Sunday, 4 May 2014

One Week Friends - Episode 5

All is well with Hase and Fujimiya, but the rule remains that the two of them can't talk to one another in class to protect the latter's facade.  This rule, however, is about to come crashing down with gusto.

The agent of change here is a previously unnoticed girl in the pair's class, Saki Yamagishi - having taken an interest in Kaori, she picks an opportune moment to sneakily introduce herself on the school roof... a place which is arguably perfect for Saki, as she seems to be the kind of girl who constantly has her head in the clouds.  Suggesting that she become friends with Fujimiya and showing no interest in taking no for an answer, Kaori really isn't too sure what to do, and even the intervention of Hase doesn't put off this friendly girl.  Things only get tougher for Fujimiya when Saki starts chatting to her in class despite having been explicitly told not to - something which seemingly went in one of her ears and out of the other.

For all of these troubles though, Saki is a likeable girl and Kaori can't help but warm to her, even agreeing to go out with her on a "date" after school that Friday, leaving Hase to watch from afar with a constant look of worry on his face as the two go shopping, eat crepes and generally hang out like two normal friends.  This also offers us some insight into why Yamagishi wanted to be friends with Fujimiya - in years gone by her ditzy nature saw her bullied and friendless, so she understands both Kaori's loneliness and the defences she's built up around her.  All of this makes for a bittersweet ending to their "date", with Fujimiya happily getting to wave goodbye to a friend whilst also knowing that she's waving goodbye to her memories of that week - not that Saki is the kind of girl to let being forgotten come Monday morning get in her way.

Introducing a new character is always a potentially difficult balancing act in any series, but One Week Friends has once again succeeded in bringing just the right ingredients to the table here - Saki's dizzy yet lovable personality makes for a great foil to Kaori, and she goes on to act as a believable bridge between her new friend and the rest of her cast in a way that feels reasonably natural as well as making for a feel-good ending to the episode.  Each week has led to me looking forward to seeing how the show and its cast progresses (something that it's done far more than I expected from its premise), and this episode is no different, to ensure that One Week Friends remains a simple story very well told, and as a result one of my current favourites.

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