OP: 「シンデレラ」 (“Cinderella”) by (Cider Girl)
「喋りたいんです。」 (Shaberitain Desu)
“I Want to Talk”
From this first episode of Komi-san, I can see why manga readers were hyped about this adaptation because I loved every second of it! The animation was absolutely on point, and the art style surely did the manga justice, because this episode almost got me feeling like I was reading a manga rather than watching an anime. The plot was captivating enough to grab my attention, and the wacky character moments were enough to have me laughing all the way through. Above all else, this opening episode was not without its wholesomeness, and I think this series has got the winning combination to dominate the slice of life school genre! Let’s break down what we’ve seen so far:
Unique Animation & Art Style
There is no doubt about it, Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu has one of the most unique art styles in the world of anime and manga, as it is so easily recognizable and the artists do not hesitate to exaggerate the characters’ facial expressions and over-the-top behaviors and reactions. Another unique concept is the incorporation of Japanese onomatopoeia characters and pop-up banners that give the anime a very manga comic book-like feel to it, making the viewer feel as though they are watching an adaptation straight from the source material with no fillers whatsoever.
Another hilariously well-integrated feature of this series is the use of the Gameboy-style pop-ups to express the effectiveness of something or to portray Hitohito Tadano’s (Gakuto Kajiwara) little self-achievements in understanding Shuoko Komi’s (Aoi Koga) communication disorder and the unique behaviors that come along with it. The animation itself was super-unique too, and studio OLM definitely paid extra attention to detail in how they animated certain scenes, such as Komi walking at high speed out of the classroom, or the way she grabs the chalk to write her name on the board in a flashy style as the students hail her as the school’s “Madonna.”
While the plot may seem simple at first, being the story of a socially incapable girl trying to overcome her communication disorder to make 100 friends, the way this story is executed keeps you yearning for more. First off, the already seemingly impossible challenge of making 100 friends turns out to be that much more out of reach when you realize the school is full of super talented students with extreme personalities. It’s going to take so much more than just overcoming the communication barrier to befriend the wacky students of Itan Private High School, and that certainly makes this series that much more interesting to see how things will play out.
The other plot device I was not expecting is just how extreme Komi’s condition really is, I mean, she literally cannot utter a word! To be honest, I was expecting her to at least say a single word by the end of this opening episode, but they have done well to deprive us of that privilege for the time being. Indeed, this was no doubt an intended strategy of the author to keep the viewers invested in the show without giving us too much reward for our time spent on the episode but rather making us eager for the next. Or at least, that’s how I felt. I truly believe the moment we hear Komi’s first word will be something special, almost like a newborn baby saying their first word!
Predictions Moving Forward
Without spoilers from manga readers, I would not be surprised if this series took on a subtle element of romance between our two main characters, though it’s certainly not needed given the already amazing premise that’s been laid out. Naturally, I’d expect the next few episodes to focus on Tadano and Komi’s increased communication via writing messages on the board, as they attempt to move past this stage and into actual speaking. I would assume she should at least get comfortable speaking with the most normal kid in school Tadano first before venturing out to the more wacky students there, as that would be like jumping straight into the deep end without learning how to float!
All things considered, Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu looks like a promising series, and the first episode along with the banger opening and ending theme songs have given this highly popular manga the welcoming into the world of anime it so surely deserves. A story that can appeal to more than just introverts but also anyone who has ever found themselves in an awkward social situation, this show is likely to capture the hearts of many while delivering a series of lethal gags to our ribs as we laugh our asses off in the process!
Let us know how you liked the first episode of Komi-san in the comments below!
ED: 「シンパシ」 (“Sympathy”) by (Kitri)