Komi Can't Communicate's Komi Shoko is on a mission to make 100 friends, and each of these is stranger than the last. Perhaps none are more striking than Kishi Himeko, the mysterious "Armor Girl" who hangs out with Yamai Ren's group of friends. Kishi wears what appears to be the greaves and gauntlet of a medieval suit of armor, and nobody seems to care. Who is Armor Girl really, and why does she dress the way she does?
It's clear that Kishi has officially joined Komi's growing group of friends; she even appears with the rest of the cast in the anime's dynamic closing credits sequence. In this scene, Kishi's appearance is obscured -- another recurring element of the character that only heightens the mystery surrounding her. So far, the anime has provided no explanation for Kishi's unusual appearance, and neither has the manga. Even so, there are a few potential explanations that would make sense in Komi's world.
Who Is Armor Girl?
Kishi first appears in the anime in Episode 1, in which she laughs playfully at Agari Himiko's awkward self-introduction with the other classmates. Kishi poses dramatically in the center of a mural at the end of the episode depicting the "freaks, weirdos, miscreants, loners and eccentrics" of Itan Private High School. Even so, her name is not revealed in the anime, although supplementary materials to the manga eventually bestow upon her the name of Kishi Himeko. Kishi is also a member of obsessed stalker Yamai Ren's unofficial Komi fan club, standing sentry as Yamai mercilessly insults Tadano in Episode 2 for the crime of getting to sit next to Komi in class.
However, Kishi's most significant role might be in Episode 7. When Komi, Tadano and Osana are walking to the pool, Yamai crashes the party with her own group of friends. Kishi is still wearing her gauntlet during summer vacation but has traded the rest of her armor for a casual sleeveless sweater, pants and heels. Furthermore, a later scene shows Kishi storing the gauntlet in a locker, eliminating the possibility that she has an armor-like prosthetic arm similar to that of Sotetsu in The Vampire Dies in No Time. Ultimately, Kishi is one of the people who vengefully file down the part of the pool that Komi has tripped over.
Does Kishi Have a Case of Chunibyo?
Episode 5 of the anime introduced Nakanaka Omoharu, a girl who is constantly playing the role of a fantasy villain. Like Tadano himself in his earlier years, Nakanaka suffers from chunibyo -- a term for teenagers who chronically play-act fantasy scenarios like younger kids. It's possible that Kishi has an even more extreme case of chunibyo, forcing her to cosplay as a knight every time she goes to school.
However, there are some reasons why this might be an unlikely explanation. Firstly, Kishi's behavior is not especially knightly, acting more like an average 21st-century teenager; this makes the contrast between her armor and her appearance even more amusing. The fact that Kishi has no problem taking the armor off outside school shows that she doesn't seem to depend on it like Nakanaka depends on her fantasy. Finally, from a storytelling perspective, it seems unlikely that a series about Komi's various unusual friends would introduce two classmates with very similar characteristics.
Is Kishi a True Hero?
Komi Can't Communicate is by no means an action or fantasy show, but it would be a subversive, ironic twist if it turned out that one of Komi's classmates was a real-life warrior. It would be especially surprising and potentially funny for Nakanaka to discover that, as she was deludedly pretending to be a fantasy warrior, a similar scene was actually happening right under her evil eye. Kishi being a dedicated warrior would also make it even funnier that she still cares about relatively minor issues such as who Komi sits with and that she tripped up in a swimming pool.
This explanation is also unlikely of course, barring a massive shift in genre that would threaten to undermine this relatively grounded series. The only other remotely supernatural element would be the unrealistically muscular librarian Gorimi, and her appearance is more of a metaphor for her formidable personality. Even Yamai's ninja-like friend Shinobino Mono uses his apparent ninja skills for more mundane purposes, like getting Tadano's attention with his compass in Episode 1.
Komi fans may never learn a comprehensive explanation of why the enigmatic student wears a partial suit of armor to school every day. Perhaps the explanation is as simple as Kishi thinking knights are cool and wanting to dress as one. Even with no explanation or exploration of her backstory, fans will continue to appreciate Kishi for her stylish appearance, dedicated friendship with Yamai and Komi, and the contrast between her strange outfit and down-to-earth personality.