Ao Haru Ride/ Blue Spring Ride: ANIME REVIEW

First of all I want to say that it was You who choose this anime to be my next review. In a google+ poll 133 voted and this anime won with 59% of all votes.  I actually never liked romance movies nor romance anime. I always thought that they were boring. Yet, one day I was feeling like I could watch a romance anime (i think it comes with the years) and I decided it to be a manga based anime that has a MAL rating of 7,95. From the makers of "Attack on Titan", "Psycho-Pass" and "Guilty Crown" came in July, 2014 my first romance anime: "Ao Haru Ride". 


Plot and Story Line

It's the first time that the MAL community rated an anime exactly as I did. I gave it an 8 (well 7,95 is close). The story is funny, cute, romantic and realistic. I never believed that I would say this one day, but I really enjoyed this romance. I loved it. Now let's get this started...

To the plot.

It's a fantastic story that, as I believe, happened to most of us at least once in a similar way. There is that cute and nice girl in the middle school called Futaba Yoshioka. She is very popular among the guys in her class and they really like her, but the girls don't. "Jealous girlies". She was alone most of the time, until that one rainy day when she met Kou Tanaka in a shrine where both of them tried to find shelter from the rain. Of curse that event was followed by a couple of other cute and precious memories and they even made plans  for meeting at the Summer Festival. Unfortunately Kou never showed up and literary 
disappeared  afterwards. 
Time passed and Futaba is now a high school student with a complete different attitude and personality. She had enough of being alone all the time and now she gave up her cuteness and femininity so the girls don't become jealous again. Tomboyish  and with a disheveled look she encounters the only guy she ever loved, again. Now with a life turned upside down she tries to find her place where she belongs to. 

With a set plot, let's discuss. The Story Line.  

Where does the strength of Ao Haru Ride lie? In my opinion it is the background story of Kou. As always, Rule No.1. "NO SPOILERS", but I'll tell you this. The whole first season was mainly focused of Futaba trying to reach the old Kou. All the flashbacks that were woven into the present story were amazing. The makers created an intriguing story in the past, that affects the present, which is also a great love story on its own. So you basically get two parallel story lines in the past that meet in the present. I've always loved
 retrospection.   
The second thing that made me love this anime is the diversity of the mini story lines in the show. It doesn't talk about Futaba's and Kou's relationship alone. There are tons of others, for instance my favorite side story line, the relationship between Kou and his older brother Youichi. And there are many more. I just hope that the makers will soon announce a second season, but for now it doesn't look like that. The manga finished airing in February, 2015, so I'll still keep my fingers crossed. 

And now, let's just focus on the main story line. The core, let's say. The romance between Kou and Futaba. I hate the romance genre because it is full of cliches and "I expected that to happen" situations.  But I'll probably give anime romances a chance. Maybe Clanned, but let's talk about that later. Kou and Futaba. It's not just a silly teenage relationship. It goes from that cute kids love to a serious love, and it's so good. There are so many moments where you have to say: "Awwww!". You just have to. It's somehow more realistic and it's not because I am AnimeGirl that caused me love this anime-relationships. They are always so undefined yet clear. They are so cute, and I love cute things. Too bad anime is not real, even love would be much easier. 

As a conclusion, Ao Haru Ride is a fascinating story with an intriguing plot that will keep you on tenterhooks until the last second. There are no plot holes and the story is also smooth without any unnecessary and stupid plot twists. There are always new mini stories that appear, but they slowly make their way into the show. They always appear at the right time to keep you interested till the end. 

Characters

Guys, I could really go on talking about the characters the whole night. They are all so special and interesting in their own way. I give it a 10 for uniqueness. But, as always, here are the main two characters of Ao Haru Ride.


Futaba Yoshioka. You have no idea how much this girl reminds me of my-self. I kinda was in a very similar situation at Middle School too. That's so unbelievable. The only difference is that in middle school I tried to hide my true self, while in high school I did the exact opposite. That's why I was happy when Futaba realized that it's not worth being someone else if there are people who accept you exactly how you are. Also I see myself in the always optimistic and happy-go-lucky person that always wants to break trough the walls that people build around their selves. I loved Futaba and her power and willpower. She is definitely one of my favorite anime characters and probably that is why I have her on my cover photo on Facebook. 



Kou Tanaka or later in the story Kou Mabuchi is the most interesting character in the whole story. I always wanted to know more about him, and luckily the anime reveals his life story, which is believe me or not on e of the best background stories I've ever seen. By the way, I love cats too. He is one of the cool guys acting emotionless while being very sensible and full of emotions on the inside. I love this type of characters because they are always so full of surprises. Funny, he is telling Futaba the whole time how she shouldn't act while doing the same thing. I think that people do that sometimes unconsciously, just as Kou. All the things that happened to him built a wall around him so that nobody can't enter. Nobody can see the real Kou. It never gets boring with this kind of people, believe me. 


Animation

Well, maybe the story isn't, but the animation definitely is a "As expected" since the makers of Ao Haru Ride are also the makers of the anime "Psycho-Pass" and "Guilty Crown" (Check out both of the reviews on my blog). And I hope you have seen the animation of those two. The word BRILLIANT is not enough to describe the stuff that your eyes see when you watch this. I love it, and since I've always found bad animation extremely repelling I was glad that this story came with the animation and style it deserves. 
The idea that I liked the most in Ao Haru Ride is the way they put that watercolor effect in the flashback scenes. Awesome!


Conclusion

If you want to change my opinion about something you really have to have good arguments to convince me. Ao Haru Ride for example really convinced me that romance anime are not bad at all. I loved it. Animation, Story, Plot, Characters. Everything is in its right place. I would really give it a try if you haven't already watched it. 

Your AnimeGirl <3 

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