Yuki’s coldness towards Kaori predictably makes her think he hates her. After spending a day alone with her, Yuki remembers why he wanted to be friends with her in the first place.
This was a much more solid ending than I was giving One Week Friends credit for. If only for one more episode, they managed to capture the magic of those first few stories with this culmination of Yuki and Kaori’s development as friends so far. The scene at the shrine has particularly warmed me back towards this show’s good graces. Aqua never bought into the idea of making this show a romance. He said it made Yuki’s advances come off as disingenuous. I can finally see where he’s coming from, as having this ending simply reaffirm their bonds of friendship for each other was moving.
One Week Friends was not a bad show. Its biggest problem is that it had potential, but then squandered it halfway through. It almost seemed like at a certain point the show was just checking off the boxes in order to complete some kind of Shoujo Bingo card. It reminded me of what the other Glorio members must have felt watching the second season of Kimi ni Todoke, when it relied on misunderstanding cliches and other tools of the trade that frustrate the audience more than endear them to the plot. There was just so much putzing around that the budding connection between Yuki and Kaori seemed to peter out. What’s more, the story relied on a pretty terrible plot device in having old memories wipe Kaori’s new ones. Overall, it just seemed like a really good concept marred by bad execution.
Still, it wasn’t all disappointing. The characters themselves are one of the biggest draws. Shogo stands out as both a really good friend who’s hilariously blunt about everything. Even when Yuki is at his most pitiful, Shogo is always there to pick him up and tell him what’s what. His own relationship with Saki really grew into its own over the course of the series. Saki herself started off somewhat annoying, but quickly endeared herself with her own blunt demeanor and cute mannerisms. I’m not quite sure why I had such a harsh initial reaction, as I came to enjoy her performance as the show went on. Those two could honestly make up the leads of their own shoujo story if you think about it. They also give a nice bit of levity to the later melodramatic episodes after the memory wipe.
As for our main couple, they started out very promising, but didn’t really seem to evolve much outside of their initial personalities. Kaori is as cute as a button. There really isn’t anything wrong with her personality. She is understandably muted due to her condition, and slowly learns to trust others as she builds upon her memories. Her only fault is also the show’s main hook, her amnesia. It’s used for drama in all the wrong ways, and thus leads to a very sloppy second half of the show. There is also much to be said about Yuki being a bit more of a wimp than one would expect of a male lead. He often pursues Kaori with less than pure intentions, and often has baffling fits of jealousy. Thankfully, he does learn to adapt to Kaori’s broadening social sphere as more and more people get to know her true self.
I wish I could recommend One Week Friends. It has some good ideas, and it has a genuinely interesting cast of characters. It just simply falls prey to the landmines created by its very premise. There are quite a few excellent shoujo stories out there on the market. One Week Friends just isn’t one of them.