This episode chronicles the sour beginning, sweet middle, and bitter end of a friendship, before starting back at the beginning. It’s almost like a time loop, only it affects just one person: Fujimiya Kaori. The premise of this show is that all of Kaori’s memories of friends made within a week are lost at the start of the next week. Needless to say, this is a heartbreaking scenario.
The show doesn’t come right out about this (though its title serves as a sizable hint), as we approach her from the same perspective as her classmate Hase Yuuki, who likes her and wants to befriend her. She repeatedly rejects her, but he persists, without getting too stalk-y about it, and she gradually lowers the armor it’s later revealed she’d built up, layer by layer, after untold weeks of making and losing friends.
You get the feeling the kind, honest, talkative, lively girl Yuuki comes to know in the week this episode covers is the true Kaori, or at least the Kaori that would exist if she didn’t have this peculiar memory problem. I’ve been here before: Golden Time dealt with similar themes of ephemeral happiness and making the most of the time you have. But where Banri never knew when the other shoe was going to fall, Kaori knows exactly when, and that it will keep happening, like clockwork.
It’s no surprise then that she avoids contact with peers, leading to a reputation of coldness, which is only logical with the limited information said peers possess. Not willing to simply give up on Kaori, Yuuki resolves to make friends with her all over again every week, if that’s what it takes. Obviously, he’s not going to try the same thing every time—we’d be nearing Endless Eight territory—so I’m interested to see how he’ll mix things up. Who knows, maybe he’ll end up “lifting the curse”…or maybe he’ll just fail over and over, and may not even be the first to try what he’s trying.
In any case, I’m fascinated, and it certainly helps that it’s great-looking show (because Brain’s Base). Kaori’s soft, gentle voice, provided by Amamiya Sora, sounds a bit like a younger Nazuka Kaori, one of my favorite seiyus. I also appreciated the show’s dexterity, taking a subtle dig at itself by having Shogo point out how corny Yuuki sounded, then building an atmosphere of dread around Kaori as the week’s end approached with equal savvy. It’s quality, and I am a man who appreciates quality…despite the fact I drive a Daewoo Lanos.