Komi Can’t Communicate: Komi’s Biggest Breakthrough Is Also Her Kindest Moment

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Volume 17 of Komi Can’t Communicate by Tomohito Oda, published by Viz Media.

Komi Can’t Communicate’s heroine Komi Shoko has always struggled with communication, and that prevented her from having any friends at all, let alone a boyfriend. That all changed when she met Tadano Hitohito, who volunteered as Komi’s first friend, and he helped her make many more.

It’s no surprise that Tadano means a lot to Komi by now, and her feelings for him have blossomed into true love at last. In Volume 17 of the manga, however, Komi must deal with her first-ever love triangle with her friend Manbagi Rumiko, and the way Shoko handles it proves once again what a noble and selfless person she really is.

In Volume 17, the Itan high school festival is well underway, and Rumiko can see for herself just how much Komi adores Tadano. Rumiko can’t bring herself to interfere, even if her secret feelings for Tadano are equally strong. It’s too much for her to bear, and she retreats to a secluded stairwell to let it all out. Komi Shoko joins her, and the two girls begin their longest and most consequential conversation of all.

Rumiko admits her feelings for Tadano and explains that she wants to avoid a messy love triangle that would ruin her and Komi’s strong friendship. So, Rumiko volunteers to give up entirely on Tadano and abandon her feelings for him to keep the peace, only for Komi to shock her by refusing that offer. Rumiko’s intended sacrifice is “out of the question,” as Komi puts it, and the two friends go back and forth on that for some time until Komi elaborates on her position — and for once, she uses her voice, not her paper. This time, Komi can communicate.

Komi and Rumiko are each looking out for the other’s feelings, and while Rumiko wants to give up her interest in Tadano for Komi’s sake, Komi can’t stand the thought of Rumiko making that sacrifice. Komi wants her friend to be happy and be true to her heart, and she would feel terribly guilty if Rumiko took a drastic step for her sake. If Rumiko did so, Komi’s flourishing romance with Tadano would be built on a miserable and sorrowful foundation, and that’s what is out of the question.

Komi may be a timid dandere, but she knows the value of true friendship is quick to intervene if a friend is in trouble, even if it means saving someone from themselves. That is the case in Volume 17, where Komi confronts the challenge of her first love triangle with her stubborn spirit and fierce determination to protect her friends’ happiness. Komi will never tolerate bullying or verbal abuse from anyone, and even if Rumiko is her own worst enemy, Komi will do whatever she can to help as a true shojo-style shonen protagonist. Like many shonen heroes, Komi doesn’t just want to “win” — she wants to win on her own terms, and she demands a bloodless victory in the game of love. She won’t buy Tadano’s love with the “blood” of Rumiko’s sacrifice.

Komi insists that Rumiko should stay true to her feelings and cherish them, and she believes that both girls should compete for Tadano’s affection as mutually respectful equals. After some hesitation, Rumiko agrees, and the two girls renew their friendship. Komi reminded everyone that around here, friends look out for one another, and no one’s happiness should be compromised, not even for a friend’s sake. In Komi’s mind, everyone should be a winner, and her strong spirit helped her make that a reality.

Komi’s self-confidence has reached an all-time high, and no doubt she will keep riding that wave well into the future. She might not be a dandere for much longer — at this rate, she will become something stronger and braver than ever. That’s the kind of girl who can make 100 friends and transform her life for the better.

Leave a comment

Email của bạn sẽ không được hiển thị công khai. Các trường bắt buộc được đánh dấu *