Ao Haru Ride – 10

Ao Haru Ride-So close to a kiss

Kiss her already, Kou!

spring14-highwSometimes you can overdo it bugging your friends about things. Sometimes they’re just trying to be tactful.


You Didn’t Really Need to Know

Ao Haru Ride-hey what's over here


Last week we had that suspicious appearance by Kou and Yuuri, and Futaba was even more suspicious. She just lets her imagination run wild when Kou and Yuuri both start avoiding each other’s, and Futaba’s, eyes. In reality, they’re actually acting pretty normally, but Futaba’s in hyper-aware mode and worrying about too much stuff. But when Futaba gets brushed off again by Yuuri about what happened, she makes up an excuse to go back to Kou’s house and talk to him about it (has anyone ever made up more fake excuses to go back somewhere than Futaba?). In fact, I think that Yuuri’s hesitation in telling Futaba that it wasn’t anything was partly her evaluating whether she should tell Futaba out of them being friends and friends with Kou, or whether she should keep a little advantage, just a little closeness to Kou that Futaba doesn’t have (which she even confirms later).

Ao Haru Ride-The 'secret'

I think they captured the ‘interrupted’ feel of Futaba perfectly in this shot

Too bad for Yuuri that Futaba can’t let that happen, so she goes back and badgers the truth out of Kou: she actually saw the butsudan for his mother, and Kou explained, just as he’s now explaining to Futaba. Well, not that she really badgered him. She just stalled him into submission. And I think it’s really nice the way they portrayed Futaba here: disappointed in herself in doubting Kou and Yuuri, understanding how Yuuri had to feel being asked about it. I also like the way it segued into Futaba’s first kinda-sorta confession to him, saying that she doesn’t want him to drop out, that she wants to be with him. Of course, it was ambiguous enough that anime protagonist Kou will think she meant ‘stay together with everyone’. I also liked Futaba’s answer to Kou’s admonition about trying to find the old him: She wants to know who he is now, and knowing what changed him is integral to that.

But It’s Good to Know

Ao Haru Ride-Shittemasu

Another perfect reaction for Futaba. This episode just knocked the reaction shots out of the park

Futaba doesn’t really hear from Kou what happened to change him, but instead we get that from Youichi. I wonder if that was Kou’s intention in telling Youichi to take her home rather than having Futaba walk (since they didn’t live that far apart, and Futaba’s walked after dark plenty of times before). After Youichi has walked in on the two of them apparently close to kissing (no matter what Kou says about it), maybe he feels that Futaba should understand Kou more, and that she’s in a position where she should be privileged to know. The story just points out how strong Kou is, and how rough the chain of divorce followed by having to watch his mother die, without anyone to really support him, was for him. So Futaba finally knows what changed Kou.

Ao Haru Ride-love of friends

At the end of the day they’re still friends, and I think they’ll continue to be no matter what happens

But she’s also feeling guilty about doing an end run on Yuuri. I think the really unique part of this show is the deep friend love that Yuuri and Futaba have, even as they’re both in love with the same boy. It’s a similar scenario to White Album 2, but handled completely differently, because both girls admit they love Kou, and there’s no faking it on one of their parts. I think it’s obvious to both of them that they both like to have a little advantage, and that they both get jealous, and that they both, in spite of that, want to stay friends. I actually think the similarity between them is what can keep their friendship together.


I just loved how they portrayed that moment of Futaba telling Youichi that he doesn’t need to convince her that Kou is a good person, and think it also freed up Youichi a little bit: Kou finally having someone else who cares for him, someone that he might actually care for in return, and maybe it can help Youichi get on better terms with Kou since he doesn’t need to base his relationship with his brother on his guilt from functionally abandoning him to deal with their mother alone.

I mentioned White Album 2, and I think there’s another key difference between the two scenarios: even if Yuuri tried the “confess first” strategy, Kou is enough of his own person to turn her down. I think Kou’s realizing how much he really cares for Futaba, with that “What am I doing?”, and that he’s past any hope of Yuuri having a chance because he doesn’t know how Futaba feels about him.


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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4 Responses to “Ao Haru Ride – 10”

  1. Namika says:

    I’m back!! *O*
    OMG I love this show so far. What I love the most about it is the relationship between Futaba and Yuuri. In the end they can not stay as friends if one of them doesn’t fall in love with someone else between the other gets Kou’s attention. That’s how I see it. Otherwise there will be hard feelings 😀
    I’ve teared up a little at the part with their mother, actually. It hit home, because my bffs are in the same situation. ;_; Poor Kou. so that’s why he was afraid of caring for others, that poor thing. But Futaba will definitely cheer him up :3 and mess up his ‘not caring’ plans 😀

    • Highway says:

      I lean the other way. Their friendship seems to have such a good base of feelings for each other that I think it could withstand Futaba and Kou becoming a couple, because both Yuuri and Futaba understand what it’s like to lose ‘friends’ because of a boy they like, and neither one of them want to be that kind of ‘friend’. Plus, I think Shuuko will continue being that bridge they need to ground their relationship as friends and not just romantic rivals.

      I also tend to think that Yuuri’s ‘love’ for Kou is much more of a crush or infatuation, and that when she loses out, she’d get over it pretty quickly. Of course, since it’s a shoujo manga, it’s more like they’ll all get jerked around for years, tho.

      • JPNIgor says:

        I’m somehow in the middle of you two. I do believe that their friendship could withstand Kou choosing one over the other, but speaking realistically, it’s impossible to have your crush taken by another person and not have hard feelings. It probably wouldn’t affect their relationships that much. Murao-san is there, after all.

        Yuuri did say that she liked Kou even before he helped her crossing the river, so I’m not so sure it’s as simple as just a crush. Of course, Futaba’s feelings are way more complex in comparison…

        • Highway says:

          To me, given that Yuuri’s barely had any conversations with Kou (that we’ve seen) and is mostly basing her opinion of him as a nice person off of his interactions with Futaba, I think it’s much more of a crush than a serious love. It’s possible there’s been more interaction between them than we’ve seen, but I don’t really think there has. And unlike Futaba, they just haven’t spent that time together that would let her get to know more about him.

          I do think that if Futaba wasn’t in the picture, that there could be a good relationship between Yuuri and Kou. I just think that she’ll lose out in the situation that there is now. I think it’ll hurt her, but I also think that she’d be able to bounce back.

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