Anime Spotlight: Blue Spring Ride

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. The series aired on Japanese television from July 8-September 23, 2014.

As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American distribution license 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.

As the series progresses, Futaba becomes friends Yuri Makita, Shuko Murao, and Aya Kominato. During their second year of high school, Futaba, Kou, Yuri, Shuko, and Aya end up in the same class together and become class and activity representatives. During the series, Yuri develops feelings for Kou, and Futaba and Yuri have a friendly rivalry for him. Aya has a crush on Shuko, but Shuko is interested in a teacher at the school who turns out to be Kou’s older brother. Near the end of the series, Futaba and Kou appear to become closer than they had been when Kou first returned at the beginning of the series.

After watching the first episode, I thought that Blue Spring Ride was 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. And after watching Episode Two, I thought it was even better than Episode One had been.

By the time I finished Episode Six, I thought that there were 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. Since I enjoyed the twists and turns in Strobe Edge, I also enjoyed them in Blue Spring Ride.

After I finished watching Blue Spring Ride, I thought that it was a well-done shojo anime series. The series had characters that I became interested and invested in, and the romantic and friendship storylines were done in a way where they really didn’t come across as “over the top.”

Blue Spring Ride is a series that I’d happily watch again at some point in the future. It’s a title that I definitely want to add to my anime home video collection at such a time that it’s released on home video in North America.

I’d easily recommend Blue Spring Ride to viewers who enjoy watching shojo anime.

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