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My Clueless First Friend
Episode 7

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 7 of
My Clueless First Friend ?
Community score: 4.5


I cannot stand Kasahara. I know, I know, she's just an eleven-year-old and a fictional one at that, but her behavior this week crosses a lot of lines for me. She's more insidious with her bullying than Kitagawa, trying to hit Nishimura where it hurts in her own self-interest. She doesn't notice, or care, that she's also hurting Takada, because all she can see is her own goal of spending time with him. She's deliberate in her cruelty, and that's not okay.

It's also yet another very realistic element of this story. Girls like Kasahara absolutely exist, and they don't always learn their lesson. The saving grace here is that circumstances conspire to give her a taste of her own medicine, with her attempt to sit next to Takada on the bus resulting in him getting carsick, which causes her to pawn off sick duty on the other class rep, Nishimura, to backfire spectacularly. But she still creates a problem where there was none, using Nishimura's low self-esteem against her by convincing her that she's not good enough for Takada's friendship. Am I taking this too personally because that exact thing happened to me in middle school? Maybe, but it's painful to watch either way.

Of course, Takada may have had a crisis of friendship even without Kasahara, because he's not sure he likes Nishimura and Adachi getting closer. Hino is one thing; he's happy to be the third wheel and he's so laid back that he doesn't change the dynamic very much. But Adachi actively wants to be Nishimura's friend and is even calling her by her first name, and that's not entirely comfortable for Takada. Whether it's a budding crush or just good old friend jealousy isn't clear (it could well be a combination of the two), but Takada definitely has some emotions he's trying to sort through, and those aren't likely to go away.

But this just wouldn't be an episode of My Clueless First Friend if it wasn't also tear-inducingly heartwarming, and there are a couple of truly wonderful moments to make up for Kasahara's existence. The major one belongs to Nishimura's dad, a man who knows his child well and worries about her as he tries to do his best. He's known that she has trouble making friends from the start, and has been providing her what he thinks of as a lucky charm in her lunch all along: enough marinated eggs to share. That finally bears fruit on the field trip, and between Nishimura finally realizing what her dad has been doing and him crying over the picture she sends him, this is one of the most beautiful moments in the series thus far. He gets it, and that's so important.

It's also worth noting that this is the first episode where we see adults coming through for Nishimura. Her teacher, who presumably has been aware of the bullying at least a little, at long last tells Kitagawa to knock it off with the “grim reaper” garbage, and when he realizes that Nishimura and Takada spent the money he gave them eating their way through a shopping gallery, he's not actually all that upset. He doesn't want to advertise it, but he seems to understand that they both needed this adventure together, and nothing is said about Takada rejoining Kasahara afterward. There's still plenty that Nishimura has to work through on her own, but now she has new friends and (finally) some adult allies as well. She's starting to take her first steps into happiness, and that means everything, for her and for those of us watching her.

Now, who wants to tell Hino that there's no tanktop constellation?


My Clueless First Friend is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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