Isshuukan Friends. – Episode 5: New Friends

You should relax more and enjoy life. Others are pretty willing to help forgetful people” – Yamagishi Saki

Impression:

 I think Yamagishi Saki’s timing was perfect. After the fall and rise of Hase last episode, I was glad to see the focus shift away from the relationship between our two main characters to focus on Fujimiya and her own personal issues. At the beginning of the episode we see Fujimiya snatch her notebook out of Hase’s hands when he tries to, albeit in the least confrontational manner ever, converse with her, thus reminding everyone in the classroom how alone she is and that Hase has nothing to do with her. Of course she apologizes later to Hase, yet it still presents Fujimiya’s greatest crux – her inability to overtly make friends for fear that her memory loss will make it even more painful for everyone involved when she eventually forgets them and their connection to her.

 Slight tangent, but…does anyone else think that Fujimiya’s ‘rule’ is a bit…well, unnecessary? I honestly don’t see what the issue is? Sure, we all saw that the moment people thought she was ‘available’ to befriend, several girls presented themselves and their friendship group as potential best friends forever, but is that really so bad? Fujimiya certainly didn’t think so at the end of the episode when she started laughing and smiling with her new friendship group, which is why I place my thanks with the simple and sweet Saki, whose chronic forgetfulness and type-B personality allowed her to pursue Fujimiya without fear and crack open her protective shell! Seeing Fujimiya smile a genuine smile and laugh carefree in a classroom was not only heartwarming but also an important step in her character progression – she’s making more friends! The entire episode progressed in such a way that it was only natural for Fujimiya to finally bloom – Saki is Fujimiya’s ‘girl friend’, and her first one in a way at that. Therefore, they can share crepes and do all of the things that Hase wouldn’t be able to do without outing himself as a Fujimiya fan or without coming across creepy (going clothes shopping and dressing up with Fujimiya, for example).

 I’m also so glad that Hase didn’t throw a tantrum with Saki’s appearance in Fujimiya’s life as he did last episode when Shogo (inadvertently) seemed to steal Fujimiya away. That said, Hase did go full detective mode when the girls went on their ‘date’ so we can’t say that his performance as a teenage boy in this episode was completely sane, but we’ll take what we can get. It’s a clear sign if anything that Hase has grown up, although he did need some prompting from Shogo to keep on the ‘right path’, and that’s okay – that’s still progress.

 Anyway, the next step is almost certainly bringing the group back together, new inclusion and all, and seeing how the group dynamic develops from there. Episode 6’s preview seems to promise us just that with a trip to Fujimiya’s house, so expect to see Hase blush (as all anime characters do in their love interest’s room), Shogo remain calm and composed, and Saki…well, Saki will be Saki and that’s all we need from that cute bundle of ridiculously forgetful proportions.

– Chris.

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