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.
Episode Six sees Futaba spending much of the episode denying to herself that she’s in love with Kou, especially in the wake of reading Makita’s e-mail where she told Futaba that she likes Kou. When Futaba denies her feelings to Makita and she looks relieved, Futaba believes at that point that she can’t take it back. For most of the episode, I kept thinking of Futaba as the “Queen of Denial.”
At lunch, Makita pesters Futaba to tell her about what Kou was like back in junior high. Futaba tells her, but then pokes fun at Kou for how he is now in a way to try to deny to everyone that she feels anything for Kou. Kou walks in at that moment and overhears her, and puts her in a headlock until she apologizes. Kominato scolds Kou for treating a girl like that as a way to try to score points with Murao, but Kou points out that Kominato had brought porn with him to the leadership workshop. Kominato tries to shut him up, but Murao says she doesn’t care; this causes Kou and some other people around them to laugh, and Kominato starts trying to beat up Kou.
And during gym class, Makita starts asking Futaba all kinds of questions about Kou, such as his favorite food, favorite music, and favorite color. Futaba keeps trying to tell her that they’ve never talked about those things, so she doesn’t know. Makita keeps asking, though, to the point where I found her to be rather annoying.
After school, Futaba and Kou have to stay after to write up a report about the leadership training and hand it in. Only the class reps have to do it, so they’re left alone in the classroom. Futaba can’t concentrate on the report, because she realizes that she has feelings for Kou and keeps seeing Makita’s face whenever Kou makes her heart pound.
After they finish, Futaba keeps trying to find ways to separate herself and Kou, because the more they’re alone together, the more she feels guilty about her feelings for Kou. Unfortunately, Futaba’s plans never seem to work out, and they end up going to the train station together. As Kou gets on the train, Futaba decides to give him a test by telling him that she forgot something. In her mind, if he doesn’t get off the train, she’ll give up on him. However, if he does get off the train, she’ll love him. The scene is played out where Kou waits until the absolute last minute to make up his mind, and even then, the audience is left in suspense with all the various shots that don’t show whether Kou is there or not. When Futaba finally sees that Kou got off the train, she realizes that she wanted Kou to get off the train all along. Futaba thinks to herself that she’s sorry to Makita, but she also loves Kou.
Now that Futaba realizes the truth of her feelings for Kou, this could potentially place more of a strain on Futaba and Makita’s friendship than the guilt we saw Futaba dealing with in Episode Six. We do see a scene in here where Makita is talking with Murao, and Makita finds herself wondering if Kou may have feelings for Futaba. So I get the sense that Makita may already have a hunch that while she loves Kou, he doesn’t see her in the same way.
There’s a lot of ways in which the plot twists and turns in Blue Spring Ride remind me a lot of what I saw in Strobe Edge, another manga by Io Sakisaka. If Blue Spring Ride ends up having a similar ending, then Futaba and Kou will probably be a couple by the end of the series; the main question would be how they get to that point, especially now that we’re halfway through the series.
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