Anime Blu-ray Review: Blue Spring Ride Complete Collection

Blue Spring Ride Complete Collection has one disc with all 12 episodes of the series. The release only has Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Blue Spring Ride Complete Collection
English Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Format: Blu-ray
Release Date: November 10, 2015

The main character of Blue Spring Ride 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.

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.

I originally watched the series as a simulcast on Crunchyroll back in 2014. At that time, after I watched 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.”

When I re-watched this series a second time, I was able to see it in bigger chunks and get a better feel for how the story flows compared to when I only saw one episode a week when it was simulcast. The series is perfectly paced, and the story is solid. Unfortunately, the anime was produced while the manga was still ongoing, so the story never truly ends. The final episode feels more like the end of an act rather than the end of the story, especially since there are loose threads hanging. It kind of feels like a tease, because there’s obviously supposed to be more to the story, but you’re watching the final episode. Blue Spring Ride is one of those anime series where you have to read the manga in order to find out how the story continues and how the characters evolve.

The Blu-ray video for this set has 1080p High Definition/ 16×9, while the audio is Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. I had no complaints about either the video or audio quality of this release.

Since all 12 episodes were included on one disc, it’s not surprising that the bonus features on this set are very bare bones. All you get are a textless opening, a textless closing, and trailers for other Sentai Filmworks releases. At this point, I’ve come to accept this bare bones approach to bonus features from this particular publisher.

If you are already familiar with the Blue Spring Ride anime and want to add it to your home video library, then I would recommend picking up this release.

Additional post about Blue Spring Ride:

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