Ao Haru Ride – 03

Ao Haru Ride-Never gonna let you go

Never gonna let you go…
(No, it’s not what you think)

spring14-highwI never know what’s going to happen in shoujo stories, because I never read the source materials first. So even though I know that there’s always the interloper, and always the runaround, I don’t let it bother me this early in a show.

Moving Out of the Past

Ao Haru Ride-Resemblance

What? These two related? Whodathunkit!

How did Futaba not know that the guy she’s been calling “Tanaka-kun” until he practically begs her to stop, and Tanaka-sensei, who are always talking to each other in what seems to be a very familiar way, and who, oh by the way, look exactly the same, were brothers? I thought she’d figured that out a while ago, but nope, super surprised and getting the wrong impression about them. And they have quite a bit of brotherly ribbing, mostly cause Kou is still super tsundere about Futaba. Kou’s not really ready to accept a relationship with Futaba, and it’s moved from because of her fake personality to problems he has.

Ao Haru Ride-Apology

Finally some movement by Kou towards Futaba

We get the first touching moment of the show, really, as both Futaba and Kou break down a bit, remembering the past and that date that Futaba got stood up on. But it helps her to hear that the reason he didn’t come was because his family fell apart, and not because she had scared him off by saying that she didn’t like the way boys acted. And it seems like the two of them have made progress together, although that slight glimmer of happiness that Kou seems to have gained with Futaba disappears immediately when he thinks about his brother coming to visit.

I Love It When a Gang Comes Together

Ao Haru Ride-Kou shows the way

He makes it look so easy

We knew from the ED that it was likely that the five characters that we’ve met will become a group of, if not friends, at least closer and doing things together. I didn’t know that it was going to be through the aegis of the class representatives. Of course, the main reason that Futaba even decides to be the class rep is because she’s feeling the pressure of blowing her re-debut. It can be hard to shed the rumors of the past, but she realizes that you can’t shed them if you don’t make the effort to. And it’s inspiring to Futaba that Kou is able to so easily disarm the other guys who try to start trouble about him being really smart but falling back to the normal class. But it feels different for the girls, with first Makita and then Futaba feeling the pressure of their past reputations.

Ao Haru Ride-The Fab Five

“Now you guys will be sent to the mines…”

So when Youichi (Tanaka-sensei) suggests being class rep, Futaba demurs, but the seed is planted, especially after Kou gives her a hard time about giving up so easily, and a pep talk about moving forward. And when noone volunteers for rep, she goes for it. And it’s really interesting how confidently Futaba moves into the role, first getting tsun-kou to volunteer, and then the rest of the group falls into place with Makita of course joining her new friend Futaba. I suppose we’ll find out later what pushed Murao into volunteering, but everyone knows that Kominato is going to take any chance he can to be around Murao, so that fills out the five.


I like the way this series is going, with enough of Futaba being interested in Kou, but also thinking about her own self most of the time. Kou made a little bit of movement this week, finally opening up a little to Futaba in his apology for standing her up, and showing some support as well, telling her that noone would blame her if she gave up, but noone would mind if she didn’t. I think it would really help the show if Kou could get over himself a little more, but he seems to be moving along with Futaba, as he sees her trying to change, he’s a little less critical of her, and I like that.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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3 Responses to “Ao Haru Ride – 03”

  1. JPNIgor says:

    I just noticed that I love the opening for this show. And the show too. I found it on youtube and listened to it on a loop for a whole hour.

    And I was right about Tanaka-sensei and Tanaka-kun \o/ It couldn’t be a coincidence, of course.

    Man, Kou is confusing at the least. There were a lot of moments on this episode when I expected him to be a jerk and somehow he made Futaba feel better. When she ran looking for Kou and he appeared behind her, I expected him to say “And what does it have to do with me?” with that gloomy face of his but he says “I’m glad.”… WTF?!

    Loving this so far. Let’s see what will happen with this group. I was missing groups of people where there isn’t a love triangle going on.

    • Highway says:

      I love the opening for the show also, and included that picture last week from near the end. It’s just a great look for Futaba.

      I gotta say that I thought the Tanaka brothers being brothers was so obvious that everyone, including Futaba, should have figured it out.

      I like how they’re showing that Kou cares about Futaba, even if it’s hard for him to acknowledge it to himself. He really seems to be appreciating Futaba’s attempts to better herself.

      I don’t know if it’ll go on too long without a love triangle. This *is* a shoujo show…

      • JPNIgor says:

        Yeah! And I love the shots where her hair is flying wildly.

        There is a love triangle… Kinda. It’s obvious that Murao kind of likes Tanaka-sensei, and Kominato loves Murao, that’s clear. At least it still isn’t inside the group. Like, there’s been Nagi no Asukara, and then there is Glasslip… Can’t friends be just friends? Do they always have to love each other in special ways? But one theory of mine is that Murao will try to make a move on Kou because of Tanaka-sensei… .-. Does that even make sense?

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