at everything she tries. When in actuality, she is just a nervous wreck trying her best. She either usually gets lucky or her anxiousness inadvertently helps her to succeed. For example in this episode when Najimi recruits Komi for a part-time job to greet and pass out tissues to strangers on the street. Everyone that sees her thinks she is poised and doing an amazing job, as she does the most mundane task. In reality, she can’t greet anyone verbally, let alone make eye contact without freezing in place.

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 9 delivers some great relationship development in a subtle yet impactful way that builds on more from the previous episode. Komi asks Tadano to call her by her first name. In Japan, calling someone by their first name is usually reserved for friends and people that are very close. The fact that Komi asks Tadano to call her by her name speaks to how far their relationship as friends has developed if she feels comfortable with him using her name. This moment also hinted again at the budding romantic feelings that were touched on in last week’s episode.

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 9 is a refreshing watch as it goes back to the basics. The episode is a great example of how the series shows that communication anxiety looks different for everyone. The comedic moments make for some pretty laughable moments as it continues to lean into Komi being perfect when in reality she is just an endearing nervous wreck trying her best. This episode also furthered the relationship between Komi and Tadano in a subtle yet impactful way.

 Komi Can’t Communicate streams exclusively on Netflix weekly.


Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 9
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 9 is a refreshing watch as it goes back to the basics. The episode is a great example of how the series shows that communication anxiety looks different for everyone. The comedic moments make for some pretty laughable moments as it continues to lean into Komi being perfect when in reality she is just an endearing nervous wreck trying her best. This episode also furthered the relationship between Komi and Tadano in a subtle yet impactful way.