My Clueless First Friend Initial Review by RJ Writing Ink
Have you ever had that one friend that’s so different from you? You question why your friend’s in the first place. Or you’ve seen a show about a gloomy person who has a super happy and upbeat person decide to be friends with them? Better yet, have you seen fictional protagonists who can win over the most closed-off people by being so kind, no matter how dumb they are? Combine all those concepts into one, and you get the anime “My Clueless First Friend.”
The result: something so hilarious, sweet, and heartwarming that you can’t help but smile!
The Shy Grim Reaper and the Embodiment of Kindness
My Clueless First Friend revolves around Akane Nishimura, this shy Elementary School girl. Because of how creepy her eyes look, everyone makes jokes about her, saying that she’s a “Grim Reaper” and that if they hang around her, they’ll get cursed! As a result, she has no friends and is very lonely in her life.
One day, a new transfer student, Taiyo Takada, this hyperactive, extroverted bundle of energy, shows up and hears about her nickname. His response? “THAT’S THE COOLEST THING EVER!!!!” Thus, Takada latches onto Nishimura like glue, becomes her first friend, and helps to bring her out of her lonely shell.
And for a long time, he’s convinced that Nishimura’s an actual Grim Reaper! He’s so clueless that any attempts to make him understand this go through one ear and out the other.
Taiyo Takada, the CHAD Chuunibyo
To understand the thought process of someone like Taiyo Takada, one must understand what a ‘Chuunibyo’ is. A Chuunibyo, or ‘chuuni’, is a kid who usually acts all high-and-mighty, makes dramatic speeches about stuff, and may or may not believe they have special powers. Now, Taiyo himself would be a loose example of this. While he’s prone to being melodramatic and wears his emotions on his sleeve, he doesn’t think he has special powers. However, after hearing everyone call Akane a Grim Reaper, he’s convinced she does. And where other kids find that scary, he thinks that’s the coolest thing in the world.
It gets even crazier from there. No matter how many times people try to bully him for hanging out with Akane, he doesn’t let it get to him. He’s so pure-hearted that he fails to grasp the idea that someone’s insulting him or Akane. As a result, he takes every bad thing someone says as a compliment, throwing said bullies so far off their game they just leave.
In other words, Taiyo’s a clueless idiot. But he’s also the best friend anyone could ever ask to have, especially Akane. He doesn’t even realize it, but it’s clear early on that he’s gotten Akane to fall for him. I love this kid! It helps that his dub VA is Madeline Morris, who also does Rudeus for Mushoku Tensei.
Akane Nishimura, the Cutest Introvert You’ll Ever Meet
On the other end of the duo, we have Akane Nishimura, the girl everyone calls the Grim Reaper. Because of the way her eyes look, her classmates cruelly taunt her and give her that nickname, not wanting anything to do with her. As a result, she’s never had any friends, to the point where she lies to her Dad about her school life so he won’t worry. She even tries to tell Taiyo not to hang out with her since she knows everyone else will bully him for it.
So when all the hints fly over Taiyo’s friend, and he keeps taking that “Grim Reaper” stuff as compliments, she’s thrown for a loop. And the more and more he turns those insults into compliments, the more amazed she gets. It’s pretty clear early on that she’s fallen for him because she won’t stop blushing whenever he says something nice about her. Takada takes the cruel nickname she has and turns it into a term of endearment. This is good because it’s eventually revealed that Nishimura thinks her nickname’s appropriate for sadder reasons.
*Minor Spoiler Warning to Follow*
It’s revealed a few episodes into the show that Nishimura’s Mom died when she was young. To be more precise, she died shortly after giving birth to Akane. While none of her family blames her for it and showers her with love because they know that’s what her mom would want, Akane can’t help but blame herself. She thinks she’s taken her Mom’s place, and it’s why she never liked the Grim Reaper nickname. And poor Taiyo! When he finds that out, he thinks he’s been a horrible person calling her the Grim Reaper.
Clueless First Friend is Such a Sweet and Heartwarming Anime
This is another spoiler, but Akane eventually tells Taiyo that she doesn’t mind him calling her the Grim Reaper. Through his sheer levels of kindness, he turned the nickname she hated into one of endearment. It’s one of the sweetest things I’ve seen in anime in some time, and it’s why I love My Clueless First Friend.
The world we live in can be harsh, cruel, and unforgiving at times. That’s why it’s important that we remember to treat each other with kindness. With that in mind, I think what Akane and Taiyo have is the kind of friendship everyone should have at least once in their lives. If we had someone like Taiyo Takada in all our lives, the world would be all the better for it. My Clueless First Friend is on my watchlist for the Spring/Summer Anime season of 2023!