Isshuukan Friends. – Episode 2: How to Spend Time with Friends
“I had so much fun today” – Kaori Fujimiya
And so another cycle begins…
I was sad to see that Fujimiya didn’t remember Hase, even though I knew it was inevitable. After last episodes struggle to establish a friendship through, and let’s be honest here, rather strange means (I mean, to quote the cool, calm and collected Shogo, “No one just asks someone to be their friend“), it was disheartening to see the series placed back where it began. Luckily, after Fujimiya notes the absence of her lunch times and Shogo prompts Hase to approach Fujimiya once more, their friendship is somewhat rekindled and the flowers of joy in my heart bloomed once more… Anyway, episode 2 of One Week Friends was all about Fujimiya (or, should I say, Hase) trying to find a way to maintain some semblance of continuity in their friendship. That’ when Hase thinks up the ‘diary’, a way for Fujimiya to record her thoughts and feelings as they occur, then reading them on Monday morning to evoke the memories within – in theory, at least.
Fujimiya almost mentions (I say almost because Hase interrupted her) having used the diary before and, before we delve deeper in this episode, I’d like to talk about that. It’s possible that there are people out there who tried to be friends with Fujimiya before, they of course being forgotten on Monday morning. Now obviously this is just pure speculation, but I suppose it’s only logical to assume that she must have had some ‘experience’ in friendship, this experience causing her to act the way she does. One such person who I feel may have had an encounter with Fujimiya is Shogo, Hase’s friend, and I say this because he seems unperturbed by the events going on around him…that said, he might just be grossly apathetic. But I digress.
After Hase’s egg roll provides the catalyst for friendships all important laughter, we see a progression through the week, one that leads us to Fujimiya receiving yet another crepe shop leaflet and Hase asking her if she wants to go. She agrees, and they go out together on Sunday. This ‘date‘ is placed in jeopardy all too suddenly when they arrive at the crepe shop only to find it shut…but Hase saved the day, taking the sparkly eyed Fujimiya to lay down some sweet tunes at karaoke. These scenes were nice – cute – and they were exactly what I envisioned when I first saw the promo posters and preview’s for this anime. Were you to describe the events of this episode to another anime fan, they might think you were describing a something slice-of-life or perhaps something 5 minute. This is to be expected from a 4-panel manga adaptation. It’s charming and sweet but ultimately it comes across a bit watery, and it’s something One Week Friends will have to address if it doesn’t want to wallow in banality. Yes, it was great seeing Fujimiya and Hase having a great time together, and yes, it was heartbreaking to see Fujimiya smile sadly at Hase as his train pulled away, but done ten, eleven, twelve times, it’s going to get boring. Minor gripe.
“God, please…” – Fujimiya, I found myself saying the same thing. Don’t take her memories away! Now we don’t know what’s causing Fujimiya’s amnesia and I have a feeling they’re going to be hanging onto that slither of plot for a little while longer, but watching Fujimiya cry as she tried to force herself to ‘remember’ all the things she and Hase had done was heartrending. If there’s one thing One Week Friend’s did well here in episode 2, it was character emotions. At our main characters best and most joyous moments, their faces and the music echoed the feelings they felt. And, when Fujimiya was sad, her voice actor and the quiet but solemn music behind her seared some warmth into my hear of stone. It was all well executed and that’s necessary in a show where the crux is something so poignant.
Looking to episode 3, I see Shogo jumping (lackadaisically) into the fray. Episode 2 was good ‘n all, delivering all of the comedy and drama I’d come to expect of this show, but now I want them to place some meat on these bones! Gimme some plot! Also, isn’t Fujimiya just the cutest?