Ao Haru Ride – 09

Ao Haru Ride-What a pleasant host

Kou’s such a welcoming host

spring14-highwWe’re starting to run out of episodes of this show, and I’ll definitely be sorry to see it go. So where are we at ¾ of the way through the series?


Worrying about Kou

Ao Haru Ride-Starting to feel self-conscious

They’re all worried about Kou, but Yuuri’s worried she’s falling behind, too

The theme for half of the happenings this episode is everyone else worrying about Kou. His grades on the recent mid-terms are not good, especially since he used to be in the advanced class. His choice of hangouts is troubling to Futaba and Yuuri. And his joking that he’ll just quit school if he flunks doesn’t go over well with anyone. But he’s still willing to go back and forth with Futaba, even if he ends up in trouble with the teacher (and they go with the ‘bald’ insult again). And he’s not really impressed by Futaba’s lip gloss, wiping it off after she tells him about it, while not telling him that she wore it to try to be prettier to him.

Ao Haru Ride-stereotype much

Buckteeth? Really?

Even Kaminato is worried about Kou, who he now considers a good friend. His worry is more about Kou’s former classmates, who tease him about dropping out of the advanced class, and being terrible when he was in it. Man, they sure played those two guys up to be annoying dorks, even making one of them have Charlie Chan buckteeth. I don’t know if that was very necessary, but Kominato gets mad at their constant stream of insults to Kou, including saying that the only reason he got into the advanced class in the first place was because his brother is a teacher. Even if Kou doesn’t mind all that much (or at least show it), there are others who are willing to stand up on his behalf.

Ao Haru Ride-kodomo youni

More like little kids. Did they think the teacher wouldn’t see them?

Yuuri’s Fighting Back

Ao Haru Ride-Getting too friendly for Yuuri

Kou and Futaba are getting too close for Yuuri’s liking

One of the things about standing up for Kou is to try to help him bring his grades up. So the other friends, sparked by Yuuri, crash his house on Saturday and try to help improve his grades. Even if he doesn’t want to, I like the “We’ll study in his room until he decides he’s going to engage us” strategy. And he’s just a second late getting to the door to lock it. But this is part of a larger effort by Yuuri to try to get closer to Kou.

Ao Haru Ride-Taking her opportunity

Uncomfortable dishwashing time

She’s been seeing the easy closeness that Futaba and Kou have, and is worried that the two of them are getting closer together and that she won’t have a chance. Even worse, she thinks that Futaba has been getting prettier, not just because of the makeup, but because she’s in love with Kou. So she’s been taking some steps to get out ahead of Futaba, like setting up the study session, and then going to help Kou with the drinks. She even throws the flirt block on Futaba and Kou. And she even works up the courage to ask who he likes (only once, of course, and he doesn’t hear it). But when the two of them take a little too long with the glasses, Futaba catches them in a side room together, both embarrassed about something.

Ao Haru Ride-That doesn't look like nothing

I agree with Futaba: It doesn’t *look* like ‘nothing’.


So what did Yuuri see in the tatami room that caused them to go talk about it? I’m sure that they weren’t making out, even though Futaba’s now worried about that. Yuuri sure did look like she’d been caught doing something, but I don’t think Kou would have pulled out his “let’s scare the girls” routine on her like he did to Futaba. I’m going to guess that it’s something to do with Kou’s family situation, one of those things that people just aren’t open about. And Yuuri’s more embarrassed about it because she saw something that she maybe shouldn’t have, and ended up making him have to explain. But I bet we get a good half episode of angst for Futaba after 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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5 Responses to “Ao Haru Ride – 09”

  1. JPNIgor says:

    I’m trying not to get annoyed by Yuuri trying way harder than Futaba, because I know that Futaba has the great advantage of being Kou’s former crush, though I can’t help but being annoyed. It’s probably just because I keep cheering on Futaba. Her connection with Kou is something that I would appreciate to see being developed and I wouldn’t like some Yuuri girl getting in the way of it. Watching the spin-off “Ao Haru Ride – Unwritten” didn’t help to calm down these feelings.

    • Highway says:

      I’ll have to watch that, haven’t seen it yet. But I really like Yuuri’s character, and kind of feel bad for her, because I know the show is pretty much OTP with Kou and Futaba. But it’s also shoujo, and that means that they never finish anything before the last chapter of the manga, which in this case is still being published. Well, at least in a show like this where they don’t make a couple right off the bat. About the only one I know that was different was Sukitte ii na yo.

      But to me, even with Yuuri trying hard, she still doesn’t have a chance, at least in my eyes, and certainly not during the run of this series.

      • JPNIgor says:

        I know, and I feel bad for her too… But, I think I like Futaba’s stronger character better, so sometimes I feel annoyed, even if I don’t want to.

        I remember Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun being that show that made a couple throughout the series and ended with no couples. That was sad…

  2. Lem says:

    I don’t like Yuuri but I couldn’t blame her. She’s just fighting her love for Kou. Still, I’m a Kou-Futaba fan.

    • Highway says:

      I think Yuuri’s actually a great person, from the strength she showed while being ostracized, to the tenacity with which she wanted to hang on to Futaba’s friendship to her spirit of competition for Kou although she realizes that she’s completely on the back foot. I really like her character and you’re right, there’s no blame to be placed for her going to to try to spend time with Kou.

      All that out there, I too like Futaba x Kou because it’s a relationship that just feels right. And I really think there’s no way that Yuuri gets in between them (this isn’t like White Album 2 where Haruki goes out with the first girl to kiss him, despite being more in love with someone else).

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