Komori-san Can't Decline
Shuri Komori is a middle school girl who will never say "no" to anyone asking for help, which leads to all kinds of situations and has made her the go-to girl for everyone in school whenever they need something done.
No matter where anyone stands on the concept of asking for favors, I'm pretty sure most people would be willing to do just about anyting asked of Komori-san in this show, even for a complete stranger. The key point here being that the favors Komori do for people, be that her friends, her classmates or even complete strangers, are fairly casual of nature. Carrying something, searching for something or even just give directions; they don't really sound like big favors.
...except one of the jokes in this show is that Komori is asked for these favors constantly, to a ridiculous degree. She leaves for school, and people just pop out of the woodwork to ask for directions to various places, one jumping in as soon as Komori is done giving the other directions, her mother noting that she isn't actually getting anywhere herself. She muses on the situation, and one of her friends suggests it might be because she's so tall, but when she hunches down, she is immediately asked by someone to help find a contact lens.
While discussing the matter, the topic of reliability comes up first. As her friends point out, Komori probably comes across as somewhat dependable. Her height might have something to do with it, which becomes clearer once the show introduces the male supporting lead, Kuro Otani. He's a relatively short boy who wants to be relied on by the others, but is mostly ignored by the same token. In fact, Komori thinks he's a first year, to which he somewhat angrily retorts by telling her he's in her class. So in lieu of him not being zerg-rushed with requests for help, Otani is more or less forced to offer his services instead.
Komori's two friends, Megumi Nishitori and Masako Negishi are about as tiny and young-looking as Otani. Masako in particular is a full head shorter than Komori, so I guess we're supposed to get the irony of the joke when she's having a laugh at his expense. Some jokes are also made about the absurd size of Komori's chest, the absurdity being that she's supposed to be 15 years old, yet she can give the Senran Kagura girls a run for their money.
But before you start worrying, none of the jokes are particularly iffy about it. Basically, one of the jokes is the fact that, since none of the other kids in her class likes milk, she tends to accept the burden of drinking all of it, which earns her a sardonic look by her friends, implying that this is the explanation for her generousness. Later, the girls go to the beach, and when Megumi notices (and mentions) that she forgot her swimsuit at home, Komori offers to lend her one, which earns her a "You're mean! Totally mean!" in return. The one she's actually wearing has a ridiculous amount of cleavage, yet she isn't overrun by obnoxious suitors because of it, nor does anyone make any inappropriate comments on her behalf, instead treating her swimsuit as if it was perfectly normal. Weirdly enough, there is a scene where the girls are at the school pool, and when the boys jog by further down, Otani looks up and enviously notes how nice it must be to be allowed to use the pool. When Komori notices that, she weirdly calls him a pervert loudly enough that the other boys make a song chant out of it. One scene later, the exact same scene plays out, only with the boys and girls swapped, and Otani gets his delicious revenge.
Initially, I didn't really think Komori-san Can't Decline would really be able to entertain me or grab me in any way, and while none of the things I feared might happend did happen, I wasn't too enthused with the gag setup where Komori would be overrun with requests of a curiously singular kind. But Komori and her friends, which eventually included Otani, took some time out of the helping runs to talk about what it means to be dependable and why someone would want to help someone, and it did hit home in a way shorter shows like this tends not to do. In these times, it's a bit easy to get cynical; I'm not too proud to admit that I thought Komori would be well in her right to tell at least some of her classmates to stop nagging her about every little thing, even in the face of all this ridiculousness, which stems from the distaste I tend to feel when one's generosity is being taken for granted. But Komori embraces all that, which leads to a frankly adorable reaction from her in the last episode. And an admission from me that, yes, I am probably being a bit too cynical about this. And so, I heartilly recommend you watch this little slice of generous pie. It'll cost you naught but around 25 minutes or so.
Besides, how could you possibly hate a show starring a girl who can make this kind of happy face.
And because I promised him, here's Tim with his two cents on this anime:
I was introduced to Komori-san Can't Decline from the original manga, done by one Cool-kyou Shinja, who Stig and I first met through the quite good I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying anime adaptation in 2014. I was pretty excited when the anime for Komori-san was first announced, but was disappointed when the anime proper came out and the episodes were only two minutes long. Not only that, but the jokes and stories are played out of order, and Masako and Megumi's stories that expand their characters are completely glanced over. With that said, I still enjoyed the anime anyway, and the voice actresses did a good job. Komori is a pure sweetheart, and aside from a few jokes about her figure, the show is relatively clean with its content. (I also like how the series isn't afraid to admit she isn't perfect, such as asking her friend Masako for homework help at times.) One thing I always like about Shina's characters are how well they gel with one another, and even in the small snippets we see of Komori with her friends in the anime, we can tell how close they are. Although I wish the episodes were a couple of minutes later, I still enjoyed Komori-san Can't Decline, and would recommend it if you have a half-hour to spare.
And yes, Komori's facial expression in the final episode (as Stig capped above) is pretty gosh darn cute.
Komori-san Can't Decline doesn't quite have the depth for a four star rating -- it's simply too short for that -- but you may consider this a strong three star recommendation from me. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Komori-san's chest does take center stage, including the one from episode 8, where she's wearing a pretty revealing swimsuit. There are also a few non-malicious jokes made about them -- they're big because she drinks a lot of milk, they must make her back ache, etc etc -- which should offend nobody.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream on Crunchyroll, Japanese with English subs.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Komori-san Can't Decline © 2015 Artland.
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