Name: Ao Haru Ride
Genre: Romance, Drama, Slice of Life, Comedy, Shoujo
Studio: TOHO Animation, Movic, Production I.G
Director: Ai Yoshimura
Original Airtime: 8 July, 2014 – 23 September, 2014
Yoshioka Futaba wants to reset her life, because she used to be shunned by other girls and had no friends since she was cute and a lot of boys liked her. So, she discarded her feminine side and started behaving like a tom boy. However, one day she stumbles across Kou Mabuchi who happens to be her middle school crush. She came to know Kou also liked her. However, Kou assures her that those are in the past and things are different now. Futaba tries to understand what made that shy, gullible and innocent Kou the cold and insensitive being he is now.
The story is sort of cliche. A girl is head over heels for a guy who has changed into an insensitive being due to a tragic event. No pacing issue and didn’t try to complicate things. The story although very simple doesn’t make it bad. It’s a Shoujo/Rom-Com anime and the story and its pacing compliments the genre very well. It does what it’s supposed to do and fulfills its purpose.
The characters are quite likable. In a way Ao Haru ride has been able to step out of the stereotype rom-coms by giving the characters a bit of dynamics. Lots of characters each having back stories of their own, play significant parts in the development of the story. Thus it stands out from most other rom-coms which mostly circulate around the male and female leads. Although I wanted more screen time and influence of Tanaka Sensei in the anime, but hey! you win some, you lose some.
Here are some notable characters from the anime:
The animation and visuals in this anime are quite commendable. Vibrant colors, clear drawings and perfect finishing and execution make this anime a feast for the eyes. The art is a bit unique in this show. The big eye lashes and thin bodies are a signature trait of the art style used in this anime. Though it took me a little time to get used to it, I loved it later on.
Here are some screenshots from the anime:
Awesome is the word you’re looking for. Listen to “I Will” by Chelsy. It was one of the most emotional songs used as background music in an anime I heard in a while. The opening and ending tracks were good too. I simply loved the background scores used in this anime. They complimented the scenes and conveyed the emotions that they were meant to convey to the point that it almost got me right in the kokoro.
I thoroughly enjoyed the show despite one or two drawbacks. Nothing significant I can complain about. It fulfilled purpose of being a shoujo anime quite aptly. It was definitely worth the time.
Ao Haru Ride is a breath of fresh air among lots of clichéd shoujo anime. If you are up for a decent and unique shoujo anime give this anime a shot. I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it for you guys. It’s worth the watch.