Komi Can’t Communicate: A Guide to the Slice-of-Life Shonen Before the Anime

The world of anime and manga is populated with countless slice-of-life stories, often taking place in high school or even junior high school, following events and moments typical to everyday life. It's easy for stories like these to feel routine, but Tomohito Oda's manga series Komi Can't Communicate is adding a new ingredient to the recipe.

On one hand, Komi Can't Communicate doesn't exactly reinvent the slice of life wheel. For the most part, this series avoids rocking the boat, but the heroine, Shoko Komi, has a twist: she has communication issues and struggles to speak with anyone outside of her family, making it particularly difficult for her to fulfill her dream of being the most social person in school. With an anime adaptation coming out later this year, here's what prospective fans should know about the series before the TV iteration releases.

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Komi's Friendship Mission

komi can't communicate blackboard

Shoko Komi has one goal: to make 100 friends by the time she graduates high school, but her communication issues make it tough to get started, among other things. When the story begins, she is totally friendless, despite having many admirers. Komi's good grades, good looks and seemingly lofty attitude, make others assume she's totally out of their league. However, the opposite is true: Komi wants zero adoration and often mistakes her classmates' approving looks for mocking glares. Despite the pedestal everyone's put her on, Komi feels terribly alone. Then she meets Hitohito Tadano.

In many ways, from his looks to his grades and his athletic ability, Hitohito Tadano is remarkably average. But there are two things that set him apart: his warm and generous heart, and his sharp perception. Only he realized Komi was actually lonely and approached her one day after class as a friend. Komi could hardly say a word in response, but once they started writing things out on the blackboard, she spilled her guts and shared her "100 friends" goal. Tadano became Komi's first friend, and with 99 left to go, he's determined to help her fill out that roster before graduation.

Komi Can't Communicate follows the two of them on a heart-warming adventure of building their friendship while Komi's social circle slowly and steadily grows.

Where To Read Komi Can't Communicate Before the Anime

Fans that just can't wait for the anime's October release can still enjoy the Komi Can't Communicate manga in the meantime. The series is ongoing, and as of this writing, 12 volumes have been released in English, published by VIZ. New volumes release every two months or so, available at most retailers that stock manga, including Barnes & Noble's online catalog, Right Stuf Anime and Amazon, both in digital and print. As of now, there are no deluxe or special editions of the Komi Can't Communicate manga, making collecting it a fairly simple task.

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