My kind of mindless yet entertaining read has recently been the Komi Can’t Communicate manga. The interesting thing is that until now, this series told as a bunch of loosely connected mini-episodes has so far managed to stay interesting. It took until volume eleven for things to get a little shaky.
I still like Komi, and she’s making steady progress as a character. She actually speaks a few complete sentences to different people here, out loud. The romance angle is obvious and a little pointless since the goal is supposed to be friends not dates. It’s not even that interesting since neither Komi nor Tadano can openly admit they like each other, even if it’s totally obvious to the reader and probably a few of the other characters as well. There’s also a little bit of the romance rivals, yet there’s at least one for each Komi and Tadano, although Manbagi isn’t nearly as obvious about her like of Tadano as Yamai is (at least to herself, but then again if Nakanaka can see something is up there, how’d the rest of the more normal characters not?) about Komi.
Most characters don’t really change much at all, and there isn’t much of anything new about them. Najimi is still the wild card, but that’s now predictable, Tadano is dull but nice, and I really do not understand the high school manga trope of the student who likes to act as though they are in some sort of LARP for real, all day everyday, but there’s Nakanaka too.
The younger sibling parallel is also not my favorite since the younger Tadano is super pushy and seemingly ignores the younger Komi’s perspective completely, and two pairs of sibling pair-ups is a little ick. Also a bit ick is the unofficial vote/parade for class hottie, which is virtually all female and the ‘contestants’ have no idea what’s going on. These sorts of things are definitely tropes, and the manga overall seems to like to play with those a little, but these look more straightforward, and that bugs me, that everyone in the story doesn’t notice or is ok with it all.
Overall, I still want to see Komi continue her progress, and maybe, just maybe help a few other characters make a little bit of progress too. Because if no one else ever changes, that might get a little tiresome.