Anime DVD Review: One Week Friends Complete Collection

One Week Friends Complete Collection is a two-disc set that includes all 12 episodes of the series and a handful of bonus features. The release only has Japanese audio with English subtitles.

One Week Friends Complete Collection
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: DVD
Release Date: July 7, 2015

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.

While One Week Friends has a sweet tone to its story, it never got to the point where it was so sickly sweet that it was saccharine. I think the character of Shogo really helps to tamp down the sweetness factor. 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.

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.

One thing that I noticed when watching the first disc of this DVD was that if I tried to skip over the annoying promo for Super Sonico The Animation at the beginning of the disc, the subtitles refused to display when I watched the episodes. I don’t know if this is simply a quirk of my particular Blu-ray player, or if there was something screwy with Sentai’s mastering for this release.

However, I was impressed by the extras that appeared on this set, because it wasn’t simply the bare bones extras I’ve come to expect from Sentai Filmworks. There are extras included on both discs of the set. Both discs include a feature labeled as “Kaori’s Journal.” There are a total of twelve of this roughly two-minute segments, which share some of Kaori’s journal entries (with one of them actually being an entry in a journal being kept by Hase). These were special shorts that were included with the Japanese DVD and Blu-ray releases of One Week Friends. They utilize footage from the series showing what’s being talked about on the left-hand page, which the right-hand page has text appearing on it to represent the journal entry for that day. I was a little disappointed that these were basically recaps of what we saw in the episodes. I was hoping these would help to expand Kaori as a character. Even though I was a little disappointed in these, I’m still glad to see that Sentai decided to include these on their release of One Week Friends. The first disc also includes the typical textless opening, textless closing, and trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases.

In addition to the Kaori’s Journal segments, the second disc also includes Japanese promo spots for the series. There are a total of four promotional spots included, and each one tends to run about 40 to 50 seconds in length. Again, I was glad to see that Sentai Filmworks included these.

If you’re a fan of One Week Friends and haven’t added it to your anime home video library yet, I would encourage you to either get the DVD release or the Blu-ray release of this set.

Additional post about One Week Friends:

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