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Komi Can't Communicate, Volume 2: 08/22/22
Komi Can't Communicate, Volume 2 by Tomohito Oda covers how Komi gained a stalker whom she would later convert into a friend. Komi Shoko has severe social anxiety and is at a high school that's been set up to accommodate unusual students.
The inciting event for volume two is the annual physical examination — something I'm grateful U.S. high schools don't do. Komi though essentially selectively mute is otherwise in perfect health. A girl, Yadano Makeru, has an unhealthy obsession with Komi which is further exacerbated by the examination day.
Played for humor, Yadano ends up kidnapping Komi's first and truest friend, Tadano. How she doesn't end up in trouble for keeping him tied up in her room and later her closet for an entire day is beyond me. The result, though, is that Yadano's actions force Komi to stand up for herself for the first time in the series. So character growth — yay?
The back half of the manga is about Komi and friends going out for ramen. Komi because she's nonverbal most of the time turns out to be the perfect ramen shop customer. In places where there's a constant line of customers, you're supposed to order, sit down, and eat without talking or looking at your cellphone (or anything else) so that you can make room for the next customer as quickly as possible. Komi excels at being quick and quiet.
Despite my misgivings about Yadano as a character and her apparent carte blanche to be a creepy stalker / kidnapper, I'm still rating this volume five stars. The focus is still primarily on Komi as she navigated high school and works towards her goal of making one hundred friends.
I have volume three on hand and will be reading / reviewing it soon.