Anime Spotlight: One Week Friends

One Week Friends is an anime based on a manga by Matcha Hazuki. The series is produced by Brain’s Base, and is directed by Tarou Iwasaki. The series aired on Japanese television from April 6-June 22, 2014.

As of this writing, Crunchyroll holds the North American license for streaming, while Sentai Filmworks holds the North American home video distribution rights for One Week Friends.

One Week Friends tells the story of two high school students: Yuki Hase and Kaori Fujimiya. Yuki notices that Kaori is alone and doesn’t have any friends. When he asks to be her friend, she thanks him for asking and tells him no. He starts spending lunch with her, and learns from her that on Mondays, all of her memories of the people she’s close to or wants to spend more time with are completely reset and she forgets them; however, her family is an exception.

Shortly after they meet, Yuki suggests to Kaori that she should keep a diary to help her remember what she does every week, and to read it before she goes to school every Monday. Yuki hopes this will help Kaori remember the people she spends time with and what she does with them. Over time, it appears that the two of them develop feelings for each other, although neither one can seem to admit it to the other. As time goes on, Yuki starts picking up bits of information that might help explain Kaori’s memory loss.

Yuki’s best friend is Shogo Kiryu, a boy who appears aloof and is also straightforward with his words. However, he is willing to offer advice when asked, even if it’s something the other person doesn’t want to hear.

Kaori’s sphere of friends grows when she meets a girl named Saki Yamagishi, a forgetful girl who insists on being friends with Kaori. When it comes to Kaori’s memory loss on Mondays, Saki seems to think it’s just the same kind of forgetfulness that she has. After becoming friends with Saki, Kaori becomes friends with Saki’s friends Maiko Serizawa and Ai Nishimura.

Near the end of the series, a boy named Hajime Kujo returns to the area and transfers into Yuki and Kaori’s class. It turns out he was Kaori’s classmate in sixth grade, and he had a part to play in the events that ultimately led to an accident and Kaori’s memory loss. His return starts unlocking Kaori’s memory of the accident. Both Kaori and Yuki must deal with the aftermath that Kujo’s return causes.

After watching the first episode, I thought that One Week Friends was a sweet series. As the series continued, it remained a sweet series; however, the sweetness never got to the point of being so sickly sweet that it was saccharine. It’s a light-hearted show, but it’s not so light-hearted that it’s simply a barrage of jokes. Throughout the series, there was a good mix of humor and drama.

The characters are accessible to the audience. As you meet each character, you’re able to get a good sense of who they are through their interactions with each other. The characters I came to care about the most were Kaori and Yuki, and I came to care about them at the end of the first episode. However, I also came to like Shogo and Saki later on.

At the end of the first episode, I was worried that the concept would hold up for the series’ 12 episode run. But I’m happy to say that the series succeeded in maintaining its concept throughout all of the episodes and succeeded in keeping the concept, story, and characters interesting the entire time.

I thought that the series was brought to a realistic end. And since there are still loose ends in regards to the potential relationships, there’s fodder for fanfic writers to work with to write their own continuation of the series. While One Week Friends is a good series, I’m really not sure there’s a chance for more episodes of the series; at least, I don’t think there’s enough material to go for another 12 episode series. There might be enough to maybe squeeze an OVA episode or two out, but that’s about it. However, I have a feeling that it was intended to end here.

I also really liked the animation style that was used in the series. It has a “soft” feel to it, and it almost looks as if it could have been inspired by paintings made with watercolors. This look and feel is perfect for bringing the story of this series to life.

I really enjoyed watching One Week Friends, and it’s a series that I looked forward to watching every week during the Spring 2014 season. I’m actually a little sad that it’s over now.

One Week Friends is a series I’d like to watch again at some point the future, and it’s one I’d be willing to add to my anime collection at such a point that it’s released on home video in North America.

One comment

  1. milesvibritannia · September 6, 2014

    I really loved One Week Friends and it was easily my personal favorite in the spring lineup. It had a nice balance of sweet fluff and emotional drama and I felt it was pretty powerful as far as its themes and development, yet it was consistently optimistic throughout, even when things got pretty bad. I adored the characters and really enjoyed seeing them interact, the relationships between the two pairs only progressed to a certain extent but it was still very enjoyable and I wouldn’t mind seeing more. I personally would love a season 2 if only to spend more time with the characters, although I do think it would be hard for another 12-episode season to match the storytelling quality of this season. They could further the romance between the characters but it does seem like it would be hard for other major developments to take place. I think the manga’s still ongoing though so maybe there’s more to expect in the future.

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