Friendships aren’t easy, apparently.
Yuuki reintroduces himself to Kaori, and their friendship kicks off again. This time, he suggests to her that she could keep a diary of her experiences. In doing so, he hopes that the diary will help the girl remember stuff that she’s forgotten. In the end, Kaori still can’t personally remember anything she’s written in her diary, but she is nevertheless happy to have a record of the time she’s spent with Yuki.
• It’s a little peculiar how the memory thing works. Since Kaori forgets everything she knows about Yuuki every Monday, she ends up forgetting what she did last week during lunchtime too. For her sake, I hope they never become study partners anytime soon. Boy, would that suck: “I know I studied for the test! Why can’t I remember anything?!”
• Yuuki surprises the poor girl by talking about all the things he’s learned about her last week. It can be a bit startling from Kaori’s perspective. Some random classmate you barely know seems to have all this personal information about you. Sure, we might’ve been friends, but what if…? In a way, Kaori’s very lucky. There are people out there who wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of her condition: “Well, you told me this last week. Don’t you remember? Of course you don’t. But that’s what you agreed to last week…” But instead, it’s Yuuki and he seems about as harmless as a puppy.
• Last week, I suggested that Kaori could take a page from Memento and take copious amounts of notes of her experiences. This way, even if she forgets everything every Monday, she will have her own words to fall back on. Some people balked at this solution, but what’s wrong with taking notes to remind yourself of the friends you’ve made and forgotten? Sure, the fact that you’ve forgotten them is bittersweet, but it’s better than giving up on the friendship entirely. Hell, with smartphones nowadays, these two could even take selfies of themselves hanging out together. Or better yet, they could record short videos of the time they’ve spent together. Then every Monday, Kaori would have a reliable record of what she had done the week before. What’s wrong with that? What’s really the big deal here? It would hurt her that she forgot all about Yuuki? Man, whatever. So you’d rather not have friends instead? It’s hardly the ideal solution, but it’s what we’ve got to work with, so I don’t understand this defeatist mentality of, “Uguu, it might hurt…”
• And hey, would you look at that? Yuuki suggests to Kaori that she should start keeping a personal diary. In fact, I’m more amazed that no one else, i.e. her parents or the medical professionals that had diagnosed her condition, had thought of this before.
• Regarding the diary, Yuuki says, “That way, maybe your memories will return.” Kaori hesitates because she isn’t sure if it’ll work. True, I doubt it’ll work either. Plus, I know what Yuuki’s going for when he says that the diary might help her remember things that she’s forgotten; I know he’s trying to be optimistic about her condition. Still, the words in the diary doesn’t necessarily need to help Kaori remember anything. In a way, the diary would be her memories. I think they’re getting hung up on the wrong thing here. Instead of trying to cure Kaori of her condition, the diary can simply function as a stand-in for her lack of short-term memories. Even if she never recovers from her anterograde amnesia — even if the memories she writes down will forever stay in the diary and never in her own mind — the distinction is not as important as you might think.
Oftentimes, we’ll reflect on a memory in our own mind and wonder to ourselves, “Gee, did it really happen that way?” So reflecting upon our own memories is not always substantively different from reading our memories off of a page in a diary. There’s just this intrinsic level of trust in our own memories when we happen to recall them personally, because it has the privilege of being in our brain. But there’s no logical reason to deny the same functionality to a diary or even a video recording. They’re all memories; they’ve simply taken on different forms and formats. If anything, these memories are less volatile. The mind can often play tricks and distort our recollections. We’ve often remembered things incorrectly. On the other hand, the page of a diary just is. A video recording just is. The words on a page won’t change depending on your mood or the chemical makeup of your brain at any given moment.
• Damn, I want an egg bun. Curry buns sound nice too, but I’m not a big fan of Japanese curry. Now, if you could somehow stick lamb korma in a bun, then we’ll talk.
• Wait, what? An egg bun with coleslaw and tartar sauce? Yeah, nevermind…
• I still think Kaori’s room functions as a nice “mood ring” for both her condition and her state of mind throughout the week. In this shot…
…even though the girl has just returned home from school, it feels as though the day is just starting. The light coming through the window feels more like it’s coming from a sunrise rather than a sunset. And why not? She’s just reconnected with Yuuki, and not only that, they’ve come up with a way to cope with her memory loss. It’s a start of a whole new chapter in her life.
• It’s that damn crepe flyer again. So anyway, why would it be embarrassing for our two friends to be seen getting crepes together after school, but not on Sundays? If it looks like a date on the weekday, it should still look like a date on the weekend.
• C’mon, dude, if you think she looks nice, just tell her that. I’m sure it’ll make her day. The world would be a nicer place if we weren’t all too shy to say nice things about each other.
• Welp, the damn place is closed. Should’ve gone immediately after school, eh? Why would you close on a Sunday anyway? That’s prime business time. In the end, the two friends end up going to a karaoke bar. I’ve personally never been to one.
• Ah, so that’s what the note on her door says:
• So here’s the moment of truth. Monday has come around yet again (as it always does), but this time, Kaori is now looking through her diary. Will reliving the memories she’s lost make her cry at times? Sure, it can. But will keeping the diary prove to be a good thing in the long run? I have no doubt that it will.
• The next day on the school’s rooftop, Kaori claims that she can now vaguely remember a few of the times she’s spent with Yuuki, but she still can’t remember him. I suspect she isn’t being entirely honest here. I doubt she can personally recall any of the time they’ve spent together.
• Her memories are a bit scary-looking though:
• Kaori ends up crying because she still can’t remember what Yuuki looks like. In her memories, as you can see from the screenshot above, he’s still just a blur to her. But we knew this would happen. We knew that the process of keeping a diary would end up being bittersweet for the girl. What’s more important, however, is that she even has any recollection of her time with Yuuki at all. Again, even if she can’t personally remember her time with Yuuki, the diary can still function as her memories. It’s just like an external hard drive for her brain. The words on those pages are still hers; the images they convey are still hers. Perhaps she can start writing down a description of Yuuki every time she hangs out with him, but hey, nothing we do is ever perfect right off the bat. As with everything else in our life, it’s process that she’ll have to refine with time. As she continues to keep her diary, she’ll get better at it. To put it another way, she’ll start to keep better memories.
• Ultimately, life just isn’t black and white. Sometimes, the good comes with the bad. If we try to avoid pain altogether, we’ll just end up passing up on a whole lot of positive experiences as a result. At the end of the day, this is all that really matters:
She’s crying, but she’s happy. Barring a miracle, what more could you ask for?
• In the end, Yuuki correctly discerns that Kaori is telling a white lie: “You don’t actually remember anything, do you? I’m sorry for making you lie… But you don’t need to force yourself anymore.” But again, the diary contains her memories. Just because it’s on paper instead of being in her brain isn’t that important of a distinction in the grand scheme of things.
I don’t really have much more to add. Most of my thoughts are already included in the notes above. Well, I could mention that I thought this was a nice episode. This and Ping Pong are the two shows I’m most looking forward to every week. As I say that, I must now start working on Harem Hill. Yay…