Isshuukan Friends. – Episode 10: Friends and Friends
“But why eighteen grams, I wonder?” – Kaori Fujimiya
It’s finally here: the beginning of the end. A little while back I made mention of the fact that Fujimiya’s memories have no real emotional basis – they were fraudulent – merely imitations of real memories construed through the use of a diary and various prompts from Hase and the others. I also made note of the fact, however, that Fujimiya’s memory seemed to be getting better, albeit incrementally. But with the appearance of a certain ‘Hajime’ everything Hase has been working towards has shattered and broken before his very eyes: he’s back at the beginning and the words “I’d like for us to be friends” have become ever more painful to say.
I never thought I’d sympathize with Hase – not truly. For the longest time, he’s been One Week Friend‘s weakest link, holding the show back through his inability to let Fujimiya grow and develop on her own. But now that the Fujimiya Hase came to know – the Fujimiya that he loved – has vanished before his very eyes, Hase’s tears instilled within me a fear and a melancholy so heartrending I couldn’t possible see how this episode could end in Hase’s favor. I can only imagine Hase’s situation to be like that of having a loved one with dementia. That person appears to be the person that you loved – they look the same, perhaps even act in the same way – but what’s on the inside lacks the same vibrancy you remember. Everything you had with that person, everything you may have built together no longer exists and in lieu of those feelings lies a void that can never be filled. Hase has been forced, time and again, to endure such pain, and at long last it appeared to be getting better, but all their progress is gone now and Hase must make a decision about whether or not to carry on.
Shogo you dog, you… I was honestly surprised to see Saki and Shogo’s pseudo-confession scene in this episode, I myself having expected it to come in the last, if not penultimate, episode. That said, I’m not complaining. Placed snugly in-between the episodes two more somber section lay a piece of romantic comedy gold that left me smiling for a long time after the episodes conclusion: Saki’s “You’re really reliable [Shogo]. I bet you’d make a good husband.” I’m glad it was Saki who chose to take the more proactive approach to romance in Shogo and her’s case, but I’m not entirely sure she knew what she was asking… Or maybe she did and she’s a bit too
simple air-headed to realize how Shogo would react… And what a reaction it was! Seeing our stoic bro-friend blush for the first time was a beautiful sight indeed and although I’m almost certain this is about all we’re going to get from this cute couple, I’m certainly glad we got it.
Finally, the episode ended with the last ‘important’ section: Hajime’s passive attack on Fujimiya’s psyche. However, before we get to that… “Weren’t you guys dating in the sixth grade?”… U witm8? I knew they were close but… Ah, who cares – sixth grade romances don’t matter. Get over it Hajime! Fujimiya’s all Hase’s… if she can ever remember him… But I digress, the conversation between Ota, Yamasato and Hajime seemed to evoke some memories from deep within Fujimiya’s repressed memory store – a jealous friend, perhaps? “Got to him first” seemed to be the trigger and with that clue we can only assume that it was a jealous friend’s abatement that sent Fujimiya into the flurried run which lead to her accident… Remembering this has only lead to Fujimiya finding herself in an even worse predicament then before, and as such we can only hope that Hase finds the means to rescue her soon, or else he’ll lose her and…well, that’d suck. Now that Hajime knows the truth, Hase may just have found an ally in helping Fujimiya get better, lest Hajime blame himself and leave us with two emotionally unstable characters to deal with…