Name: Ao Haru Ride
Mangaka: Sakisaka, Io
Volumes: 13 (Complete)
Licensed: Viz (13 Volumes: Digital/Physical) – (Complete)
Genre: Slice of Life
Age Group: Teen
Yoshioka Futaba has a few reasons why she wants to “reset” her image and life as a new high-school student. Because she’s cute and had a demure personality she was ostracized by her female friends in junior high, and because of a series of misunderstandings and mishaps, she couldn’t get her feeling across to the one boy she has always liked, Tanaka Kou.
Now in high school, she is determined to be as unladylike as possible so that her friends won’t be jealous of her. While living her life this way contentedly, she meets Tanaka-kun again, but he now goes under the name of Mabuchi Kou. He tells her that he felt the same way as she did when they were younger, but that they cannot go back. Will Futaba be able to continue her love that never even started from three years ago?
Graphics Rating: 4/5
Plot Rating: 3/5
Opinion: I thought this series was really cute and sweet for the first 3/4. But there’s this weird story arc that I could have done without towards the end.
The art is very unique to Sakisaka Io. I love her soft and whimsical art. She also is really good at making unique heroines that don’t all look the same. They are similar but there’s a lot of differences.
The Heroine and the main male lead are both very interesting and unique. While their actions, especially the male leads actions, are frustrating it seems very lifelike for a bunch of teenagers. The heroine is very likeable who does a great job of balancing her caring personality with sticking up for herself when needed.
Where the series falls apart is the entire (Love Triangle) section. It came off as messy and obvious. I was bored at this point. Although it is kind of realistic the entire arc could have cut and the series would have been better.
Final Rating: 3/5