Released back in July 2014, Ao Haru Ride is a short anime TV Series of the Shoujo genre. It has been seven years now, and the fans are yearning to know about the sequel of the series. The anime ended somewhat as a cliffhanger, and there have been no announcements from the production houses.
Ao Haru Ride encompasses the adorable romantic-comedy story of a female high-schooler, Futaba Yoshioka, and discovering of her crush, Kou Tanaka’s disappearance from three years ago, and why did he change so much (including his name).
It is a typical Shoujo inclusive story, and even the animation style is somewhat similar. Scoring almost 7.66 on the My Anime List website, it’s an okay-ish score to have considering the plot.
Initially, during childhood, she used to hate boys, except Kou. She was pretty, cute, and gorgeous in middle school, which made her popular among guys and resentment from girls. In high school, she changed her personality more towards tomboyish in order to be friends with everyone.
Overall, she is a kind and caring girl who was emotional and loved bonding.
The most interesting character of the story. He was known as Kou Tanaka in his school days. He liked Futaba as well and had a growing relationship with her until he moved away with his father in the middle of the school year.
In high school, he had his name changed and seen as the polar opposite of his childhood nature – cold and sarcastic. But things start to change when he meets Futaba again. Later in the series, he changed his name to the original one, to prove he has changed.
She is also a pretty young lady introduced at the beginning as Futaba’s closest friend in high school. She was despised by the girls for her beauty (the same problem Futaba had during her middle school times).
Later, it was known she also liked Kou and often gets jealous of Futaba’s closeness to Kou.
She would be better called off as a lone-wolf and doesn’t like to trust girls due to the experiences she faced in middle school.
She fell in love with Kou’s older brother, Tanaka sensei while attending one of his guidance classes. Though she didn’t trust anybody due to her past, things change when she actually made friends.
The most chilled-out and outspoken character, without any social problems. Although he has an unrequited crush on Shuuko, he handles that maturely.
He hated Kou at first due to his relation with Tanaka sensei, but later they became very good friends.
He is an English teacher and also the older brother of Kou. He is aware of Shuuko’s crush on him, but he politely refers that he will always see her as a student.
Although he enjoys a playful rivalry with Aya over Shuuko. He is a matured guy who also helps everyone and especially Futaba due to his relation with Kou.
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Ao Haru Ride – Seasons and Episodes:
As of now, only a single season of Ao Haru Ride has been released (2014). It has millions of popularity and they are certainly waiting for Ao Haru Ride: Season 2 which might release in 2021.
Ao Haru Ride consists of 12 Episodes and ended abruptly, making the fans yearn for a Season 2.
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Plot Review: (Spoiler Alert!)
Ao Haru Ride is basically a generic Shoujo anime, having a high-school theme and spinning around the lives of two characters – Futaba and Kou. A girl having crush on her childhood friend is not a new concept in the world of Shoujo, it has been used over and over again.
The main theme starts with Futaba trying to change her previous personality and being more kind of un-feminine and tomboyish (as she was despised by other girls in middle school for being attractive and popular). She is actually, a kind girl, and her relationship with Yuuri highlights that.
The other friend is introduced as Shuuko Murao, who likes to be alone and doesn’t like to interact much, and the last one -Aya Kominato, the quirky guy in the group.
The relationship between the girls isn’t explored in-depth as the focus is mainly on Futaba and Kou. Same for Kou, his relationship with his brother isn’t explored much. A basic effort to show that despite their polar attributes, they maintain good terms with each other.
Kou, in the past (as shown from the flashbacks of Futaba) as pretty soft and different from the rest of the guys but the high-schooler Kou was rather opposite. He became more sort of, sarcastic and cold. He even changed his name from Kou Tanaka to Kou Mabuchi.
After talking to Kou, she reminisced about their past relationship but Kou acted cold enough to push her away with words, unfortunately. The death of his mother, after moving in here with his father (their parents had a divorce), made him close his doors of happiness.
He was actually very soft and caring. But his matured coldness was indeed realistic and normal from his trauma.
The anime also showed the transition of Kou from being cold to finally a guy who can share his grief with his friends, which can be said as the most moving plot device of the story. It was predictable that Futaba would change him, and after all the events he did change.
The story also made a good job of inter-connecting their friendships so that the story doesn’t feel stale. The love triangle didn’t seem to affect the story at all. The ending was rather rushed, as all of a sudden he wants Futaba to be here despite the fact he was mean every time. It wasn’t loving but maybe passion per se.
Overall, the animation was decent and didn’t make any changes from the manga. The OSTs were pleasant, to be honest. The opening – “Sekai wa Koi ni Ochiteiru (世界は恋に落ちている)” by CHiCO and ending – “Blue (ブルー)” by Fujifabric was rather melodious and I liked them both.
If you love a soothing plot with no secondary characters to interfere (and also an abrupt ending), this might be the one you are looking for. Nevertheless, it’s not bad enough to be unwatchable, you can give it a try as a slice of life anime with no major expectations.
Though the story is more of a cliche and follows the genre strictly, it has some character growth (just enough not to bore you) here and there.
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Ao Haru Ride: Season 2 Release Date?
Ao Haru Ride: Season 1 ended long back in December 2014. The series is not canceled yet due to its popularity, also there is no official announcement about the cancellation of the show either.
It did well in the first season so they have the resources. The manga also got completed in 2015 so there are enough chapters for a Season 2. Though there is no official announcement from the production teams, it is highly likable to get a season 2 by the end of 2021 or towards the beginning of 2022.
The show is anticipated by many and it has enough revenue and resources to generate a second season of the anime. We will update you, as soon as the official announcement arrives!
Ao Haru Manga ended or still ongoing?
Consisting of 13 volumes, the manga of Ao Haru Ride ended back in 13th February, 2015 and the light novel of the series has also been completed around 2nd June 2015.
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Common FAQs About Ao Haru Ride
1. What are some of the best anime like Ao Haru Ride?
Some of the best anime that like Ao Haru Ride are:
– Kimi No Todoke.
– Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun.
– Itazura na Kiss.
– Lovely Complex.
– Bokura ga Ita.
2. What are the best romantic anime series?
The best romantic anime series include:
– The Pet Girl of Sakurasou.
– Ore Monogatari!!
– Kokoro Connect.
– Your Lie in April.
3. Is Ao Haru Ride and Orange the same?
Although, the artwork and theme are almost similar, but they are different from each other in their own ways.
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