Ao Haru Ride is a bittersweet ride of emotions, right from the flashback to the past between Futaba and Tanaka. Taking shelter from the rain at the same place and planning to go to the festival together was really sweet, yet it was all ruined in a single moment. Tanaka overheard Futaba saying, “That’s why I hate all boys!” and misunderstood what she meant. He didn’t turn up for the festival either. Later on, Futaba found out that Tanaka changed schools during the summer holiday.
By the producers of Kimi ni Todoke, Ao Haru Ride has a similar art style that’s lovely for shoujo anime. I really liked the soft pastel colours used in the flashback in the beginning. Ao Haru Ride may not have the most striking synopsis, but episode one has charmed me. It’s not just about romance, it also talks about friendship. Futaba thought that by acting less feminine, she could gain friends unlike in the past, where she was scorned. Yet, during the bread incident, her friends did not believe her when she insisted she had already paid for the bread. Looking at the ending theme, Futaba should be gaining new true friends who she can trust. It reminds me of Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, except that Futaba is more similar to Natsume, especially since Natsume used to be hated and ignored by other girls as well.
Kou is a mysterious person. I am very curious about the reason why he transferred schools and most importantly, what caused his personality to change so drastically. He is cold as compared to the past, yet he did stand up for Futaba during the bread incident, even demanding the vendor to apologise to Futaba.
Hopefully, Ao Haru Ride will continue to prove to be a ride worth getting onto. How are the new characters going to be like? What is going to happen between Futaba and Kou? Somehow, Ao Haru Ride seems to be taking a typical shoujo route, but hey, cliches can be nice sometimes, depending on your mood.
Watch Ao Haru Ride episode 1 at http://www.animeultima.tv/Ao-Haru-Ride-episode-1/