One Week Friends Volume Four is the first volume of the series to include material that wasn’t part of the anime adaptation.
One Week Friends Volume Four
Written by: Matcha Hazuki
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: September 18, 2018
With the arrival of new transfer student, Hajime Kujou, who knew Kaori back in elementary school, Kaori’s memories have been reset. While she still doesn’t have memories of her friends from before the accident, she’s now forgotten Yuuki and the times they spent together. Yuuki spends time in this volume starting over his friendship with Kaori from the beginning. I really had to feel for Yuuki, because I can imagine just how frustrating his situation would have to be for him.
Hajime becomes an important character in Volume Four. He has no idea about Kaori’s condition, so he acts coldly toward her after she told him in the previous volume that she didn’t remember him. However, as Yuuki tries to have conversations with Hajime to try to get to know him and learn more about his past, there are hints that perhaps Hajime had had a crush on Kaori when they were younger. And even though it would have made things easier for Yuuki if he tried to explain Kaori’s condition to Hajime, he realizes that it’s not up to him to do that. I have to give Yuuki credit for realizing this. Unfortunately, since Kaori herself hasn’t worked up the courage to say anything about it, it leads Hajime to believe that Kaori is unlikable.
To be honest, at this point in the story, Hajime can come across as an unlikable character. He’s one of the popular kids, and he tends to act kind of stuck up around Yuuki and his friends. And from a scene that appears in this volume, a couple of the girls at school make it clear that they don’t want Kaori trying to get closer to Hajime, and it’s obvious that these two girls are jealous. These two girls could potentially cause trouble for Kaori later in the series if they let their jealousy get the better of them.
There’s also an important scene between Shougo and Saki that takes place in this volume. At one point, as Saki is talking to him, she says that the two of them should get married because he’s so dependable and she needs someone like that. This, of course, is very awkward, and Saki interprets Shougo’s reaction as being angry with her. After this scene, Saki tries her hardest to avoid Shougo because she thinks he’s mad. Shougo, meanwhile, doesn’t understand why Saki is trying to avoid him. This isn’t resolved in Volume Four, so I suspect it’s going to be a running theme as the story continues.
In the teaser for this review, I mentioned that Volume Four is the first volume of One Week Friends that includes material that wasn’t included in the anime adaptation of the series. All of one chapter, and part of a second, are set during the school’s cultural festival, which was never seen in the anime adaptation. According to an author’s note in the back of this volume, it’s commented that an anime adaptation of the series had gone into production. With only 12 episodes being green-lit for the series, some content was going to have to be cut. While the cultural festival storyline was cute, it made sense to cut it for the anime adaptation. Hajime’s arrival at the end of Volume Three appears at the end of Episode Nine of the anime, so the adaptation had to use its remaining three episodes to develop Hajime and bring about a resolution to the story. There just wasn’t time to include the cultural in the anime. But I did enjoy seeing the interactions between Kaori, Yuuki, and Shougo during the festival. And, as a reader who went into this volume after watching the anime adaptation, I appreciated getting to see a story with these characters that I’d never seen before. I’m curious to see how much more in the remaining three volumes of One Week Friends will be content that only appeared in the manga.
Hajime adds some tension to the series. While Kaori’s fight with Yuuki and losing her diary early on provided some tension, it was ultimately short-lived. Hajime has now become an obstacle for Yuuki and Kaori’s friendship to overcome, and since he has a connection with Kaori from before the accident, this could play an important role as the series progresses. While I’ve seen what the anime has said about this, I’m curious to see how much of that ends up lining up with what is presented in the manga.
Readers who have enjoyed the previous volumes of One Week Friends should appreciate how the story progresses in Volume Four. For viewers of the anime adaptation who are reading the manga for the first time, this volume provides some material that was never seen on television. As someone who falls into that second description, I’ll say that I was excited when I discovered new material in this volume that I had never seen before, and I suspect fans of the anime who read this volume will likely feel the same way.
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