Shoko Komi is in Kyoto for a school trip and befriends classmates Ayami Sasaki and Mikuni Kato. After spending a day together, they talk about boys.
The following contains spoilers for Episode 21 of Komi Can’t Communicate, “It’s Just Day 2 of the Field Trip,” now streaming on Netflix.
As Komi Can’t Communicate continues, Shoko Komi is in Kyoto with her classmates for the first school trip of the year. On the first day she hung out with her usual two friends — Najimi Osana and Hitohito Tadano — as they visited a few historic sites with Ryoko Tenjoin as their tour guide. She also got to stay at a traditional Japanese hotel and attend a public bath with her female classmates, which was a bit of a strange experience for Komi. Apart from getting unwanted sexual attention from Ren Yamai, she also caught a glimpse of Tadano taking pictures of their partially nude male classmates.
The second day of the school trip in Episode 21 is not as colorful or as sexually-charged, but it still proves eventful for Komi. She is now with her assigned group consisting of her two classmates Ayami Sasaki and Mikuni Kato. Out of the three, only Mikuni comes up with a schedule of activities for them to do together that day — which doesn’t exactly entail staying in Kyoto.
For their first activity of the day, Mikuni has Komi and Ayami accompany her to Osaka to spend their morning at Utopia Street Japan (a stand-in for the real-life Universal Studios Japan in Osaka). While there, they get on the Spider-San (Spider-Man) and Shark (Jaws) rides, and buy a few souvenirs. The trio leave the park to eat takoyaki for lunch and spend their afternoon in Nara Park, where all three girls feed crackers to the deer in the park.
Komi, Ayami and Mikuni return to Kyoto for the evening, where they partake in a live performance with Komi dressed as a maiko. Since Ayami was in the washroom at the time the performance began, she mistakes the actors for street muggers and decides to rescue Komi from her assailants. The only problem is that she doesn’t want Komi or Mikuni to know she’s a yo-yo otaku and buys a hannya mask on the spot. Once she’s able to cover her face, she attacks the street performers with her advanced yo-yo moves and fends them away. Of course, the people observing the performance on the street think the yo-yo hero in the hannya mask is another part of the show.
When they return to their hotel rooms for the evening, Mikuni decides to confront Ayami about her performance as the yo-yo master in the hannya mask. Since Mikuni is an aspiring shogi master, she tries to trick Ayami into revealing her secret with carefully worded questions, but Ayami doesn’t fall for her tactics. It’s not until Komi reveals that she would personally like to thank her rescuer in the hannya mask that Ayami summons the courage to reveal her embarrassing secret.
The best part of the evening for both Ayami and Mikuni, however, is the “girl talk” they have afterward. For them, this means revealing which boys from their class they have a crush on — and Mikuni reveals she likes Katai because of the intense look in his eyes. When they shift the question to Komi, she at first dodges the question by asking the two girls what they mean by “liking” a boy from their class. After they clarify their question (though they were surprised to have to do this in the first place), Komi writes the letter “H” on her notepad, which confirms to both Ayami and Mikuni that she has a crush on Tadano — as they already suspected.
On the train ride home, Ayami and Mikuni trick Tadano into sitting next to Komi by telling him she’s being harassed by some people on the train. To make sure he doesn’t return to his seat, Ayami gets Mikuni to sit next to Katai so she could spend some time with her crush. With no other choice but to sit next to Komi, Tadano gets in the seat next to her, and since she’s asleep, she accidentally rests her head on his shoulder. She’s naturally embarrassed by this when she wakes up, but eases her embarrassment by showing Tadano the pictures she took during the trip.
After sharing her photos, Komi uses this opportunity to ask Tadano why he was taking pictures of their naked male classmates on the first day of their trip. This gets Najimi’s attention, who then teases him about the photos and asks to see them. While Komi appears to remain with Tadano and Najimi for the remainder of the train ride, she does add the names of Ayami and Mikuni to her list of friends, confirming that they are now a part of her circle of friends.
Diane Darcy is features writer for anime, comics, and television at CBR. She’s also the owner of the popular HelenaWayneHuntress.com blog and has contributed features to WomenWriteAboutComics.com, ShelfDust.com, and ComicsBookcase.com. She’s also a co-host of the Huntress Podcast for WrightOnNetwork.com.