Komi Can’t Communicate – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Mission: Friends

Episode 2 of Komi Can’t Communicate jumps right into Komi and Tadano’s friend-making mission. Tadano is optimistic, his confidence stemming from Komi’s popularity.

Tadano approaches Yamai, the leader of a stylish group of girls, who gives him a charming smile. When Tadano tries to bring up Komi, Yamai grabs his shoulders and leans in to let loose a string of whispered insults based on her view that Komi is above him. Yamai releases Tadano, switching back into cutesy mode and dismissing him.

Tadano’s efforts with other classmates yield similarly devastating results. He mopes, coming to the belated realisation that he also has no friends.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Tadano seeks out Osana Najimi, his childhood friend. Tadano introduces Najimi to Komi using feminine pronouns (Najimi wears a skirt and speaks with a high-pitched tone), before becoming puzzled by the fact that he knew Najimi as a boy in middle school. The gender-fluid, and very cheeky, Najimi only relishes in Tadano’s confusion.

Najimi’s communication skills are legendary, and they can befriend people within 2–3 minutes of meeting them. This is evidenced by the fact that every student at Itan Private High School is their childhood friend.

Tadano asks Najimi for a favour and they are more than willing to grant him one. Prompted by Tadano, Komi tries to ask Najimi to be friends, but she breaks into a stuttering fit. Tadano translates Komi’s intentions to a panicking Najimi and calls in the favour. Najimi apologises but says they can’t be friends. Komi is petrified.

Tadano beckons Najimi into the hallway, shocked by the rejection. Najimi recounts how Komi blanked their attempt to become friends in elementary school. Najimi was bedridden with shock for a week and Komi has since held the title of the only person they couldn’t befriend.

Tadano explains Komi’s communication barriers and asks Najimi to walk home with Komi. While Najimi is initially against the idea, they are swayed after observing Tadano’s resolve to help Komi.

After school, Komi and Najimi walk home together. It’s an uncomfortable affair, with Najimi trying to maintain a completely one-sided conversation and buckling under the pressure. From Najimi’s point of view Komi is scary. However, Tadano, who has been discreetly following them, sees how nervous Komi is.

Just as Najimi is about to give up entirely, two gangster-like students rush up to Najimi. They are Maa and Shii, more of Najimi’s childhood friends.

Maa has worked up the courage to ask Najimi out, but before he can even finish his sentence, Najimi rejects him on the basis that they’re a boy. Maa isn’t discouraged and he rips off his jacket, which sends his key flying onto the street. He forcefully grabs Najimi’s arm, saying he won’t let go.

Maa is drooling creepily when Komi grabs his shoulder to get his attention. Komi holds out his key and says one word: “die”. Maa’s imagination goes wild. He pictures Komi as a killer who targets guys that mess with Najimi, and Komi’s signature stare only solidifies his concerns. Maa and Shii take off.

It turns out that Komi had only wanted to let Maa know that he dropped his key, but her broken syllables had come out sounding like “die” instead. The whole incident warms Najimi to Komi, and they decide to be friends with Komi in earnest.

The next day at school, Najimi wants to eat lunch with Komi. Najimi also notices Tadano eating alone and ropes him into the group. Tadano is quietly pleased at this (his classmates have continued to give him grief about spending time with Komi).

Najimi unleashes a never-ending stream of questions at Komi until she goes into overdrive. Tadano interrupts by telling Najimi about their mission to make 100 friends. Najimi, with their outrageously large network of friends, is only stunned that the number is so little.

Najimi sends Komi on an errand to Standbakes (an obvious play on Starbucks) and asks for an exceptionally complicated order. Najimi tells Komi that they can’t be friends if Komi doesn’t go and Komi heads out immediately. Tadano is furious but Najimi assures him that they did it for Komi’s own sake. Though, the laugh they’re holding in doesn’t convince Tadano. Najimi then sends Tadano to covertly follow Komi.

Komi loiters outside Standbakes before working up the courage to go inside. On her first try, she heads right back out. On her second, she gets to the counter and gestures vaguely. The barista points out the menu, but Komi doesn’t notice the mix-and-match section needed for Najimi’s order. The barista, overly confident in his own skills, infers Komi’s order. He gets it totally wrong, but Komi takes it back to Najimi without complaint.

Back at school Komi gets teary and Tadano and Najimi both try to shift the blame onto each other before dropping to the floor to apologise. Komi sulks as they continue to repent.


The Episode Review

Komi Can’t Communicate once again delivers a whole lot of sweet moments as Komi and Tadano go out in search of new friends. On the other hand, moments like the Standbakes fiasco will feel all-too-relatable for anyone who experiences any kind of anxiety in social situations.

The addition of Najimi to our main cast is a very welcome one. Their mischievous antics added some new chaos to the quiet companionship that Komi and Tadano have fallen into.

Komi’s pouty silence and the apologies from Tadano and Najimi felt like a great place to end the episode. After a string of events that were mostly driven by what Tadano and Najimi thought was the best course of action, it was important to see Komi exercise some clear boundaries. It also helped to round out her character a bit more by showing that she also gets angry and won’t simply follow the whims of her newfound friends without complaint.

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