Yeah, I’d say so.
A new girl befriends Kaori, and in doing so, she gets our heroine to stop worrying so much about how her classmates might perceive her.
• Yuki and Kaori have this arrangement where the girl pretty much ignores him if they’re not hanging out on the rooftop or outside of school. Why have they come up with such a silly arrangement? Kaori explains, “If you talk to me in public, people will say things about you, too.” I come from the mindset where it’s like, “If people talk shit about you, then fuck the haters.” As a result, it’s hard for me to sympathize with Kaori’s point-of-view. Still, different cultures, different mindsets, I guess. I just don’t see a reason to worry about what people who would say, because if they’re going to say hurtful things about you over something as innocent as a friendship, then they’re definitely not worth the trouble anyway. Plus, why be so cynical anyway? Not everyone’s going to be mean. In fact, if anyone’s going to spread any rumors, I bet it’ll just be a handful of nasty students. Kaori acts like the entire class will jeer at them or something.
• Yuki replies, “I don’t care about that.” Even so, Kaori returns with, “It’s my decision to do this.” Welp, I guess that settles that. I don’t like how it’s her choice unilaterally, and if I was in Yuki’s shoes, I’d think that Kaori was ashamed to be my friend.
• The anime introduces us to Saki, a new girl, and it appears that she has been searching for Kaori for quite some time. The story is finally going to open up and introduce more characters to the dynamic. Hopefully, the anime handles it well.
• Saki… talks… really… slowly… but… she… just… wants… to… be… friends…
• Saki: “I wish I could be like you, but I also want you to take care of me.” Um, what? Kaori’s reaction is even stranger. When Yuki shows up to the rooftop, Kaori runs and hides behind him. It’s just a classmate, man.
• Yuki is surprised that Saki doesn’t know his name, but eh, do you really need to know every person’s name in your class? I certainly never bothered when I was in high school. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Saki is somewhat forgetful, which would give her something in common with Kaori. It’d just be a little silly if all the girls in the show are forgetful for some reason, and the guys are relatively normal. But anime tends to be like this: female characters get to have unique traits while the male characters are, well, relatively mundane.
• Like with Yuki, Kaori doesn’t want Saki to talk to her in class. It’s just silly. At some point, you just gotta bite the bullet and let the chips fall where they may. But like Yuki, Saki’s too passive, so she just accepts Kaori’s request.
• But if she’s forgetful, agreeing to that request won’t mean much, would it?
Yep. Nearby, Yuki is surprised that Saki can talk to Kaori “without a care in the world.” It’s just friends talking to friends. You guys are making a big deal out of nothing. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here.
• Saki naturally asks, “But why can’t I talk to you? Do you not like me?” It’s that simple, really. Forget the haters, man. Just talk to your friends. Get a tougher skin. A small problem here is that Yuki tends to enable Kaori a bit: “Yamagashi-san, you’re being too pushy!”
• Luckily, Yuki eventually reins back his white knight tendencies when he encourages Kaori to befriend Saki. That’s the crucial thing. It’s okay to have personality flaws, but unless we’re talking about some tragic Shakespearean characters, it’s important for the characters to improve as the story progresses.
• Kaori tries her best to explain her condition to Saki, but the latter seems to be too much of a dullard to grasp it. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about on Kaori’s end anyway. Saki seems too easy-going that it won’t really affect her too much that Kaori loses her memories every Monday. Saki will just keep trucking along with her cheerful disposition.
• As predicted, the girls bond over their forgetfulness. Of course, it’s really not the same, but oh well, we’ll just let Saki have this one. After all, she’s ultimately right when she says, “You should relax more and enjoy life.” The only remaining question now is whether or not Kaori will heed this advice and apply it to the friendship between her and Yuki.
• Looks like Yuki is going to get himself bitten by the jealousy bug, especially now that the two girls are on a first-name basis. I don’t see why he’s so shocked. Like I’ve said, he tends to enable her, thus allowing her to do whatever she wanted. If you don’t ask for something, you’re never going to get it. If he wanted their relationship to move onto the next level, he should’ve stood up for himself. On another note, how can you just allow someone else to eat your entire lunch in front of you?
• Yuki wants to follow the two girls because he’s curious: “They’re two girls, going on a date.” It’s not a real date, you dweeb. But oh no! Kaori’s going to have crepes with Saki before she has crepes with Yuki! That’s so terrible!
• I’m surprised Shogo tagged along. That eggroll offer must have been too tempting to resist. I don’t usually like other people’s eggrolls though. They put way too much cabbage in the filling.
• So the two friends go shopping and hang out at different places. Not too much to talk about here.
• According to Shogo, Saki used to be bullied all the time in elementary school. Anyway, when Saki heads on home, Kaori starts to sob. She’s likely sad about the fact that she’ll forget all about the girl come Monday. I get that, but at the same time, I still see her diary as her memories. Whether you record your memories in your brain or you physically record it on a page in a diary, they’re still your memories. As such, she won’t really forget her new friend. But oh well, I don’t expect a high school kid to arrive at such a conclusion on her own. Anyway, I half-expected Yuki to rush to Kaori’s side when she started crying, but I guess he really, really didn’t want her to know that he had been following her.
• Come Monday, Kaori predictably forgets she had ever met Saki, but like I’ve said, Saki’s got the sort of disposition where she’ll just continue trucking on anyway. She even gets Kaori to remember that they had shared their crepes. All of a sudden, Saki’s friends now want to introduce themselves to Kaori. Gosh, it turns out not all of your classmates are mean people!
• Anyway, it’s good to see that there’s progress in Kaori’s condition. Maybe she’ll even recover completely from her condition one day.
I want to say that I personally know I’m enjoying the show. I just have a very certain way of blogging about these light-hearted shows, and that I won’t change my approach anytime soon. So if people read these posts and think I don’t like Isshukukan Friends, oh well. I don’t really care.