Ao Haru Ride – 08

Ao Haru Ride-Everyone Listen to this!

Isn’t she cuuuute?


Making the hard choices and following through. Sometimes it’s really hard to do, but you have to get it done.


Not Giving Up

Ao Haru Ride-Futaba Admits it

Futaba comes clean

We saw last week Yuuri’s last ditch effort to keep her friendship with Futaba, who she thought was avoiding her because Futaba was mad at her. We got a small addition to that scene this week, with Yuuri’s worried look before approaching Futaba, but she still put on that bright smile to ask. And on the way out, they pick up Shuuko for some reason. I don’t know exactly what Yuuri was thinking, asking Shuuko to go along with them when she wanted to clear the air with Futaba, but it sure puts a crimp on Futaba’s plans to tell Yuuri about being in love with Kou. Even if she’s promised that she will tell Yuuri or shave her head.

Ao Haru Ride-Yuuri Bucks Up

Yuuri bucks up. Best character of the show.

And the opposite of last week, when Futaba’s ideas of telling Yuuri were thwarted by Yumi-chan’s sudden appearance and story, this time the surprise appearance of Asumi, her former “friend” galvanizes Futaba once more to tell Yuuri, to prove that she’s changed, and to prove that her friendship to Yuuri means more than her previous “friends in name only” relationship. So even though it’s tough, Futaba screws up her courage and finally confesses to Yuuri, whose smile in response surely hides a bit of a broken heart, but she mostly keeps that to herself, and her image in the bathroom mirror. That doesn’t stop Futaba from realizing that she was crying a bit in the bathroom, but that just reinforces how resilient their friendship has been so far.

Ao Haru Ride-Shuuko Confesses

“I’m totally surprised! Wait, you’re not?”

And the revelations aren’t over, because Shuuko takes the opportunity to come clean about Tanaka-sensei, inspired by the closeness and strength that both Futaba and Yuuri exhibit. And that it’s obvious that Yuuri hasn’t told Futaba reinforces again what stand up people Yuuri, and even Futaba, are. I think that seeing that kind of honesty and strength in a friendship is what first drew Shuuko to hang out with them, and then allowed her to open up a bit to them. And it’s pretty funny that Shuuko rags on them for thinking Kou is a catch, when she’s after his totally similar brother.

Ao Haru Ride-Yuuri's true feelings

Yuuri finds solace in a donut

Endangering Yourself

Ao Haru Ride-He Likes Terry Bradshaw

“I’m always playing with this cat, but it’s not like I like it or anything…”

Even as Futaba wants to get closer to Kou, Kou’s being his mercurial self. Spouting things about not wanting to get close to things, because he doesn’t want them to weigh him down, even though he’s obviously wanting to get closer to Futaba, and likes and worries about the cat at the station, and he’s a good friend to Yuuri as well. It’s mostly like he’s trying to keep two different sides, and may even be fighting the one that’s friendly to people because he wants to keep a self-image of being a cynical guy.

Ao Haru Ride-Nanpa Time

Futaba’s never attracted this much attention before

So when Futaba follows him to Nanpa Central and confronts him about what he’s doing there, she’s probably in a bit more of a situation than she thinks she is. And instead of leaving her to the wolves, he actually takes umbrage at the other guys hitting on her and takes her out of there. He does manage to get out of there, saving a little face for himself while successfully escorting Futaba away, but then wonders why she won’t leave him alone. I think her frustration that she doesn’t know him as well as she thought she did is really well played, and her honest outburst that if he wants to talk to someone she’s right there is very open, but that openness is what leads her to let her guard down a bit much for Kou’s tastes. And I think that the reaction she has to Kou’s demonstration of her helplessness is also pretty good, apart from the crying. The scared comes after: her first reaction is excitement, and readiness to kiss him. And even a little bit of disappointment that all she got was dekopin. It may not be the most feminist of portrayals, but it certainly felt authentic.

Ao Haru Ride-Wide Eyed



A rough day for Futaba, first telling Yuuri about moving in on the guy she likes, then realizing she’s not nearly as close to Kou as she thought she was. But how much is Kou fronting, not really sure where he wants to be, and who he wants to be with, and just trying to push everything away so that he doesn’t have to face the fact that he actually does like Futaba? We don’t know yet why he’s so hostile with Youichi, although I think we’ll find out, but I think that’s a lot of why he’s trying to maintain his facade. I think the show will probably end up in a good place for this run, probably without a couple, but at least with some progress on the FutabaxKou ship.


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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2 Responses to “Ao Haru Ride – 08”

  1. JPNIgor says:

    This show… STOP BEING SO DARN CUTE, PLS. Actually, don’t stop, I’m loving it this way.

    I wasn’t surprised with Yuuri’s reaction, it was pretty predictable, though cute. The real surprise there was Murao. She has this pokerface which is only broken when Tanaka-sensei is around, so when she blurted her secret to ease the tension between the two of them, it really took me off guard.

    And then we had Kou trying to be asshole just be kind, showing how an asshole would be like. If he’s perfect when he isn’t supposed to be, then he’s apex of perfection.

    I wish Futaba had kissed Kou, just to see his reaction…

    • Highway says:

      I really liked the way the whole thing played out. They’ve given us enough about both Yuuri and Futaba’s history of alienation to show why they value their friendship so much. And it’s a friendship based on being honest to the other person and just being yourself. I think that’s really what drew Shuuko into the group: seeing that these two work so hard to be honest and true friends to each other, even if they fear that it could harm their friendship. Plus, they’re both special people: Most girls certainly wouldn’t react the way Yuuri did to finding out their best friend also had a serious crush on their serious crush, nor would they have admitted it in such an open and contrite way like Futaba did.

      I kind of wanted Futaba to kiss him as well, but that’s a little much for this show right now.

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