Blue Spring Ride focuses on a high school girl named 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 series jumps ahead in time three years, and Futaba is finishing up her first year of high school. She’s surprised to discover that Kou has come back, but that he has changed his name to Kou Mabuchi due to his parents’ divorce. Futaba discovers that Kou has changed in the intervening years and that sometimes he’ll be cold to her, while other times he’ll help her out.
This episode opens with Futaba going to get Kou so they can head to the leadership training they have to go to since they volunteered to serve as class representatives. It’s a comedy of errors, which results in them getting on the wrong train and not getting to the rendezvous area in time. Because of that, they end up being late and being scolded by a staff member; in addition to a verbal apology, they also have to write up an apology before lights out that night.
Unfortunately, things get off to a rocky start when Murao and Kou end up getting on each other’s bad side, and the blond-haired boy does something to cause offense to Makita. And once again, the blond-haired boy never has his name referenced in this episode, so I still have no idea who he is!
Later, they’re supposed to work together to answer a question on a sheet of paper and write down a response, but no one wants to do it. Futaba ends up writing something quick, and their group ends up being chosen to share their answer. Kou takes the lead and comes up with something off of the top of his head; when Tanaka-sensei asks him to elaborate, Kou gives an answer that incorporates what Futaba had written down on the sheet.
That night, Kou and Futaba have an awkward encounter, with Futaba instinctively reaching out and nuzzling against Kou’s hair. He asks Futaba if she loves him, and she doesn’t really know because she doesn’t understand what he went through during the three years they hadn’t seen each other to turn him into the guy she sees now. Kou tells her that he’s not in love with her and throws out a line that she’s incompetent. This bugs Futaba, and the two of them try to act like they’re mad at each other, but they’re able to respond in unison whenever someone asks a question.
The next day, when Futaba finds herself in an awkward situation with a couple of third-year boys, Kou gets her out of it by claiming that Futaba is his girlfriend. He leads her off, holding her hand, and doesn’t let go of it for quite a while.
This episode shows that Futaba is very confused about her feelings for Kou. She insists she doesn’t love him due to the fact that he’s changed too much, and yet the words he says and the actions he takes affect her quite a bit. I have a suspicion that she will be the first one to realize that she is in indeed still in love with him. I believe that Kou still loves Futaba, but he’s trying to deny it to himself for whatever reason.
Episode Four also confirms something that has been hinted at up to this point: Murao has a crush on Tanaka-sensei. He makes it clear that while they’re still teacher and student, nothing can happen between them. Unfortunately, Makita overhears this and Murao realizes that she’s overheard it. This could cause some awkward tension between these two characters. And I also get the impression that the blond-haired boy likes Murao, but she obviously doesn’t notice him; I also think he has no clue about her feelings for Tanaka-sensei.
So now we not only have the awkward relationship between Kou and Futaba, there’s also a potential triangle brewing between Murao, Tanaka-sensei, and the blond-haired boy. And with Tanaka-sensei being Kou’s brother and the fact that the various students involved are now all reps for their class, these storylines can easily intersect with each other. It’ll be interesting to see how the series deals with these relationships and how they progress.
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