「ギャグです / 買い物です / 美容院です / モヤモヤです / テスト勉強です / 夏休みです」 (Gyagu Desu / Kaimono Desu / Biyoin Desu / Moyamoya Desu / Tesuto Benkyo Desu / Natsuyasumi Desu)
“It’s Just a Joke / Shopping / Beauty Salon / Worries / Studying for Tests / Summer Vacation”
You can probably tell from the long episode name that this was a rather eventful one. Despite this episode being split into 6 parts, Komi did not make any new friends this week but rather embarked on many different perils of life with her existing circle. From trying new things to bonding with friends and facing social challenges head-on, we are truly taken on a journey with this week’s Komi-san as we learn the importance of close bonds and having support networks in our lives.
The Reality of Social Anxiety
As hilarious and comedy-focused as this series is, I want to take a brief moment to touch on the true nature of social anxiety and the reality of what sufferers thereof go through in their daily lives. Anyone who suffers from anxiety would strongly relate to the scene of Komi losing sleep due to overthinking about the events that transpired throughout the day. It’s a symbol of diminished confidence and hindered self-esteem when one is overly cautious of their behaviors and how they present themselves to others. Komi is no stranger to such feelings, going through an episode of overanalyzing her interactions throughout the day and the jokes that were misunderstood on either end. It’s important for people suffering from social anxiety to take the right self-treatment steps of seeking support from professionals as it can seriously affect one’s mental and physical health.
What we can learn from Komi-san
Fortunately, Komi is not one to succumb to her weaknesses (though she still has a long way to go). We can actually learn a lot about tackling our own issues by observing the way our main protagonist tackles her. As hopelessly unable to communicate as Komi is, she is always willing to step out of her comfort zone for an opportunity to have another crack at socializing. It’s a rather beautiful metaphor of never giving up and really shows the power of “just showing up” to the things our minds tell us not to. We may not have seen the full rewards of Komi’s efforts blossom just yet, but even from now we can see her group of friends slowly expanding and her networks showing compassion and understanding to her needs.
Moreso, one of the most important things Komi teaches us throughout this episode and the series as a whole is to always be in the present moment, no matter how hard it may seem to do so. Her unyielding goal of wanting to make friends and communicate properly has enabled her to always look for opportunities at every given moment to attempt to communicate, even if it does mean just pointing at words in magazines. At the end of the day, people will accept you for who you truly are so long as you are honest with yourself and stay genuine to your character rather than seeking ulterior egos (yes I’m looking at you junior high Tadano-kun).
From the moment I saw Komi state in writing, “it was my first strike” enthusiastically after being punished alongside Tadano and Najimi for being noisy in the library, I could tell she is someone who appreciates the ups and downs of life. Indeed, Komi is not seeking excitement through triumph nor is she looking for trouble and punishment, but she simply yearns for experiences, and that is exactly what her efforts are returning for her. All experiences, whether good or bad, make up the harmonious melody that we call life, and Komi has taught us to take it all in and always be in the moment.