Komi Can’t Communicate on Netflix, an Anime Series About the New Girl in School Who Wants to Make 100 Friends, in Spite of Her Anxiety

Komi Can’t Talk hits all of the checkpoints: A brand new anime sequence on Netflix? Verify. Based mostly on a well-liked manga sequence? Verify. Debuted in Japan first and is now streaming globally? Verify. Hyperbolic? Verify. Any good? Properly, that’s why we’re right here, isn’t it? New episodes will debut weekly, so let’s see if the primary one leaves sufficient of an impression to maintain us coming again.

Opening Shot: Cherry blossom petals flutter by the azure sky. It’s a stupendous day.

The Gist: Tadano (voice of Gakuto Kajiwara) narrates. He’s a mean man at Itan Personal Excessive College. It’s the primary day of faculty. All he needs to do is mix in. Not make waves. By no means be seen. “Tadano is a coward,” butts in a feminine voice, prefer it’s the narrator of the narrator. The place’d that come from? Who is aware of. However perhaps that’s useful information? All of a sudden, the brand new lady walks by. Each head turns. She’s hanging. A stunner. Tall. Swish. A real magnificence. Mute. Aloof. Her shoe locker is correct subsequent to Tadano’s. He’s struck: the display turns pink and he’s frozen in a silent scream, the irises of his eyes nowhere to be discovered — hormonal hyperbole in motion.

Tadano’s inside monologue continues as he and his classmates take their seats. The brand new lady enters the room, and extra jaws drop. College students stand and introduce themselves. She stands and everybody within the class turns to her and the scene is frozen and somebody within the again holds a type of fuzzy increase mics over her. Her voice is a barely audible squeak, however we finally be taught her identify: Komi (Aoi Koga). The identify of a goddess of sunshine, most likely, I dunno, what am I, a mythology scholar?

After class, she and Tadano are the one ones left of their seats. 100 oceans of sweat pour off his head. He tries talking to her. It goes poorly and he or she dashes from the room, however simply as she will get to the door, Tadano shouts, “Are you not good at speaking to individuals?” She freezes. Terrified, Tadano vibrates at a excessive frequency. However he’s proper. Tomi has excessive social anxiousness. He asks if she needs to write down on the board, and he or she grabs some chalk and writes and writes and writes, the phrases spilling out of her as if his kindness prompted a dam to burst. She confesses — scratch scratch scratch goes the chalk on the board, mud slowly falling to their ft — that her aim is to make 100 buddies. And Tadano says he’ll be the primary, and can assist her make 99 extra.

Picture: Netflix

What Reveals Will It Remind You Of? I dunno, I simply sat by Broadway-to-film floparoo Dear Evan Hansen, and it options a much more cartoonish portrayal of sweet sixteen psychological sickness than a loony anime like Komi Can’t Talk.

Our Take: Humorous how Komi sprinkles a couple of tender poetic moments — cherry blossoms, chalk mud floating to the ground — amidst all the total steel exaggeration, which renders comedian fodder from excessive teenage micro-melodrama. Time strikes slowly if you’re making an attempt to make a superb first impression after which get the hell outta there, and being flush hair-to-toenails with hormones doesn’t make something simpler. If you’re in highschool, insecurities are amplified. Turned to 11. Broadcast on blast. Or so it appears. And there’s one thing touching in the way in which Komi and Tadano make a connection, how typically they’re animated to seem like the almost-adults they’re, and typically to seem like wide-eyed kids weak to every thing round them.

So this primary episode is amusing and foolish and a little bit bit poignant, and has the potential to function an empathetic portrayal of a teen contending with social anxiousness. Visually, it’s outlined by its surreal prospers, from proliferations of on-screen textual content (illustrating how teenagers typically really feel bombarded with stimulation) to how cat ears often and inexplicably pop from Komi’s head. Structurally, this pilot is odd, backloading a pile of exposition about Itan Personal College tradition — it’s a prestigious establishment populated by eccentrics and weirdos, so Komi’s 100-friend aim gained’t be simply met. It additionally concludes with a post-credits “bonus scene” that conjures up the episode’s greatest snort.

Intercourse and Pores and skin: None (it’s rated TV-G).

Parting Shot: An excessive closeup of Komi’s tiny little mouth wraps the primary narrative; I’m unsure if the “bonus scene” counts?

Sleeper Star: We don’t know who precisely who the narrator’s narrator is but, and perhaps we by no means will.

Most Pilot-y Line: Tadano: “That is how my irregular highschool life started.”

Our Name: STREAM IT. Komi Can’t Talk’s base premise isn’t something new, though it has a possibility to place teen-angst points in a contemporary, trendy gentle — and its loopy, overwhelming visible method may be very stereotypically “anime.” However tonally, it’s oddly endearing, and that goes a great distance.

John Serba is a contract author and movie critic primarily based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Learn extra of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com or observe him on Twitter: @johnserba.

Stream Komi Can’t Communicate on Netflix

https://decider.com/2021/10/21/komi-cant-communicate-on-netflix-stream-it-or-skip-it/ | Stream It or Skip It?


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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