Isshuukan Friends Ep. 10: Yuki’s failure

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This is one of those frustrating episodes in which the first move is obvious, but our beloved protagonist will nevertheless wait until the very last minute before he takes any sort of meaningful action. Although the girl feels apprehensive around Hajime, Kaori doesn’t remember him whatsoever. So it’s pretty obvious there’s nothing she can do to remedy the current situation. Similarly, Hajime doesn’t have a single clue about Kaori’s memory loss. Hell, until the end of this week’s episode, he didn’t even know she had been involved in an accident. He certainly doesn’t know that it was this accident that had prevented them from seeing each other one last time. Don’t get me wrong, though. The guy continues to be a complete asshole to Kaori, so he’s not a saint or anything. He doesn’t even feel guilty that his words last week had made the girl pass out. I suppose young people like himself are just too proud to apologize. Nevertheless, he’s not entirely at fault. From his perspective, a former close friend is choosing to ignore him and the past they had shared completely, and that must hurt.

Therefore, one person holds all the cards. One person can get to the bottom of this issue. Unfortunately, that one person is Yuki. But yes, it’s honestly up to Yuki to explain the situation to Hajime. It’s even a foregone conclusion that he will. The only question is how long it’ll take him to do so. I’ve already explained why he just can’t wait and let the situation resolve itself. Kaori and Hajime both simply do not and cannot see the whole picture. As a result, it’s silly to think that the problem between the two of them will fix itself. For some reason, however, Yuki thinks it isn’t his place to explain Kaori’s condition to Hajime. Of course, Hajime ends up not believing Yuki anyway — and he expresses much of the same doubts that Shogo had once shared — but still, someone has to say something. Someone has to take action. The episode is thus frustrating, because we get to sit there and watch Yuki do nothing until shit goes down again.

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Yes, Kaori ends up having another unfortunate encounter with Hajime. This time, it takes place at a crepe stand outside of school. Two of their former classmates — two girls, in fact — are with Hajime, and they clearly recognize Kaori. Naturally, she doesn’t remember either of them, and this enrages Hajime. But of course it does. He has no idea about her memory loss, after all. As a result, he continues to be mean to Kaori. It’s apparent that the two former classmates had had a crush on Hajime, and naturally, they were once jealous of the closeness Kaori and Hajime had once shared. One of the girls thus says something that triggers Kaori’s trauma, ‘causing her to run off. Meanwhile, Yuki conveniently arrives at the right time to witness the fallout. Only now does he decide to take matters into his own hands. Only now does he take Hajime aside to clue the guy in on a few crucial bits of information. It’s frustrating to watch, honestly.

As for the rest of the episode, we get to watch as Yuki focuses entirely too much on himself. Yuki admits he’s frustrated that Kaori’s condition had reset itself a result of “a few words with [Hajime].” I get that. But sometimes, you just have to suck it up, and search for the truth (now I sound like a Persona 4 character). Seriously, isn’t he curious why Hajime’s words from last week’s episode had impacted Kaori so much? So get on it, then. But he doesn’t. He just pities himself. At one point midway through the episode, Hajime even straight up asks Yuki if the latter’s got a problem with him. This is thus the golden chance for our protagonist to spit it out. He can take charge. After all, he took charge at the beginning of the series to become Kaori’s friend. Why is he thus hesitating now? Instead, Yuki gets all worked up over things that simply do not matter. Hajime asks Yuki if Yuki likes Kaori, and this leaves our hero all flustered. His only reaction is to stand up and say, “I hate this guy.” Ugh. He’s frustrated? No, I’m frustrated. This moment right here is a microcosm of why Yuki’s character has become so increasingly insufferable over the past few weeks.

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Yuki is more interested in protecting his goddamn purity than addressing the root of the problem: “F-Fujimiya-san and I aren’t like that!” It’s fine if he’s embarrassed about it, though I don’t see what there is to be embarrassed about. But right now, is this what’s really important? Is clearing up this particular misunderstanding the highest on Yuki’s list of priorities? I’m not asking Yuki to have the right answers every single time he faces a problem, but where’s his sense of urgency? His goals must be out of whack if the first thought to come into Yuki’s mind right now is, “Shit, I hope he doesn’t think Kaori and I are dating!” Hajime then says he hates Kaori right to Yuki’s face, but Yuki simply allows the guy to walk away. Say something, damn it. What is wrong with you?

Afterwards, Yuki says privately to Shogo, “That’s why I’m so frustrated that a creep like him ruined all my hard work.” Then fucking do something. Don’t just stand there stammering about your innocence. And honestly, it’s beginning to grind on my nerves that he keeps referring to his “hard work.” What about the girl, man? What about Kaori’s trauma? Isn’t that the most important thing to worry about here? In fact, fuck his hard work. The girl is clearly still traumatized, and I haven’t heard Yuki utter a single thing about helping the girl heal or cope with the new trigger in her life. Instead, he’s whining about utter nonsense like “Does that mean he’s more important to her than I am?” I don’t expect him to be wise in his ways, but he’s in high school already. That means he’s about to become a young adult and go out into the real world. It’s time to step up. Why is it, however, that Yuki has only displayed any sort of gumption in the first few episodes of the series?

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So let’s bring this back full circle. I put the incident at the crepe stand entirely on Yuki’s shoulders. I get that he doesn’t want to violate Kaori’s privacy or whatever by telling Hajime all about her memory loss. But like they say, you have to break a few eggs in order to make an omelette. Yes, ideally, Kaori should be the one to explain it to Hajime, but she can’t. He has to make do with what he’s got, and Yuki had all episode to say something — anything. Unfortunately, he doesn’t. So yes, the incident at the crepe stand is all Yuki’s fault. Kaori has no clue what’s going on and it’s obvious why. Hajime has no clue what’s going on because he never knew about her memory loss to begin with. Yuki knows, however. Yuki knows everything. He could have said something. He could have told Hajime about Kaori’s problems and this would have prevented the awkward scene after school. But he doesn’t. His gutlessness and/or cluelessness leads to a situation in which Kaori is put into yet another painful, traumatic position. Then surprise, surprise, she gets triggered again. Yuki could’ve protected her, but he failed.

Stray observations:

— According to Hajime, he and Kaori “used to stay after school and memormize poems from the Hundred Poets anthology.” I really doubt any kid would do that, but sure, whatever you say, anime.

— Kaori continues to make Yuki lunch even though her condition has reset itself. Frankly, I don’t think he deserves it. Luckily for him, she still has her diary to fall back on.

— I knew Saki was short, but Jesus Christ:

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— Shogo takes the hands-off approach, which is totally his prerogative. So sadly, the only person with any drive to fix the problem is Saki. Perhaps ignorance really is bliss. She may be simple-minded, but at least she knows what she wants and that is to see her friends happy again.

— Nevertheless, the story still takes the time to hint at a possible relationship between Shogo and Saki. Yeesh.


10 Replies to “Isshuukan Friends Ep. 10: Yuki’s failure”

  1. Memorizing the Hundred Poets seems to be a relatively common exercise for children in Japan, actually. Most often it’s just a way to show off for the best students, though, since the average kid couldn’t be bothered to memorize more than a few, even if they are all very short.

  2. Seems like Yuki is the reason for the anime’s downfall, now I don’t want him to end up with Kaori.
    Though he probably won’t in this adapation, at least.

  3. Too many people obsess over Yuki’s shortcomings, but it’s not like Fujimiya deserves to end up with him either. All she cares about is having friends, to the point where she doesn’t pay attention to any of them.

    Plus he’s just one slow kid trying to figure everything out on his own, because everyone around him thinks it’s cute or frustrating that he’s oblivious, and they stop there. Frankly it’s a good thing that not every teen has to learn about concepts like crushes vs. love like Yuki has.

    This anime has honestly been a pretty good look at how superficial and tenuous teenage relationships (and especially friendships) truly are, and focusing on the romantic foibles of one character in it strikes me as intentionally limiting one’s perspective.

    1. All she cares about is having friends, to the point where she doesn’t pay attention to any of them.

      That’s funny.

      and focusing on the romantic foibles of one character in it strikes me as intentionally limiting one’s perspective.

      Haha, okay.

  4. Looks like i should drop this show, seeing someone that gutless kinda reminds me of well… me and it was painful to watch

    1. We got two more episodes to go. You can do it! As long as Hase does something to redeem himself, the show can still end on a good note.

  5. This was a hell of a boiling episode, so much happening with just steam as a conclusion.

    Yuki is garbage right now, but he was Aces in the beginning. We all know this is likely just in an effort to elongate the story. After all, stories that have every character act like a functioning thinking human being don’t last long (though they are always better).

    But though I know as well as everyone else that this will just lead up to that point where Yuki will confront Hajime in front of Kaori with balled up fists and maybe teary, angry eyes as he FINALLY opens his mouth, somehow I have a very bad feeling about this.

    It’s been a while since Yuki has started his de-evolution to “harem protag” level of…THIS…and the frustration has slowly been building to an inexcusable extent. These are bad signs, yeah, but nothing a climactic teary shouting fest won’t fix. Still, I have this bad feeling that this show will end badly.

    Not that Kaori will end up with Hajime or she’ll never find happiness or die or something. I mean, I just have this vague something about this show, mate, like all of this might just lead to no where. Maybe Kaori never really changes much, but the anime will imply this isn’t a bad thing. Maybe the romance will never even get off the ground. Maybe Yuki will never get his balls up. Something like that, like this show will just Peter out into the final credits.

    I don’t know. My intuition has been proven wrong at almost every turn anyway, so maybe it’s just my reaction to how things are getting in this show.

    “now I sound like a Persona 4 character”
    Haha! I wouldn’t mind playing a Persona game with an analytical anime cynic as a party member. Would actually make for a more interesting character than most of what we’ve been offered between 3&4 in my opinion.

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