Jun 29, 2014
Kyuutoryuu (All reviews)
Friendzone: The Anime

The plot of Isshuukan Friends consists of a young boy (Hase) who is in love with a beautiful yet estranged girl (Fujimiya). The girl suffers from a condition in which parts of her memories are erased on a weekly basis, on each Monday. This makes it so that Hase, in order to befriend her, is required to introduce himself to her constantly just to keep up their friendship. It also makes for one of the most frustrating anime to watch; it contains one of the biggest "love that never was".

Isshuukan Friends is structured in a way that every single episode, more or less, plays out like each other. It is the same uniqueness that makes it stand out that also hurts it. For Hase and Fujimiya, developing a friendship is already difficult enough, let alone a love-relationship. If you are looking for some sort of intimacy between the two main characters, you won't find it here. Of course, Hase and Fujimiiya's relationship isn't the only thing that is worth noting of Isshuukan Friends. The core side characters, Kiryuu and Yamagishi, are absolutely hilarious. They honestly make up for half of the show's enjoyment; one is stoic and carefree (Kiryuu), the other is clumsy and careless (Yamagishi). Together, they make the various slice-of-life moments in Isshuukan Friends a little more crazy, and all the more enjoyable to watch.

The "turning point" in Isshuukan Friends (if you can even call it that) occurs around episode 7-8, in which a new character, Kujou Hajime, is introduced. Since "Hajime" is a perfect pun of a name, we can assume that his introduction will lead to the climax of the story. And for a while, it does indeed seem like that. However, just as quickly as Kujou was introduced does Isshuukan Friends revert to its original plot. What could have been a suspenseful, possibly drama-filled ending ended up falling flat on its face. It's such a shame to see something that great go to waste.

Now, one of the things that Ishuukan Friends was able to capitalize on was its art. Fitting nicely into its Spring debut time, Isshuukan Friends used quite palatable colors, mainly light ones. Its color scheme is definitely something that is not commonplace in most anime, and that uniqueness in itself makes it a refreshing change of pace. With heavy focus on yellow, orange, and white, this is an anime that simply radiates "springness". If springtime flowers come off as beautiful to you, Isshuukan Friends's art should do the same.

Originally a promising prospect, Isshuukan Friends took an unfortunate nosedive toward a circular plot, one in which the beginning resembles the end. In a romance anime where the main characters do not develop a love relationship, the main draws would then be its art and side characters; and it's true, those two aspects really do serve to hold this anime together. For what it's worth, Isshuukan Friends is an enjoyable watch. However, don't expect to get anywhere by the end; this is an anime in which you really should focus on the ride, and not the destination. However, is this a ride strong enough to overcome the lack of a destination? To that, I would have to say no.