You’ll probably call me naive or even masochistic for holding out hope someone would confess to someone in this final episode, but I still steeled myself to expect a phone ringing before Futaba could get the words out after that excruciating pause. The interruption turns out to be her stomach growling.
While that’s pretty dang disappointing, it’s not the end of the world; in fact, it’s probably a good thing: Futaba only just opened up that door; shoving a confession in there on the same night is a bit much. Opening the door at all is still a huge victory for Futaba, who hints to Kou that his brother might need to be told he doesn’t resent him for being away when their mom was sick.
That leads to a really great scene with the Tanaka men all under the same roof eating dinner together like a family for the first time in who knows how long. With Futaba’s cool rushing-to-the-rescue expression and words of encouragement still ringing in his head, Kou takes small first steps to reconnecting with his brother and dad.
So now Futaba and Kou’s friendship has deepened and maybe started turning towards something more, so it’s a shame there are no more episodes to see how that goes. As if to acknowledge things aren’t quite the same, the two act very self-conscious and shy around each other, unsure of how to act after all that hugging. But Kou shows again how much of an effect Futaba had on him by agreeing to take the study groups seriously, resulting in him scoring higher than the other four.
Summer arrives, and with it comes a concerted effort by the show to set up a potential second season, what with the Tanaka/Shuuko/Aya triangle being reestablished, Yuuri reiterating to Futaba her intention to court Kou, and another shot of that random kid Futaba accidentally groped. I know of no firm plans for such a season, but I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to another Blue Spring Ride.
3 thoughts on “Ao Haru Ride – 12 (Fin)”
i’m glad you reviewed this one but, from the get go, I wasn’t able to get over the show’s art style. Those giant, often expressionless bug eyes and dense-yet-lego-lije hair distracted me at every turn, which was no help at all for a quiet, slow burn show surrounded by louder or more charming competitors.
I never minded the art style. In fact, I found both the subtle facial expressions and the animation of hugs and grabs (see above) and the physics of the hair gave the characters a nice weight and presence.
This was one of the better-looking non-action shows of the season, IMO (as it should be; it’s a Production I.G. show), but as far as artistic direction is concerned YMMV.
i hope the anime will continue on… for now, i’m stuck with reading the manga… T_T
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