REVIEW: ‘Komi Can’t Communicate’ Episode 11 – “It’s Just A Performance for the Cultural Festival. Plus More”

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Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 11 - But Why Tho

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 11  is a Japanese Netflix Original anime directed by Ayumu Watanabe and animated by Studio OLM. This slice-of-life comedy anime is an adaptation of the popular manga series written and illustrated by Tomohito Oda. The voice acting cast for the Komi Can’t Communicate consists of  Aoi Koga (Love is War) as Shouko Komi, Gakuto Kajiwara (Fire Force) as Hitohito Tadano, and Rie Murakawa (Re: Zero) as Najimi Osana.

In Episode 11, “It’s Just A Performance for the Cultural Festival. Plus More,” Komi and Tadano’s classmates are at a standstill as they try to agree on what attraction to do for their school’s cultural festival. Tadano struggles to get Najimi and his other classmates under control as the class breaks out in heated pitches to decide what attraction they want to see Komi star in. Will it be a haunted house, a good stall, or the maid cafe? Only Komi’s vote can bring the whole classroom together to make a united decision.

I have said it once and I will say it again, I love that this show leans into anime cliches and tropes. When you have watched as much anime as I have the tropes and cliches can sometimes feel stale and tired, but that is not the issue with Komi Can’t Communicate. It is the fact that show obviously leans into cliches and tropes that makes it so refreshing and almost feels like its a nod to the audience. Episode11 is no different as it brings one of the biggest anime tropes into the series, the school culture festival. The school cultural festival is usually a momentous setting for many anime series. It is a time for classmates to work closer together as a team, bond, and makes memories.  And as Komi Can’t approaches its first season finale I would expect nothing less than for it to conclude with a school cultural festival as the backdrop.  

Another thing about Episode 11 is that the storytelling diverges from the usual pattern we have seen in previous episodes. For example, as I mentioned earlier the main focus of this episode is Komi and her classmate preparing for the school cultural festival. The cultural festival preparations and the first day of the festival is the primary setting for the entirety of this episode. Unlike other episodes where there are various settings with their own separate and or continuous storylines packed into one episode. I really enjoyed that the storytelling of this episode followed one setting and storyline since we haven’t seen anything link this since the premiere episode.

Another thing I continue to enjoy about the show is the ever-growing list of supporting characters. Just about every supporting character in Komi Can’t Communicate has an interesting quirk or special trait about them. In this episode, the new character that was introduced was Kaede, a seemingly absent-minded girl who does nearly everything in a slow manner. In this episode, Komi accompanies Kaede on an errand run to get more supplies for the cultural festival. It soon becomes clear that Kaede disappears if she is unsupervised for even a moment. It was funny seeing Komi interact with this character because of Kaede’s absent-mindedness Komi had to take on a more direct and motherly approach to ensure Kaede didn’t get lost or hurt. I think Komi in this position with Kaede also helped her to open up to her more and allowed for them to connect as friends.

Lastly in Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 11  I loved that Komi got some quality time with new friends without Tadano or Najimi around to provide support. While I love the help and reassurance Tadano and Najimi provide to Komi when she needs assistance. What I really love is seeing in this series is when Komi interacts with other characters on her own. Moments such as these give her a chance to communicate and make friends on her own. They also signal that she is really progressing further in overcoming her anxiety and communication disorder.

Komi Can’t Communicate Episode 11 was a mother great addition to the series as it approaches its season one finale. This episode once again expertly leans into anime tropes and cliches in a refreshing way that doesn’t come off as stale or boring. The storytelling pattern had a nice change of pace in this episode as it broke away from the usual formula. The addition of new characters provided Komi with some quality time to strengthen friendships on her own. This once again signals how far she has been able to grow and overcome her communication disorder throughout the series.

Komi Can’t Communicate streams weekly exclusively on Netflix.

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