While there are some people who prefer solitude and independence, most people are social by nature, and they desire friends to laugh and struggle with in both the good times and the bad. Good company is invaluable, and thus it is important to distinguish who your true friends are. Genuine friendship should not rely on a relationship that is give and take, but rather a relationship based on mutual respect, trust in one another, and unconditional support. A good friendship takes time to mature and develop into an unbreakable bond, and oftentimes requires that friendship to undergo trials and tribulations. One Week Friends explores this concept and follows the growing relationship between Hase Yuuki and Fujimiya Kaori and the struggles they encounter as they begin to understand the meaning of true friendship.
Set in an ordinary high school, One Week Friends tells the story of Fujimiya Kaori, a girl who mysteriously loses her memories at the end of every week. What makes this situation even more complex is the fact that she only loses those memories that involve people she befriends. For this reason, she distances herself from everyone else and appears to have a cold demeanor. Hase Yuuki, a boy in her class, notices that she is always alone and resolves to become friends with her and summons the courage to talk to her.
For a typical high school boy meets girl slice of life show, the story is nothing special; in fact, the whole memory loss of only friends concept is quite farfetched and unrealistic, even for an anime show. However, looking past that fact, the show is quite adorable and heartwarming. From watching Hase slowly help Fujimiya overcome her condition to laughing as Shougo scolds a hopeless Hase, One Week Friends does a good job of making you smile and induces a rather wide range of emotions. It is slow paced and mellow, but that adds to its charm and the relaxed environment of the show. The small amounts of drama are handled well without getting out of hand or being needless. Disregarding the unrealistic aspect of the show, the characters themselves are quite realistic and are characters that are relatable and likable.
Hase represents our typical awkward high school boy. While slightly airheaded and bad at studying, he does have a kind heart and has the patience and persistance needed to befriend someone like Fujimiya. However, he is human, and this is made apparent when he struggles with the problems that arise due to the complexity of Fujimiya's situation. He is quite selfish, becomes easily jealous, and can be immature at times, yet gives it his all and has a genuine desire to befriend Fujimiya and wishes for her happiness. Hase is appealing as a male MC for this reason; his personality is realistic and basic.
Fujimiya is our innocent and earnest girl whose biggest dreams include doing fun things with her friends. It is hard to imagine how incredibly lonely and depressed it would be having to purposefully ignore everyone while in reality you want nothing more to befriend them. She decides to shoulder her problem by herself, and doesn't want anyone else to get hurt because of her illness. While she appears mean and unfriendly, she's actually a cheery girl who has an affinity for math and cooking. Hase helps her slowly open up and become more confident in herself, and to not be afraid to make more friends.
Surprisingly, the supporting characters are fairly well developed and come into their own as the show progresses. Shougo is Hase's voice of reason and a guy who never seems to care much for anything. Extremely blunt and logical, he isn't afraid to speak his mind. He's constantly helping and advising Hase, and while he treats it as a bothersome task, he always seems to come through with solid counsel. For someone that seems unmovable and aloof, he is unusually helpful as he also helps Yamagishi Saki, an old elementary school classmate of his. A forgetful girl who is clumsy and often teased because of it, she sees Shougo as a reliable person who could take care of her, and her relationship with Shougo is unconventional but interesting and adorable to watch as they deal with their feelings for one another.
While there are hints of it, romance is not the central theme of the show. It can be easily seen that Hase doesn't consider Fujimiya as a simple friend, but the show doesn't emphasize it. Shougo and Saki's relationship is also clearly not just being casual friends, and while you get the feeling that there is something more between the two, the show is quite subtle and indirect about it. I'm sure that many people want to see Hase and Fujimiya together, or Shougo and Saki together, but dating and romantical relationships is a much more minor aspect of the show. Whether you don't mind or consider it frustrating, there are still many more enjoyable aspects of the show.
The show, being an adaptation of a 4-panel manga, has a quaint and delicate art style. Everything seems relaxed and the art reflects that feeling. The character designs are simple and fit their personalities quite well. The opening and ending theme songs are vibrant and mellow, and are nice to listen to. Being a typical slice of life set at a high school, the music and art both follow the standard conventions of the genre. No complaints about either art or sound, but nothing that deserves a commendation.
One Week Friends takes a delicate subject and an unusual setting and turns it into a nice slice of life high school story that may just make you laugh and smile. While the premise of the show is a bit too convenient and unrealistic, the charm of the show lies in its character development and tender moments. The show addresses a basic yet essential aspect of life that is present in most of us and presents it in a nice and heartwarming way.