Mangaka Tomohito Oda chronicles the quest of a girl with a crippling shyness and her goal to make one hundred friends in Komi Can’t Communicate.

Hitohito Tadano starts his first year of high school and hopes to have a normal and uneventful school life. However, these plans are uprooted the moment he is seated next to the beautiful and stoic Shouko Komi, causing Tadano to be the center of the entire class’ envy and jealousy. Tadano soon learns that Komi has a secret: despite her beauty and popularity, Komi suffers from a crippling communication disorder which prevents her from speaking to others. After becoming her first friend, Tadano sets out to help Komi achieve her goal of making one hundred friends. However, in a school with a number of students with their own odd personalities, making friends with them will be quite a task.

Right off the bat, Komi Can’t Communicate flips the classic romantic-comedy genre on its head by having one of the main characters being unable to talk due to her own anxiety. While it might seem a bit outlandish the lengths Komi’s inability to communicate may seem, the humor still lands either because of how far-fetched it seems or because the depiction of her anxiety is extremely relatable for readers. This is demonstrated hilariously when Komi leaves the room in order to call Tadano on her phone in order to tell him a joke, which is likened to a horror movie. However, despite the adorable premise and bizarrely fun characters, Komi Can’t Communicate isn’t without fault. One issue some readers might find is about how the androgynous character, Najimi Osana, is written. There are a number of situations where their gender fluidity simply becomes a punchline. Nevertheless a growing cast of unique characters certainly allow the manga to stand out.

Komi Can’t Communicate currently has fourteen volumes available from Viz Media, with the next four already scheduled into 2022. Additionally, an anime adaptation of Komi Can’t Communicate by OLM is slated for an October release. Finally, an 8-episode live-action drama is scheduled to be released in September.

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