Genre(s): Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, School
Age-Appropriateness: 12+ (Suggestive dialog)
TheAwersome Rating: 7.9 / 10 (Cute, good palate cleanser)
Premise: Hitohito Tadano just wants to glide through high school without drawing any attention to himself. Unfortunately, he fails right away when he takes the seat beside the school’s madonna—Shouko Komi. His peers now recognize him as someone to eliminate for a chance to sit next to the most beautiful girl in class. Gorgeous and graceful with long, dark hair, Komi is universally adored and immensely popular despite her mysterious persona. Unbeknownst to everyone, she has crippling anxiety and a communication disorder which prevents her from wholeheartedly socializing with her classmates.
When left alone in the classroom, a chain of events forces Komi to interact with Tadano through writing on the blackboard. Being the first person to realize she struggles to communicate, Tadano picks up the chalk and begins to write as well. He eventually discovers that Komi’s goal is to make one hundred friends during her time in high school. To this end, he decides to lend her a helping hand, thus also becoming her first friend.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: It’s finally here, the anime adaptation of the manga everyone had given up hope of ever getting adapted. And it’s a decently cute and fun time! It’s definitely too bad that Netflix has the exclusive distribution rights, because subtitles on Netflix are finnicky, and SO much of this anime written text, so a lot just gets washed over or doesn’t get displayed. As for the actual content of the show, most of the humor relies on people misunderstanding Komi’s hesitance to speak, or the lengths they go to trying to win her over. As you can expect, it gets a little sweaty around eight episodes in, but is still a solid feel-good low-stress show.
TLDR: Cute, fun, nothing too groundbreaking.
Season 2 is confirmed and is airing right now. I probably should have put off watching this by a month or two to get everything but here we are.
I think what made me lose steam a bit on this is the “Everybody absolutely and unconditionally loves Komi” aspect. It just made things a little less interesting when almost every situation turns out perfect, despite or because of Komi’s struggles. That’s not to say that you need conflict and stress to make a show good or interesting, merely that if you don’t have them, you need to still have other ways to keep my attention. That can be humor, immersion, action, ecchi, what have you.
I’ve got my minor beefs off my chest, so now onto things that I certainly did enjoy. Najimi. This character is a gem and the voice actor knocked it out of the park. It was also refreshing to have a character who is genderfluid/nonbinary and serve for far more than just a punch line. I was honestly impressed with how that aspect didn’t receive constant attention like it would have in say, Bokuben.
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