A Book Review: Komi Can’t Communicate

Oct 17, 2021   |   Isabelle Goh

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(Photo credit: Anime News Network)

Title: Komi Can’t Communicate

Author: Tomohito Oda

Genre: Slice of life, Coming of age, Romantic comedy

Rating: 4/5 comforting baos


Modern social awkwardness, especially in the daily lives of many pre-teenagers growing up is something a vast majority of us are all too familiar with. Everyone else’s perception on our image never seem to align with our own perception of our image. As a result, so many of us feel afraid to step out of our comfort zones that we are all too familiar with.

“Komi Can’t Communicate” is an endearing look into the life of a young high school student, Komi Shouko. Komi first presents as an incredibly shy individual, and throughout this manga the readers follow her on her journey to eventually make a hundred friends.

It starts out with another character, Hitohito Tadano mostly initiating conversations with her as she slowly begins to become more comfortable with the idea that she is not alone in this. She really takes it step by step. The first instance where she happens to voice her opinion and thoughts to another person was by writing it down on a blackboard. This allowed her to express herself comfortably to her very first friend, and she soon grows to become more comfortable with it.

As she eventually makes more friends, she begins to realise how important speaking up is, in this instance to prevent her friend from getting hurt. The manga places these obstacles in Komi’s way, challenging her to become more comfortable with her social awkwardness, and it galvanises readers to celebrate the small victories along with her, every step of the way!

Personally, it showed me how much of a difference the first step makes when we decide to do anything. In Komi’s case, she initially mustered the tremendous courage and improvised her very first small step to making friends, and the ball kept rolling as all her friends and their interactions pushed her even further towards her goal, and even closer to a better version of herself, one she has always dreamed of becoming.

The supportive and heart-warming banter between the characters never fails to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy after every page. I always find myself chuckling at the animated speech bubbles that pop up after every exclamation by the characters. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this manga and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a light and feel-good read.