One Week Friends Volume Five sees a change in the dynamics between Yuuki, Kaori, and Hajime.

One Week Friends Volume Five
Written by: Matcha Hazuki
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: December 11, 2018

Volume Five opens with Yuuki learning more from Hajime about the friendship that he and Kaori had during elementary school. He’s conflicted after hearing this, though. On the one hand, he appreciated getting to learn a little more about what Kaori was like back in elementary school. But on the other, he can’t help but feel a little jealous. Yuuki invites Hajime over to his place to challenge him to video games, and by the time they’re done playing, Yuuki and Hajime start to become friends. But even so, Yuuki still can’t help but feel a little jealous.

It’s interesting to note here that the scene at the family restaurant with Yuuki and Hajime takes place in the anime, but it’s done a little differently. Here, it’s just Yuuki and Hajime talking with each other. In the anime, two girls who knew Kaori and Hajime back in elementary school are also part of the conversation. And in the anime adaptation, Kaori overhears this conversation. In the original manga telling, though, Kaori is not present. And starting with the video game challenges, the rest of the content in this volume is basically exclusive to the manga.

Yuuki uses his new friendship to help arrange for Kaori to talk to Hajime so she can tell him about her memory issue. Not surprisingly, Hajime is unbelieving of this at first, especially since he didn’t know that she had been hit by a car right before he moved away. Hajime does soften his stance, especially when he realizes that she’s acting like she did back when he knew her in elementary school. And with this, Kaori begins a new friendship with Hajime.

After this, their class goes on their class trip to Kyoto. Yuuki, Kaori, Shougo, Saki, and Hajime all end up in the same group, and a lot of the focus is on Saki avoiding Shougo after her declaration about marrying her in an earlier volume of the series. In both the manga and the anime, Shougo and Saki work things out, but in the anime, it’s not during the class trip (since the class trip never appeared in the anime adaptation). And right near the end of the trip, Hajime gets Kaori to go with him to a drink vending machine, where he tells her he’s glad that they’re friends again. But from the expression he seems to have, I think he may have developed a crush on her again. Yuuki sees the two of them together and overhears Kaori telling Hajime she’s glad they’re friends again. Yuuki makes a hasty retreat, but you can tell that this was rather awkward for him to walk into. This scene seems to be taking the jealousy that Yuuki has been developing toward Hajime earlier in the volume and using that to start amplifying this jealousy.

Overall, I have to say that I really enjoyed the story of their class trip. Not only was it something new for me to see with these characters, but the events that help to move the story along feel very realistic. It made sense to resolve the tension between Shougo and Saki here, especially now that it seems like Hajime and Kaori are starting to get closer. I’m guessing that the tension that could develop between Hajime, Yuuki, and Kaori will make up the bulk of the remaining story for One Week Friends. I especially felt this after reading a scene at school, where Hajime gets Kaori alone and starts telling her about the day that they were supposed to meet in the park before he moved. As he talks, this seems to start triggering some quick flashes of memories of what happened to her and causes her to collapse. This time, Yuuki takes her to the nurse’s office, but doesn’t stay. He gives Hajime that duty. Right at the end of the volume, you see Yuuki starting to realize that his friendship with Kaori is changing.

Volume Five is a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and I’m not referring to the portion of the class trip where Yuuki and the others spend a day at an amusement park. Emotionally, we see Yuuki going through a wide range of emotions. He starts out the volume being a bit antagonistic toward Hajime before the two of them become friends. Things seem fine for a little bit, until Kaori reveals her memory issue to Hajime and becomes friends with him again. We see that Hajime is trying to move this renewed friendship at a faster pace than Yuuki had been doing with his friendship with Kaori, leading Yuuki to start feeling a little jealous again. This also seems to helping Yuuki to develop a sense of uncertainty about how things will go between him and Kaori in the future. As a reader, I really felt bad for Yuuki.

This volume also establishes that Hajime isn’t quite the jerk that he had been portrayed as since his introduction at the end of Volume Three. While he’s still going to be an obstacle for Yuuki to deal with for his friendship with Kaori, at least Hajime has become a little more likable for the reader.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this situation with Kaori, Yuuki, and Hajime is going to be resolved. There are still two more volumes of One Week Friends left to go, so there’s the potential for various possibilities. And since the anime had already diverged from the manga by this point, the remaining material should basically be exclusive to the manga. I’m looking forward to discovering how the manga ends its story and seeing how it compares with the anime adaptation.

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