OP: 「虹のかけら」 (Niji no Kakera) by 昆夏美 (Kon Natsumi)
「友達のはじまり」 (Tomodachi no Hajimari)
“The Beginning of a Friendship”
After hyping up its release in my mind way more than I should have, Isshuukan Friends finally kicks off my spring season (Disclaimer: I did watch Mahouka, and I thought it was awesome). For those of you who have no idea what’s going on, I will direct you to the short preview post I wrote for the show. With that taken care of, let’s just jump straight into things!
Starting simple, let me just start with WOW do things look pretty. Using that soft palette kind of art style on the background while focusing on the details in the foreground (like those random hair strands), I was completely in love as soon as I hit play. If I were to point out something that bothered me though, it would have to be just how exaggerated the blushing effects seemed. While it does make it painfully obvious between being slightly embarrassed or completely deredere, at times it felt like someone behind the scenes was being too heavy handed.
Seeing how this is only the first episode, it’s tough to make a call on the story or just how well it’s being done. But seeing how I’ve read the first few chapters and have a decent idea of what should be just around the bend, I can pleasantly say I’m loving how Brain’s Base is handling this adaptation. As subjective as that statement was, I just loved how they captured the essence of what made the first chapter feel so great — a combination of the awkwardness that making a new friend comes with and the obvious feelings that are ever so slowly starting to grow between Fujimiya and Hase.
Fujimiya Kaori and Hase Yuuki
When someone tells you something as ridiculous as “I’m going to literally forget you”, I doubt any of us would respond the same way Hase did. Just like everyone before him, I’m sure that the people who attempted to form bonds with Fujimiya probably saw it as a hassle and in the end decided that it’d be better for themselves not to get in involved. After a couple of those moments, it’s not too hard to see why Fujimiya behaves the way she does. But it’s for that very reason, the simple idea of Hase being unwilling to give up and take no for an answer, that brings a tear to my eye. All of which boils down to the fact that he’s about to embark on this insanely cute and almost unbelievable journey that others would fear to take.
Taking a quick step back, let me just say that I think that Amamiya Sora and Yamaya Yoshitaka (Fujimiya and Hase respectively) are doing a great job at bringing the characters to life. From Hase’s awkward moments where his message gets completely misunderstood to Fujimiya busting out her cold demeanor, I can’t get enough of it. And even though a quick search on their previous roles would reveal they’re rather new to the industry, I think that some of that awkwardness that comes from entering any industry helps sell the awkward relationship our two characters currently share.
Quick shout out to another awesome wingman. Seeing how Nibutani’s been retired, I’m hoping this guy lives up to the standard she set in Chu2Koi Ren. The cool thing is, even though he’s been on screen for maybe a few minutes as best, he’s already throwing out some damn good tidbits of advice all while busting Hase’s chops.
Looking Toward the Future
With Brain’s Base holding the reigns of a story that I fell in love with only moments after I read it, I have the utmost confidence they’ll do the show justice — especially seeing how they’ve done some other shows that deal with the awkwardness that comes with people who just seem to have a tough time making friends (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and OreGairu are what comes to mind). Anyways, I think this first episode did a great job at making a statement with where it decided to cut things off and left a some hefty bait to reel us back in. Can’t wait to see all of you back next week!
ED: 「奏（かなで）」 (Kanade) by 藤宮香織（CV: 雨宮天） (Fujimiya Kaori (CV: Amamiya Sora))
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼