「夏服です / 体力測定です / ヤサイニンニクアブラマシマシカラメです / 血の契約です」 (Natsufuku Desu / Tairyoku Sokutei Desu / Yasai Ninniku Abura Mashi Mashi Karame Desu / Chi no Keiyaku Desu)
“It’s just my summer uniform / It’s just a fitness test / It’s just veggies. Garlic. Lots of lard. Soy sauce / It’s just a blood pact”
Well, we know where Komi gets her good looks from.
Another Milestone for Komi
This week’s Komi-san proved to be another major milestone for Komi’s journey towards a quality social life. Seemingly for the first time, Komi had her friends Tadano and Najimi come over to her place for a visit, putting her in the “host” situation which, of course, she has no familiarity with whatsoever. To make matters worse for Komi, her mother, Shuuko Komi (Kikuko Inoue), happens to be an outspoken and bubbly woman who is young at heart, forever 17 to be precise. Naturally, Komi felt immense embarrassment at her mother’s interaction with Tadano and Najimi, especially with the “Shoko’s friends? It’s the first time ever!” remark. Nonetheless, I believe this was an important step towards overcoming the communication problem with Komi and considering this was her first-ever visit from friends, it certainly symbolizes a change, or at least a desire to change, in her character.
In spite of the initial humiliation and awkwardness, it’s clear that Komi was deeply grateful and appreciative for having friends around her, and it likely meant a lot more to her than the others realize. The first clue about this is the extended time she spent watching Najimi and Tadano walk in the distance after bidding farewell. The more obvious example was Komi’s excitement to get Najimi’s sneaky selfie photo framed, clearly indicating the precious value and memories such a simple picture meant for her.
Omoharu Nakanaka is yet another wacky character introduced in this series. In her own way, she also seeks friendships, mind you, she does so using some isekai-type narrative and is yet another example of how these characters let their imaginations run wild. Perhaps the most hilarious scene in this episode was how Najimi alluded to Tadano’s past and his shared isekai-type personality he once took on that is now resembled by that of Omaharu’s. Of course, Omoharu is not ready to let go of this persona just yet, as we see from her inability to genuinely say thank you to Komi for partnering with her in gym class.
In many ways, the interactions with Omoharu are representative of an over-arching issue with the students in this school, and perhaps even more so, a representation of the social challenges faced by young people in today’s society. While Komi is presented as the stereotypical introvert who is silent, non-expressive, and socially anxious, other characters like Omoharu are quite literally suffering from a similar social issue, but merely approaching the solution differently. At the end of the day, taking on a persona that is not truly who you are can be just as detrimental to your social life as not expressing yourself at all, so in that regard, I see Komi and Omoharu as essentially being two sides of the same coin.
Speaking of taking on unsuitable personas, Tadano may have been the biggest culprit of this as we see from the junior high flashback. Indeed, Tadano was no different to the Omoharu we see now, taking on a certain attitude in the hopes of lifting his social status. The blatant rejection from the girl he liked because he was “just too cringe” was exactly what Tadano needed to let go of such acts and embrace who he truly was. People often jump to a persona type to give themselves an identity because they are afraid to take their time with slow steps towards figuring out who they truly are over time. Tadano obviously realized this during junior high, and now I wonder if he can help Omoharu out of a similar situation using his own traumatic experiences.
This brings us to the next topic of discussion, is Tadano and Komi’s potential romantic relationship a viable route? Well, I certainly think so. Based on each individual’s path, it’s clear they are both working towards realizing their true selves and letting go of past personas. Of course, in Komi’s case this “persona” of hers is directly linked to a communication flaw, while for Tadano it was a matter of choice. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see how their relationship pans out and whether they will become more than just friends by the end of the series.
Looking forward to the next episode!