Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride) (アオハライド)
Original Story by Io Sakisaka
Art by Io Sakisaka
Published by Bessatsu Margaret from 2011 to 2015
Genres: [Shoujo] Romance, School, Slice of Life
Status of manga: Completed*
My rating for the anime: 8/10
My rating for the live action film: 6.5/10
*Review based on entire manga series
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Purchase links are not available because, as of when this review is published, this manga has yet to be officially serialized in English. However, you can still read this online with fan-subs.
3.5 Stars, Reread January 1, 2017
– read the bold text to avoid minor SPOILERS –
If I had to choose one word to describe this manga series, it would be the Japanese adjective, “懐かしい” (natsukashii). This term is difficult to translate into English accurately and completely, but it is often used to express a yearning for something, or a slightly nostalgic feeling of missing. As a non-native and amateur learning the foreign language for my own fun, how I’ve personally interpret natsukashii is the feeling you get when you’re reminded of the past. And Blue Spring Ride made me feel just that.
The story begins with two middle schoolers, Futaba Yoshioka and Kou Tanaka, that like each other making plans to attend a festival together during their school break. However, misunderstandings arise after Futaba accidentally blurts that she hates boys because of their obnoxious behavior. Kou hears her exclamation, and doesn’t meet up with Futaba the day of the event. Futaba believes that he stood her up for the outburst that he overheard, but really he couldn’t make it because of family issues. So she decides to address this misunderstanding when they return to school. But on the day of the new semester, Futaba discovers that Kou has already transferred schools to another town. With a lot of loose ends left and the strength of first love, the two never forget each other in spite of the distance. And then years later, fate makes them enrolled in the same high school. Will they finally face each other after all this time? And will the attraction they shared from the past be rekindled?