RogerBW's Blog

Ao Haru Ride 07 November 2014

2014, 12 episodes: AniDB, also known as Blue Spring Ride.

Contemporary school story adapted from shōjo manga. Futaba reinvents herself as she enters high school, only to find that her middle-school crush Kou has also reinvented himself.

This is a straight shōjo (marketed to girls) romance, with no supernatural powers or other strangeness, in the mould of Sukitte ii na yo or Tonari no Kaibutsu from 2012, but without the forced extremes of characterisation that those two had. Everybody's got their problems, but nobody's defined solely by them. Futaba in particular is not just a young girl in love, she's a young girl trying to work out what sort of person she wants to be, even when the answer might annoy the boy she's fallen for.

In fact it's the characterisation that's the real draw here, particularly of the two leads but also of the various members of the secondary cast. The animation, character designs, backgrounds and music are all fairly forgettable, though not unpleasant. The story cuts off fairly sharply, and I hope there's a second season that deals with the rest of the manga's story and the complications therein; a minor character's introduced towards the end here who's entirely pointless unless the story is continued.

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