One Week Friends is a bittersweet shoujo story of friendship and understanding that follows Yuki Hase as he attempts to befriend his classmate, the quiet and withdrawn Kaori Fujimiya. Fujimiya, however, isn’t so keen on entertaining friendships because she suffers from a memory problem that resets her memory every Monday, forcing her to start over each week. This has caused her to withdraw from her classmates but Hase isn’t put off by it and resolves to ask for her friendship as often as needed. It’s a bittersweet set up that tugs at the heart strings and strikes the right kind of balance between drama, tragedy, and romance.
I don’t often enjoy shoujo anime but this one seems like it has the heart to follow through – Yuki’s stubborn dedication and Kaori’s double edged desire for friendship are at once heartwarming and painful. Sweet moments abound, of course, but they are tempered by Fujimiya’s reality.
The animation is a bit choppy and the characters are simply drawn, reminding me of the Digimon films’ or Madoka Magica’s style of animation, and while this doesn’t destroy the story it’s noticeable enough to warrant a comment here. Loose lines and minimal (more minimal than is standard for anime) shading was countered only by gradients in hair or clothing. This resulted in sometimes flat-looking characters that did not stand out from otherwise beautifully-rendered backgrounds. It’s no Gankutsuou pattern clash, but the lack of detail did detract from my viewing.
Overall, simple animation aside, I enjoyed this first episode. And my money’s on the bet that they’ll end up more than just friends.