First Impression – Isshuukan Friends

These two are the biggest dunces ever~

Every once in a while, there comes a show that makes you feel calm and peaceful. Isshuukan Friends might just be one of these shows.

 

 
I’ll say from the start: I’ve never seen 50 First Dates or any other show where a person periodically loses their memory. The only thing close is the Silent in Doctor Who, who make you forget them when you are looking at them. So no comparisons to those from me in this First Impression!

 

Pretty Chill

Two “not friends” having lunch on the roof.

Sumairii // It’s only been the premiere so I can’t say it with any finality, but so far Isshuukan Friends feels more tranquil than melodramatic. Given the premise of the show, I was expecting the latter. But I really don’t mind the more easygoing approach it has taken, which gives the show a more genuine feel (as opposed to being contrived drama). I was actually a bit surprised that we went through a whole week so quickly in just the first episode, as I had originally envisioned the show would spend a bit longer developing the “not friendship” between Yuuki and Kaori before having her memories reset for dramatic effect. However, I suppose this makes sense from the viewpoint of quickly introducing the premise and the main characters. And to be honest, I would not be entirely opposed to all the rest of the episodes being executed the same way.

Two “not friends” playing cards after lunch.

The one gripe I have with the show so far is the way Kaori deals with her situation. Understandably, I do not have the experience of losing my memories of those close to me on a consistent basis. But would it be so hard for Kaori to just jot down some notes about her friends if she cares that much about them? Taking the sort of defeatist mindset of just avoiding making friends is no real solution, especially considering that she clearly desires some company. Just look at how quickly she warmed up to Yuuki despite actively denying their friendship!

So Moe It Hurts

Even the guys are moe.

Highway // Could they have made these characters any more moe? The answer is ‘no’. Even Hase is super moe. And the very soft art and lighting of the show just enhances that moe feeling all the way through. But even though it seems like this show will be painful at times throughout, it really didn’t get too bad this first episode. I mean, I didn’t even tear up, and I’ll tear up at anything. Instead, it felt like it was just a reality for these characters: reality that Fujimiya would lose her memories, and reality that Hase was going to not care, and just try his best to make friends with her again.

Try counting the number of blushes in this episode.

There has to be some sort of supernatural thing going on here, tho. As far as I know, the connection between short term memory and long term memory doesn’t work on a weekly schedule. So something is making Fujimiya lose her memories, and I hope the show will get into that maybe a little bit. It probably won’t tho, since it’s not really a ‘supernatural’ show, just slice of life. So I’d expect more of the things that Hase does to try to make Fujimiya remember him, or failing that, to at least enjoy his time with her and figure out how to not be hurt too badly by it.

Isshuukan Friends is off to a pretty good start, with its cute art and carefully metered drama. I’m really digging Yuuki’s earnest determination to have Kaori acknowledge him as her friend time and time again; he’s not too overbearing or quick to give up. There are also some tantalizing hints that he might be interested in her romantically, but only time will tell if he might ever graduate from “not friend” to “not boyfriend.”

This show didn’t start off as heartbreaking as I thought it would. I’m sure there will be some during the season, but it feels like they’re not going to hammer that despair too hard. I could be wrong about that, tho. Next time, let’s see what friends do.

I’d like for us to be friends.

About

We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

11 Responses to “First Impression – Isshuukan Friends”

  1. skylion says:

    There has to be some sort of supernatural thing going on here, tho. As far as I know, the connection between short term memory and long term memory doesn’t work on a weekly schedule

    Just take it as a narrative thrust. So many stories ask, in a very hesitant, very awkward way, “What if?”

    Our memories are our treasures, so to speak, We have many, and she has few, or none. If you are smitten with her, what do you do?

    Boy, you gotta carry that weight, carry that weight for a long time.

    Good Tag, guys. I loved this show, and look forward to more.

  2. zztop says:

    The only info I could find on Friend’s author, Hazuki Matcha, is that the author has currently produced 4 volumes and the story is still ongoing.

    PS. The Matcha,抹茶,in the author’s penname means ‘powder green tea’. :)

  3. Joojoobees says:

    I haven’t watched this one yet. Frankly I find the premise off-putting, but I have to admit all of the artwork is very nice. I really like the muted palette of colors.

  4. akagami says:

    Loving this show! It’s filling the void I’ve had since Kimi ni Todoke ended~

    I wonder if there’ll be a ghost Fujimiya~~! (`ー´)

  5. MgMaster says:

    I’m sold on this one and I didn’t even think too much of it since I’m not that much into SoL and especially overly moe anime.

    Then again,maybe it’s not really the moe that bothers me but the fact that a lot of the characters in such shows tend to annoy me,which wasn’t the case here.

    STILL,despite the Isshukan Friend’s light atmosphere,I’m gonna think I’m gonna keep a tissue box nearby,just to be on the safe side.

  6. HannoX says:

    I enjoyed this episode, including the (so far mildly) bittersweet part of Kaori losing her memory of Yuuki at the end. However, like Sumairii I was left wondering why doesn’t Kaori keep a dairy? While she’ll still lose her memories of friends, she can read about them and what they did together and won’t have to start afresh each week. And since our memories are what are written in the pages of our minds, is it so much different to write them in the pages of a book?

    • akagami says:

      I don’t know, experiencing something and reading about it are two different things imo. I’m all about the experience. Plus you don’t get any feeling behind just reading about “what you did”.

      Plus, if you lost your memories, how much faith can you put in a book that could have been written by someone else? Heck, for all I know, my past self could be trying to punk current me. That bastard.

  7. Highway says:

    I’m surprised through the second episode that this one really hasn’t been a tearjerker. And not that it is trying and failing to connect, it’s more that it’s just playing it straight. It’s so positive that you don’t really feel sad, even though this bad thing is happening to Fujimiya.

    • skylion says:

      I have to admit, I got a little teary. This was when it was fairly clear she was writing in her diary, asking Kami-sama to help her keep her memories. Thaaaat, hurt me a bit.

Leave a Reply