The journey to 100 friends begins with a single conversation.
Socially anxious high school student Shoko Komi’s greatest dream is to make some friends, but everyone at school mistakes her crippling social anxiety for cool reserve. Luckily she meets Tadano, a timid wallflower who decides to step out of his comfort zone in order to help her achieve her goal of making 100 friends.
Komi and her friends had an eventful cultural festival, so Najimi suggests that they all go to karaoke to finish off the day with a song. Komi loves hanging out with everyone, but the stress of worrying about singing in front of them is threatening to ruin the whole outing for her. Can Komi find a way to overcome her fear, or will karaoke end in misery?
Komi has more intimdating circumstances, as she navigates her first karaoke party with her classmates, and goes shopping with her dad for new clothes, among other things. There’s also a new-ish kid who looks intimidating but who is very shy and finds it hard to talk to people; like her, he is misunderstood, but in an opposite way, and while he is initially scared of her, he starts looking up to her. The karaoke party goes pretty much the way you would expect, with Najimi basically running the show and smoothing over any awkwardness that could ensue. One of my favorite segments in this volume was when she goes shopping with her dad, and they both are, you know, quiet people, so going into a girls’ clothing store gets intimidating for both of them, but somehow Tadano comes to the rescue. Her dad being cool with the credit card thing was also hilarious! Another cute segment was the boys fantasizing about dates with the girls of the class (trust me, minimal skeeviness involved) and Tadano also imagines what it would be like to go on a date with Komi (the other boys can’t even imagine it, unless it is a historical setting, which means we get an AU of Komi wielding a sword) and my boy practically combusts. Overall, it was an interesting and hilarious installment!
Is it diverse? neurodiverse character (communication disorder), trans character
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media LLC, via Edelweiss.
Previous books in the Komi Can’t Communicate series
Releases on April 14, 2020