One Week Friends Volume Six is the first volume of the manga where all of the content was not adapted for the anime.

If you’ve only seen the anime of One Week Friends and haven’t read the original manga source material, and you don’t want to see any potential spoilers, then I would suggest not going any further reading this review.

One Week Friends Volume Six
Written by: Matcha Hazuki
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: March 19, 2019

The volume opens with Yuuki insisting on going to karaoke with Shougo. Shougo notices that Yuuki is acting differently and asks him if anything happened between him and Kaori. Yuuki insists that nothing has changed and that he intends to stay friends with her. While this scene is important to establish Yuuki denying his confusion to his friends, it’s also important because Yuuki and Shougo talk about something that happened between them when they first became friends in middle school. This reference appears later in the volume, when a chapter is spent showing how Yuuki and Shougo met in middle school and became friends. This flashback chapter also establishes the first time Yuuki ever saw Kaori in person. The anime wasn’t able to go into this backstory, in large part because this section of the manga wouldn’t have come out yet when the anime was in production. But even if it had been out, it wouldn’t have been easy to work this in.

Volume Six also has a focus on Christmas. Saki comes up with the idea of having a Christmas party, and after some initial reluctance, everyone in their friend group (Yuuki, Kaori, Shougo, Saki, and Hajime) decide to have it. With everything that has gone on recently, Yuuki is confused about how he should act around Kaori, and unfortunately, it seems most of the others notice the change in his behavior. They have no idea why he seems to have changed, but they can tell that something is different about him. But even with his sudden change in behavior, Kaori finds she can’t get Yuuki off of her mind. It seems that perhaps Hazuki is setting up the possibility of Kaori developing feelings for Yuuki.

When school starts back up again after the winter break, we are introduced to a new character: Hajime’s older brother, Mitsuru, who has been disowned by the family for being more interested in partying than in studying. Mitsuru makes a grand entrance by suddenly appearing at the school unannounced. He’s a character who was referenced in a flashback Hajime had back in Volume Five, but this is the first time he’s appeared in the story. Since he appeared too late in the manga to be included in the anime adaptation, he was a brand new character for me. His visit with Hajime though, leads to Hajime learning some important information about the day that Kaori was supposed to meet him in the park before they moved. With this knowledge, Hajime goes to see Yuuki and shares what he learned, along with the guilt he’s feeling.

When the anime adaptation of One Week Friends was being produced, this reveal wouldn’t have been made in the manga yet, so the writer(s) had to come up with an explanation for what led up to the car accident that caused Kaori’s memories to reset. I have to give the anime writer(s) credit, though, because their explanation was pretty close to what actually happened. It’s just that the people involved and what she overheard weren’t the same between the two tellings. But the manga’s version of this event adds more layers to the story, and the repercussions for Hajime are much stronger.

But with what Yuuki learns from Hajime at the end of the volume, he finds his resolve to do what he realizes he needs to do for both Kaori and Hajime. It’s safe to say that the next volume, which is the last one for the series, will be focusing on Yuuki, Kaori, and Hajime. But how exactly Yuuki plans to pull off what he intends to do, and what the results of his effort are, remain to be seen.

If you’ve read and enjoyed the previous volumes of the One Week Friends manga, you’ll definitely want to read this penultimate volume of the series. For me, at least, I found that as I got going in it, I really didn’t want to put it down for any reason.

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