Story/Art: Matcha Hazuki
Translation/Adaptation: Amanda Haley
Lettering: Bianca Pistillo
What They Say:
Hearing Hajime’s story about the friendship he once shared with Kaori leads Yuuki to help reunite the pair. With a new old friend now in the mix, Kaori needs more than one diary to avoid starting every week from zero. But when Hajime and Kaori start to display a special bond that can be shared only by longtime friends, Yuuki is forced to wonder exactly what sort of relationship he wants with someone whose memory of him lasts only so long…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Something I really like about One Week Friends is its format. It starts as a typically set up manga, then goes to a 4-koma for a few pages, then returns to the typical paneling. It’s something I don’t see often when I read manga—it’s usually one or the other—but the way One Week Friends does things is unique; it’s stood out to me in a good way. It’s something that’s been on my mind since I read the previous volume, and something that I figured I’d forget to write about again if I put it off for the story.
But I digress.
It didn’t take long for Fujimiya to tell her story to Kujou, at the behest of Hase in order for him to better understand why she doesn’t remember what seemed like a very important friend in elementary school. It’s here that I’m reminded that the conceit of the manga is…well, extremely ridiculous. So Hazuki has a job trying to convince in context that people will just go with it. There was an accident, and Fujimiya lost all her memories from before the accident, and now she can only remember her friends for a week before she forgets everything again.
The way that Hazuki executes this with Kujou is actually very strong. Kujou is just a guy who lost a friend by moving to Hokkaido, and he feels betrayed by the way they ended everything. They promised to meet up, but Fujimiya never showed. It seems there might be more to this story, but Fujimiya passed out again while remembering it. But Kujou had this friend, and lost her, and now she doesn’t remember a lick of him. It’s comforting to know, no matter how ridiculous everything sounds, that this is the result of something out of either of their control: an accident.
It’s believable enough within the bounds of the story that I can accept it. He doesn’t immediately acquiesce to everything she’s saying, but he also says he’ll go along with it because he WANTS to believe. And maybe that’s more important.
These volumes are highly enjoyable, if not with much substance. But I think that’s all I want out of One Week Friends. This isn’t something like Magi or Silver Spoon, which I’ve also been reviewing recently, where I expect some heady topic or great character work. It’s something I dive into to just chill out and be with these characters. Hazuki creates a great environment for just that.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: December 11, 2018