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.
When she and Kou are reunited when he returns in high school, they don’t seem to get along at first. But as time goes on, Futaba finds herself falling back in love with Kou; it appears he might have feelings for her, but he tries to act as if he doesn’t. And matters are complicated for Futaba when her friend Makita admits that she’s also in love with Kou.
Episode 12 has a focus on both Kou and Futaba. Continuing on from the events at the end of Episode 11, Futaba realizes that Kou has just shown weakness to her for the first time. During the time they spend together, Futaba tells Kou that Tanaka-sensei thinks that Kou resents him for not being there when their mother died. When Kou says he doesn’t feel that way, Futaba encourages Kou to tell his brother that personally.
When Kou gets home, he finds his brother waiting for him and making dinner. After getting back, we learn that Kou’s father has also shown up. I thought it was wonderful to finally get to see Kou’s father and to learn that he isn’t out of the picture; it’s just for whatever reason, we didn’t get to see him until the final episode. A very important conversation takes place between Kou, his brother, and his father over dinner; while Kou hasn’t worked through his feelings yet, he’s more willing to start talking with the rest of his family. To me, this was some rather important character development for Kou.
But after what happened between Futaba and Kou earlier in the episode, Futaba finds interacting with Kou more awkward than it had been. And as we can see, Kou is just as confused about how they should act around each other.
We also get to see an interaction between Tanaka-sensei and Murao, which is witnessed by Kominato. After Murao leaves, Kominato ends up making his jealousy of Tanaka-sensei clear when he talks to the teacher.
The episode, along with the series, ends with the characters heading off for summer vacation. The ending narration has Futaba looking back and realizing how much she’s changed since letting all of the other characters into her life. This was about the only way the series could come to an end, since the manga is still ongoing in Japan. Hopefully at some point, after enough additional material has come out for the manga, that a second season of Blue Spring Ride can be produced.
Overall, I thought that Blue Spring Ride 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.
Additional posts about Blue Spring Ride: