Ao Haru Ride, the Summer Romance That All Anime Fans Have Been Waiting For

Tristan Pongujaporn, Staff Writer

The recent anime romance Ao Haru Ride premiered on Japanese television July 7 through September 23, and became an extremely loved title this past season.

Ao Haru Ride, or Blue Spring Ride (English translation), was originally a manga series written by Sakisaka Io. It follows the heroine Futaba Yoshioka, a second-year high school student who was unliked by her fellow female students in middle school. This was due to her being far too “feminine,” and partly because all of the boys seemed to fancy her over the rest of the girls. In an effort to transform herself, she creates a facade of being a sloppy and tomboyish girl.

Yoshioka’s act was going well until she was reunited with her first love from middle school, Kou Tanaka, an awkward, silent and compassionate boy who fell in love with Yoshioka. Tanaka moved away at the end of summer break during their first year of middle school, and now he’s back, but everything is different about him. His last name is no longer Tanaka, but Mabuchi instead. Something happened to Tanaka over the years that made him distant, harsh, and unopen with his feelings.

Upon Yoshioka reuniting with Tanaka, her love is harshly rejected, and he tells her to quit living in the past. Determined to open up Tanaka’s heart to her once more, Yoshioka tosses away her facade and tries to become the girl that she used to be, in an effort to ascertain as to whether or not she is still in love with Tanaka.

Due to Ao Haru Ride’s popularity in Japan, an anime adaptation was created to satiate the fans’ requests. Animated by TOHO Animation Group and licensed by Sentai Filmworks, they have successfully created an anime that constantly leaves the viewers wanting more.

Isa Tran, a recent Dougherty Valley High School graduate, says, “It provides the emotional satisfaction that Say I Love You and Kimi ni Todoke couldn’t.”

There have been many manga and anime titles in the past falling under the category of romance that have frustrated viewers to no end. This is mainly due to the constant trend in currently-airing romances of misunderstandings between the hero and heroine, and there is always another girl or guy that creates even more tension between the two characters.

Ao Haru Ride lacks this trend and has a beautiful and bubbly art style that leaves the viewers captivated by all the vibrant colors that stand out. The story always leaves the viewers with a fuzzy feeling in their chests because of the amount of meaning and conviction within each of the characters’ actions. The manga was given a starred review of 4.8 out of 5 on, and 8 out of 10 on