Komi Can’t Communicate: Does Komi Know How Beautiful She Is?

Komi Can't Communicate is a popular new slice-of-life shonen anime show based on author Tomohito Oda's original manga series, and the star is Komi Shoko, a popular but terribly shy and anxious high school student who has one goal -- to make 100 friends before graduation. It's time to break out of her shell.

Komi may be shy, but she's not obscure. In fact, she is widely admired in Itan high school for her cool poise, excellent grades and most of all, stunning beauty. However, Komi seems unaware of her good looks, or at the very least doesn't care about her appearance. She cares only for genuine friendships and human connections, not a pretty face.

Komi May Be Unaware Of Her Beauty

There may be two reasons for Komi failing to acknowledge her good looks, one of these being that she isn't aware of her good looks at all. All of Komi's classmates, and indeed most random strangers, find her attractive, but she doesn't seem to find herself attractive. However, rather than having self-image issues, Komi simply takes her good looks for granted, especially in a family like hers.

Komi lives with her warm and caring family, and notably, both her mother Shuko and her younger brother Shosuke are very attractive, while the father Masayoshi has slightly above average looks for a man his age. In this context, beauty can be taken for granted, and if Komi grew up with a beautiful mother and a handsome brother, her own good looks likely feel conventional and average, and she never had any friends to compare herself to. By the Komi family's high standards, Komi is simply another girl, so she never realized how attention-grabbing her appearance really is. She can afford to have extremely high standards for herself.

In addition, many scenes in the Komi anime and manga depict Komi misinterpreting other people's reactions to her good looks. One explanation is that since Komi is unaware of her good looks, she never considers this when seeing other people's reactions to her. Everyone else stares in awe and gives her a wide berth on the sidewalk, so Komi believes that everyone else finds her repulsive, which upsets her. Komi even admits this to Tadano Hitohito with her written messages, claiming "I think they hate me." Thus, Komi's good looks actually work against her, creating an additional barrier to forming intimate connections with others.

Komi May Not Care About Her Appearance That Much


Conventional wisdom says that teenage girls care a great deal about their appearances, and for that matter, plenty of teenage boys likewise have an invested interest in their own. However, Komi is no ordinary teenage girl, and this is especially true for the story's sake. It's possible that Komi does know how beautiful she is, but given her social anxiety and her loneliness, she simply doesn't care about superficial appearances. In fact, she may resent her good looks, as it's possible that Komi does know that her good looks cause other people to give her a wide berth. She might even think that other people envy her attractive appearance, and that may be why other people "hate" her.

If so, Komi's self-esteem issues are the opposite of the norm, and it's possible that she decided to stop caring altogether. Her attractive appearance never did her any good, so she decided to focus her efforts elsewhere. Being good-looking is indeed a factor in making friends and forming connections, but what's on the inside shouldn't be ignored. Komi has the goal of making 100 friends and perhaps knows that her good looks won't help, so she started ignoring this factor in herself and others, focusing only on what's inside her and other people.

She may have gotten so used to this viewpoint that she forgot what effect her appearance has on other people, which disorients her when the topic comes up. Komi could think that other people dislike her because of what's on the inside, forgetting that her good looks tragically tend to accidentally push others away.

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