anime - April 17, 2023

Episodes 1-3 – My Clueless First Friend

©Taku Kawamura/SQUARE ENIX, GUIGUI Manufacturing Committee

Some background going into this: I used to be bullied at school, beginning within the fifth grade. It was dangerous, culminating in my dad and mom switching me to a distinct college system in the course of seventh grade, which did not cease it; it simply made it completely different. Nishimura’s experiences as depicted in these first three episodes are painfully acquainted – the way in which that she assumes she will not be included, the expectation that every one issues stated about her are dagger-sharp and merciless, and the way in which she feels she will be able to’t inform any of the adults (extra particularly, her dad) what’s actually occurring. This present completely nails how being bullied can put on you down till you not solely settle for your actuality, you are feeling that perhaps you deserve it. In spite of everything, Nishimura’s trainer(s) cannot probably be ignorant of what is being accomplished to her; their silence towards her affirms the bullies’ phrases and actions.

So why did I ask to assessment this present? As a result of it is the furthest factor from hopeless. This is not about Nishimura being trapped in hell; it is about how she learns that she will be able to rise out of it, and even when she would not consider she deserves it, Takada is there to remind her that she does. He’s a literal ray of sunshine (his first identify, Taiyo, is written with the character for “solar”), and never solely does he assume Nishimura is superior, however he is additionally not shy about who is aware of it. Neglect Superman; Takada is the superhero bullied children want. From the second he bounces onto the scene, Takada is certain and decided to be finest buddies with Nishimura as a result of he genuinely thinks she’s wonderful. He is a little bit of a Pollyanna, deciphering each dangerous factor one among their classmates says into rainbows and kittens. Heck, he encourages her to undertake an precise kitten in episode three! He is Nishimura’s saving grace as a result of he believes in her unconditionally, which opens a door inside her.

Talking of doorways, the ending theme has some exceptional imagery that helps drive house the themes of the present correctly. I discussed it within the Preview Information, however the way in which that Nishimura desperately paws on the thorn-covered partitions of her mazey jail is a pitch-perfect depiction of the way it feels to be trapped inside bullying and that the door she uncovers leads her into an upside-down Escher hellscape and an countless loop likewise seize the sensation of there not being an escape. The sector of doorways, which look a little bit like gravestones, represents the potential for an exit, however worry holds her again till a hand is prolonged to her. Somebody who labored on this present is aware of what it feels prefer to be in Nishimura’s place.

I stated earlier than that Takada is a Pollyanna, placing the most effective spin on all the things, however is he doing it unconsciously? The title could also be My Clueless First Friend, however you do must surprise, from a few of his wonderful takedowns of head boy bully Kitagawa, if that is the case. From tricking him into saying that Nishimura’s only a common lady and never a grim reaper in episode one to saying that he could not probably need his curry and so ought to give it to Takada when Nishimura is serving lunch in episode two, to the general public embarrassment of asserting that if Kitagawa would not discover Nishimura cute in her swimsuit, he should like college swimsuits, Takada’s responses are good and shut the bully proper up. Assembly Takada’s sister Yukiko in episode two gives some perception – she’s coaching him. However the uncertainty of Takada’s consciousness makes for a pleasant query of what he’ll say subsequent and whether or not or not he means it as Kitagawa takes it. Yukiko could have a questionable fondness for dressing Nishimura up and taking photos, however her coronary heart’s in the fitting place, so these could also be a few very awkward siblings. And it is arduous to disclaim how giving Nishimura her hand-me-downs empowers the youthful lady – would she have been in a position to purchase a pink bathing go well with had Yukiko not proven her that she may put on colours?

The forged and present are nonetheless creating at this level. We have seen that head lady bully Kasahara might not be fairly as critical as she seems (kittens clear up so a lot of life’s issues) and that the present root of her meanness could be the crush she seems to have on Takada. Hino, the tanktop-loving goofball, most likely by no means really seen what was occurring. He shortly began speaking to Nishimura as soon as he is buddies with Takada and was noticeably absent from earlier bullying scenes. That is off to an excellent begin, and whereas I am unable to communicate for everybody who has been bullied, for me, that is the hope I wanted to have again within the day, and I am actually glad that it exists.


My Clueless First Pal is at the moment streaming on

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