My mum has a saying for this sort of thing: (quoting in Swahili) It means "The Good Person is Indistinguishable from the Bad". I've heard my mother say it a thousand times...and I've never really thought about it until that day, when we got the news. And then I couldn't stop thinking about it.
— Ani about getting the news of Bryce Walker's murder, in "The Good Person is Indistinguishable from the Bad"

Amorowat Anysia "Ani" Achola[1] is a main character in the third and fourth seasons of 13 Reasons Why. She is portrayed by Grace Saif.

Ani is the new girl of Liberty High School, the daughter of Amara Josephine Achola, the ex-girlfriend of Clay Jensen and a member of Hands Off Our Bodies. She forms close relationships with the main characters and narrates the season, delivering information to Deputy Standall about Bryce's murder.

In the fourth season, she moves in with Jessica, so she can spend the spring semester with her friends at Liberty. During the season, Ani encounters Winston, who transferred to Liberty after his expulsion from Hillcrest. While Ani continuously denies that she had nothing to do with framing Monty and knows Bryce's murder, she feels suspicious of Clay as he starts experiencing panic attacks. Ani later graduates and plans to attend Stanford University.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

Ani was born in the Republic of Kenya but moved with her mother to England, United Kingdom when she was four years old. She frequently changed schools prior to the start of the season. According to her Season 3 poster, she has an unknown criminal history.

Throughout the Series[edit | edit source]

Season 3[edit | edit source]

Her mother works for the Walker family as a nurse for Bryce's grandfather, who was slowly dying. She has a friendship and romantic relationship with Clay Jensen, who is one of her peers and a prime suspect in Bryce Walker's murder. She also had a secret friendship and sexual relationship with Bryce as well prior to his death. Throughout the series, she played detective along with Clay and tried to figure out who killed Bryce. She went through each of the characters' motives and actions while narrating the story to Deputy Standall in an interrogation room.

Ani was introduced to us as the new girl. We learned that she moved around a lot and had attended many different schools. She joined Liberty High School, right after the Spring Fling. Clay was her tour guide on her first day, so they became friends due to her persistence although her true feelings for Clay were unknown throughout the season.

Ani got to know Bryce over their few months before he was murdered. Ani and Bryce developed a friendship that also turned into a romantic and sexual relationship. Although Bryce had fallen in love with her, she didn't orally reciprocate her feelings and continued to refer to her and her mother as the help. The night of the homecoming game and of Bryce's death, Bryce gave her a kiss on the side of the field which Clay saw and became extremely upset with. Bryce told her at the football game to leave before a fight broke out. Although she described Clay as being obsessed with her and wanting to be more than just friends to Deputy Standall, it was shown that she had mutual, if not, confusing feelings about Clay. They decided to start dating officially at the end of the third season.

Throughout the season, Ani befriended and protected people in Clay's group, such as Jessica and Alex. She also discovered and revealed secrets between the friends during her quest to get the truth about Bryce's death. She narrated the whole season and tried to solve Bryce's murder, along with Clay's help at times while other times it seems as though she believed he was guilty.

Bryce's grandfather died at the end of the season, so it is unknown if she will stay in Evergreen since her mother, a home health care nurse, was only employed to take care of him.

Season 4[edit | edit source]

Ani arrived at Jensen's house where she heard from Clay that Tyler got called to the Sheriff's station so Clay was giving him a ride there. He left Ani and Jessica to plan for Justin’s welcome home party. As they were setting up the decorations, Ani and Jessica talked about Ani's move to Oakland. She still hadn't told Clay.

At Justin’s welcome home party, Clay, Jessica, Ani, Zach, Alex, Tyler, Tony, and Charlie gathered for the first time since Bryce’s murder case. Zach had now been drinking heavily, showing up to the party drunk. After the party, the mood shifted as they discussed the guns upon Tyler’s leave. Doubt spread over the group, the question being, could they trust Tyler?

At Jessica's house, Jessica invited Ani to live with her instead of moving to Oakland. Her mother agreed to this, as long as the rules were upheld like strict curfews, which Jessica’s dad agreed to. Afterwards, Jessica took Ani into the woods to burn the last copy of Bryce’s tape. Across the burning flames, Jessica saw a hallucination of Bryce which freaked her out.

At Liberty High, the students were in for a surprise. Metal detectors had been placed at the entrance of the school building accompanied by school resource officers (SROs). Jessica was far from happy about this, especially when she walked through the metal detector and her bra set it off making one of the male SROs tell her she needed a pat-down. Ani, Clay, and Justin watched as Jessica refused and stormed off towards the principal’s office. Ani told Clay to stay calm as the new security measures had nothing to do with them finding out about Bryce’s murder.

At Future Fair, Liberty students gathered to check out the club and institution representatives. Ani saw the newcomer Winston Williams roaming about and immediately got up to follow him. She pulled him to the side and asked him why he’s in Liberty. Apparently, Winston had been expelled from Hillcrest, therefore transferring to Liberty High. Ani informed Clay about this, causing him to freak out as he could pose as a threat for their coverup.

Clay saw that the football team were forcing Estela to wear “De la Cruz” jersey to honor her brother Monty and confronted them. After Diego Torres claimed he’s innocent in Bryce’s death, the two engaged in a fistfight. It ended up with only Diego getting detention as SROs thought he started it.[2]

Personality[edit | edit source]

Ani is a very intelligent, observant, kind, caring and quick-witted young girl. Ani has a habit of stating very blunt and honest observations that sometimes gets under people's skin, but nonetheless, she has a habit of winning people over with her charm and wit. She is nosy and talkative of what others have told her however it is not shown that any of the characters pick up on these traits. She is also good at making first impressions due to her family moving around a lot and therefore having to change schools frequently. She spots the kids she wants to hang around and is assertive in introducing herself to make new friends quickly.

Because of her mother's strict personality, Ani often lies about her whereabouts in order to spend some free time pursuing her own hobbies and interests. However, this habit had made her into an unreliable narrator as she also lied to Clay and Jessica about her interactions with Bryce and to Deputy Standall during both of her interrogations.

She is also a surprisingly (almost suspicious at times) skilled investigator as seen when she is trying to find out the death of Bryce Walker while working alongside Clay for the most part. She states to several characters that she is an optimist who tries to see the best in everyone including Bryce (except for Montgomery), despite Clay warning her about him.

Ani also seems to be very involved in others lives, almost over-controlling at times. One example of thbehavior is seen during the college application process. She notices Clay has started on a college application, but wrote his essay as something very incriminating. She rewrote his essay and submitted it for him. Upon finding out Clay freaked out, saying she spent way too much time controlling others life. She appeared visibly hurt at this, and walked off.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Clay Jensen[edit | edit source]

— Ani, saying "I love you" to Clay in Swahili

Clay is Ani's boyfriend.

Ani and Clay kissing in "There Are a Number of Problems with Clay Jensen"

Clay and Ani first meet when Ani transfers to Liberty High School and Clay gives her a tour. Clay gets a bit carried away talking about the rape culture of their school, and after that even though she states it was the 'worst tour' she's ever been given, she also says it was her 'favorite tour'.

She quickly befriends Clay and his friends. They form a bond as they discussed their nerdy habits and share inside jokes. Clay also gives her his bike as a gift. Clay has a crush on her and warns her about Bryce after she reveals where she is staying. After their first kiss, their relationship gets rocky, but they quickly make up. However, things get serious when Clay sees her kissing Bryce at the Homecoming game and later, ends up going after Bryce. After Bryce's murder, Ani suspects Clay, but they investigates together. Even though they have huge arguments about Ani's secret relationship with Bryce and Ani not believing Clay, Clay goes to meet Ani one last time before he leaves town, and Ani proposes she'd lie for Clay which Clay refused to let her do because that would hurt her mom. They end up kissing and after he leaves, she's in tears. After Clay's arrest and Jessica's confession, she formulates a plan, eventually framing Monty for Bryce's murder and clearing Clay's name. Clay asks Ani if it was the right thing to do, to which Ani replies every choice was the wrong one so they had to choose one. Clay then thanks her for saving his life.

At the end of the third season, Clay goes to meet Ani's Mom and came into terms with Nora Walker. Clay talks with Ani's Mom about Ani's importance to him and that he would do anything to protect her. Ani walks in and announces that they are dating.

Bryce Walker[edit | edit source]

Bryce was Ani's friend and lover.

Ani and Bryce in bed in "There Are a Number of Problems with Clay Jensen"

Ani and Bryce lived in the same mansion, as Bryce had to move in with his grandfather after his parents divorce and Ani moved in because her Mom became the caretaker of Bryce's grandfather. They soon developed a friendship, besides people such as Nora Walker and Jessica Davis warning Ani to stay away from him. One day, they started making out which led to them having sex. They continued to have a sexual relationship which they hid from everyone else. Bryce soon fell in love with her and claimed she was changing him for the better. Ani didn't seem to return those feelings. At some point Bryce becomes assertive, asking about her and Clay's relationship and shaking her while repeatedly saying he needs her. Ani runs away from him. At the homecoming game, Bryce kisses her, but Ani stops the kiss and leaves.

After Bryce's death, Ani is seen mourning Bryce only once(at his funeral) but she's actively trying to find out who murdered him. Ani continuously defends Bryce against Clay as she's convinced Bryce was changing and deserved a second chance. After Clay gets arrested, Ani tells Jessica that the worst thing she's ever done is sleeping with Bryce, but it's possible she only says it to make Jessica tell the truth. When she finds out Alex and Jessica are responsible for his murder, she frames Monty as the murderer and when Deputy Standall hesitates, she insists that both Bryce and Monty hurt people when they were alive, and they should end the cycle of suffering by letting 'the dead bury the dead'.

Jessica Davis[edit | edit source]

Jessica is Ani's close friend.

Ani and Jessica at Monet's in "The Good Person is Indistinguishable from the Bad"

Ani first meets Jessica when she attends a meeting of the student body. Ani encourages Jessica to run for student body president and proposes to help campaigning. She is involved in the founding of Hands Off Our Bodies. Jessica talks to Ani about her relationship with Alex. Ani helps Jessica explore her sexual preferences by advising her about masturbating. Jessica warns her when she knows she is living with Bryce. At some point they clash; Ani sleeps with Jessica's rapist and when Jessica sees Ani interact with Bryce on the football field, she gets angry and pushes her.

After Bryce's murder, Ani asks her questions about where she and Justin were at the homecoming night, and if she thinks Clay is capable of murdering Bryce. Jessica tells Ani about Hannah Baker and the trial. Near the end of Season 3, after Clay's arrest, Ani tells Jessica that the worst thing she's ever done was sleeping with Jessica's rapist, Bryce, and asks what's the worst thing Jessica has ever done. Ani is the first person Jessica admits to what happened to Bryce and Ani helps covering it up so Jessica (and Alex) wouldn't get in trouble.

Alex Standall[edit | edit source]

Alex is Ani's friend.

Ani and Alex on the swings at Eisenhower Park in "Nobody's Clean"

Ani and Alex are not seen together much before Bryce's murder. Mostly, she and Jessica discussed about her relationship with Alex. After the murder, Ani talks to him multiple times, asking questions about Jessica and the murder. After Justin shows Clay and Ani the steroids, Clay says Alex is a 'mellow' guy, and ani scoffs. Later, she and Clay ask him about it. She comforts him when he expresses his insecurities about his body, to which Alex sarcastically replies that she was the only girl in the whole county who'd go for a 'skinny sad kid' like him, but she has already gone for Clay. He claims that he didn't keep buying steroids. Ani doesn't quite believe him. Clay distracts him at the gym and Ani unlocks his phone and finds proof that he lied. Clay and Ani interrogate him again. This time, when Clay asks if he's clean now, and Alex replies, "Nobody's clean." Ani acknowledges to Deputy Standall that he was right.

At the end of the third season, when Jessica confesses to Ani that Alex killed Bryce, Ani plans to frame Monty to protect him. As she needs time with Deputy Standall to do that, Clay tells Alex he thinks Ani killed Bryce and he wouldn't cover for her anymore to pass time, Alex looks guilty because he doesn't want anything to happen to her, and that's the point when he confesses to Clay about the murder.

Justin Foley[edit | edit source]

Justin is Ani's friend.

Justin and Ani meeting in "Yeah. I'm the New Girl"

Clay introduces Ani to Justin at lunch on the first day of school. When Ani makes a joke that brothers should take care of each other (the same thing Clay told Luke Holliday that morning to save face), Clay gets up to get some ketchup, embarrassed. Justin then tells her Clay can seem like an uptight asshole for a while, but she should give him some time because he's worth it. She jokingly asks how much time he'll need, to which Justin replies it took eight years in his case.

Justin and Ani seem to get along after that. They joke about Ani and Clay's conversation in Swahili. Justin gives Clay advice about dating Ani. Ani often acknowledges that Clay and Justin has a great bond, and is the first person to know about Jessica and Justin's relationship. After Bryce's murder, it is clear that Justin is annoyed with Ani because she lied about sleeping with Bryce and doesn't believe Clay, as he tells her "You know what, Ani? Fuck off." after accusing her of just wanting to focus on Clay to hide the fact that she slept with Bryce. After knowing Monty is dead, Justin tells her and helps her to frame Monty for the murder.

Winston Williams[edit | edit source]

Clay and Ani meeting up with Winston in "Nobody's Clean"

Suspicious that Monty's hiding something related to steroids, Ani and Clay go to his car to look. They don't find steroids but instead see that he has an ID for a Hillcrest student in his car, in an envelope labelled “HE WON’T TALK.” The ID card belongs to a student from Hillcrest named Winston. Winston meets up with Clay and Ani to explain the ID situation with Monty. The fake ID belongs to another guy named “Winston” who took the SATs for the real Winston. Bryce and Monty used this information to blackmail Winston. Then he reveals that at a Hillcrest summer party, he hooked up with Monty and Monty beat him up because of his internalized homophobia.

At the end of the third season outside of Monet’s, Ani comes out and Winston states that Monty was with him the night of Bryce’s death, and he knows that Monty is innocent. He says that Monty was a human being and that he didn’t deserve to die the way he did before walking off in disgust at Ani for framing Monty for murdering Bryce.

Amara Josephine Achola[edit | edit source]

Amara is Ani's mother.

Ani and Amara Josephine in "Angry, Young and Man"

Amara and Ani moved to the United Kingdom when Ani was only 4 years old. A decade later, they moved to America. After she's assigned as nurse for Nora Walker's father, she along with her daughter, move to the Chatham house. She's a very strict mother to Ani, always telling her to focus on studies and to stay out of trouble. Because of her mother's strict personality, Ani often lies about her whereabouts in order to spend some free time pursuing her own hobbies and interests.

Nora Walker[edit | edit source]

Nora showing Ani the footage of Clay nearly shooting Bryce in "There Are a Number of Problems with Clay Jensen"

Ani and her mother live in the Chatham house when her mother is assigned as a nurse for Harrison Chatham. Nora looks out for Ani as she knows her son is a rapist, and at one point, bans Bryce from seeing Ani. Ani and Bryce don't seem to care about the ban, and she's always trying to comfort Bryce about his mother and know about the Walker family secrets. After Bryce's death, Nora asks Amara if Ani was in homecoming, which Amara unknowingly replies in the negative. Eventually Ani frames Monty for the murder, which is unknown to Nora. At the end of the third season, Clay comes to Chatham house to meet Ani's mother, and Nora greets her saying Ani told her that Clay is a great person.

Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]

Ani has a brown skin complexion with brown eyes and short curly hair.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Ani: "Before we begin, if you're expecting that I'm gonna prove Clay Jensen guilty, you'll be disappointed. Because I don't believe he is."
Deputy Standall: "Just so you know, you're facing the reality that most people believe he is guilty. Do you still want to talk?"
Ani: "I do."
Deputy Standall: " Okay. (puts tape recorder on the desk) Do you mind?"
Ani: "(shaking her head "no")"
Deputy Standall: "Okay, begin at the beginning, who you are, and what school you're from. And why you're here."
Ani: "My name is Amorowat Anysia Achola. You can call me "Ani". I'm a senior at Liberty High School... It's an interesting place..."
―  Deputy Standall beginning his interview with Ani.
Cause no one's innocent. Violence begets violence, it just doesn't always look the same.
— Ani to Deputy Standall in "Let the Dead Bury the Dead"
It's all about Homecoming night. Everyone was there. Everyone had their reasons for wanting to kill Bryce. At the end of the night one of them would've followed through. Clay Jensen had been broken by Bryce more than once. Bryce had threaten to ruin Monty's life. Jessica Davis was on fire with the cause, with anger at Bryce. Justin Foley would've done anything for her. Tony would've loved to get into that fight. Tyler felt under attack all over again. And Zach's dreams were destroyed with one hit. So he tried to destroy Bryce's dreams. As you know, he didn't finish the job.
— Ani to Deputy Standall about everyone's motive to kill Bryce in "Let the Dead Bury the Dead"
Deputy Standall: "Okay, I've got footprints. I've got tire treads consistent with my wife's car and she was at home in bed all night."
Ani: "He wouldn't have gone to the pier alone. He wouldn't have been alone, Deputy Standall. I've watched these kids all year, you may think they're divided against each other. They're not. When someone needs them, they'll be there, no question. They take care of each other. So, Alex would've been there for a friend. For a friend who was maybe more injured by Bryce than he was. Or Monty Was. Whose life had been destroyed by Bryce, and who's had to rebuild it piece by piece."
Deputy Standall: "I see. Alex wouldn't have been alone."
Ani: "Montgomery de la Cruz killed Bryce Walker."
―  Ani and Deputy Standall
When you judge someone by their past, it can make that past impossible to escape.
— Ani narrating in "Angry, Young and Man"
We’re all in costumes all the time, trying to become the thing we’re wearing.
— Ani to Clay in "There Are a Number of Problems with Clay Jensen"
Deputy Standall: "It would be a terrible thing to blame the wrong person for Bryce's murder."
Ani: "And yet you were all ready to blame Clay Jensen."
Deputy Standall: "I don't think you would know this, because the sheriff has us locked down on leaks, but Montgomery de la Cruz was killed in his jail cell. Just hours ago."
Ani: "Dear God. Poor Monty."
Deputy Standall: "Even the dead deserve the truth."
Ani: "I'm sorry that Monty's dead. I am. Justin tells me he could be...loyal...and fearless. And that he stood up for his friends. I'm sorry that Bryce is dead. He was my friend, and I believe he would've shown the world that redemption is possible. But they both caused great pain while they were alive. They caused great pain to a number of people. And it is time for that suffering to end. So let the dead bury the dead, Deputy Standall. Let the dead bury the dead."
―  Ani and Deputy Standall finishing the interview

Jessica: "So you haven't told him about Oakland."
Ani: "Umm...not yet. I was meant to tell him today, but we don't move till after Christmas, so—"
Jessica: "You've known for a week, and you knew once you told him he'd go all Clay cray. Clay-z. No, I like Cray cray."
Ani: "Ok, no. Look. Honestly, I was gonna tell him just now, but..."
―  Ani and Jessica[src]
Ani: "The truth is, I don't think my friends would have any idea how to describe me. When they... when they look at me, they only see what I want them to see. Just like you're only seeing what I want you to see, which, frankly, isn't the real me at all."
Interviewer: "Then who are you?"
Ani: "I don't know."
―  Ani how her friends see her in her college interview[src]
I did what I did out of love
— Ani to Winston[src]
Ani: "Are your feelings mixed like mine?"
Clay: "I don't know what that kind of love is. I've never felt it. Sorry. I..."
Ani: "Don't be. I know where I stand."
Clay: "Look, when we were together, I wasn't ready for a relationship. I didn't know how to be in one. Still don't."
Ani: "You know, I think you have this ideal of what a girl should be, and you pushed me away when I turned out to be something different. But the truth is no one could ever live up to that ideal, and to be fair, I don't have a fucking clue how to be in a relationship either. How to love someone without... having to take care of them. So... friends?"
Clay: "Friends. Good friends."
―  Clay and Ani talking about their relationship when seeing Justin and Jessica dance.[src]
I came to this town, and I got to know all of them, and they were fucked up and messy and human, and I loved them right away. And there may come a time for you where you have to make a decision about whatever information you do have, and there will be no perfect answer. I promise you. I'm certainly not telling you what to do. All I can tell you is that I did what I did out of love.
— Ani to Winston about why she helped covering up Bryce's murder.[src]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Season 3[edit | edit source]

Season 4[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • She's into robotics and the series 'Alien Killer Robots'.
  • All the episode titles of Season 3 are quotes from Ani, said during her interview with Deputy Standall. The title of the fifth episode, 'Nobody's Clean', is a line Alex said first, and then Ani quoted him in her narration.
  • She speaks Swahili.
  • It is shown multiple times that Nora Walker pronounces her name 'Annie" wrongly, but quickly corrects herself.
  • Her mother is the only one who always calls Ani by her first name.
  • Grace Saif, who plays Ani, quit social media as she was cyberbullied for her role. Later, her co-stars Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe, Devin Druid and Anne Winters all came to her defense. Riverdale star Ashleigh Murray also defended her and revealed that she (Ashleigh) was a victim of racist cyberbullying too. Grace eventually started using social media on January 2020.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also: Category:Images of Ani Achola

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Yorkey, Brian (writer) & Morris, Michael (director). (August 23, 2019). "Yeah. I'm the New Girl". 13 Reasons Why. Season 3. Episode 1.
  2. Yorkey, Brian (writer) & McCarthy, Tom (director) (March 31, 2017). "Tape 1, Side A". 13 Reasons Why. Season 1. Episode 1. Netflix.
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