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Komi Can't Communicate - What We Know So Far

"Komi Can't Communicate" is a popular Japanese manga series written by Tomohito Oda and published in 2016. The series follows Komi Shouko, a beautiful high school student who is viewed as stunningly refined and conclusively "out of everyone's league" by the general student population. However, Komi's golden reputation is actually a misinterpretation, as her reserved and polite mannerisms are actually the result of her inability to socialize in the slightest. Secretly, Komi is embarrassed by others and desires nothing more than to build friendships with those around her.

Since its debut, "Komi Can't Communicate" has become an extremely popular series, both in Japan and the West. In 2020, it won AnimeJapan's "Most Wanted Anime Adaptation" poll, cementing itself as one of the most highly-regarded mangas of the past decade (via AnimeNewsNetwork). 

Now, much to the doubtless joy of manga readers, Komi is finally being brought to the small screen. Japanese animation studio OLM recently announced that they will be adapting the popular manga into its own anime series (via Polygon). Here's what we know so far. 

When will Komi Can't Communicate release?

While the majority of the teaser posted by SHOPRO on YouTube for "Komi Can't Communicate" is in Japanese, the upcoming anime's release date can be understood by almost anyone. Thankfully, Arabic numerals are common across the globe, meaning that anyone with basic math skills can see that "Komi Can't Communicate" is slated for release in October 2021. Unfortunately, the teaser neglects to share the specific date for when the anime will release, meaning expectant fans should keep an ear to the ground as we get closer to October this year.

An important factor to consider is that this is just the Japanese release date. While western fans will more than likely see a subbed (and possibly a dubbed) version of "Komi Can't Communicate" somewhere down the line, it is unknown how quickly this will be released. Depending on who is broadcasting the show, subtitled versions of Japanese anime are often released soon after the original versions. Oftentimes, both versions can get released on the same day. It all depends on how OLM plans to go about releasing "Komi" internationally.

Who will be in the Komi Can't Communicate cast?

The official website for "Komi Can't Communicate" reveals three major characters, along with their voice actors, who viewers will come to know as the show progresses. The first is the eponymous Komi Shouko, who will be portrayed by actress Koga Aoi (known for her work in "Kaguya-Sama: Love is War").

Aoi will be joined by fellow Japanese voice actors Kajiware Gakuto and Rie Murakawa. The former will be portraying Hitohito Tadano, Komi's first friend and the first person to deduce that she has social anxiety. The latter will be portraying Najimi Osana, an extremely sociable non-gender conforming student who, like Tadano, realizes that Komi finds communication difficult and pledges to help fix this problem (via Komi-San Wiki).

This only scratches the surface of the characters and cast expected to appear in the upcoming "Komi Can't Communicate" anime. Komi has many classmates, and the show's focus on socialization and communication likely means that viewers will come to meet many characters as it progresses. However, these future roles and their associated voice actors have yet to be revealed.

What will be the plot of Komi Can't Communicate?

More likely than not, "Komi Can't Communicate" will be a rather faithful adaptation of its source material, focusing on Komi's social development as she strives towards her goal of making 100 authentic friends. As a "slice of life" anime, the show will likely forgo the action-oriented narratives that define other popular anime (such as "Dragon Ball" or "Naruto"), instead depicting the lives and struggles of its characters in a mundane setting.

Still, Komi's long term goal establishes that the show will have a sense of progression and conflict, as Komi works to break through her social barriers. How she and her allies accomplish this task will no doubt act as the show's meat and potatoes.

However, it's unclear how far into the manga the series will take its adaptation. Komi will be miles away from her goal of making 100 friends, and it's doubtful that she would ever attain this benchmark in the time it takes for the anime to complete its debut season. Manga readers might already be leagues ahead of where the anime will conclude. Even so, newcomers to the series will get a kick out of witnessing Komi and her friends do their best to cure her social anxieties.