Komi-san 11 and 12

While I’m watching the new shows, let’s wrap up Komi-san wa Comyushou desu.

Continuing, we get the inevitable cultural festival episode. You can guess the scenes, it’s the spin the show puts on it that will make the difference. We get the choosing a theme scene (weak by this show’s standards, and you know the class will do whatever Komi wants to do, which is a maid cafe). There are prep scenes featuring Onemine and a new character, Otori, an airhead who slows down everything she’s in because it takes several beats to respond. At this point I figured it would not go on my list of top cultural festivals in anime (Azumanga, Toradora, and Hyouka), but it picks up when the festival actually starts. Of course we get Komi in a maid outfit. There’s a mock TV-show about a maid-cafe expert who visits which isn’t bad. Tadano is forced into a maid outfit and of course his sister sees it. So does Komi’s mom. But I agree with Komi in that he actually looks kind of cute, but let’s not go there. Apparently there’s going to be a part II to the festival, which worries me because they’ve used up most of the tropes and so may have to do something dramatic …

Komi-san in meganekko mode.

I needn’t have worried, the final episode was more of the small but excellent scenes the show is so good at. The festival is in full swing and Najimi keeps thinking of new ways to promote, or over-promote the maid cafe, until her class is penalized for it. Naturally, one of the promotion schemes involves getting Komi to walk around the school in her maid outfit, so we get to see some of the other exhibits and booths, and Komi interacting with them, with classmates in tow. After that, the slow dance in the gym, where Tadano gets the gumption to ask Komi to dance, which doesn’t last long, and then a karaoke after-party, another chance to embarrass Komi, and several others as well. As Komi opens her mouth to sing we switch to a flashback closing credits sequence, an introspective bit where Komi writes the names of her new friends in a notebook (aww) and an announcement of a season two, Hooray! As the characters rush for Komi the show does one last quick cut, to nothing. The show is over.

When this show was on-target, there was nothing better this season. Even when the gags weren’t all that much, the actors often made up for it–Tadano’s asides, Najimi’s crazy exclamations, and it’s quickly to the next bit. The final scenes in the finale used this strategy to build up energy and to tell us more is coming. Often what would happen is that someone do something, Komi would use several beats to react, and everyone would react to that, which worked in quiet moments and loud crazy ones. That they managed a whole series of this and made me want more of it shows you just how good the production was. It didn’t always work. With strangers Komi’s reactions tended to scare them off, and you just felt bad for her. But with familiar characters (apart from Yamai, whose yandere act got old quickly) who knew her it could be tremendous fun. Kudos to Najimi; his/her loud enthusiasm was just what the show needed and rarely grew stale. Tadano worked well, both with her understanding of Komi’s issues and as a dependable straight-man. Komi herself was not only the vulnerable, quivering thing we all sympathized with, but the catalyst for everything that happens. As for the possible romance, we’ll see what happens. I’m delighted to watch whatever more I can get.

One more of Tadano and Najimi
One more of a calm Komi.
One more of a not-so-calm Komi. Karaoke of all things …

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