Shoko Komi and Hitohito Tadano are close friends who are also mutually crushing each other. In Episode 23, this begins to shake things up, Komi San’s First Fight With Tadano.
Most of Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2 has spotlighted the budding romance between Shoko Komi and Hitohito Tadano. From when they went on winter break to when they exchanged chocolates on Valentine’s Day, Komi and Tadano have been dropping subtle hints about taking their relationship to the next level.
For Tadano, this came through asking Komi to chicken out at the last second during the holidays.
In Komi’s case, her romantic interest in Tadano came through giving him a sweet potato around Christmas time and secretly wishing for their relationship to progress on New Year’s Day.
She also nurtured Tadano back to health after he came down with nasty influenza in the last seven-day stretch of the winter break. Komi even went the extra mile to make chocolates for all her friends on Valentine’s Day and ensure that Tadano got the best batch.
Of course, with all the progress they’ve been making, it was just a matter before Komi and Tadano would encounter a knock in their relationship, which is what happens in Episode 23.
In the Episode 23 story “It’s Just a Fight,” Mikuni Kato returns with development to her love of shogi (Japanese chess). Originally introduced during the school trip two-parter episodes, Mikuni befriended Komi along with Ayami Sasaki and went out to various places together, including Universal Studios Japan (renamed Utopia Street Japan) and Nara Park.
On the last day of their trip, Mikuni revealed her love of shogi and that she aspires to turn into the first female shogi master who competes in the national championship. She even showcased her strategizing skills to a frightening degree.
Yet again, in “It’s Just a Fight,” Mikuni is seen improving her shogi abilities during a class break by studying a shogi puzzle book. This piques the interest of both Komi and Tadano, who choose to challenge each other’s strategizing skills.
This makes Mikuni’s heart sing, and she obliges by creating a shogi puzzle for them to solve. While discussing the best winning moves, Komi and Tadano have their first disagreement, resulting in their first argument, Komi San’s First Fight With Tadano, as both are persuaded they have the best winning strategy.
It’s not until Mikuni explains the rationale of the game to both Komi and Tadano that the latter finally accepts defeat. As Mikuni explains, Komi’s strategy proves to be the triumphant one of all the viable winning moves.
Not just does this and showcases Komi’s prowess at dominating board matches. Still, audience members also get to witness a side of her that has not yet been showcased in the anime thus far: anger.
It’s unbelievably rare for Komi to end up in anger-actuating situations, as she often battles social anxiety in every scene. Since board and card games are the social activity she excels at, Komi has a degree of confidence in this type of social situation that she rarely has in most others.
As such, having Tadano challenge her strategizing skills in a rather condescending way is something she takes personally for a change. While Komi doesn’t show an angry face during the initial argument, she does have a smug expression when Mikuni validates her strategy as correct.
Indeed, even after Tadano apologizes for being condescending toward Komi, she still avoids talking to him, resulting in tension between both individuals.
This doesn’t be ignored by Najimi, who asks them how long they’ve been close enough to have a real fight. Unsurprisingly, neither of them provides an answer.