Amanchu combines scuba diving with an Iyashikei version of Komi Can’t Communicate

Komi can’t communicate is a popular anime and manga series that explores a character whose intense anxiety makes communicating with others incredibly difficult. In the same way, Amanchu! is an older series that follows a character whose introversion and lack of self-confidence prevent him from engaging with others at his new school. Or Komi can’t communicate strikes a nice balance between rom-com and slice-of-life elements, Amanchu! delves even deeper into the slice of life to produce an iyashikei theme, reminding viewers that sometimes trying something new can be the best way to learn to seize the possibilities that are before us.

Komi can’t communicate follows Shoko Komi as she tries to achieve her dream of making 100 friends. The only problem is that his extreme social anxiety hinders his ability to communicate with others. With the help of her classmate Hitohito Tadano, she begins to overcome her inability to communicate, gaining friendship and fond memories along the way. Amanchu! has the same basic premise, following Futaba Ooki as she struggles to settle into a new school after leaving Tokyo. The series chronicles Futaba’s journey when she joins her new school’s diving club and how, through this, she discovers the joys of the ocean and friendship. With the help of his exuberant classmate Hikari Kohinata, Futaba learns to swim, immersing himself in new experiences while coming out of his shell.

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While fans have the added benefit of learning to dive, the series mostly focuses on the healing aspect that diving and Futaba’s growing friendships have on her as the story unfolds. Given that it revolves around a high school diving club, Amanchu! is also not without its comedic moments. Much of the series’ tension stems from Futaba’s struggle to believe in herself and push herself to achieve new things. With Hikari’s passionate support, Futaba eventually learns to swim with ease, as well as developing her athleticism to earn her open water diving certification and continue participating in this activity which brings her true joy.

Amanchu! is filled with heartwarming moments as fans watch Futaba’s self-confidence grow and can see how much his friends care about him. In episode 9 of the first season, everyone comes together to buy Futaba a digital photo frame when her phone runs out of storage, so she doesn’t have to worry about deleting photos from her old friends from Tokyo. It’s a simple gesture, but it highlights the nuances of the difficulty of moving on and the weight of memories. As Futaba becomes more comfortable with herself in her new surroundings, she inevitably collects happier memories. She learns that these experiences do not replace what she had, but rather add to a growing list of fond memories she can cherish forever.

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Dive into Amanchu! serves as a unique and well-used plot device to propel Futaba’s story. Immersing herself in the sport allows her to spend more time with her peers, which makes her more comfortable with everyone in tandem with the sport itself. However, learning to swim and becoming a free diver are equally essential parts of Futaba’s personal journey, as they are two things that help her develop her sense of freedom. These skills help Futaba explore and enjoy the ocean in new ways, mirroring how she is already progressing towards new social experiences. Her dedication also shows that she is capable of meeting any challenge that comes her way. Amanchu!The lush underwater visuals of play up the iyashikei vibe, providing an escape for both Futaba and fans alike.

Amanchu! consists of two 12-episode seasons and an OVA. The first season debuted in 2016 and the second followed in 2018, with both currently available to stream on Crunchyroll. The anime is based on the Amanchu! manga created by Kozue Amano, best known for her hit series ARIA. Anime fans who appreciate Komi can’t communicateor even those who want to find another slice of life, will not be disappointed by Amanchu! and his touching exploration of friendship and freedom.

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