If all your memories of your friends reset every single week, would you continue to make friends?
This is the premise of Isshuukan Friends, which literally translates into meaning One Week Friends. The series is told from Yuuki Hase’s perspective who has a crush on Kaori Fujimiya, or rather, he wants to be friends with her. Because of Kaori’s condition where all her good memories of her friends and generally the people she enjoys being around, disappears every Monday, Kaori’s shut herself from the rest of the class, choosing to be a loner than to go through the pain of losing friendship every week.
Judging by the premise, this series can go very well or wind down into a crawling pace of boring. The premise is interesting and it’s mainly character driven, or rather, Yuuki-driven because he’s the most consistently persistent character I have ever seen. Episode 1 shows Yuuki’s first attempt to become friends with Kaori. He makes quite a bit of success in the first three days, but by Thursday, Kaori’s begun to worry of the consequences of her condition. By Friday, Kaori tells Yuuki the truth of her memories and although Yuuki is pretty confused about it at first, he comes to realize that on Monday, Kaori’s condition is not just her attempt to avoid him. We have Sora Amamiya voicing the quiet Kaori Fujimiya and Yoshitaka Yamaya voicing the go-getter Yuuki Hase. Yuuki’s best friend, Shougo Kiryuu, voiced by Yoshimasa Hosoya, also makes a few appearances when Yuuki needs a friend to talk heart-to-heart.
The story is very endearing, as are the characters. Because of the soft pastel-toned and simple sort of animation style, the atmosphere feels very innocent, light and childlike. Although there are only two characters, you don’t feel as if the pace is dragged down by their dialogue, rather every moment that Yuuki and Kaori spend together feels very fragile and unsteady. Because we know that Kaori is going to lose her memories, we can’t help but be moved by the small moments of friendship that happen in course of a few days.
There is almost no action and little comedic relief, however the episode progressed at a very relaxing and steady pace, making sure to illustrate the passing of the days. At the end of the first week where the episode ends, Yuuki has decided to approach Kaori again and attempt to befriend her.
Friendship is a key theme we see in almost every single anime because main characters always need awesome best friend sidekick or partners in whatever adventure they decide on. I found the premise of Isshuukan friends really refreshing. It asks us if there is a point to friendship if it’s only for a few days, if there isn’t such a thing as long term friendship, or friends and memories you hold onto, is there a point in making friends at all? I think, and this is really only what I grasped from the first episode, that there is something wonderful about friendship in the present moment, that friendship can happen in an instant and that moment is forever precious.
The sentiment of the show tugs on those little heart strings of yours until you can’t help but love Yuuki for all his attempts. The opening and ending song are really sweet and nice to listen to as well so I’m looking forward to the full releases. I’ll be reviewing at least two to three episodes of Isshuukan Friends before I decide whether or not to review it so check in with me next week!
What are you pondering today?