Post Reply One Week Friends
54567 cr points
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35 / M / CR HQ
Posted 6/13/14 , edited 6/13/14
by Eclipsed_Oblivion

Sometimes we need anime to whisk us away on a thrilling, heart-pounding journey to inject excitement into our lives, yet sometimes all we need is a relaxing, heartwarming story to relieve stress. The latter is exactly what One Week Friends is, and it doesn’t disappoint. Its simple plot, in combination with unique characters, creates a feel-good atmosphere with a solid story, and the art style adds to the heartfelt simplicity. As well, the powerful themes that run through the series make for a captivating story without losing the calming atmosphere.

At first, the story does seem like a depressing, clichéd romance. It follows high schooler Yuki Hase and his concern for his cold, friendless classmate, Kaori Fujimiya. After she allows him to talk to her one afternoon, they start to eat lunch together every day and even become friendly with each other. However, that’s when Kaori reveals her secret: she has a form of amnesia that erases her memories of her friends every Monday. Yuki decides he still wants to be her friend anyway, and he strives to become closer to her each week. This sort of plot line isn’t anything new and seems headed for tragedy, but One Week Friends treats it with positivity and hope to create a cheery, relaxing atmosphere.

In fact, the plot of One Week Friends seems to be purposely unoriginal because, in combination with refreshing characters, it makes for a charming character-driven series. Having such a typical plot allows the series to spend less time on the story and more time on developing the characters by way of better exploring their emotions, relationships, and flaws to create characters that are genuine and relatable. As well, the characters completely avoid stereotypes and clichés, which creates a suitable balance between itself and the plot to keep the series fresh. There is especially a heavy focus on the relationships between the characters and their everyday interactions, and because the characters are so well developed, this creates a very heartwarming atmosphere that makes us feel at ease and a story that, even if cliché at first, in the end is very well-executed.

What also contributes to One Week Friends’ heartwarming atmosphere is its heartfelt art. The backgrounds have a very hand-drawn appearance that at times even looks like they were painted with watercolours, and this gives it a very simple, yet nontraditional appeal. The characters aren’t animated in the same style, but still have unique appearances through the use of small, rounds shapes, as well as smooth colouring, which gives them an incredibly endearing look. Together with a very light colour palette that includes a heavy usage of white, the art style exudes a welcoming tranquility in a very simple way, which gives the series a sincere charm. This also helps One Week Friends maintain that feel-good atmosphere despite the characters’ less-than-ideal circumstances.

As important as such an atmosphere is, it is One Week Friends’s powerful themes that keep the series so captivating, one of them being how friendship is worth the struggle it takes to acquire it. Yuki reacquaints himself with Kaori every week and is constantly finding ways to help her cope with her amnesia, and such earnestness and honesty make this theme seem genuine. Also particularly engrossing is the emphasis on how it is important to not only trust others, but their feelings as well. Because Kaori forgets not only Yuki, but most events associated with him, sometimes Yuki must trust in her past feelings to resolve crises she can’t remember. This sort of trust is deep and difficult to obtain, but One Week Friends shows how worthwhile it is. What is most inspiring, however, is the message to always live with a smile. Kaori and Yuki’s terrible circumstances would normally make for a tragic anime, but One Week Friends makes this sadness subtle instead, for the characters treat their circumstances with acceptance and hope. That One Week Friends could take such tragedy and create happiness instead shows that it’s not only possible for people to live this way, but it’ll lead to a happier life in the end.

Leading a happy life no matter the circumstances is the message One Week Friends delivers every week, and by creating such a relaxing atmosphere in which we can purge all our stresses, the message definitely sinks in. With highly developed, genuine characters that take advantage of the well-worn plot; understated, yet also distinct and endearing art; and powerful themes to carry the story, One Week Friends is a simple, but heartfelt slice-of-life series that can help everyone decompress after a difficult day in the real world.
2033 cr points
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26 / M
Posted 6/16/14 , edited 6/17/14
14098 cr points
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Posted 6/19/14 , edited 6/19/14
well said
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