One Week Friends Review

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Every now and then a show comes along that manages to catch your eye and make you take notice.  It’s not another high action fight for humanity or an off the wall club show.  Just a show about someone trying to offer friendship.  Though with a twist, it becomes much more.

e3oneweekfriends1Story
Yūki Hase is a second year high school student who has recently taken notice of a classmate of his named Kaori Fujimiya. One day, he finally proposes friendship to her.  However, as she does with every student at the school, she gives him a cold stare and declines him.  But this doesn’t stop Hase.  After getting some encouraging words from his friend Kiryu, Hase confronts Fujimiya again and asks if he can eat beside her at her usual spot on the school roof.

What starts off as an awkward lunch, slowly progresses into conversation and bonds being formed.  However Fujimiya has a secret.  She informs Hase that every week on Monday, her memories of her friends disappear.  The only memories she retains are of strangers and family.  While Hase doesn’t truly believe this, the following Monday he confronts Fujimiya to be greeted by that same cold stare that she used to give him.  She asks, “Who are you?”

While the concept of memory lapsing bonds and friendships is not a new one, One Week Friends still manages to create a very unique take on the idea.  It’s storytelling is in the innocence of youth and the problems it encounters in a school setting.  Just seeing the corner Fujimiya creates for herself at the beginning was heart breaking.

At every moment of the show, I had a sense of excitement for what Fujimiya could overcome.  With the aid of her newfound friends, I was continuously sharing in their cheers and happiness.  It’s that element that made me truly enjoy this show.  Fujimiya herself was well portrayed, exactly how I could see a sheltered and often distanced person would be once they are out of their shell.  Innocent and adorable at the same time.

e4oneweekfriends12Sadly though, the cast isn’t without a flaw.  While I was okay with Hase’s constant naivety starting out, and I honestly liked him for trying to help Fujimiya, his character slowly went downhill about halfway through the show.  I’m not sure if it was the writer’s intention, but at times he came across as selfish and a jerk.

Despite Hase’s terrible attitude at times, he did have his upsides.  Every now and then he’d surprise me with some great act of kindness.  Though it’s usually in response to getting a motivational kick in the rear by his friend Kiryu, who was easily the better of the two main male characters in the show.

Aside from those main three characters, there was a few more that managed to take their share of the spotlight for some nice side tangents for the story.  Even some characters that surprised me in the end.  All adding up to a great cast and a great story to tell overall.  Despite its minor flaws.

Animation
Brain Base studio did an amazing job in portraying the soft tone of the original work done by Matcha Hazuki. It’s not sharp, loud, and colorful; rather soft, light, and soothing. It’s a fantastic art style to fit the innocent and calm story. Even if it has its moments of drama and energy. I liken it to the artistic work of Wolf Children that created almost an atmosphere of being welcomed.

e3oneweekfriends7Sound
The musical direction for this series was well done. While most of the music was in place to create ambiance, there was a few scores that stood out. Especially the closing song “Kanade” by Sora Amamiya which matched my mood with the end of each episode. Both joy and sadness at the same time.

The voicing on the other hand was a mixed bag. Yoshimasa Hosoya as Shōgo Kiryū was an excellent and believable cold character. He turned out to be one of my favorite in the show. On the other hand Yūki Hase voiced by Yoshitaka Yamaya, while unique, often came across as nasally and annoying. Which I guess is partially why I hated him as a character.  Though an snotty nosed kid may have been what they were going for.

Sora Amamiya as Kaori Fujimiya was a very cute and innocent character.  Both soft and tender at the same time.  I absolutely adored Rumi Ookubo as Saki Yamagishi which was both different and hug begging at the same time.  Her almost lazy tone was picture perfect for her character.

Conclusion
One Week Friends is simply just a beautiful show.  It has a lot of heart and manages to tug on a few tears along its journey.  While Hase definitely put a bit of a damper on the series, the other characters more than make up for his downsides and manage to create some adorable moments.  There’s just nothing like the feeling of excitement that you have when Fujimiya overcomes her challenges.

Highly Recommend!

THUMBS UP!

REVIEW VERDICT:
Highly Suggested

Pros:

  • Great emotion
  • Some likable characters
  • Cheering for Fujimiya
  • Beautiful art direction

Cons:

  • Hase is a jerk
  • A couple of episodes felt slow
  • Final element was a bit underwhelming
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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.