Yuuki Hase, a high school boy, is concerned about a girl of his classmate, Kaori Fujimiya. She always stays alone and never tries to become close friends with anyone. Given half a chance one day, it seems that Yuuki and Kaori become to have a good relationship that they begin to eat lunch together. Although they enjoy having conversations, Kaori, strangely enough, keeps denying their friendship. On that Friday, she confesses, “I have memory disorder. My memories disappear within one week...."
The main concept of this show makes it stand out from any other slice of life. It is also what makes it feel stupid. It plays out like any other of its brood, where teenagers are doing simple everyday things, but adds the catch of selective amnesia. The main girl has a weird mental condition which makes her forget at the end of every week what she did with other friendly people. She still remembers what she learned at school, or what she did with people she doesn’t care about, but if she considers them to be friends, they are wiped from her memory. And that is the whole hook of the show; a tragic case of a girl which can never have friends. Even if she keeps written notes of what she did with the main boy in the story, those are just information and don’t count as actual memories. So what does the show do with such a premise? How do the characters deal with it? Do they find a cure? Do they work around it? Does a tragedy befall them to end this tale in the worst possible way? The answer is none of the above because there is no plot. Nothing changes throughout the whole thing, besides finding out that her condition is some sort of psychological defense and not brain damage. That in effect makes this whole series to be storyless and pointless because it is not making use of its premise and plays out like any other of its kind. Which is a shame considering it wastes an interesting premise. A big issue in the show though does not involve the main girl but rather the main boy who wanted to be friends with her at the beginning of the show. You will find him very noble for being willing to befriend her despite her problem. Heck, you even see how he is slowly seeing her in a romantic way. Damn we have something tragic AND steamy going on here! Let’s see how it plays out! Yet after the fuzzy-cutsy-cuddly-emotions pop and your mind starts working again, you realize that this show is… well… stupid. Aside from the disappointment of not having a solid ending, much less any plot or character development, the very character who kick started the whole thing just makes no sense. Why was he so interested in this girl to begin with? Why was he so hell-bent on befriending her while everybody else, her including, didn’t care about that and ignored him? We are given no real motivation other than “Well, lets be friends because I saw you and I instantly wanted to befriend you, no matter what.” Normal people need far more than that to try so hard and put up with the whole amnesia thing. Why is the girl even allowed to go to a normal school if she has such a mental condition? Why is everybody ok with letting such a mentally ill person to go to school? Isn’t her presence alone making everybody feel weird and ruins the harmony of the school or something?As you see, this show gives you no reason to care or look forward to. The best thing it can do is making you feel fuzzy-cutsy-cuddly, which is something you can get by a hundred moe shows. The amnesia thingy ends up being nothing but a cheap shot at drama and a way to remember the show as “the one with the weekly amnesia.” And of course it is quite silly as a plot device, one which I am not fond of. It excuses the lack of development but doesn’t make the show any smarter or deeper. I can even add how I don’t like the way the characters are drawn. Almost chibi-like with their eyes constantly half-closed and their hair permanently uncombed, as if they are constantly half-asleep. It adds to the fuzzy feeling but also to how nothing really matters. Well if nothing matters, why would I even care? At least something like the Memento film managed to use amnesia in a creative way and exciting way. Here? You are not given a reason to care. And that is why it will fail to be anything particularly good as a show. Ironically enough, chances are you will forget it the moment you start watching your next moe show. Hot damn, even that is excused by the premise! Well done show; I don’t remember anything about you!
After the gore infested anime called Berserk I needed a break meaning that I needed an anime that I suspected to be completely in my comfort zone. So I decided to watch an anime that had been sitting on my To Watch list for quite a while. And that anime was Isshuukan Friends or One Week Friends. Only after reading the synopsis I knew that this was an anime that I just had to watch. And after the nightmare that was the ending of Berserk I figured that it was time. Positive *So I can actually comprise this anime in one word: adorable, freaking adorable. This was such a sweet anime, it gave me the same feeling that Usagi Drop gave me. There are so many sweet and adorable moments in this anime that its almost dangerous to watch. This is the kind of anime that I really, really enjoy, anime’s that make me smile. Not because there’re extremely funny or hilarious but because they just make you have a warm feeling in your hearth. For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page. *Now OWF was funny, it had a ton of comical moments but they were of the same kind as those from Usagi Drop. They weren’t meant to make you laugh your ass of, they weren’t pure comical moments. No they were those sweet comical moments that I also saw in Usagi Drop and if you saw my review on that you know that I adored those. *What else was sweet besides the story and the comedy were the characters. I liked all four main characters and all for different reasons. If an anime can do that, it means that the characters are very well written because usually I don’t like every main character but here I did. Let’s start with Hase. It is so clear that Hase is in love with Kaori from the start of the anime and to see him try everything to help her makes me like him a lot. I love characters like Hase, characters who would do everything to one: help a friend and two: help the one that they love. I encountered other characters like Hase before and I liked every single one of them. Then we have Kaori, how can you not like Kaori? She was like the grown up version of Rin from Usagi Drop. She was so sweet and so pure. She was a mix between dandere at first and deredere later. And if you have been following my channel for a bit than you know that dandere’s are my favorite kind of dere’s. They are my favorite kind of female characters in anime and actually in real life as well. That’s maybe why I like these characters so much, I seem to have a thing for the sweet, shy type of girls. Now before I put even more personal information on the internet let’s move on to the next character. Which is Saki. Talking about pure and innocent. Her clumsiness and her purity made her a very lovable character. She would just say what was on her mind which also created a lot of the comical moments in OWF. And an extra layer for her character was that the closer we get to the end of the anime we see that she’s not all fun. She has a sadder side to her which we then get to know and it only helped building her character. And the last main character was Shougo. Shougo was the voice of reason in this anime. He may seem a cold person on the outside but there are several occasions in the anime where he steps up when Hase is losing it. Several times in the anime when things seemed to go south, Shougo would speak up and let Hase see the path again. Remind him why he was doing what he was doing and give Hase the strength to move on. And also the way he interacted with Saki made him a great character. *And my last positive point are the opening and ending songs. If you guys know my taste in anime music than you know that these songs were completely up my ally. Especially the ending song “Kanade” was beautiful, its everything that I search in an ending song: it’s simple and pure. And it becomes even more beautiful when you understand the lyrics. For that I’m referring to the English cover of “Kanade” by Dima Lancaster. I mentioned him before in my Charlotte review because this guy makes amazing English covers. I heard his version of “Kanade” long before I watched OWF and I immediately fell in love with it. After hearing it I thought that I was in for a ride on the feels train. Negative *Now I just said that I thought I was in for a ride on the feels train with OWF. But I wasn’t. I thought that OWF was going to be a drama that would hit me right in the hearth and it definitely had the potential to become one. But the anime decided not to take that path but instead focus more on comedy than on drama. Now there were some sadder moments in OWF but overall I was expecting more drama. *Next point is that the plot of OWF is really generic. The storyline of a girl that looses her memories after a specific time and a boy that tries to break that cycle is a storyline that’s been used multiple times before in anime. So if you’re looking for an exciting new story that you’ve never watched and that you can’t guess how it’s going to end, than OWF is not the anime for you. *And my last negative point fits into my “Dislike Trio”. My “Dislike Trio” consists of the 3 things that I hate most in anime: NTR, over the top fanservice and open endings. And let the ending of OWF be an open ending, an open ending on the romance platform. As I said earlier, it’s clear as day from the very first episode that Hase is in love with Kaori. And during the anime there were multiple moments that I thought he was going to confess to her but every time something happened that prevented that. And like that we got closer and closer to the end of the anime and in the final episode I thought that it was finally going to happen. But it didn’t and that was quite frustrating also since the end of the anime is the end of the manga so there’s no possibility for us to know if they ever become a couple. If I would redo my “Top 10 Anime Duo’s I wished were a Couple” list that I did a few months ago, they probably would be on it. Now there’s this popular theory about the end of OWF that also I thought of when I reached the final episodes. When we approach the end, Kaori suddenly starts to remember Hase. Now Kaori only loses her memories of her friends which implies that Hase isn’t her friend anymore but something greater. So I like to believe that also Kaori was starting to fall in love with Hase. Unfortunately we might never know for sure. Conclusion So as a conclusion, OWF was Usagi Drop 2.0. I felt the same warmth inside of me when I was watching this anime. It wasn’t as good as Usagi Drop but it came close. And that’s why I’m going to rate One Week Friends at 4 stars. If you like sweet slice of life anime’s just stop what you’re doing and watch this anime, you will not regret it.
What I Liked: The dreamy backgrounds and soft, pastel colour palette. Kiryuu, who seemed like the most grounded character of the show. Yamagishi. Kaori's condition seemed interesting and more complicated than the series let on. The relaxed pacing.What I Didn't: Hase, who I found too immature and shallow to be taking care of anyone. Kaori's condition, despite being nuanced, still felt plot-convenient. It felt like the side characters (such as Kujou) were only there to flesh out the main leads or further the plot. Main characters felt flat and one-dimensional. Generic OP and ED. The relaxed pacing. Relied on many shoujo romance cliches, down to the "guy lands on girl" cliche. Final Verdict: With it's intriguing plot of guy-meets-girl-with-amnesia, One Week Friends is an inoffensive enough little rom-com that is also unfortunately rather hum-drum and predictable. It's pretty, that's for sure, but the characters feel rather static through their year-or-so together and very little happens in the way of story or drama. Or romance, for that matter.
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