Blue Spring Ride - Reviews

Alt title: Ao Haru Ride

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thatbitch's avatar
Mar 4, 2016

Let me start by saying, I'm a 20 year old woman. So my opinion of this anime probably wouldn't be the same as a 13 year old. Which I think is the audience this anime is more suited for. I gave this anime a chance because the art was fairly good and the main male character looked cute. The first episode was good, it reeled me in but this anime never really climaxed for me. It was really boring. There wasn't much of a story line and the character development wasn't great. I wish they would have made the characters more endearing and had more love interest besides just the love triangle. Yes that one girl liked the teacher and that one guy liked the girl that liked the teacher (I never remember names) but they didn't go into detail of those relationships. This anime focused on the love triange.This anime could have been improved with more character development.  

4/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
4/10 characters
4/10 overall
kidkonseptual's avatar
Oct 2, 2014

This was originally a recap on the finale (containing spoilers) as well as the following final impressions. You can read the post on my website found here.


Colorful.
Ao Haru Ride.

Hello and welcome to my Ao Haru Ride review. There won’t be any spoilers contained herein, which doesn’t really matter anyway, considering that this is easily the most predictable series I’ve seen this year. It’s especially predictable if you’ve seen a few romantic-type comedies based in the shoujo genre.

Don’t mistake predictable for bad, mind you. It’s just as the series meanders along, it never really surprised me, delivered anything unexpected or made me think or feel anything new. But I enjoyed it. So, what did Ao Haru Ride deliver and what did the cast of characters make me feel? Some of that, but first a very brief synopsis and some production notes.

Ao Haru Ride, literally Blue Spring Ride, was billed as a shoujo romantic comedy, but it’s a pretty basic light coming-of-age in high school tale. The series begins with us following high school student Yoshioka Futaba as she makes her way through her first year in high school. We immediately get some insight into the main character, her past and various motivations.

Futaba fulfills awkward main character role well.
Futaba fulfills awkward main character role well.

It doesn’t take long for Futaba’s world to be shaken, when she’s reunited with a boy from her past. This lighter version of a long lost love is the catalyst for Futaba — and through her, the story — to progress over course the series. She contends with her feelings for the dreamy Kou, while dealing with real friendship for the first time, and generally being a high school girl. It’s all pretty basic, and generally hinges on how much you like the characters and the writing. Thankfully, the characters and writing aren’t terrible.

The show looked and sounded just fine. When researching the show before the season started, I did look over the manga and its website. The character designs in the anime are toned down versions of the slightly exaggerated shoujo-style ones in the manga, but are fairly faithful for the most part. Especially faithful in regards to the males, who are rendered stunningly attractive.

Kou and Bro are blessed genetically.
Kou and Bro are blessed genetically.

Characters designs, as well as all the backgrounds, various locales, and the animation itself are pretty, but fairly mediocre. The series — animated by Production I.G. — doesn’t look bad, just not very memorable. It suffices however, and luckily for Ride, it doesn’t need to look stunning (although Kou is pretty stunning) to tell its story. I would say the same for the audio contained in the series.

The opening is lively and colorful, but I usually skip it, as I do all opening and endings. I feel that OPs and EDs are pointless for the most part, unless it comes to spoiling events that haven’t happened. They’re really good at spoiling shit — and selling merchandise. Regardless, I can’t give an honest opinion about those. The score and background music were pretty good however.

The shot that made my female readership climb.
The shot that made my female readership climb.

The voice acting is fine, and for the most part slightly above average. Uchidas Maaya does Futaba’s voice and with her being the main character, gets plenty of opportunities to show a wide range of emotion, and show it well in my opinion. Anything less, and it could have been difficult actually caring what happens her as much as I did.

So, why did I care about Futaba and through her, Kou and the rest of her friends? Well, the reason I enjoyed the series overall, is the same reason I enjoy the shoujo genre of fiction — sometimes. To me, shoujo doesn’t necessarily mean “girly” stories, but more “stories with feelings.” Because god fucking forbid, you put some actual feelings into a show like Akame ga Kill!

Feelings in shounen-like series tend to be a set of grunts, determined looks, fist pumps and super exaggerated expressions. I like Akame ga Kill!, but as a mature adult, I need feelings sometimes. It’s not that I don’t have any feelings myself and want to see them up close or anything, I just — nevermind.

Swoon.
Swoon.

So, if you get my drift, Ao Haru Ride is a fine example of what I enjoy about the shoujo genre. It’s a simple story, and one with an affable main character to root for. I won’t get into too many specifics, as it wouldn’t be needed. If you’ve seen coming of age high school shows before, you’re already in Ride‘s personal space and will feel completely comfortable watching this.

Instead, here are a few things I liked and a few I didn’t like. As I already said, I enjoyed Futaba quite a bit. She’s the “every man” character done very well, and honestly, she could have easily been a male character. The group that does come together fairly early in the series has a nice chemistry, and there are a few small and reoccurring gags that help with the lighter sides of things.

Hand warmer to face, my favorite screenshot of the Summer.
Hand warmer to face, my favorite screenshot of the Summer.

I did not like high school in real life and I don’t like watching characters in high school in anime. If an anime doesn’t take place in high school, it’s immediately better in my book. Every New Year’s my resolution is to stop watching anime that takes place in high school, but I always break it. I have a reoccurring gag myself with a friend. When one of us tries to describe an anime we’ve just watched, the other says, “you just described 90% of all anime,” regardless of what they described. You can use that if you wish, it’s fun.

So, because it’s in high school, I found it difficult, but not impossibru (lol) to connect to the teenage feels. My only main gripe with the series, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, is Ride’s predictability issues. Kou, the returning figure in Futaba’s life, is one of the most obvious characters I’ve ever seen. And the best looking.

Its so tough being as good looking as I am.
“It’s so tough being as good looking as I am.”

Seriously, isn’t he dreamy? Not just physically mind you. He’s distant, but reachable by way of some treacherous waters, he’s cruel at times, but just challenging enough to make teenage girls wonder why he’s so cruel. Surely, Futaba can tame the distant-staring eyes and murky-watered heart residing just inside those firm teenage pectoral muscles?

You get what I’m saying right? Kou is perfection, which I found stupid. Even when he’s an asshole and distant, he’s perfect. Girls, lol. In addition to Kou, all the characters act and do things you’d expect, with very few exceptions. Hmm… I’m going to stop right there and finish this. I apologize for all the nonsense, which I’ve just re-read, but will not edit out.

Ok, with its enjoyable, familiar main character — who I really did enjoy — and for the general enjoyment I took from the series, I’ll give Ao Haru Ride a very solid 3 out of 5 on my Kitsune Scale

scale-3

If you haven’t read my finales before, a three is a very good score. A four is slotted for great shows, with five for the rare series that I think is outstanding. All my opinions of course. On my, “would I recommend this series,” scale, I would say, yes. That’s if you’ve read this review and it sounds good, then watch it. On my, “did I ever think about dropping this scale,” the answer is, no. This was really easy to watch.

Well, I wanted a well-rounded Summer 2014 season and knew I wanted a shoujo anime to recap and review. Thankfully this coincided with the release of Ride. Although my second choice was Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun which people seem to like, and its been on my want to watch list. Anyway, thanks all, and if you have any comments or shoujo series to recommend, please let me know!

Thanks all and take care.
Thanks all and take care.


6/10 story
4/10 animation
5/10 sound
7/10 characters
6/10 overall
Kirimya's avatar
Sep 12, 2015

This anime really was beautiful. It isn't complete, but the manga finished it off beautifully. I recommend that if you watch Blue Spring Ride: Unwritten and Blue Spring Ride, then you'll definately love the manga as well!

9/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
TomorroWilLovMe's avatar
Aug 10, 2015

Honestly, why do I have to put off good animes like this when someone recommends me? HONESTLY. I don't know, really. First it was Steins;Gate, then it was Your Lie in April, and now it's this. How come I didn't find this anime sooner?

Now, I know what you're going to say. Blue Spring Ride is cliché as sh!t. And let me tell you -- It is. Haha, I'm not sure if you're into those kind of animes about a hopeless romantic girl who rejoins her childhood crush or whatnot, but I seriously am. *cough* Probably cause I kinda want my life to be like that *cough* ANYWAY...

STORY

The story wasn't really really interesting. It was predictable and cliché, like most rom-com animes (My Little Monster, Your Lie in April, etc.). Nonetheless, it delivered extremely cute moments where I kinda just went into non compos mentis mode. I don't know how much times I've strangled by poor pillow just to keep my 'feelz' under control. I think it kinda worked. I didn't wake up the rest of my family in the middle of the night, so that's good...?

I gave it a 5/10. Minus 5 points because it was just really commonplace and I've seen animes like Blue Spring Ride before. But, I didn't deduct any more because I will say I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Goodness, I just couldn't stop (which is why I'm currently picking up from the manga.)

OH AND ANOTHER NOTE. I'm taking out 0.5 points now because of this. I HATE it whenever the anime producers do this but... WHY. Why does Blue Spring Ride have to END before actually finishing?! Really? Really. If it means making another season or actually WAITING for the manga to finish for it to be produced, then DO IT. Please, these unfinished animes make me cringe and cry my eyes out. Really good animes have been cut short and I would LOVE to see them be finished (Fruits Basket, Vampire Knight, My Little Monster Ouran Highschool Host Club...) The list goes ON.

So, on a final note, the story would actually be 4.5 just because cut-off animes make me so deranged.

ANIMATION

If it hadn't been for the visuals, I don't think I would have continued with this anime. The first episode animation would probably be my most favorite. I was totally in love with the painted scenery and the way the anime artist depicted Futaba and Kou's first meeting. It was just absolutely adorable. Futaba and Kou were just... Ugh, I just had feelz thinking about it. I'm pretty much a sucker for guy leads that are attractive. I mean, Kou? Dude, you gotta be kidding me. Futaba is so lucky. T-T

8/10 for me! I wouldn't give it a full 10/10 because the other characters could have had more effort put into them, but then again they're not really mains...

SOUND

I can't really judge the sound, to be honest with you. Haha. I watched Blue Spring Ride at night while the rest of my house was dead silent, so I didn't really turn up the volume. However, I do think that the voices for each character suited them quite well, but then again I can't really say. ^^;

CHARACTERS

Okay, lemme tell you. I don't care who you are -- Boy, girl, cat, potato. You will pretty much fall in love with Kou. And his hair. Mostly his hair. I don't know about you, but I've been really loving the messy bedhead style most rom-com anime guys have been sporting lately (e.g. My Little Monster). However, I personally think that both Futaba and Kou are very nice visuals. I like how they were drawn. But, that doesn't stray from the fact that their personalities are bland and not really anything new.

I mean, you have Kou -- The "oh-so-perfect-Kou" with a terrible back story that just makes you want to love him even more. Apparently, Kou has different personalities. When Futaba first met him in junior high, he was the gentle, soft-spoken 'angel.' Then, when she met him again in high school *spoiler?* he was cold, unresponsive. The like. For once, I think the manga writer didn't want him to be overly smart, but he was practically good at everything he did.

Then you got Futaba. I found it somewhat nostaglic watching a character like Futaba. Brings be back to the days when I stayed up late in middle school... All because of Kaichou wa Maid-sama. In the beginning of the anime, Futaba was seen as an ill-mannered girl who ate a lot and didn't care much about her appearance, just so that boys won't like her. And so that she wouldn't appear cute to her 'friends.' But in reality, Futaba is a cute, bubbly girl, which is revealed after a few episodes. She put on this 'mask' because she found out that her peers don't like cute girls and she wanted to fit in with the others. (Misaki had a similar personality, just more... Amped up haha.) Thennn she turned out to be a total tsudere. So my reaction was pretty much mediocre.

6/10? I think that's fair enough. I won't go into the other characters, though. That would kind of spoil the anime.

OVERALL

Overall, I really liked this anime. I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. However, there were times when I felt like the storyline could have been a bit more interesting. Because I am also a sucker for complicated, paradoxical animes. But, if you're into rom-com that will make you squeal until your little heart bursts, then I suggest you check out Blue Spring Ride! Though I have mixed thoughts on the story itself, one thing is for sure.

I wish I will have a boyfriend like Kou in my life. ;-;

4.5/10 story
8/10 animation
?/10 sound
6/10 characters
6.6/10 overall
Laynne's avatar
Aug 17, 2015

Having just recently gotten into Romance-type anime, I have to say that this is one of my favourite thus far. I know the genre can get pretty repetitive and monotonous - following the same cliches and themes all the time, but I really felt this one did an excellent job with getting you to connect with the characters and truly root for them in the end. 

The main characters - Futaba and Kou were super likable for me, and I felt that their inevitable connection wasn't forced, it all felt very natural and gradual. I also felt the support characters did a good job in playing their respective rolls for helping build the story and they, too, were likable!  

I would definitely recommend this anime to anyone who is a fan of the genre. My only complaint was that it wasn't longer! 

10/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall