Check-in Station: Ao Haru Ride ep1 (now’s not a good time)
What a cute show. I immediately knew I was dealing with one of those standard awkward shoujo romance shows. From jump, all the tells were there, and the set-up seemed really familiar. Girl and guy clearly care for each other, but circumstances and real life bullsh*t keep them apart. Futaba is a girl who had looks and personality going for her in middle school, but was ostracized by her fellow female students because of those traits and the attention she got from boys. The saving grace from that life of loneliness was the budding romance she was having with a boy named Kou Tanaka. But because of crap that happened that we probably won’t learn anything about until the last episode, they never got together or saw each other again – until three years later.
Now Futaba has ditched her charm and gained some friends, actively trying to make herself unappealing to guys as she goes. But just as she’s getting into the groove of her remade life in high school, she comes across Kou again. But he’s changed quite a bit – just like she has.
A whole synopsis of the episode isn’t needed for this episode to be understood. These two main characters are so far into their own worlds and their own problems, that it will be quite a while before they’re able to be honest with each other and themselves. I do like a few things about the show though. Kou seems to be very observant and honest, and has a very backwards and childish attitude towards showing his affection to Futaba. It’s passive-aggressive to be sure. But he does very observantly point out how sh*tty and weak her friends are after an incident involving her being falsely accused of stealing bread. They made no effort to back her up or believe her, and just assumed she tried to steal the bread. Futaba had incorrectly solely turned her anger towards the old woman who accused her without asking any of her coworkers if she stole the bread. Sure, the old hag was wrong and callously flippant towards the girl’s feelings, and Kou helped address that. But her friends didn’t hesitate to wilt under the simplest of tests. It’s a sure sign of some deep questions (for high school) needing to be addressed later in the show. It’s a bit of the reason why I want to keep watching this show. But for now, I don’t think I’m gonna have enough time to dedicate towards watching anything new, unless I find several of the shows I already picked up, to be completely intolerable. Plus, I honestly have no right to start watching this damn show, when I’ve yet to make time to finish Kimi ni Todoke’s second season. That and another show I’ve watched a bit of and liked, Say I Love You, both are far too similar and in need of completion at the moment. So far now, I’ll treat this show as a one-off and just say that I enjoyed it a bit, but I’m gonna have to place it in the queue for later.
It’s funny. I like to compare watching anime to relationships. In this case, it’s much like seeing someone attractive that you’re compatible with, but realizing you can’t go any farther because you’re already committed to someone else. Too bad, Ao Haru Ride… maybe next time.