Ever wished that your middle school crushed who moved away before you could confess would come back and tell you that he used to love you a lot? In Ao Haru Ride, that’s what we get; and yet, we learn fairly quickly that Futaba’s reunion with her middle school love Tanaka Kou isn’t all fun and giggles. After 3 years, both have changed tremendously and Kou especially acts too honest for his own good as he hurts Futaba more than once. This causes Futaba to question her first love…
I’m actually surprised! Seeing this first episode made me remember all of a sudden why I loved this manga quite a bit when it came out; many things I had forgotten came back to me and renewed this episode as a fresh RomCom, despite the fact that I’d read this one (and countless others) already.
Ao Haru Ride is different from others in many ways; one of the most important qualities of this story, however, is the beginning of it, where the usual cheesy first love scenario is somehow destroyed in one blow, without being completely removed as in certain other romances. Here, Futaba doesn’t seem to exactly hate Tanaka yet, although she does realize that things are different from before. Futaba’s early personality as a faker in high school is also interesting; instead of portraying herself cute on purpose, she does the opposite and portrays herself as a tomboy in order to fit in, which is a nice freshening to the usual high school debut crap.
Anyways, this first episode was very well done; Ao Haru Ride is a popular manga, and this anime is not about to tone it down because it seems that it is very well done. The animation is simple, but well-done enough to notice a difference when it really matters. The voice actors are also strong, and the soundtrack served well its purpose to freshen the mood.
Overall, if this was 24 episodes I’d expect this to cause quite a blow in the world of RomComs. Unfortunately, this will last only one season, leaving little room for the appearance of Kikuchi, which is the second most important reason why this manga is so damn popular. The show may be full of quality, but the short length of this anime will have to cause the plot to be a lot less fleshed out, and I expect an open ending already to occur and leave us with yet again another romance only meant to promote its manga… Since I know the story already, I will probably not be watching this, so count me out of it for the blogging part as well.