This week’s episode of Ao Haru Ride mainly follows Futaba’s internal struggle with her feelings for Kou and her desire to keep her friendship with Makita. Due to Futaba’s poor history with friends in middle school, she really fears she’ll lose Makita as a friend when Makita finds out that Futaba also has a crush on Kou. Although the episode basically followed the usual shojo back and forth emotional indecision, I felt that the storytelling did a really great job of balancing the visuals with Futaba’s thoughts in order to create a three-dimensional character narrative.
Again I love how the show brought back Futaba and Kou’s middle school flashbacks. The animation is dreamy and nostalgic, overall just stunning.
To be honest I thought the story would work its way up to the big confrontation by the end of the episode but they did drag the introspection out for quite some time. In between the every-day high-school scenes and the comedy scenes, Futaba is really fixated on the issue. In times like these I really think you’ve got to trust your friend to also respect your feelings as much as you respect theirs. It makes sense though that Futaba would be so adverse to confronting Makita 1) because of her history and 2) because she hasn’t known Makita for a really long time, she has no idea how exactly Makita will react to Futaba.
The Futaba and Kou scenes never cease to amuse me. They act all friendly and normal when they’re in front of other people but get a little more than friendly when they’re alone together. Kou is so comfortable with Futaba that he can complain to her or get physically close to her without there being too much awkwardness. Futaba also finds herself being REALLY honest about herself in front of Kou, to the point of clarifying that she did change her shampoo so he’d be attracted to her. No awkward stammer. No bi**hing. No blushing. It just all sort of happened. Futaba and Kou definitely move at their own unique pace apart from usual shojo manga couples.
Pretty average episode of Ao Haru Ride this week but I am looking forward to seeing the current love triangle resolve itself and I would really like to see more of Kominato and Murao’s side of the story. I can’t exactly predict where in the manga the anime adaptation will end but judging from what we’ve seen so far, we can expect a pretty satisfying ending between Futaba and Kou. Hopefully we won’t be left hanging and if we are… there better be a season 2 (because the manga hasn’t ended yet).
What are you pondering today?