Finding an anime in the shoujo genre feels like it’s getting harder and harder. I have seen so many that it feels like their is none of them left. One of the animes that is constantly brought up when I’m looking for an anime in the shoujo genre is Ao Haru Ride. I had pretty big expectations for this series…. and I was not exactly disappointed.
Story & Characters
In middle school, Futaba Yoshioka and Kou Tanaka had feelings for one another. The two arranged to meet up during the summer festival but after an incident where Futaba says she hates boys, Kou never shows up to the festival. Futaba then finds out for an unknown reason, Kou moved cities. Three years have gone by and Futaba is in high school. She eventually runs into Kou who is now named Kou Mabuchi.
The series did have some potential that went down the drain. The relationships between each of the characters, especially the romance between our leads, weren’t very well fleshed out, well at least as much as I wish it had been. I did like all the characters, the development and for the most part the romance between our two leads. I love the backstory and development for Kou and the development for Futaba and Yuri. However the anime fails to build up the bond between Kominato and Murao especially between them and the rest of the main cast. The only bond that was fully fleshed out was the one between Futaba and Yuri. Futaba and Yuri have such an amazing friendship, I love the way it begins and grows. My favorite part of this anime though was just how they took a realistic and great approach to two friends liking the same guy and I won’t go into detail because just by mentioning that point is getting close to spoiler territory. Also this anime NEEDS more than 12 episodes because it is NOT ENOUGH!
Grade (Story): C+
Grade (Characters): B-
Animations & Sound
The animations are very pretty, especially in the opening. I love all the character’s designs too especially for Kou and Murao. The anime is very colorful and quite vivid. Also the one thing that stood out to me is that unlike most animes, every character actually has an upper lip and I don’t know how to feel about it, I think it’s great but it bothers me because of how refreshing it is to see.
The opening song is incredibly catchy and great. As I said earlier, the animations in the opening are pretty but that was not the openings only good quality. The opening is just great to listen to and you can easily save up your time to watch it. The ending song is very chill and though it doesn’t stand out as much it is definitely a good ending theme considering most anime endings are usually quite unnoticeable. The anime is only in Japanese but the Japanese voice actors are all very good but no stand outs to mention.
Grade (Animations): B
Grade (Music): B
Grade (Voice Acting): B-
Ao Haru Ride has lost potential but it’s not disappointing. The anime is very enjoyable regardless of some of its flaws. The characters were all likable and their development is fantastic. The one thing this anime needs now is a second season because it’s flaws could be made up for in season 2. But I do recommend Ao Haru Ride if you like anything in the shoujo demographic. I grade this anime with a B-.
Thank you for reading my reviews. What are your thoughts on Ao Haru Ride? Please recommend me to an anime or manga to review, I will gladly do so. Stay around for my review tomorrow. Till next time 🙂