Original Run: April 7, 2022 - June 23, 2022 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2. Reader discretion is advised.***
Although most everyone sees her as a flawless beauty, Shouko Komi (voiced by Aoi Koga) continues to suffer from severe social anxiety. However, this is not a life she wants to live. Although it is difficult, Komi is working on overcoming her fear of communication. Since the start of the school year, she has made incredible progress.
Komi’s growth would not have been possible if not for the help of her dear classmate Hitohito Tadano (voiced by Gakuto Kajiwara). While Tadano considers himself quite average, he sees the determination in Komi’s eyes. Therefore, he can’t help but aid Komi in her quest to make one hundred friends.
However, Komi and Tadano’s mission is more daunting than it first appeared. After all, they find themselves surrounded by many off-the-way personalities. Still, with every new friend gained, Komi’s confidence grows exponentially.
Given how the first season of Komi Can’t Communicate (Komi Can’t Communicate 1) ranked in every category during the 4th Annual Anime Hajime Highlights, it should be no surprise that season two had a standard it needed to meet. As long as it didn’t nose-dive into the abyss – a scenario I simply couldn’t see happening – Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2 (Komi Can’t Communicate 2) only needed to coast its way to another win.
That said, it would be disingenuous to pretend Komi Can’t Communicate 2 didn’t have a slight disadvantage compared to its predecessor. After all, season one set a tone, and regardless of the original manga’s popularity, how the anime would fare was anyone’s guess. With the series successfully establishing itself, the likelihood of this continuation pulling out any significant surprises wasn’t high. I know I didn’t expect season two to catch me off guard.
In several ways, that turned out to be true.
This installment was everything I expected – and hoped – it would be. Directly connected to that sentiment, there were cracks in this series’s armor that I either didn’t see or chose to ignore last time. But we’ll get to that subject later.
However, suppose we were to take only one thing from season two. In that case, it’s that, at its core, Komi Can’t Communicate is a charming and enjoyable series.
Yes, it has an energy that might not make it the most suitable for marathon viewing. Therefore, I suggest taking your time with this show, particularly season two. Still, when this series slows itself down and decides to breathe for a second, you’ll find something special.
Komi Can’t Communicate 2 had a lot of fun with its sense of humor. Both Komi and Tadano were excellent comedic straight men against the backdrop of this franchise’s endless pool of eccentric characters. Still, when this show was more subtle – or, at least, wasn’t all up in your face – that was when jokes and situations were at their most hilarious.
And by “more subtle,” I mean season two was at its best when it focused on Komi and Tadano’s relationship.
While Komi Can’t Communicate 2 spent much of its time playing up and introducing many secondary characters, the time it dedicated to the two leads was not underwhelming. Aside from Komi and Tadano interacting with their ever-growing group of friends, watching them grow closer in a more romantic sense was immensely gratifying.
I would go so far as to say that Komi and Tadano, should this series get a season three, could become a bedrock for anime couples. Their budding more-than-friends relationship went much deeper than most other recent pairings. Komi and Tadano developing feelings for one another felt like a natural byproduct of their story.
For Komi, Tadano was the first person to see the real her. While everyone else couldn’t get past her stunning looks and perceived grace, Tadano saw Komi struggling to be just an ordinary girl. Since that realization, Tadano has gone above and beyond to support Komi. Also, and this is key, Tadano would, when necessary, nudge Komi out of her comfort zone to facilitate her growth.
For Tadano, Komi was someone who refused to quit. Although speaking and social situations were terrifying for her, Komi wanted to move past that. She wished to be part of the group. Yes, Komi could barely manage a simple “hello.” But for Tadano, she could, with effort, have a whole conversation. The Valentine’s Day episode in season two was especially delightful.
Frankly, this series would feel horrifically lopsided if it wasn’t for Komi and Tadano. They were the counterbalance to a cast that would otherwise be exhausting.
Komi Can’t Communicate 2 was a perfect example of why a typical form of anime humor doesn’t really work. Like many comedies in the medium, Komi Can’t Communicate has, ironically, a communication problem. This series has a strong tendency to over-explain situations and a mentality that dictates louder equals funnier.
This form of comedy plays out this season from two sources: The side characters and the narrator.
But before we go any further, please know that Komi Can’t Communicate 2 wasn’t wholly reliant on this brand of humor. This season had plenty of jokes, situations, encounters, and styles that did work. All I’m saying is that this specific type of humor could lead to a reason why some might not enjoy this show.
Regarding the side characters, I won’t say I dislike any other of them. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I have never been a big fan of Ren Yamai (voiced by Rina Hidaka) because she’s still an example of how many anime comedies think sexual harassment is funny. Aside from her, everyone else has a fair degree of likability.
Unfortunately, when the side characters find themselves in a group, their energy goes far too over the top. There was a scene where everyone started playing a common children’s game, and it got real intense real fast. At first, it was worth a chuckle, but then it kept going. Eventually, it got to the point where whatever worked about the joke got lost in the resulting energy. Sometimes this season didn’t know when to quit when it was ahead.
Then there was the narrator (voiced by Noriko Hidaka). Now, as a general rule, if a show is trying to decide if it needs a narrator or not, nine times out of ten, the answer is “not.” Komi Can’t Communicate is firmly in the “not” category.
This show’s narrator was redundant since there were text boxes explaining everything happening in the characters’ minds. Why do we need someone to explain to us something that is already there for us to read? Plus, it was a little salt-in-the-wound because the text boxes alone made the jokes funny enough. The narrator was merely extra noise that didn’t need to be there.
Naturally, there were occasions when even these non-optimal setups landed a hit. So I can’t act as though such jokes were guaranteed flops. However, there were enough misses for me to say that Komi Can’t Communicate 2 was weaker than it needed to be.
Although it would seem some of this series’s charm wore off, this continuation was everything that made the first so much fun.
Yes, the flaws with this franchise were more prominent in this installment, but they didn’t change how solid a show this is. And leading that charge is a lead duo that more than makes up for any shortcomings.
While this season ended on what could be a conclusive note, this series didn’t fully shut its doors. I would very much welcome a third installment one day. But for now, Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2 has earned a recommendation.
But these are my thoughts; what are yours? Have you seen this show; how would you advise Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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