Effortful Friendship

one_week_friends

Rather than love or romance stories, I wish we had more stories about friendship. After all, I believe that friendship is the bedrock upon which a stable relationship rests. I watch so many shows and movies with couples who can’t stand each other, and I often wonder, how the hell did they get together in the first place?

Imagine my joy upon discovering One Week Friends. The premise is actually very similar to another show I’m watching, Kotoura-san. Girl can’t make friends because of ~special problems~, boy reaches out and tries his best to get through her anyway.

The difference is the relationship between the two main characters. In Kotoura-san, the titular character and Manabe are an item. Manabe befriends Kotoura, but the two are slowly falling in love with each other (in typical perverse anime fashion). In One Week Friends, Hase admits that he is attracted to Fujimiya, but friendship is his goal. Time will tell if he is telling the truth, but the first episode is refreshingly unromantic. He wants to be friends with her.

The question is Fujimiya’s memory problem. Some people think it’s very contrived–Fujimiya’s memory of people resets every Mondays, except for her family. (“So she just has to see Hase as family, problem solved?” one person quipped.) I think it’s a contrivance, but I don’t mind it at all. It could be memory loss or involuntary mind-reading or anything that could isolate a person. The theme here is that the true test of friendship is staying even when the going gets tough, because that’s precisely when people need friends the most. And that no matter how lonely a person can be, they are still capable of reciprocating kindness.

So I teared up watching this. And that’s wonderful.

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