Blue Spring Ride is an anime based on a manga written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka. The anime is produced by Production I.G, and is directed by Ai Yoshimura. As of this writing, Crunchyroll is streaming the series in North America, and Sentai Filmworks holds the North American distribution rights for Blue Spring Ride.
The main character of the series is Futaba Yoshioka. During the summer of her first year in junior high, she was in love with a boy named Kou Tanaka. He asks her to go to the summer festival with him, and she accepts. One day at school, she gets annoyed with a boy that’s pestering her and declares that she hates boys. Kou overhears this, and he never shows up to the meeting spot he’d arranged with Futaba. She intended to talk to him after summer break, but when she got back to school, Kou had transferred to a different school.
The story moves ahead in time three years, and Futaba is now in the third term of her first year in high school. At the start of high school, she decided to change her personality because when she was in junior high, she was ostracized because too many of the junior high boys liked her.
One day, Futaba is surprised when she sees someone who looks like Kou at school. When she’s finally able to talk to him, she learns that his parents had divorced and now he goes by a different last name. She also notices that he’s changed dramatically since she knew him in junior high. They admit that they liked the other back in junior high, and Futaba believes that they can return to those days that they would have had in junior high. However, Kou says they can’t go back because they’ve both changed too much. For the remainder of the episode, Futaba feels very confused about Kou.
Prior to watching this series, I was familiar with Strobe Edge, another manga written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka. Having that familiarity was one of the reasons why I wanted to watch Blue Spring Ride, so I could get some kind of exposure to another one of Sakisaka’s works. I could tell right away from the character designs that this anime was based on Sakisaka’s work, because these characters have a similar look to some of the characters in Strobe Edge.
When it comes to the animation, I thought it had a bit of a “soft” look to it. It didn’t quite have a watercolor feel to it, but it was more in that direction. Personally, I thought the look and feel of the animation worked for the story that was being told.
One thing that really amused me while watching this episode was noticing that a shrine that Futaba and Kou visit is the “Sakisaka Shrine.” I don’t know if Sakisaka herself had named it that in the original manga, or if that was the writer or animators giving a nod to the original manga author. Regardless of why it was named that, I was still amused by it.
So far, Blue Spring Ride seems to be off to a promising start. I liked the various character interactions, and the episode did a good job of establishing the characters and the story. I’m looking forward to watching the next episode to see what’s going to happen next.
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