Popular Introversion: Komi Can’t Communicate 

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Nicholas Grobecker, Staff Reporter

With people being stuck within their homes due to the recent social distancing protocols for COVID-19, now is probably a great time to do some recreational reading. In some manner to fit the theme of social distancing, my recommendation would be Komi Can’t Communicate, a slice of life comedy manga written and illustrated by Tomohito Oda.

First published on the 18th of May, 2016, the ongoing series features 16 current volumes of the story of a girl named Shouko Komi, who is so introverted to the point of not being able to speak. Despite her social awkwardness, she meets some close friends and desires to seek their help to make up to 100 new friends.

While the manga may run its course with its stereotypical slice of life comedy tropes, I think there is something interesting in the way it handles all of its characters in regards to the idea of social interaction. While on the surface it may appear that Komi is the only one who suffers from some sort of struggle with social interaction, as we go on we see that all the other characters she meets have their own social struggles that they deal with.

Whether it be from not having any kind of popularity, going through a phase of some sort, or even being TOO social to the point of notoriety, the story becomes a tale of high school kids learning how to fit in with their peers and enjoy their high school life together. With this in mind it becomes a much more interesting read, and I highly recommend it to someone who needs something to spend some time on in our social distancing.