With school back in full swing, Komi, Tadano, and friends have to navigate through new and old struggles alike. Take your pick, whether it’s dealing with jealousy, or putting on a maid cafe, everyone is bound to travel through uncharted territory. Komi Can’t Communicate is a romantic comedy series written and illustrated by Tomohito Oda. It is currently licensed and translated through Viz Media. It is available in both physical and digital formats. Let’s take a look and find out in our Komi Can’t Communicate volume 5 review.
We start this volume with an exciting new concept, Komi dealing with jealousy. Tadano has been very busy and spending time with other people, so it would be natural for her to be a tad jealous. It’s very endearing to see her like this because she clearly likes Tadano. We are then treated to some more Komi/Tadano content and another restaurant snafu. I guess it’s the norm now to get at least one chapter per volume involving food in this series? It’s not a bad thing but rather something I hadn’t noticed until now.
The rest of the volume focuses on the culture festival. There’s some initial set up as they prepare to get things going, from voting on the attraction (which ends up being a maid cafe) to shopping for supplies. It sets a nice pace for the story and feels very cohesive. Komi also gets to be more social without Tadano as she makes new friends on her own.
Now, I have never understood the fascination with maid cafes, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t have a good time in this volume because of it. Everything from the humour to the characters was on point for these couple of chapters. Najimi especially was a riot as she tried to finesse her way to being the most popular attraction at the festival. She goes as far as basically pimping out Komi to attract customers and making Tadano crossdress. Kudos to her and here’s to hoping that Najimi never changes.
The butt of the joke
The bulk of the volume was very enjoyable, but alas everything is not perfect. There was a particular part of the volume that left a sour taste in my mouth. The best way I can describe it is as a gag that involved trying to take a look at Komi’s underpants. I’ve never been a fan of this type of humour, so right at the start, it was very offputting for me. It was also formatted differently, in a 4-panel comic style, which broke the flow of the volume. You could take this set of pages out of the volume, and nothing would change. I wish they had.
The dynamic duo
The new side characters introduced in this volume are perhaps my favourite so far. We get the fantastic duo of Onemi Nene and Otori Kaede. While I may be giving them more credit than they deserve, they had a charm that I enjoyed.
Nene fits the “Big Sister” archetype, as within the first few panels of being introduced she is already trying to help Tadano. She wants to make sure that he is not being taken advantage of, as she notices that he is often abused as an errand boy. This brings me to another quality of Nene, that she is very observant. If I am not mistaken, she is the first person to notice that Komi and Tadano have feelings for each other. It’s obvious to readers that they like each other, so I’m glad that another character in the story has taken notice.
Overall, her Nene is very down to earth and much more toned down than what we have previously had. Nene isn’t a characterization or cartoon of some trope; she’s just real. It was refreshing to see, and much needed, even if I didn’t know I wanted it.
As I said, this is a duo so we can’t forget about Kaede. At some point in our lives, we have come across a character like her, a lovable airhead. I think there will be some people that find her annoying because of the way she talks, which is very slow. Personally, I don’t mind it since I know people that speak this way but its something to keep in mind. What I also like about Kaede is that her overall personality meshes well with Komi. As we see them interact together, it’s easy to see that Komi has an easier time socializing with her. Kaede’s aloofness also leads to some funny gags when she is on the panels.
Like I’ve said, I enjoy these two new characters and hope they stick around. They work so well together and separate, so it would be a shame to not bring them back in the future. They’re solid additions that deserve to come back regularly, and not just for one-panel cameos.
Is Komi Can’t Communicate volume 5 worth reading?
There should be no surprise in me saying that volume 5 of Komi Can’t Communicate is absolutely worth reading. Despite minor hiccups along the way, this series continues to maintain a high standard and be very enjoyable.
I know that in my previous review, I expressed some concerns over the potential of the story becoming stale; however, this volume gave me some peace of mind. I think it might have been characters like Nene and Kaede, or something that I can’t quite put my finger on but this volume felt refreshed. I can’t wait to get my hands on volume 6 and see where we go from here.
So now that we have five volumes of Komi Can’t Communicate what do you think? Is this series worth reading? Be sure to let us know! If you enjoyed our Komi Can’t Communicate volume 5 review, be sure to check out our previous Komi Can’t Communicate reviews.