Ao Haru Ride – 04

Ao Haru Ride-kisushite

Is Futaba going for a kiss already?

spring14-highwAh, shoujo, why you have to treat us this way…


Umpteen Steps Back

Ao Haru Ride-Notice she keeps looking

I notice that Futaba keeps looking at him…

Let’s watch everything go bad between Futaba and Kou. Starting with getting everything wrong with the trip to the leadership retreat, feelings are tense between the two of them, and by extension with the rest of the group. And even though Yuuri seems to be keeping things happy that’s torpedoed by Kominato taking the cupcake she was saving for later. This isn’t exactly the express train to friendsville (although part of the reason Futaba and Kou were so late is that they got on the express train in the wrong direction).

Ao Haru Ride-Bad Atmosphere

Bad Atmosphere

But even when things aren’t going well, Kou can impress Futaba. Faced with presenting their answer to the question “What is the purpose of school events?” Kou takes her two word answer “Fun Memories” and extemporaneously expands it to something acceptable. And she should have known that they’d get picked to answer the question, since the leader of the retreat probably has it in for them. But realizing how amazing Kou is in comparison just makes her feel bad. And even that is a point for Kou to help her realize that she’s not that bad off. But what are Kou’s reasons for giving up on everything? And does Futaba love Kou? He just comes right out and asks, and her feigned umbrage just sets him off, leading to another argument between the two.

Ao Haru Ride-So close

But sometimes Futaba gets close

Other People’s Problems

Ao Haru Ride-Bad choices

How downtrodden can Murao look?

We get confirmation of the other love triangle, with side dish of forbidden love, in the second half of the show. Murao is in love with Tanaka-sensei, and he knows it. I have to say that he’s handling it “ok.” I guess it’s gotta be tough for him, since he needs to be her teacher, and wants to support his student, but clearly tells her that he can’t be anything more than that. He even pushes her to be more friendly with her classmates, something we know she didn’t do at all last semester. But perhaps the worst thing for Murao is that Yuuri overheard her with Tanaka-sensei, and now knows about her unrequited crush on a teacher.

Ao Haru Ride-A loving embrace

“Come along honey…”

And what would a shoujo anime be without misunderstandings about your crush’s love life? So it’s typical that Futaba sees another girl confessing to Kou and thinks that he’s happy about it when he’s smiling. It’s pretty obvious to me by now that Kou is easy with the smiles when it’s with people he just doesn’t care about. That’s what makes Futaba and Youichi special: they’re the ones he shows his unhappiness to, the ones he’s honest with. And I think that there’s a level that Futaba realizes that, even if the other levels are her being annoyed at his bluntness and feeling sad that he hurts so much. But her worries of him finding another girlfriend are dispelled with a word after he saves her from a couple of third-years boys that think she’s trying to confess to them. And again, while they’re walking away, Kou holds onto her hand longer than he really needs to, showing that he really does feel a comfort with her that he won’t say.


They’re still fighting about which version of each other they love, but to me it’s obvious there’s a strong connection here between Kou and Futaba, one that’s lasted from before. They can talk at each other about how they’ve changed, how they’re not the same people the other used to love, but even with that, I think they’re starting to love the person that they’re with now. I think the challenge for Kou is still going to be getting over himself, something that he’s not really willing to do. And will Yuuri spill the beans on Murao’s crush to anyone else? Or will she ask Murao about it (not very likely). I think it’s going to be quite the secondary plot point, and wonder if Kominato knows about it as well, or is he too blinded by the light he sees in Murao to see where she’s really looking?


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 – 04”

  1. JPNIgor says:

    I just can’t get Kou. Really. This episode we just had more of Kou being hardcore tsundere. Of course, Futaba is just as tsun as Kou, but her being unsure of what to do with her feelings for Kou is because Kou seems like he will never take a definite stance in relation to Futaba. Like, he still comforts her with words and nonchalantly does topless to her, and c’mon, did you really need to say that you’re her boyfriend? That wasn’t necessary. And then he just keep saying things that would tick anyone off.

    Also, I saw some spoilers that I really wanted to erase from my memories, and, yeah, there’s a love triangle in this group. We just don’t know yet.

    • Highway says:

      I dunno what triggers Kou’s tsuntsun. It’s almost like it’s a reaction to Futaba, when she is more trying to be funny or take false umbrage. When she’s honest with him and herself, he doesn’t seem to lash out. But maybe that’s just me seeing things. 🙂

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