Manga Review: "My Clueless First Friend" #1

The premise for “My Clueless First Friend” is very cute and simple. There’s a girl in class with a bit of a dark and gloomy appearance, who’s being bullied by the other kids in class. They make fun of he, in typical fifth grader fashion, calling her names like ‘grim reaper’. Takada, the new kid in school, who moved in from the country, is a complete airhead, and doesn’t understand she’s being picked on – only that Grim Reapers are A W E S O M E!!! So, he’s quick to befriend her, and constantly presses the fact that he finds her wonderful in all different manner of ways. This series is super formulaic. XYZ happens which triggers Takada to say something completely outrageous that embarrass Nishimura, causing her to blush like wild. This is played out every chapter. It definitely can get a bit repetitive if that’s not your thing, but for the most part, I enjoyed this book. That said, not sure how I’ll like it after 7 more omnibus. Will definitely peep the anime though.

TL;DR - It's a Cute Premise, But it Got a Bit Repetitive 4/5

With that said, I don't think that necessarily repetitive is a bad thing. Rather, I like it a lot. When you've got a good formula, use it. The problem I think I had with this book, that I didn't have, for example with "When Will Ayumu Make His Move" is a combination of a couple factors.

1) The Formula Being Too Simple

        The formula used in this manga is really, really basic. Boy says something, makes girl blush.

It's cute, but it's definitly not rocket science. That's fine, really. Ayumu has the same thing going for it. Very simple premise, repeated every chapter for the entire series. The part that I think became an issue for me was that...

2) Repeated Too Much in One Book

        This book is an omnibus, so it's really two, much smaller tankoubon, which have been sewn together. That's usually fine. It makes things more affordable and less risky to publish. The problem I think here is that since it's an omnibus, you get the same gag repeated like 50-60 times in one book, because in this series, the same formula gets repeated more than once each chapter, and this book is 30 chapters long...

Thats.... a bit too much for me to handle.

I actually had to break up reading this book over several sittings because it was just too much all at once.

I still genuinely really enjoy it, but I think the format doesn't really do it any favors unfortunately. If I was getting this on a weekly basis, in a magazine, I think i'd have really loved it a lot more. Could have been very fun reading online as well, but trying to tackle the whole thing at once was too much of a good thing.

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