One Week Friends Manga Is Ending in Japan

The February 2015 issue of Square Enix’s Gangan Joker magazine will publish the final chapter of Matcha Hazuki’s One Week Friends manga. The issue is also publishing an announcement that the manga will get a special chapter in the magazine’s May 2015 issue, which will be released on April 22, 2015.

Hazukki began the manga in 2012 and the seven and final volume for One Week Friends will ship in Japan on April 22, 2015.

A television anime adaptation premiere in Japan in April 2014. Crunchyroll simulcast the series as it aired in Japan, and Sentai Filmworks has the North American digital and home video rights for North America.

Source: ANN

2014 In Review: Spring 2014 Season

Yesterday, I took a look back at the shows I was watching during the Winter 2014 anime season. Today’s post is taking a look back at the anime series I started watching during the Spring 2014 season.

The World Is Still Beautiful: After watching the first episode of the series, I thought that it showed a lot of promise. Not only did the story grab my interest, but so did the look of the animation. The series also managed to find and keep the right combination of drama and humor to tell its story. It became a series I looked forward to watching week after week. Overall, The World is Still Beautiful is a sweet series. The only real issue I had is when it was glossed over in the episodes that introduced Bard that Nike had been ordered to go to the dungeon, but for whatever reason, she never went. Livius’ temper was definitely out of control, and that was definitely not one of the sweeter moments of the series. I really enjoyed Nike as a character, and Livius’ evolution as a character was pretty decent. With the way the series ended, I suspect there isn’t going to be another season; however, if there turns out to ever be a second season of The World is Still Beautiful, I’d definitely watch it.

One Week Friends: 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 also 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; 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.

Captain Earth: After watching the first episode, I found myself thinking that the series had potential. Admittedly, that first episode was a little hard to follow and understand at times, but my hope was that once the major exposition was done to establish Daichi and the world that he inhabited, that the series would become easier to follow. At the end of Episode Two, I was still a little confused, but there was enough interesting ideas being presented that made me want to see more of the series. At the end of Episode Three, I was genuinely interested in the characters and what was going on, especially since some of the questions I still had at the end of Episode Two were answered during Episode Three. At the end of Episode Five, though, I found myself feeling a little frustrated at just how slowly the storyline was progressing, as well as the fact as I thought I was starting to understand the story, new concepts were slowly being thrown out that I had to try to fit into my understanding of the series. It also didn’t help at that point in the series, the antagonists still weren’t very clear. It turned out that the first seven episodes were there to establish the premise and the series’ elements, and that Episode Eight truly started to move the story forward. The next six episodes focused on Amarok and Malkin working at awakening the other designer children and getting them to join their cause. Ultimately, the first half of the series had a rather slow start, and I think that the amount of designer children that were introduced helped to bog this section down. Now that I’ve seen the whole series, I can say with certainty that Liban and Bugbear really didn’t need to be there. Liban did nothing during the series after being introduced, and Bugbear only did a couple of things in the long run; the things that Bugbear did could have been done by another one of the Planetary Gears. I liked Bugbear’s backstory, and perhaps Zimbalt could have been given that backstory. Between Zimbalt’s backstory and Bugbear’s backstory, I thought that Bugbear’s was stronger. The second half of the series felt as if a lot of concepts were being thrown out to the audience and that the story was being hurried along in order to reach the series’ final destination. In the end, Captain Earth had an interesting premise that it was presenting, but the overall execution just wasn’t quite as strong as it could have been. While Captain Earth was an overall stronger mecha show than Aldnoah.Zero was, Captain Earth did still have some issues. And I have one question: Who is the girl with the recorder that appears about three times in the series around Daichi? She’s the one who ultimately leads him to the Livlaster in the first place, and then she shows up a couple more times near the end of the series. The audience is never given an explanation for her, so that’s one aspect of the series that I was dissatisfied with. She’s does some important things in the series, but we never get her name or know anything about her. All I can refer to her as is “the Recorder Girl.”

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior: After watching the first episode, I thought the show had a good combination of comedy and drama to help drive the characters and their story. I also thought the first episode was charming and fun to watch. I enjoyed watching the series for the most part, although I thought Episode Nine was one the weakest episodes in the series. My favorite part of the series was definitely the story of Kazunari and Ritsu. Some of the ensemble stories about the other characters tended to not do much for me for the most part, and with some episodes I found myself wishing that there was more of a focus on Kazunari and Ritsu. My least favorite character was definitely Sayaka. Not only was she the most annoying, she also came across as a character who didn’t really add much to the series. A lot of the times, she was either just “there” or wasn’t even at the dorm for the entirety of an episode. In a lot of ways, I think this series might have been a little stronger if she wasn’t in it. She was probably intended to be a foil for Mayumi, but I thought Shirosaki did a pretty good job of filling that role for both Mayumi and Kazunari.

Brynhildr in the Darkness: After watching the first episode, I thought the series showed a lot of promise, and at the end of episode two, I thought there was a really good setup for the story. By the end of episode four, after both Kazumi and Kotori were introduced, I found myself wondering if the series was setting up Murakami to have a harem. By the end of the series, I think I could safely say that while Brynhildr in the Darkness wasn’t a true “harem anime,” some of the girls surrounding him did act as if they were part of a harem of girls attracted to the main protagonist. I started to become frustrated with the series around Episode Nine, because I felt like the loose thread of the device was left hanging. Unfortunately, it didn’t come back until Episode 12. With Episode 10, it began feeling like the writing started to become sloppier. At the end of Episode 12, I felt like there had been a major and sudden change to the tone and direction of the story. It also felt unnatural, like they were rushing things in order to fit everything into two episodes. I ended up being disappointed with how the series ended. When I reached the end of Episode 13, I found myself thinking, “I devoted 13 weeks of my life to this show, and this is how it ends?”

Haikyu!!: After watching the first episode of Haikyu!!, I thought that the series seemed to be following many of the tropes associated with sports anime. However, the main character of Shoyo, along with his backstory, was intriguing enough that it didn’t feel like “just another sports anime” by the end of the episode. By the end of Episode Three, I found that Haikyu!! was keeping my interest, even though I’m not a fan of volleyball. At that point, I was already looking forward to seeing what was going to happen in the series as it progressed. The two practice matches that appeared during the series helped me to get a better understanding of how to play volleyball, and the matches themselves were exciting to watch. These matches also helped to set the stage for the Inter-High tournaments. When the series hit the Inter-High tournaments, the story was done in such a way that these matches were even more exciting than the practice matches had been. When Karasuno went up against Date Kogyo, I was very impressed by how well Karasuno was able to hold up against them. But much of the Inter-High focused on the hard-fought match between Karasuno and Aoba Johsai; in fact, it was so hard-fought that it extended into a third set. I had anticipated which team would ultimately win the third set, but I still found myself feeling a little disappointed and off-guard when that team actually won. I knew in my heart of hearts that this is how this would have to play out, but the match had been so intense during the episode that I couldn’t help but find myself rooting for the underdog team. While the underdog team takes the loss hard, I think they also learn a lesson in humility as well. When I first started watching Haikyu!!, I never would have imagined enjoying a sports anime about boys’ volleyball as much as I’ve come to enjoy this series. While Haikyu!! may employ a lot of tropes that are associated with shonen series, the characters are engaging enough and interesting enough that the viewer doesn’t necessarily notice the tropes being used.

Riddle Story of Devil: At the end of the first episode, I wondered if the potential promise I had seen for the series would manifest itself as the series progressed. Sadly, I ended up being rather disappointed in that regard. By the end of Episode Two, I had a major issue with just how many characters were being thrown out there at once and I had a hard time keeping their names straight.  At the end of Episode Four, I found myself feeling a little frustrated because characters were being written out just as the audience was getting to know them. I also realized the weakness of knowing the fact that a student has to fail each time they try to assassinate Haru, because the series would come to an end if they didn’t. By the end of Episode Five, the only thing that was keeping my interest to any degree was discovering who the next person who tries to assassinate Haru is and how they’re going to do it. Admittedly, at that point, if I hadn’t been watching the series to write about it for my blog, I would have dropped it after watching Episode Five. The formula that had been developed started being changed with Episode Six, so the series started becoming a little more interesting again. However, after truths are revealed in Episode 11, things become very confusing and crazy in the final episode. In fact, I found myself spending most of Episode 12 feeling rather confused as I watched it. While Riddle Story of Devil wasn’t my least favorite anime I watched during the Spring 2014, it definitely ran a close second.

Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara: After watching the first episode, I found myself thinking that there was an interesting concept that was drawing me into what I was seeing. I also thought the episode had a good mix of drama and humor. Although I was already sensing from the ending credits that a harem could develop around Sota, I thought that the premise was interesting enough that it could potentially keep the harem elements a little bit more in check. After watching the second episode, I thought there was a major tonal shift, and it appeared that the series would simply end up being a harem comedy with gags that would end up getting old fast. After Episode Two, I felt a little disappointed by the series; however, I decided to stick it out and see if perhaps the series would get better as it went along. After seeing Episode Three, I thought it was rather predictable; this hampered my enjoyment of what I saw. And after such a big deal had been made about the flags in Episode One, it was hardly touched on at all in Episode Two or Three. At that point, I was already feeling that it was my least favorite anime of the Spring 2014 season that I was watching. Sadly, my feelings for this series hardly improved for the remainder of its run. And then, near the end of Episode 11, it’s suddenly revealed that Sota is actually in a virtual world, and in a story that feels like it was inspired rather heavily by The Matrix. At this point, the narrative became a confusing and contradicting mess, and those issues with the narrative continued for the remaining two episodes of the series. It also didn’t help that the ending felt rather vague. The main weakness for this series is that it doesn’t truly understand what kind of tone and feel it was going for. It started out with hints of a harem anime with the potential for an interesting story, then it became primarily a light-hearted harem anime with some elements of a fantasy story thrown in, and then it turned into wanting to be a sci-fi story with a setup like The Matrix and suddenly became much darker and serious in tone. The first shift in tone was kind of noticeable, but it wasn’t jarring. However, the change to the darker sci-fi elements ended up being a very jarring transition, and I don’t believe that it worked well. After finishing Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara, I found myself regretting having ever started it. This would also rank up there as one of the worst anime I watched during 2014.

Ping Pong the Animation: First off, I have to say that I have to give credit to Ping Pong The Animation for not being a “typical sports anime.” Unfortunately, I have to say that the pacing for the series ended up being a bit awkward, especially since the series was trying to condense about one year into the course of 11 episodes. This meant that the first seven episodes tended to feel rushed. Then, starting with Episode Eight, the pace slows down and the series spend its final four episodes focusing on one event; this would be the singles qualifiers that takes place for the series’ climax. But then, during the final episode, there’s a timeskip that takes place from the end of the qualifiers match to several years into the future. Unfortunately, with how rushed those first seven episodes were, this didn’t allow for as much character development as there could have been in order to help the audience care more for the characters. I wish there had been some more episodes for the series in order to give the story and the characters a little more room to “breathe” and to develop even more. Now that I’ve finished watching the series, I find myself wondering why Kazama’s cousin Yuri was ever introduced. Honestly, she didn’t truly add much of anything of any real relevance to the series and was quickly written out in Episode 10. When it came to the animation, I have to admit that I did have some issues with the animation style right at first; however, I became accustomed to it around Episode Three. Once the animation style didn’t distract me, I was able to better focus on the storytelling aspect of the series.

Chaika – The Coffin Princess: After watching the first episode, I have to admit that I was a little annoyed by Chaika’s tendency to speak in one, two, or three words phrases; however, as the series progressed, I just got used to this character quirk. But what I saw in that episode made me interested enough to want to continue watching the series. When Fredrica joined the cast and becomes part of Chaika’s party, I thought it added an interesting layer. At that point, not only were they being pursued by the Gillette Corps, they were now also traveling with a party member who is out to kill one of the other members of the party. Overall, I thought that Fredrica was a good addition to the party and its dynamics, and that she was portrayed realistically. When the Red Chaika was introduced in Episode Five, I thought this added an interesting twist as well; unfortunately, Red Chaika seemed to disappear after two episodes. In Episode Seven, it appeared that Chaika had developed feelings for Toru, which ended up adding another layer to the story since it was obvious that Akari liked him. I was thrilled when I learned that there would be a second season of the series in Fall 2014, and I found myself looking forward to what that second season would bring.

Nanana’s Buried Treasure: After watching the first episode, I thought that the concept of Nanana’s Collection was an intriguing one, and the interactions between Juugo and Nanana also kept me interested in continuing to watch the series. I enjoyed the first three episodes or so, but then things started to get a little confusing. Near the end, it was starting to get interesting with the final confrontation between Hiiyo and the Adventure Club in Episode 10. That episode ended on a cliffhanger, and I expected the final episode to be action-packed and focus on the confrontation. Unfortunately, that confrontation ended up being anticlimactic and boring in Episode 11; this is primarily due to the fact that so much time was spent on characters talking to each other and not having much going on in the way of action. And the very end of the final episode didn’t truly resolve anything, and some footage seen both during the ending credits and right after raised more questions than answers. To me, this was an unsatisfying end to the series, and I started to feel as if I’d wasted my time over the 11 weeks that I watched this show. At the end of the series, I didn’t see the promise that I had seen early on manifest itself like I had hoped. As the series went on, it seemed to lose its focus as various characters and concepts were added to the series. While the characters from Matsuri and their organization seemed to be important early on, those characters and the organization basically disappeared by the end. The last time we saw Yukihime and her partner was a brief shot of them in Episode 11 when they were in the mall at the same time as Juugo. Also, Juugo declares early on in the series that he’ll help Nanana locate her killer. Unfortunately, this part of the story is hardly ever touched on, and is not resolved at the end of the final episode. I wouldn’t say that Nanana’s Buried Treasure was the worst anime series that I watched during the Spring 2014 season, but I also can’t say it’s among the best, either. For me, it was ultimately a series that had a lot of potential that was never realized due to decisions that were made in regards to the storytelling. And I have to say that if it turns out that Nanana’s Buried Treasure ends up getting a second season, I would have no desire to watch it due to the various issues I had with the storytelling of this series.

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 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 the series 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.

At the end of the first episode, I was worried that the concept wouldn’t hold up for the series’ 12 episode run. But I’m happy to say that the series succeeded in maintaining its concept throughout all 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 for 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 not sure there’s a chance for more episodes. 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 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 are 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.

Review: One Week Friends: Episode 12 – “I’d Like for Us to Be 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.

Episode 12 opens with Kaori asking Shogo to meet her on the roof and asks him if she did something to upset Yuki. She’s confused and doesn’t understand why Yuki is avoiding her. Shogo does his best to try to explain that Yuki sees their relationship the same as hers and Kujo’s when they were in the sixth grade, and how Yuki is probably afraid of Kaori losing her memories again.

Later, Shogo is finally able to talk to Saki and ask why she’s been avoiding him. She tearfully explains about how she was afraid he was angry with her for what she said about how Shogo should be her husband. Shogo is able to smooth things over and apologizes to Saki.

Most of the episode takes place over the last couple of weeks of December, as everything is winding down for the end of the year. When Saki tries to figure out what to do over winter vacation, Kaori claims that her family is going on a trip. After this, Yuki also tries to claim he’s going away on a trip.

But the audience learns rather quickly that neither one of them is actually going anywhere for break. On New Year’s Eve, we find that Yuki is alone at home, and he decides to go out for a walk. While he’s out, he and Kaori run into each other. The remainder of the episode sees the two of them finally admitting how they truly feel about things, and how they still want to be friends…

So Episode 12 brings One Week Friends to an end. Fortunately, the series ended better than I thought it might. Sure, Kaori and Yuki may not have ended up as a couple at the end of the episode, but when they tell each other they still want to be friends while at a shrine, it almost sounds like awkward love confessions.

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, not much more to go for another 12 episode series. There might be enough here 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, so most likely, any continuation will have to come from the imagination of fanfic writers.

But having said that, I did enjoy watching One Week Friends. It’s one of the series that I was watching during the Spring 2014 season that I looked forward to watching every week, and I’m a little sad that it’s over now. The series was sweet, but it never got to the point of being so sickly sweet that it was saccharine. I also came to truly care about both Yuki and Kaori as characters, and was rooting for everything to work out for them as the series progressed.

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 if it’s ever released on home video in North America.

Review: One Week Friends: Episode 11 – “Important 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.

At the beginning of Episode 11, we discover that Saki has been avoiding Shogo since her outburst that he should be the one to marry her. Saki’s friends try to come up with ideas of how to help her, and they rope Kaori into helping them.

Meanwhile, Yuki asks Kujo about what happened at the crepe place after a girl asks Yuki if something happened there because Kaori is avoiding the place. Kujo has no idea, but he calls the two girls he was with and asks them to meet up with him and Yuki so they can talk about it.

While they’re waiting at the restaurant, Kujo admits to Yuki that he actually likes Kaori, and when they were younger, he thought they were special friends. The girls show up and they begin sharing what happened on the day that Kaori was in the accident.

Kaori, Saki, and the other girls end up going to the exact same restaurant that Yuki and Kujo went to, and Kaori overhears what the two girls are saying. This triggers her memory as to what exactly happened that day. Kaori is shaken and starts crying. After this, Yuki has a conversation with Kujo that makes him start to have some doubts and to question what he’s doing. At school, Yuki starts ignoring Kaori, which leaves her confused.

Wow. The Kaori storyline became really intense in Episode 11. By the end of the episode, both Yuki and the audience come to realize that Kujo wasn’t the bad guy we thought he was. Back in sixth grade, he was basically in a situation similar to what Yuki is in now in regards to Kaori. A lot of Yuki’s doubts and questions arise from the fact that he doesn’t want to accidentally hurt Kaori like Kujo ended up doing when Kaori was younger.

The storyline with Saki and Shogo was present, but it definitely didn’t have as strong of a focus as Kaori’s story did. There’s only one episode left now, and there are two problems that need to be resolved within 22-24 minutes. I’m almost afraid that the Kaori storyline isn’t going to have a happy ending resolution when all is said and done. When it comes to the Shogo and Saki storyline, I could see the potential for that one to have more of a happy ending.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the next episode of One Week Friends in order to find out how the series ends.

Review: One Week Friends: Episode 10 – “Friends and 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.

At the beginning of Episode 10, we learn that Kaori’s memory had been completely reset at the end of Episode Nine, and Yuki has to start building his friendship with Kaori again from the beginning. He asks to be her friend again on a Monday, and it turns out that she read her diary that morning, so that helps out somewhat.

Later, Yuki vents to Shogo about his frustration about the recent turn of events and how all the progress he made with Kaori was lost due to Kujo’s arrival. Kujo arrives at that moment, and ends up acting like a jerk toward Yuki, and Kujo ends the conversation by saying that he hates Kaori.

On Tuesday, Kaori brings Yuki a lunch and comments that she made the eggs with 18 grams of sugar, just like her diary said. Unfortunately, she doesn’t remember why, and wonders why that amount and if it would taste different with a different amount of sugar. Yuki apologizes to Kaori, then suddenly gets up and enters the school building; when he’s alone, he starts crying. This particular moment was rather heartbreaking, because it’s at this point where it’s truly sinking in to Yuki that Kaori has truly forgotten everything they’d done together up to that point.

Saki notices the changes in Kaori and Yuki, and believes she needs to do something to help them; however, Shogo tries to convince her not to interfere because it’s their problem. Saki then gets on the topic of needing to marry someone who’s reliable, and suddenly blurts out that he should marry her. Shogo gets embarrassed and quickly leaves the classroom. This scene was not only cute, it also provided some much needed comic relief because the episode had been rather serious up to this point.

Kaori tells Yuki that she wants to try the crepes that she read about in her diary. Yuki says they should go after school; unfortunately, he’s assigned cleaning duty, so Kaori waits for him. As she waits, Kujo and two of their classmates from sixth grade come by to get crepes to celebrate Kujo’s return. A conversation takes place, and one of the girls mentions that people thought Kujo and Kaori were dating back in sixth grade. This jogs a piece of a memory in Kaori, where other girls were calling her awful for getting to Kujo first. She puts her hands to her head and runs off. Yuki comes up behind Kujo right at that moment, and Yuki tries to explain what’s going on with Kaori…

Episode 10 finally reveals a little bit more about what was going on at the time before Kaori had her accident and lost her memory. From the snippet of flashback, I think we can assume that the girls who had been her friends at the time were jealous of the fact that it appeared Kaori and Kujo were dating, so they were all turning on her. Perhaps she heard all of this from her friends right before the accident, and was so upset by what was happening that she ran away, didn’t look where she was going, and was hit by the car. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on in regards to Kujo’s “traitor” remark back in Episode Nine, especially since it turns out he had no idea Kaori had been in an accident. He must have transferred to Hokkaido right before the accident or something. While this flashback fragment was a good start, I hope to be able to have a clearer picture of what actually happened by the time we hit the end of the final episode of One Week Friends.

It appears there’s only two episodes left, so I’m curious to see if we get the missing information on Kaori, as well as whether or not Kaori and Yuki will be able to continue being friends, and if Saki and Shogo could somehow end up becoming a romantic couple.

Review: One Week Friends: Episode 9 – “Last Day with 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.

Quite a bit of Episode Nine focuses on Yuki, Kaori, Shogo, and Saki going to Kaori’s house to finish up their summer homework on the last day of summer break. The important things that happen during this is that Shogo and Saki have several interactions together that almost feel like some kind of romantic interest could be  blossoming, Kaori’s mother and Yuki talking about the changes in Kaori that her mother has seen recently, and Kaori telling Yuki about the changes that she’s noticed in herself.

The next day, when Yuki is walking to school, Kaori comes up to him and says hi. She’s really happy and says she feels like something good is going to happen today. When they get to class, the teacher says they’re going to draw lots to determine a new seating arrangement; Kaori and Yuki end up in desks next to each other.

A new transfer student named Kujo Hajime joins their class, and is assigned to the empty seat that’s on the other side of Kaori. When he approaches the desk, he sees Kaori and recognizes her; unfortunately, she doesn’t recognize him. He makes a comment that it’s no wonder Kaori forgot him because she broke her promise. Kaori suddenly realizes something and then collapses. When she wakes up in the nurse’s office, she surprises Yuki by saying that she doesn’t recognize him…

So, it looks like my prediction at the end of my writeup for Episode Eight about Kujo having some connection to Kaori’s memory loss ended up being correct. And as the scenes on the last day of summer break were wrapping up, I started predicting in my head how the next day of school would go: Kujo would be a new transfer student in Yuki’s class, interacting with Kujo would trigger Kaori’s memory about the accident, and then she would somehow forget about Yuki. While I enjoyed the ending of the episode, it was a little disappointing for me to be able to basically predict what would happen.

For me, the major questions I have are: has Kaori regained all of her memories from before the accident or only bits and fragments and will she be able to regain her memories of being friends with Yuki and the others? From the preview I saw for Episode 10, it looks like Kaori will be having interactions with Kujo. It’ll be interesting to see how this will end up transpiring. I also hope this episode will provide the backstory about why Kujo sees Kaori as a traitor and how she broke her promise.

With how recent episodes had been going, I had a strong suspicion that this episode would end up marking a major turning point for the series. It appears there’s only three episodes left, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the various issues that now exist in the series will be resolved in the remaining episodes.

Review: One Week Friends: Episode 8 – “The Beach with 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.

At the beginning of Episode Eight, Kaori tells Yuki that she wants to go to the beach because she’s always wanted to play on the beach with friends. When she asks about inviting Shogo and Saki, Yuki’s first reaction is to say no. But when Kaori says she’d be too embarrassed to go with him on her own, he readily agrees to invite them.

The four get together and take a train ride to get to the beach; unfortunately, when they get there, it starts raining. Kaori and Saki try to play for a bit on the beach, anyway, but the rain and wind get bad enough that they go to a nearby arcade to stay out of the rain until it lets up. They spend time playing a crane game that only Shogo can successfully get any toys out of, and the group takes a picture in a photo booth together. Kaori says she’ll treasure the picture forever.

When the rain lets up, the group returns to the beach. Yuki’s hungry, but they ate their lunch on the train as their breakfast. Through a game of rock-paper-scissors, it’s decided that Kaori and Shogo will go get something from a nearby store. Saki asks Yuki about his feelings for Kaori, and Shogo asks Kaori how she feels about Yuki.

When they return, they not only have food, they also have fireworks for later. Around sunset, Kaori and Yuki walk together on the beach, and they wade into the water together. A wave causes Kaori to tip a little, and Yuki catches her; when he realizes he touched her, he becomes a bit embarrassed and self-conscious. We also see the two of them as they use fireworks together.

Episode Eight really seems to be setting the stage for there to be a mutual interest between Kaori and Yuki. Also, this episode also had a very strong sense of a “calm before the storm” episode; this feeling was reinforced by something that we saw right at the end of the episode. A teenage boy we’ve never seen before is moving into a house and he comments that he’s back in Tokyo.

I’m going to guess that this guy has something to do with Kaori’s memory loss; specifically, that he was the special friend that she was going to meet the day she was in the accident. If I’m right about that, then this could cause some real issues for both Kaori and Yuki, especially if Kaori regains her memories of what happened at the time of the accident.

From what I’ve seen, there’s only four more episodes left for One Week Friends. It looks like there’s the potential for a major change in the story, and I’m looking forward to watching the rest of the series in order to find out whether or not I’m right and to see how the series will ultimately come to an end.

Review: One Week Friends: Episode 7 – “Friends of “Ah.”/Friends of “Whew.””

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.

Episode Seven was a little different in comparison to the previous six episodes. This episode is basically split in half with different titles for each part: “Friends of “Ah.”” and “Friends of “Whew.””

“Friends of “Ah”” opens with Yuki commenting that Kaori has stopped being cold to others in class and has started to talk with other students. He’s glad she’s making progress, but he’s coming to realize that the special times they’ve shared are becoming fewer and fewer.

During PE, a couple of girls come up to Kaori and ask what her relationship with Yuki is. The girls seem to think there’s more going on than friendship, even after Kaori explains that she sees Yuki as a very important friend. These girls are friend of Saki’s, and they tell Kaori that because she’s friends with Saki that they consider her a friend, too.

Later, Yuki asks Kaori to help him study for finals. She says she’ll invite Saki, but he asks her to only have it be the two of them. They study in the classroom after school and Shogo sees them. Yuki takes Shogo aside and asks him to leave so he can have time alone with Kaori. Shogo complies, but their time being alone is cut short when Saki comes in to get something done that their teacher asked her to do.

“Friend of “Whew.”” opens with Yuki realizing that summer vacation is coming up, because he thinks he won’t be able to see Kaori much and is afraid that she’ll forget about him. Shogo tells Yuki that he’s being a wimp and that he should ask Kaori to do things with him over the break. He doesn’t get around to it, and school is over for break. Shogo almost literally gives Yuki a kick in the pants so he can catch up to Kaori before she gets away and talk to her. When Yuki is able to talk to Kaori, she says they should hang out a lot over the break.

They agree to meet up on a Monday, and when they do, Kaori knows who Yuki is. When Yuki asks her about it, she says that she read her diary and had her usual reaction when she read it; however, when she sees him when they meet up, she somehow knew that he was Yuki.

As I watched this episode, I really got the feeling that the stage is being set for these two to progress from friendship to a romantic relationship. And with her change of recognizing Yuki at the end of the episode, perhaps her feelings toward him are already starting to change. Let’s be honest, having a romantic interest in someone is different from simply being friends with someone. This would make sense as to why she’s suddenly remembering him on sight when she hadn’t been before.

I’m glad to see Kaori starting to acquire more friends. To me, this episode is showing that she’s growing and changing as a character. However, this episode also made me think that there’s a distance starting to grow between Yuki and Shogo. If a relationship between Yuki and Kaori were to blossom, would this push Shogo out of the picture for Yuki?

One Week Friends continues to be a sweet series, and I really looked forward to watching it every Sunday. I’m looking forward to seeing Episode Eight in order to find out how this series will continue to move forward.

Review: One Week Friends: Episode 6 – “Mothers of 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.

At the beginning of Episode Six, both Yuki and Saki find out they failed a math test and have to take a make-up test. They both ask Kaori to tutor them because she’s good at math. She agrees, and Yuki and Saki, along with Shogo, go to Kaori’s house.

When Kaori announces to her mother that she’s brought friends home, her mother is flustered but also happy to see that Kaori has brought friends home. While they’re at Kaori’s house, studying is rather hit-and-miss.

When the group leaves that night, Kaori’s mother hands Yuki a note when Kaori isn’t around asks for him to read it later. It turns out to be a note asking Yuki to meet with Kaori’s mother after school at a park because she needs to talk to him.

When Yuki meets Kaori’s mother the next day, he learns that Kaori had been hit by a car in the sixth grade on a Sunday evening and had been unconscious for a few days. When she awoke, she didn’t recognize the friends who had come to visit her. Her mother says that while Kaori suffered a mild concussion, there’s nothing wrong with her brain. Her mother believes the accident itself wasn’t responsible for the memory loss. She also mentions that Kaori had a lot of friends before the accident, and that she had been going out to meet an important friend the day she was in the accident.

This episode finally provided both Yuki and the viewer with some important information in regards to Kaori. With the information that was provided in this episode, I’m going to predict that on the day of the accident, Kaori had some kind of a falling out with the important friend that she was meeting and was so upset that she ran out into the road without looking and was hit by the car. If that’s right, then the memory loss is probably a combination of the accident and the fact that she lost a friend on a Sunday evening that her mind wants to reset everything on Mondays. I’m curious to see whether or not my prediction on this is anywhere near correct.

Other important developments in this episode include Shogo and Kaori awkwardly becoming friends, Kaori not getting upset at Yuki for talking to her in the classroom, and Kaori’s mother seeming to approve of Yuki as a potential boyfriend for her daughter.

I’m enjoying the series, but now that we’re at the halfway point, I’m a little afraid that something’s going to happen to affect Kaori and/or Yuki negatively. Overall, everything has been going a little too “easily,” and I’m feeling like we’re being set up for something drastic to happen. Kaori already lost the notebook in an earlier episode, so it isn’t that. I have no idea what to predict that could have a negative effect on either one or both of them, though.

I’m looking forward to watching Episode Seven in order to find out what’s going to happen next.