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Isshuukan Friends. – 12 (END)

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「友達になってください。」 (Tomodachi ni Nattekudasai.)
“Will You Be My Friend?”

Moving forward ever so slowly, Isshuukan Friends’ finale bows out gracefully. While it wasn’t the bang I was looking for, it definitely didn’t leave us completely hanging! So without wasting any more time, let’s jump straight into the final impressions!

Final Impressions

As my most anticipated show of the season, I’m happy to finally say that Isshuukan Friends managed to live up to its hype with a strong start, decent middle, and fairly powerful finish by the end. There may have been some hiccups here and there (specifically in terms of the pacing and the romance department as a whole) but I’m pretty sure you can chalk most of it up to opinion. If I were to pick one specific thing that the show did well, it’s probably how many tears it managed to continuously suck out of my eyes through a combination of emotional and psychological beatings.

Hase and Fujimiya

A male lead that not only lets his nerves the better of him but cowers in the face of adversity and a girl who can’t remember anything once Sunday rolls around and thinks it’s best to seclude herself from the world? Sign me up! In all seriousness though, I’m surprised with how well Hase and Fujimiya managed to fit together. Sure I’ve been rooting for them to become a couple since episode one but after seeing just how differently they view things it’s a little amazing that they’re even friends, right? If anything, I’m probably most impressed with just how much the two have grown since episode one. They may have gotten a little help along the way but from two strangers who had their own respective problems they’ve become an inseparable pair that have finally discovered just how much strength they provide each other.

The Amnesia Trope

I’ve talked about this a few times throughout the series but I wanted to take a second to highlight how creatively the whole amnesia trope was used. Starting out as a way to draw an audience in and slowly transforming into something that shaped the story from the shadows, I appreciate how the writers didn’t force it straight down our throats for twelve episodes. Throw in the added hurdles amnesia brings with it and instead of being a trope I think it became a pretty powerful storytelling tool. No matter how you view it though, I’m sure you can all relate with me when I say it’s great that it didn’t end up as a shallow idea that never got fleshed out.

Shougo and Saki

Even though they’re technically side characters, these two definitely had the biggest hand in shaping the story. Starting with the amazing Shoubro, he’s done so much for Hase and Fujimiya that he deserves some kind of award. Filling multiple roles like wingman, best friend, or pillar of support all at the same time; he’s basically the reason why things didn’t start falling apart the moment Hase hit his first hurdle. In Saki’s case she did have a bit of a late start and a few problems of her own but in her own personal way managed to keep Fujimiya looking forward.

And Finally…

Overall I think Isshuukan Friends was a great show that did a lot of things right and not too many things wrong. By playing to my emotions and quickly getting me invested into the characters, I was always finding something to enjoy throughout each episode. Sure the romance side of things were heavily toned down, but for a show with “Friends” in the title, it makes sense that the overarching theme would be friendship and the trials one faces while walking down that path. Toss in the amazing scenery shots and great music and you really do have the makings of a really good show. Plus, with an open-ended finale that managed to answer a few questions without revealing too much there’s always the chance of a second season!

P.S. It’s been a pleasure blogging this show and I hope you enjoyed it! Thanks again for keeping up with my posts and I’ll see you soon!<3

 

June 22, 2014 at 8:24 pm
46 comments »
  • June 22, 2014 at 8:43 pmShellshocked

    Friendship ending as expected. Oh well.

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:30 pmPetit Orenji

      underwhelming “life goes on” ending is underwhelming.

      • June 23, 2014 at 4:43 amScruffy

        Both of you must have been watching a different show, because it certainly was not ‘life goes on’! Both couples have shown significant development. Whether you want to call them ‘official’ couples or not, everyone else around them are aware that they are. Also, you don’t consider a member of the opposite sex as ‘special’ unless they are more than just friends.

        I think that a lot of the confusion of this of western audiences about this stem from the relatively conservative way that Japanese express relationships in public. PDA’s are definitely not a general part of polite Japanese culture.

      • June 24, 2014 at 11:01 pmretsurai

        FRIENDZONED

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:55 pmJ_the_Man

      It wasn’t titled “Isshukan Friends for nothing.

  • June 22, 2014 at 8:52 pmcruiser2710

    That confession between Saki and Tsundebro…….. So much hnnngggggg

    • June 22, 2014 at 9:50 pmAndmeuths

      Basically, if Isshuukan Friends is going to follow the traditional Romance (Not Harem, Not Rom-Com) format, it’s typical that the Beta Couple would get together before the main couple. This means if Saki and Shougo get’s together, unless Isshuukan Friends subverts conventions, that is a guaranteed sign that Hase and Fujimiya will get together after Saki and Shougo undergo some development.

  • June 22, 2014 at 9:00 pmJ-Luke

    It was a great series indeed that steadily grew. Fortunally, both couples were eventually mended in a nice way.
    A second season is possible since there are some issues to ultimately resolve, but I think the best thing is to leave it at this; all too often has a sequel failed to match the level of the first season. I doesn’t mean it would happen here, but if it did it would certainly harm the magic of the first series…
    The shrine scene was a wonderful setup for Hase and Fujimiya to let out their true feelings in a burst… and then Fujimiya’s mom pulled them back into their shoes. Mothers will be mothers after all.

  • June 22, 2014 at 9:45 pmgrt

    am i the only one who think that if hase confess at this point, he will get a yes as an answer?

  • June 22, 2014 at 9:50 pminfo600

    I feel downcast..

    Why? It’s not because it didn’t stopped with any developments being made (ShoBro and Saki had that honor) nor any event that requires the use of those diaries was shown…

    http://randomc.net/image/Isshuukan%20Friends/Isshuukan%20Friends%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2023.jpg
    (Call the ambulance? Someone’s trying to shatter a few walls a bit late. Still funny though.)

    It’s the fact that we will NEVER see another season of this series.

    T.T

    fyi:

    http://randomc.net/image/Isshuukan%20Friends/Isshuukan%20Friends%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    SO TINY AND CUTE!!

  • June 22, 2014 at 9:59 pmSK

    I’m kinda curious who would end up in the ambulance if her father saw them, the father (collapsing from shock) or Hase (overprotective father beatdown)?

    This was an enjoyable series, with the touching emotional scenes, a fitting choice of palette & sound, and the great Shoubro. Thanks for the coverage Takaii!

    • June 23, 2014 at 1:31 pmZalgo

      Little did you know his father did put him in the ambulance which is why he has to keep a diary now too and season 2 will revolve around his quest for revenge!

      • June 24, 2014 at 11:21 amky

        Bravo。

  • June 22, 2014 at 10:24 pmElsa

    This was such a wonderful little show. I do wonder who would end up in the ambulance though…

    Thanks for blogging this, Takaii!

  • June 22, 2014 at 10:27 pmSauru

    THE FRIENDZONE IS TOO STRONK!!

  • June 22, 2014 at 11:18 pmSynic

    That confession scene blew me away. I was so invested in Sakibro(Shouki?) by the time we found out they were “set” to be together and seeing Saki cry was almost as hard to watch as Fujimiya in tears. The studio played to my emotion’s tune quite well as every tear that was shed in the 2D world somehow manifested in RL. I’m really sad to see stories like this end because i know that great stories are hard to come by.

    That being said, i wished for a more conclusive ending. Yea, Shoubro and Saki got together but i wanted at least the freaking hand holding scene we were teased with in the OP. Or even a hug. OR maybe just maybe more of Kaori’s mom.

    http://randomc.net/image/Isshuukan%20Friends/Isshuukan%20Friends%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2023.jpg
    “Hase, you need to disappear. Kaori’s dad found out about the baby and he’s out for blood!”

    Takaii, thank you for blogging this show. I enjoyed every post and also hope that you will blog future shows we both enjoy.

    • June 23, 2014 at 6:50 pmGoodStuffs

      I guess for you sir theres always hope for the XXX rated OVAs where theyll do more than just hold hands. Oh theyll hug OH YEAH but with pixelations hhahaha

  • June 22, 2014 at 11:37 pmpico

    Did Hase-kun consume that crepe wrapper too? XD

    • June 23, 2014 at 1:20 amCrook

      They colored it even when he was eating it, so I assume so. Edible crepe wrappers?

    • June 23, 2014 at 5:54 amGoodStuffs

      ITS JUST SO GOOOOD even the paper yum!

  • June 23, 2014 at 12:36 amTheMoondoggie

    S2 when?

  • June 23, 2014 at 2:42 amMgMaster

    An overall heartwarming show. Admittedly,I did want to see some romantic progress between Hase & Kaori but in this case,maybe a slow approach is for the best.

    I’m with J-Luke in that it’s probably better if Isshukan Friends doesn’t get a 2nd season though. It was a very good show and ended well enough. Romantic developments aside,I don’t think there’d be much to do for another whole season and seriously wouldn’t want to see this show get milked. Also,a heavy focus on romance usually involves some dramatic elements to spice things up and IMO,while not bad by any means,that’s not really this show’s strong point. I think that’s a good thing too as it’s good to have a light-hearted anime like this every once in a while. Too much heavy stuff and it won’t feel as heavy anymore,even when well-done :P

  • June 23, 2014 at 3:05 amSoliloquy

    I watched it to the end just for Saki and I don’t regret it. She is too adorable.

  • June 23, 2014 at 4:01 amtsukioniisan

    One of the very few series I’m surely going to miss…

  • June 23, 2014 at 4:26 amCatsrofl

    The screaming and such caught me a bit off guard. But, overall, a finale like this suits this show. The show was never like an explosive ride, always mellow with some slight turbulence. So, to me, it makes sense that the ending would feel the same. I will miss this show since it kept me feeling all warm and fuzzy almost every week. In the end though, it’s a good ending to me. May not be satisfied overall, but, I am content.

  • June 23, 2014 at 4:39 amZJZJ

    I really enjoyed this series from start to end, partially thanks to your review every week too. Thanks Takaii :)
    The characters really grew on me throughout the series, and it’s hard not to sympathize with them even if I don’t always agree with what they do. I don’t even care that there were random coincidences like Hase and Kaori meeting in the last episode (I know they were walking around in hopes of meeting each other, or something, but still it’s not likely to happen irl… maybe) because the characters and the character interactions always feel real to me, and I think that is what matters more in this show. The characters were so very endearing, and I even liked Kujo, whom I was sure I would dislike when I first set eyes on him.
    I don’t even mind that there isn’t much in the romance department yet. I would love to see Fujimiya slowly recover from her conditions due to the constant support from her friends (all while slowly falling in love with Hase ><), rather than have her fall in love with Hase and then let that be the solution to everything. (the power of love in some anime seem to be able to make the impossible possible, not that I complain, unless it's really not executed well). But a part of me still wishes that there was more romance stuff :P
    This anime is of course not 100% perfect or anything, but it was a great show that was able to make me smile like an idiot and then cry, both in the same episode. I particularly liked how the characters don't always know the solution or the correct way to act, which can make the problem worse even if they have good intentions. I find this a really good thing (even if it leaves me heartbroken) compared to a lot of shows in which the characters just always know the correct words/action to say/take whenever something happens (which is also good in it's own way)
    I won't say it's the best, but I recommend Isshuukan Friends!

    P.S. Props to Shoubro for making the move to talk to Saki after realizing that she was ignoring him, and then apologizing!
    Also,
    "When I think it's my fault, I apologize. It isn't usually my fault, so I just don't get many opportunities to apologize" – Shougo

  • June 23, 2014 at 6:02 amGoodStuffs

    The Bad End I expected but surprisingly I didnt feel gimped… It felt natural as if theyve reached a fullll circle of mutual feeeelings for each other.
    http://randomc.net/image/Isshuukan%20Friends/Isshuukan%20Friends%20-%2012%20-%2015.jpg
    This ep has me satisfied even if no s2.

    • June 23, 2014 at 10:49 amMegas

      I think it’s so satisfying because EVERYONE expected it. It would have been way too weird if Hase went into hyper-drive & confessed, especially after the crap in the prior 2 episodes.

    • June 23, 2014 at 7:07 pmGoodStuffs

      True, still they delivered a nice and smooth season finale it could have been worse. I guess nows a good post as any for me to also thank Takaii for covering sharing his insights and thoughts on this sweet emotional roller coaster ride of a series.

  • June 23, 2014 at 7:32 amTadashi

    Definitely my favorite show of the season. Every episode me head banging it was actually crazy. During that scene at the shrine, I was (internally) screaming “HASE. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE. IT’S NOT OR NEVER” and I was expecting a hug/confession/EVEN A KISS. but nope, he did something else, but it’s not like I didn’t like it…I just would have much preferred he did one of the above. There’s so much of their relationship left to explore I am really really hoping for a second season. I’ve heard this anime was actually pretty popular in Japan and the predicted BD sales are good.

    Also, HOW ABOUT THAT SAKI AND SHOBRO MOMENT?! When Saki was crying, I was all like :cry: man I supported their relationship just as much as Hase and Kaori’s.

    On a side note, Brains Base was phenomenal this season with this and Kawaisou – both completely different art styles but yet done so well. Kudos to them and here’s to hoping this could mean more great adaptions from them.

  • June 23, 2014 at 7:39 amMrRei

    I’m sad that it’s over… :(

    But here are the working titles for Season 2!
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • June 23, 2014 at 8:00 amGoodStuffs

      BRO. THIS AINT CLANNNAD! TAKE IT EASY.

    • June 23, 2014 at 3:22 pmMormegil

      Too realistic for me. lol

    • June 23, 2014 at 6:05 pmTheMoondoggie

      Dat Episode 11.

      Thisismyfetish.jpg

  • June 23, 2014 at 8:59 amGoodStuffs

    Something still bothers me now that she knows the origins for her trauma does kaori still forget everyweek? or is she back to normal because this condition was just all in her head to start with?

  • June 23, 2014 at 9:12 ambossarvin

  • June 23, 2014 at 3:02 pmillusion

    http://randomc.net/image/Isshuukan%20Friends/Isshuukan%20Friends%20-%2012%20-%2018.jpg

    God damn I hated this scene, it made me cringe so hard and Hase was being a retard. How about you at least give the girl you have a crush on a hug when she’s crying in front of you? No, instead you start crying like a little bitch and do stupid shit.

    • June 23, 2014 at 6:40 pmGoodStuffs

      YEP. He is a bitch alright kojo x Fujimiya! Theres chance for him yet! LOL they didnt animate it but it should be kojo gets the girl at the end hohohoho!

      And… s2 will feature the TRIANGLE!!! DUN DUN DUNNN! orrr the devils threesum whichever your imagination takes you!

  • June 23, 2014 at 4:45 pmnaoya

    I always remind fans who watch manga adaptations to be realistic in their expectations for the anime conclusion, because the producers are restricted by the content of the manga. As in most cases, including this one, the manga is still ongoing. There is no way it could possibly have a conclusive ending. That is unless the mangaka agrees for an alternate ending, but this is highly unlikely because the mangaka wants the anime to be a promotional material for people to start following, or continue to follow the manga.

  • June 23, 2014 at 5:14 pmAnnyms

    More or less, what I expected. I did expect a hug at the shrine when Fujimiya was crying, but Hase is clearly not the type of guy to do that. Last ep, I said that our supporting cast would play a big role in helping them get back together, but the fact that they were able to get things back on track with minimal help was good. It shows development in their relationship, since they were able to solve the issue without relying on others to push them forward.

    As much as I’d like to see more of this show, it’s probably for the best that it ended this way. I don’t know how well a second season would do for this show. I will follow the manga though.

    • June 23, 2014 at 6:47 pmGoodStuffs

      True… shobro didnt physically kick him this time… but he did tell kaori the truth to help her understand what hase is thinking … and shobro did mentally kick him to think about making up with her but in the end he conveniently lucked out by chance she also decided to walk at the same place to find him maybe theyre on teh same wavelength afterall! ehhehe

  • June 23, 2014 at 5:32 pmash.

    loled a lot at hase’s random screaming.

    & i believe that was definitely a confession between saki & shoubro.

  • June 24, 2014 at 1:01 pmJ_the_Man

    A show that never failed to put a smile on my face every week. The writing was flawless when it mattered and every character was very interesting and garnered my attention. I really think we need to divorce ourselves from the idea that this show was a romance or needed a romantics ending. This show was about friends and friendship. It couldn’t have been more perfectly portrayed, especially in this episode. There wasn’t a need confess their feelings. There was a need to affirm that they were friends, because that’s what both desired and needed during the course of this show. They did it. It was every bit a perfect ending to a beautiful show.

  • June 24, 2014 at 3:44 pmneo

    isshuukan lovers next ? :P