Anime, Reactions, shows

Komi Can’t Communicate S1E2

This is my analysis of and reaction to Komi Can’t Communicate Season 1 Episode 2, an anime about a shy girl with a communication disorder whose goal is to make a hundred friends.

The first thing we see in this episode is that the black cat made a reappearance. As discussed in the previous episode analysis for Komi Can’t Communicate, black cats are actually usually a symbol of good luck in Japan. They also seem to be strongly associated with Komi, because she is often depicted with cat ears when she is especially shy or curious.

The narrator explains when people have social phobia and/or a communication disorder, they may struggle to communicate with others, but that does not mean they do not want to make and maintain long-lasting friendships. That is helpful and true, so even though I generally don’t like this narrator, I appreciated the comment.

After the intro, Tadano approaches a group of girls, trying to find more friends for Komi. Yamai is one of the girls, and even though she plays super nice, you can tell she immediately judges Tadano as unworthy to even speak of Komi. She whispers in his ear words to that effect. You can already tell she is not a good person.

I hate two-sided people who act like that. Friendly as a show, nasty when no one or very few people are watching. Chameleons, I used to call them. Changing based on those who surround them.

Also, I know this is a school of oddballs, but the tall girl in the background is literally wearing armor, for no apparent reason. I wonder if that will be addressed later.

Tadano has no luck helping Komi make new friends, because he struggles to make friends himself. The other high schoolers want nothing to do with him.

He decides to talk to Najimi, since they are basically friends with everyone at the school. Many fans of the show believe that Najimi was written to be genderfluid. Sometimes Najimi identifies as female and sometimes male. They tend to use they/them pronouns. I am happy that all their friends are respectful of that, because I know oftentimes people in the real world are not respectful of preferred pronouns.

Tadano is confused because last year Najimi dressed in the guy’s uniform, and now they are wearing a skirt. Najimi playfully teases him. I already like Najimi, and it’s nice to have some rep for genderfluid people. The only other examples of genderfluid characters that I can think of are Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Eri from the Webtoon Friends With Benefits.

Najimi is very much a people person, and has tons of friends despite being a compulsive liar. They basically have perfect communication skills. Najimi regards almost all the people in the school as their childhood friends.

Tadano encourages Komi to ask Najimi if they will be her friend, but she can’t bring herself to do it. Instead, she just stands there for an apparently really long time, stuttering. Tadano is supportive, and Najimi is patient.

The audience is thrown for a loop when Najimi refuses to be Komi’s friend. It is totally unexpected because Najimi is friends with almost everyone. We learn that it is because Najimi tried to make friends with Komi as a younger child, but was scared off by Komi’s silent stare. Najimi agrees to walk home with Komi and give her another chance.

Najimi maintains a one-sided conversation with Komi on the way home. Two of Najimi’s “childhood friends” approach, annoyed at Najimi for moving without telling them. They give off bad vibes.

Najimi claims they are a guy when the creepy “childhood friend” admits his feelings to them. He won’t take no for an answer, however. He grabs Najimi’s wrist and licks his lips. Man, that is freaky. Makes me hate him. It kinda reminds me in swim team when a guy grabbed me and tried to push me to the ground. I have a host of bad memories associated with swim team, but that was the worst.

The creep had dropped his keys, and when Komi tries to give them back, her stare convinces the creep that she means harm. This seems a bit far-fetched, but Komi does appear to have the effect of intimidating people by accident. I wish she had done it on purpose, but she really only intended to give him his fallen keys. I don’t like that she’s that oblivious–it makes her seem almost dumb. The creep runs off with his friend, and Najimi agrees to be Komi’s friend.

It’s kind of sweet when Komi leaps into the air with joy.

The next day, Najimi sits with Komi and asks her lots of questions, effortlessly keeping up a one-sided conversation. Najimi says that making a hundred friends is so few. I guess it makes sense for them, but I feel like maintaining even a few good friendships is challenging, especially if factors such as distance are involved.

Najimi tries to improve Komi’s communication skills as well by challenging her to get a special drink for them from a nearby shop. I think it is a little harsh to threaten not to be her friend anymore if she doesn’t, but I suspect Najimi’s heart is in the right place because they don’t really seem like a bad person. I remember when I was an incredibly shy kid, my parents and other adults often pushed me to be more social. It’s not the same because I don’t have a communication disorder, but I feel like that helps me to relate to Komi somewhat. My parents and the other adults obviously meant well, but it still stressed me out beyond reason.

Tadano is mistaken for a stalker by a little kid and his mother when he follows Komi. I’m not surprised. He does look like a stalker since he is following her in hiding.

Komi hesitates for a long time before entering the coffee shop, and when she does she tries to communicate her wishes through gestures and by checking the menu. Najimi’s preferred drink is not on the menu, however. Najimi really thought through everything to get Komi to speak.

The barista is apparently very experienced and decides to take matters into his own hands. But he gives her the wrong drink. When Najimi tells Komi that, she begins to cry.

Both Najimi and Tadano apologize vigorously for that. It’s clear that Najimi didn’t mean any harm, though they did cause a lot of emotional distress on Komi’s part. I am impressed by Komi’s efforts, even if they were unfortunately unfruitful.

Komi sulks after they apologize, and they both think it is super cute. Good for her for not being a pushover. She knows she’s been wronged and isn’t afraid to make that clear in her own way.

Overall, I was satisfied with this episode. It introduced a new character and new challenges for Komi, as well as establishing that Tadano is a gentle, kind person.

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