Isshuukan Friends Ep. 4: Lost and found

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Our couple finally has their first fight, so turn away if you dislike melodrama. To be fair though, it’s pretty mild melodrama.

Episode Summary
Yuki is jealous of a potential friendship brewing between Kaori and Shogo. When he eventually complains to her about it, he ends up saying the wrong things, and they sort of have their first fight (not really). When Kaori goes home early, she ends up losing her diary in the process. The following week, Yuki reacts in horror as Kaori predictably doesn’t recognize him. After talking it over with Shogo, he realizes that Kaori had accidentally lost her diary. As a result, Yuki then skips school himself in order to look for it. After having a talk with Shogo, Kaori also realizes that she’s lost something important. Eventually, she and Yuki reunite at the riverbank where the diary is located.

• I don’t really see a reason why the two of them would have to return to class separately after lunch. I know, I know… it’s an Asian story so everyone’s always super shy about boy-girl relations, but I just think it’s kinda sad — not pathetic sad, but literally sad — that a great friendship can’t transcend the slight bit of awkwardness that may result from people seeing the two of them together. Whether these two kids end up being a couple is really irrelevant to me; I’m interested in their friendship either way. I just think true friendship shouldn’t be affected by the frivolous gossip of classmates who aren’t even acquaintances. Let them say what they want. If they’re going to talk bad about you behind your back, they’re not worth the trouble anyway.

• Anyway, rumors are now circulating that Kaori and Shogo are friends, and Yuki is none too pleased by them. Well, what can I say? First, you could say he dug his own grave. But more importantly, why would you even be jealous about this? Again, it’s this obsession with the perception of things instead of focusing on how things really are. He knows Kaori better than anyone else at the school. That’s just an objective fact. As a result, he shouldn’t be insecure about their closeness whatsoever.

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• Yuki’s jealousy is even sillier when it’s quite evident that Shogo doesn’t really care about the situation.

• Yuki whines, “I was Fujimiya-san’s friend first.” Okay? Do you want an achievement trophy or something? He then says, “Why was your friendship recognized publicly before mine?” ‘Cause you and Kaori hide it… He then outrageously reasons, “It makes me wonder what could’ve happened when I wasn’t watching…” It may seem as I’ve suddenly turned on Yuki, but to me, few things in life are more pathetic than insecurity, especially when it’s unjustified. I know his emotions are doing the speaking for him here, but he sounds completely ridiculous.

• And then Yuki gets even madder when Shogo correctly points out his jealousy.

• Despite being the asshole in last week’s episode, Shogo is now the voice of reason: “If you’re possessive, she won’t like you. … If it bothers you that much, you should have said you’re her friend, too.”

Yuki replies, “Yeah, but I’m waiting for the right time…” Oh come on, it’s not like it’s an engagement announcement.

• The next day at school, Kaori reveals to Yuki why she even has a key to the roof. Basically, the homeroom teacher lends it to her as thanks for helping him out with some education-related activities. Yuki then wonders why a teacher would do such a thing, and Kaori reasons that this is the instructor’s way of looking out for her. Usually, it’s just a given in most anime series that the main characters always get to chill out on the roof. It’s thus nice that we at least get a plausible explanation here that even ties into the story.

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• Looks like we get some cost-cutting moments here as the camera slowly pans across some still images of the town. It all looks nice, but it’s still a little obvious what the show is trying to do here.

• Another thing: people can’t read minds. If it bothers Yuki that much that their friendship isn’t a tad more exclusive, then it’s up to him to speak up.

• Kaori seems to be praising Shogo a tad much though. To be fair to Yuki, I’d be rather confused too why she’s so effusive about the guy. I’m sure in her mind, she thinks that talking highly of Yuki’s best friend will make Yuki happy. Still, I think she’s overdoing it a bit, and as a result, it’s sending the wrong message to a guy who’s already looking for flaws to pick on. Plus, it’s up to the story to convince us that Shogo is really as amazing as Kaori claims him to be. Just having the girl assert it isn’t really enough, especially when his boorish behavior from last week’s episode is still fresh on the mind.

• Well, Yuki finally airs his feelings out to Kaori, but let’s use this as a learning moment anyway. Like I’ve said, she can’t read minds, so if something bothers him, he should consider bringing it up. But another important thing is to avoid holding onto these negative feelings for so long that they can’t help but come out in the form of an emotional outburst. If he had talked to her about his insecurities earlier, he would probably have been able to to have this conversation calmly. He wouldn’t end up saying something incredibly stupid. Instead, Yuki inadvertently sounds as if he’s taking his frustrations out on the girl: “I’m not saying you can’t talk about him. I just thought it was a little boring.”

• On a related note, black clouds have started to creep into the picture and cover up the blue sky:

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As always, the setting seems to reflect the mood of the characters, especially Kaori’s.

• So of course, because the girl feels like she’s being attacked, she understandably retaliates: “Idiot! You’re right… Everything I say is boring.”

• That’s twice now Kaori has misplaced her diary. I hope this doesn’t become a recurring event in the story as a way to create drama.

• Shit hits the fan when Tuesday rolls around and Kaori knows nothing about Yuki. Even worse, she also knows nothing of this diary that Yuki speaks of, which is a bit odd to me. Yes, she lost it. And yes, she bumped into her door, and caused that sign to fall down, but that doesn’t mean the sign should have disappeared either. Unless, of course, her mother had thrown it away over the weekend or something, but still, that seems unlikely. Would you really throw away your daughter’s sign if the sign says something as urgent as “Read the diary on your desk!”

• When the girl says, “The only person I can talk to at school is Kiryu-kun,” I didn’t like the comic way in which Yuki reacted to her statement. It kind of ruined the atmosphere of the scene. Here we are at a pivotal moment of the story, and then all of a sudden, we get a cheap sound effect and Yuki recoils as if he’s in a comedy.

• Shogo ends up being the voice of reason again, and he spurs his best friend to look for Kaori’s diary. Even so, this sounds like a Herculean task to me. Even if Yuki traces Kaori’s path home though — how does he know where she lives — I still think it’d be like finding a needle in a haystack.

• During this scene between Kaori and Shogo, I’m just thinking, “Damn… what if they had actually become friends? Then Yuki would really be screwed ’cause she wouldn’t remember either of them.”

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• I think it’s hilarious that Yuki ends up missing class to look for the diary. I know that a good friendship ultimately means infinitely more than a couple days of school, but still, our protagonists are students in an Asian culture. I’m sure when his parents find out he’s been missing school, he’ll get his ass put through the ringer. We just won’t see it happen.

• But anyway, the storms are clearing up, so I guess we’re in for a happy ending. It’s been raining for days though. That diary can’t be very legible at this point.

• It’s a little too inconvenient that when Kaori suddenly remembers where she had misplaced her diary, she finds that Yuki at the very same spot.

• I don’t think I need to point out that the diary pretty much represents their friendship, and as a result, Yuki is primarily concerned with whether or not Kaori had deliberately thrown their friendship away, right? Right. It’s pretty self-explanatory.

• Hm, the two characters act like it’s a breakthrough that she suddenly refers to him as Hase-kun, but he did introduce himself to her earlier that week… so…

• One more coincidence for the road: as the two friends make up, Shogo is overlooking the entire thing from a nearby location.

• Hm, I don’t think platonic friends usually think about stuff like “our first fight.” That seems more like a thing reserved for romantic couples.

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Obviously, we know where this relationship is headed; the hints are far too obvious. It’s just kind of funny to me how coy the characters are acting.

Closing Thoughts
If you’ve been following my posts on Isshuukan Friends, you might think I’ve suddenly become critical of the show. Well, I know that the show is still one of my top three series of the season (the others are Ping Pong and Mushishi in no particular order). Having said that, I think the story falls back on a little too many convenient coincidences this week. I feel like the anime so desperately wants to resolve the conflict by the end of the episode. As a result, some of the events feel a touch contrived. Oh well, it’s still a solid episode. It’s just not perfect.


3 Replies to “Isshuukan Friends Ep. 4: Lost and found”

  1. @e. minor by this episode events it looks like she remembered hase without the diary becouse when shugo meet her in the stairs and talk about importend thing to her it trigger somting in her head so it mean she start to remember without diary which is progress in her weekly memory loss.

  2. “If you’ve been following my posts on Isshuukan Friends, you might think I’ve suddenly become critical of the show.”

    You always seemed critical of it, at least to me. I’m a little surprised you’d hold this series in such high regard when it does nothing nothing more than tug heartstrings well, though, to be fair, there aren’t that many great series this season. Occasional forced drama aside, I quite like this too.

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