Based only on the first impression, most of the male characters in “Komi do not know how to communicate” do not seem to be acceptable members of society, not to mention a healthy representation of male stereotypes. With the exception of Tadano, most guys radiate traits of toxic masculinity, perfectly fitting into the image of aggressive, demanding, authoritative men with potential superiority complexes and perverted inclinations.
However, upon closer examination, all these “courageous” characters discover their unique weaknesses that contradict their reputation, showing viewers that guys can also have a sensitive side and at the same time be accepted by their peers.
Cute and sensitive type
Hitohito Tadano is not an “ordinary guy”, as he has an uncanny ability to read a room, but does not use his powers for manipulative depravity, but instead tries his best to help his classmates. His assessments of situations demonstrate tremendous emotional ability, because Tadano is always trying to analyze the reason for someone’s actions, usually giving them the presumption of doubt. Tadano is the only one who sees through the intimidating auras of Komi and Katai and considers their internal battles, preferring instead to use a sensitive approach.
His ability to adequately evaluate people is highlighted in “It’s Just a Feeling” when Omoharu Nakanaka and Ren Yamai beg Tadano to teach them his “mind reading” talents. The integrity of the young man is further emphasized when it becomes obvious that the girls want to use the coveted telepathy with impure intentions. Tadano never used his insight to take advantage of Comey or anyone else, and only ever tried to help, even if he humiliated himself in the process.
On countless occasions, Tadano (who also worries in social situations) flaunts himself for Komi’s sake, holding out the proverbial olive branch to the rest of the students in grades 1-1. Although classmates can sometimes tease him, many fans note Tadano for having the most empathy and sensitivity, and he is not ridiculed for not being “manly” enough. On the contrary, the Komi Can’t Communicate fandom nicknamed him “Chadano” to emphasize the undeniably attractive chad factor of Tadano.
Katai Makoto is ultimately the perfect embodiment of the concept of toxic masculinity, especially when it becomes obvious that everything “toxic” in him is a pure projection. Because of his large build and clumsy behavior, Class 1-1 automatically assumes that the boy has sinister intentions, and their first instincts are to run in fear. Not only does Katai seem to have no aggressive bone in his body, but he turns out to be the most sentimental and loving of all the characters in “Komi does not know how to communicate.”
The relationship that Katai strikes up with Tadano is sincere and touching, despite their comic effect. Their bromance may be too touchy for most people, but maybe that’s the point. Katai just wants to show Tadano how much he cares about him, so why doesn’t he do it in a way that doesn’t make people uncomfortable? Male affection doesn’t necessarily have to involve bullying, teasing, or testing masculinity. At first, Tadano seems unsure of Katai’s pleasant habits, but does not tease him, but instead goes with the flow, shamelessly approaching in a positive form of male companionship.
Bad Boy type
Chiarai Shigeo, Sonoda Taisei and Shinobino Mono are collectively known as the “Delinquent Class”, but again, this nickname seems to be based only on appearance. True, they are not angels and openly pervert the ladies from class 1-1, arranging a special field day in “It’s just a pool”, but it would be difficult for any young hormonal teenager not to stare in such a situation. Tadano shows the slightest signs of toxic masculinity when it comes to his general approach to class offenders, as he tends to be a little judgmental with these particular boys.
In the second season of “Komi Can’t Communicate”, the male characters are revealed a little further, and many viewers soon realize that they may have made incorrect assumptions about Shinobino and his buddies. In “It’s Just a Fantasy,” the boys dream of every girl in the class, but the scenarios discussed are not as dirty or depraved as one might think. Despite hints of potential sexual reward, boys spend most of their time on evening dates or dreaming of a long-term, committed relationship, clearly focused not only on sex. Anime, as a rule, does not hesitate to exaggerate perversions (just look at Ren Yamai!), but the writers abandoned this stereotypical trope, deciding instead to show the cuter sides of boys.