Ao Haru Ride: Episode 02-04 Review

Also Known As: Blue Spring Ride
Streaming Allegiance: Crunchyroll
Reconnaissance Report by: Jessica Craven
Progress: Episode 04

ao-haru-ride-0401Although Kou basically tells Futaba that she is pathetic for being fake to make friends upon his return to their school district and observing her situation, she sees the truth in his harsh words. Shortly after, she stands up to her friends for picking on another “cute” girl that they are jealous of for getting many boys’ attention, Makita. In a way, Futaba stands up for herself by defending Makita because she was bullied for the same reasons in middle school and then suppressed her femininity in order to be accepted by other girls. Although she loses her “friends” by standing up for Makita, she gains Makita as a true friend and is able to return to being the person she really is. As her second year of high school begins, Futaba begins to challenge herself to try new things and start her school life over. She ends up volunteering for class representative when no one else will, and surprisingly, Kou joins her as the male representative. So naturally, they end up spending more time together, but Kou’s feelings are unclear. He really does seem to be hurt from things that have happened in his life since he saw Futuba last, and he has put up a lot of barriers. Futaba obviously still does have feelings for Kou, but he is so unreachable…

I noted in my last review that the personality of the main characters has not been expanded upon much yet, but it is clear to me now that this is so because the characters are holding back so much of themselves. Futaba is only beginning to come out of her shell, and Kou has a lot of barriers put up. Like Futaba, I also really want to know what happened to him in the past three years. It may just be because I recently went through a pretty rough patch in my own life, but I can really relate to Futaba’s desire to start over and Kou’s tendency to withdrawal from others. I think most people can relate to their situations to at least some extent, and likely to a large extent. Even though the series is pretty series, there is a good mix of comic relief as well, like when Kou answers the door for Futaba without a shirt on and she takes his intentions way out of context. Even though I was pretty hopeful about this series after seeing the first episode, it has honestly gotten even better since. At first I was worried Kou would continue to blow Futaba off and her one-sided feelings for him would continue in a sort of annoying way, but Kou appears to be opening up to her slowly. I can really sense their need of just anyone, and especially each other. It is extremely bittersweet, but hopefully things will continue to improve for them as the series progresses.