This is going to be a fairly interesting series to do episode reviews on. Firstly, it’s solely a comedy. Yes, there’s some romance here and there, but for the most part, it’s to make you laugh. Comedy is like 80% of it. That should make for a different type of review.
Also, this is the first example where I already know the story. I’ve read a good bit of the manga, so I actually have some idea of what we’ll be seeing going into it. Regardless, these reviews should be a change of pace. As always, they’re split into two parts. The first is where I watch and talk about the series simultaneously, and the second is where I collect my thoughts a little better. Let’s begin.
Also, I should mention that the release schedule for this will be kind of sporadic because Netflix decided to release this series in the west, but not until a few weeks later. So, alternative routes may need to be used.
So we begin with some beautiful animation, like, my god, chill, OML. You made the original Pokemon series, and now here you are giving this much effort to a rom-com. It depicts this beautiful high school girl that most certainly doesn’t have social anxiety walking down the street but she stops to look at a cat. It’s an introduction. It doesn’t have to make sense. It looks pretty.
We then cut to one of my favorite names I’ve heard, Tadano Hitohito, a boy starting at the same high school as the girl. Maybe they’ll even sit next to each other. Oh, they do. Damn, it’s like I know this already. Anyway, Tadano is normal. He’s super normal. All he wants out of his life is to be normal. What he doesn’t realize is despite his overwhelming normality, he’s still has a more interesting design than most protagonists. Unfortunately for him, he will not be normal.
Wait, I just got an idea. I’m reaching over to my bookshelf now. Aha, I can now see how faithful this is in real-time! I have the manga! What a genius! Anyway, let’s unpause. So Komi introduces herself violently as we see the first version of her chibi form. I always thought she looked like a praying mantis, so that’s what I’ll call that form. Mantis Komi. Oh, yeah, she’s Komi. Like in the title. It’s possible she can’t communicate well.
This is confirmed when Tadano asks because he’s a surprisingly straightforward person and also comedy. So Komi starts talking to him by writing on the chalkboard, explaining how she’s always wanted to talk to people, but could never find the words, how she envies people who can. She puts it all out there, including her dream of wanting to make 100 friends.
Tadano feels for her and responds by writing on the chalkboard as well, and the two fill the whole thing up as they have a conversation together. Probably the most well-known scene, and they did it so much justice I wanted to cry. It was amazing.
That honestly felt like a fitting enough ending, but we have a few more minutes left, so we spend them with a cute scene of trying to teach Komi to talk so she can start making friends. Then we get some foreshadowing for the next episode. Does it count as foreshadowing if they just tell you? Basically, everyone in the school is weird. That’s it. The end. We get some nice art
I think watching this gave me a communication disorder because I’m speechless. I was so worried about this adaptation, but man, is it good. Everything is just so freaking perfect. I wanted to cry. Did I say that already? Yes, I did. Well, I really wanted to cry. It was beautiful.
And I don’t only mean visually. Let’s get that out of the way, though. The art is mesmerizing. It is so much more colorful, vivid, and breathtaking than a rom-com deserves. The characters are perfect and very faithful to the manga, even Mantis Komi. It’s just great.
When I talked about the Komi adaptation a few months back, I expressed my worry about whether it would capture the same humor. So many of the jokes are gags that require it to be a manga. It’s manga comedy. It’s funny because of how you read and experience manga.
I didn’t think they would be able to capture that vibe in something fully animated, but I can proudly go eat my shoe now because they did what I thought was impossible. The use of text flying around the character for sound effects and Komi’s mumbling gives you a surprisingly similar vibe that the art makes look great.
I also noticed a solution they did that was kind of ingenious. There are random points that the character will actually stutter a bit or act almost like the episode is skipping a frame to insinuate the comedy. Like when Komi became Mantis Komi, for instance. That brief pause is almost the exact same feeling that reading manga gives you, and I can’t believe how well they did it.
Five paragraphs talking about art. Wait, that’s six now. If that doesn’t tell you how good of a job they did, I don’t know what will. I could sit here and tell you more, but I should probably discuss something else. The story is great. I mean, I already loved it, so I’m not surprised. I’m just glad they’re doing a good job with it.
It’s also incredibly faithful. I was practically watching the manga panels come to life. It was kind of surreal. But there’s one thing I want to praise especially. I really need to give my highest regards to the voice actors.
Kajiwara Gakuto is a fantastic Tadano. I was always curious what these characters would sound like for obvious reasons. I can truly say he knocks it out of the park. The comedic effect is there, the kindness in Tadano’s voice is there, the “normality” is there. Great.
But Koga Aoi is such a good Komi. The perfect Komi, really. Voicing a mostly silent character is hard, as you might imagine. There’s so much emphasis put on the fact that Komi can’t speak. It physically pains her to do so. That gives you some expectations.
So those times she does speak need to really hit hard. Aoi’s voice is very soft, quiet, and sounds exactly what Komi should sound like. I especially liked constantly hearing her stutter. It honestly brings something to the table that not even the manga had.
I tweeted something halfway through the episode, and I stand by it. If the quality stays the exact same for the entire series that it is now, this will easily become one of my favorite anime series ever. It will beat its way into my top 5 easily. I love the plot. All we need left is an amazing adaptation. Man, between this and Ufotable’s Blade Works, my favorite list is taking a hit. Not that that’s a bad thing, really.
Anyways, great first episode. Absolute stunning perfection that was beyond my wildest hopes and dreams. Just please let it continue. Please keep being great. Please don’t have the first episode curse.
Thank you very much for reading
What did you think of the start? I want to cry again!