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EP. REVIEW: Komi Can't Communicate


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Ohm_0_



Joined: 26 Feb 2021
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:54 pm Reply with quote
Man, this episode and the next one were pretty funny and visually beautiful. I just love the comedic timing. I love this show already.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 2643
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:27 pm Reply with quote
The production values and level of detail in this adaption are phenomenal. They're really delivering on the anime.

My only issue is how little actual subbing Netflix is doing.
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MagicPolly



Joined: 26 Nov 2020
Posts: 581
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:34 pm Reply with quote
MFrontier wrote:
The production values and level of detail in this adaption are phenomenal. They're really delivering on the anime.

My only issue is how little actual subbing Netflix is doing.

Yeah, I've been seeing iffy things where they straight up don't sub blackboard conversations and the like. Fansubs really pulls through in this case
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Florete



Joined: 21 Jan 2018
Posts: 221
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Well, all I could think about was how stupid this first episode was.

Why does this boy whose goal is to not stand out have this flower ornament in his hair?

People flock to Komi - which is a dumb anime trope to begin with - but then are inexplicably absent whenever the author wants Komi and Basic Boy to be alone.

Komi has so much social anxiety she can't even speak to people, yet is totally okay writing her entire life story on the chalkboard without a care. Maybe there's a version of social anxiety that works like this, but it's certainly not the kind I had, nor have I met someone like this. To be clear, writing your thoughts down instead of vocally speaking them can definitely be easier; my issue is the ridiculous contrast of this context. It also makes the title "Komi Can't Communicate" feel misleading, because this is communication.

Of course she thinks all these people who worship her actually hate her. Because that makes it easier for the self-insert male protagonist to get in with the hot chick. This trope is actually the worst.

Does Japan seriously still use chalkboards? After all that writing I was just hoping Komi was about to go wash her hands. Does anime just like the tapping sound effect of chalk hitting the wall? And/or the chalk pieces falling down, I guess.

I wanted to ask how a girl who can't speak to others got into a school that accepts through interviews, but I guess the interviewer was just like the teacher who asked her to read aloud.

This may be more of a nitpick, but I found it a little weird that Komi would start talking to herself with someone sitting right next to her, even if he was sleeping.

In the end it almost annoys me how well animated and directed it was. It just makes me wish those resources could have been used on a show with better writing.
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pikrodafni



Joined: 11 Apr 2015
Posts: 97
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 3:14 pm Reply with quote
^

Wow so many bad takes in a single post.Let's see:

He obviously doesn't wear a hair ormanornament ,it's just a stylistic choice by the character designer,if we were listing all the weird hair in anime we'd be here all day.

People don't flock to Komi which is ironically both a blessing and a curse,they admire her from afar cause either they think they're not good enough for her or are afraid she'll reject them.

Just because she can communicate through writing doesn't mean it's easy for her everyday life and especially if most people aren't aware of her problems.

What's so weird about her thinking that people don't like her,that's actually one of the most common things people experience when they have low self-esteem,assuming the worse.Even i have fallen to this line thinking and felt like such an idiot later when I realised the truth.

I'm assuming this isn't a critisism on the series, but yes Japan does still use chalkboards ,it's not exclusive to anime.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
Posts: 3142
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:01 pm Reply with quote
@ Florete

More or less same for me, for something that was hyped so much before release this was really anticlimactic.

It's really weird how everyone is hypnotized by Komi beauty but seemingly doesn't give a shit about her. No one noticed she never talk? How did she end up alone in the classroom with the MC when other classmate couldn't even stand to let him interact with her in class? They all just left her alone with him? That could work in a purely comedic story, but that really clash once we're supposed to take her condition seriously. I also find her design quite off putting, so my reaction was never "what a beauty!" when she was on screen, more along "holy crap, she clash with the art style, yuck". I was constantly reminded of this scene (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMZGTHTcv7o).

Maybe if they took a lot more time for the main character to really communicate with her it would work (2-3 episode). But it literally took about 3 hours for her to talk with the lead, you telling me she never realize she could communicate with text all her life? Did she never once used the internet? Communicating with SMS? What about school oral presentation? How did her life progress up to that point without a single person ever realizing that she can't speak? It really just came of as "Boring male lead find super beauty girlfriend cause she can only communicate with him for reason".

Overall, joke didn't land because of dramatic side and tender moment were boring, nonsense and overlong (writing on a chalkboard make sense in manga form, but is supremely boring in anime when you have to watch the writing take place) and just wished the resource were spent on something else.
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wacclay



Joined: 16 Oct 2021
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:05 pm Reply with quote
Florete wrote:
Well, all I could think about was how stupid this first episode was.


Oh wow. Half of your criticisms were eviscerations of the male protagonist, whom you are going after for the crime of merely existing. I see this sort of thing all the time either the criticism is for being an unrealistic power fantasy Gary Stu or for being a boring everyman self-insert. And yes, said criticisms are generally made about the same people. So ... what kind of male protagonists do said critics want? One who never dates a female? Do said critics just want every single work to be yuri and BL?

As for the other stuff ... they still use chalkboards in most American classrooms too.

And I suppose a show with better writing ... would have been yuri or BL. Or absolutely delightful stuff like HoriMiya, where the obviously in need of counseling male protagonist has a history of self-harm spoiler[and is stuck with a "girlfriend" with a history of bullying who then proceeds to walk all over him, including forcing him to participate in her fetishes]. Yeah, that is precisely the sort of great writing that we need more of.

Also, people with social anxiety or even simply extreme shyness are indeed often paranoid, thinking that the whole world hates them or is laughing at them. They often become misanthropes as a defense mechanism. Indeed, Komi NOT using her issues as an excuse to become a jerk like Watamote's Tomoko, Bottom Tier Character's Tomozaki, Handa-kun's character (whose problems continue well into adulthood!) or Oregairu's Hachiman is actually a refreshing departure. Although Bocchi Hitori of the similar Hitoribocchi no Marumaru Seikatsu wasn't like this either, nor was Sakaki of Azumanga Daioh so maybe "jerk with social anxiety" is a male-only trope. Anyway, this anime isn't exactly breaking new ground here with its depiction of social anxiety. Komi is basically taking a mashup of Sakaki of Azumanga Daioh and the aforementioned Hitori and the female character a male friend instead of going with the strange "this is a coed school where the boys never talk to this huge group of girls" dynamic because - I guess - introducing an actual male character ruins all the yuri shippping. Well Ryota Suzui got the same sort of hate merely for existing in Kakegurui - and I guess getting in the way of the Yumeko/Mary ship - so maybe that explains the vitriol you got going on here.

Thank goodness there weren't any plot-relevant male high school characters in Lucky Star. Who knows what would have happened had there been.
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merr



Joined: 11 Dec 2004
Posts: 282
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:29 pm Reply with quote
I haven’t read the manga, but I agree that the “she’s so hot no one can tell she’s got social anxiety” thing is groan worthy. The moments where she describes her anxiety were actually really tender. I hope the show leans into that more.
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wacclay



Joined: 16 Oct 2021
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:52 pm Reply with quote
merr wrote:
I haven’t read the manga, but I agree that the “she’s so hot no one can tell she’s got social anxiety” thing is groan worthy.


Might be groan-worthy but a somewhat common anime trope - I mentioned a similar character in Azumanga Daioh above - and what is more is probably based on real life.

The whole "the nail that stands up gets hammered" culture means that if you stand out you get shunned or bullied.
Being exceptionally attractive - and not in a cute way but in an intimidating way - is standing out.
Also means people are not going to talk to you and aren't going to notice anything about you except how pretty you are.
If you are already self-conscious about your looks AND if you are already getting shunned it will amplify any social or emotional disorders that you have.

Put those together and becomes a real feedback loop. It actually is something that I can see happening in real life to real people, especially if there is no outside intervention by teachers, parents, siblings etc.
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
Posts: 987
Location: Europe
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:41 pm Reply with quote
@Florete

First about the title and Komi-san problem. Maybe is better explained in the manga. The anime title in English is a bit misleading. The title in Japanese is more "Komi-san have a communication problem" and the main problem and anxiety is in speaking with other people. It is not like she don't want to communicate. She is just so anxious about speaking that makes her bad at speaking. Is a vicious circle, She wants to communicate but because she have so much difficulty in speaking she are not able to and that makes her even worse at speaking.

And because she didn't talked with anybody and anybody talked to her, her anxiety just grows. Many people fail to really understand just how important is talking with the other. How can a person really knows what other people think about them if they don't speak directly with that person. That only adds to Komi-san anxiety.

Because she is treated like a goodness, a out of their league cold beauty that don't speak, nobody really tried to talk to her and take the time to notice that something was wrong. And that just made her anxiety grow even more. The way other people treat her make her fell even more uncomfortable, They are so nervous talking to the "goddess" Komi that make her even more nervous. She is afraid that people are nervous and hate her because she don't talk to them.

Nobody talked to her before Tadano-kun take the first step. Using a way (writing) that don't evolve speaking, he was able to communicate with her without she having to talk. And Komi-san see that opportunity and opened her heart to him. That scene was so well tough. What we watched was the first step in helping resolve Komi-san communication problem. For the first time she was able to tell what she feel and to know what the other person feel. For the first time she was able to communicated with a classmate. The chalk can represent the crumbling of the first barrier on Komi-san problem.

About the school. I don't know if they will explain better in the anime but that school is special.spoiler[ They know about Komi-san problem and I can say that every student there is special. For example Komi-san have communication problems, Tadano-kun is average at everything and possesses exceptional observation skills what makes him able to read other people better than anybody. Every other student have a special characteristic.]

But the main focus on the manga is slice of life, comedy and a bit of romance, so anybody that wants to see a deep understating of resolving communications problems will have to look for a more serious story.


Last edited by Jonny Mendes on Mon Oct 25, 2021 10:16 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 2600
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:37 pm Reply with quote
Enjoyed the first episode and looking forward to more. I hope we get to find out about that girl in the armor (though I'm thinking she might just be a background character).

For those wondering about what's on the chalkboard: https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/qdjgba/the_blackboard_scene_komi_cant_communicate/
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michizure



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 150
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
...a character that almost goes out of their way to appear average by comparison.

His name, Tadano Hitohito, is a pun; it sounds like tada no hitohito -- "just a person." It's worth paying attention to the character names in this series, as they are seem to be meaningful*: Osana Najimi -- osananajimi -- "childhood friend," and so on.

Weirdly, komi shouko seems to mean "evidence included." I'm not sure what to make of that.


*In the original Japanese order (family name first), anyway. This is one reason I don't like ANN's using Western order (family name last) in the encyclopedia. It makes it easy to miss things that the author probably thought were obvious.
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Thatguy3331



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 1686
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:38 pm Reply with quote
It is going to be rough getting through some of the episodes because aside from Komi, Tadano and Nanajimi (who even then will be a whole can of worms for some people) Komi-san takes a stupidly long while to get some solid side characters, and I have no idea how much of the manga this season will be adapting (I certainly know none of my favorites will be showing up yet)

Much as I'm not looking forward to some of them I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how visually fantastic and well directed the premiere episode was, it breezed through the intro pretty fantastically and if nothing else did a great job in reminding me how much I like Tadano, a character I'd otherwise groan over due to his general arch-type. I can totally get Komi seeming too tropey to some "Oh look, unbelievably pretty girl who everyone loves can't talk and needs this dude's help to do so! Oh my what a predicament!" you might say. It's definitely going to be a your mileage may vary kind of scenario but for me, who doesn't view the manga as anything deep, just a fun romcom with some heart, I'm not too bothered by it. As far as these types go I find Komi pretty well handled for the most part.

It's a pity, though unsurprising Netflix's subtitles don't translate all of the one screen text. It's understandable for somethings (The quick gag of Tadano remembering his cringe days is alot to do for such a short period of time and you're probably gonna see it be presented in the anime down the road proper anyway) but the chalkboard scene actually matters. I like the series so I'm still gonna obviously support it legally anyway I can but I can only hope some official release down the road can- oh who am I kidding.
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vonPeterhof



Joined: 10 Nov 2014
Posts: 725
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:42 am Reply with quote
Jonny Mendes wrote:
About the school. I don't know if they will explain better in the anime but that school is special.spoiler[ They know about Komi-san problem and I can say that every student there is special. For example Komi-san have communication problems, Tadano-kun is average at everything and possesses exceptional observation skills what makes him able to read other people better than anybody. Every other student have a special characteristic.]

I thought all this was made clear enough by the narration right before the credits. Although I guess it might be less obvious what exactly that entails when you can't read the captions that appear next to the characters and/or if you don't understand the puns in their names. Speaking of which,

michizure wrote:
Weirdly, komi shouko seems to mean "evidence included." I'm not sure what to make of that.

It's just a play on "komyushou", which is a colloquial abbreviation of the Japanese term for "communication disorder". The "ko" at the end can be taken as either simply a suffix that turns the whole thing into a girl's name, or as part of the pun in its literal meaning of "child/girl", making the full name translate to "the girl with the communication disorder".
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Violet Park



Joined: 18 Jul 2018
Posts: 110
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:10 am Reply with quote
The serious topic the show is trying to cover doesn't jive at all with the comedy. The classmates all act like (very annoying) cardboard cutouts of human beings, so I can't say I'm looking forward to Komi befriending them. Also, this plot is completely nonsensical in 2021. She clearly has no problem connecting to people in writing, so making friends in, let's say, the class WhatsApp chat or in a forum about her hobbies shouldn't be that difficult.

As for the main characters, I like them in a vacuum. However main guy being the only person with basic social awareness she has ever encountered, and Komi herself thinking people hate her despite people constantly praising her in her earshot feels forced.
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