26 December 2014

アオハライド Ao Haru Ride

  • アオハライド Ao Haru Raido (Ride)
  • アオハルライド Ao Haru Raido (Ride)
English: Blue Spring Ride
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2014
  • 本田翼 Honda Tsubasa
  • 東出昌大 Higashide Masahiro
  • 千葉雄大 Chiba Yudai
  • 新川優愛 Shinkawa Yua
  • 吉沢亮 Yoshizawa Ryo
  • 藤本泉 Fujimoto Izumi
  • 高畑充希 Takahata Mitsuki
  • 小柳友 Koyanagi Yu
  • 田爪愛里 Tazume Airi
  • 板垣瑞生 Itagaki Mizuki

On her fist day in high school, Yoshioka Futaba meets the transfer student Mabuchi Kō, and she finds him very similar to her junior high school classmate and first love Tanaka Kō.

Mabuchi Kō is actually Futaba's childhood friend. When his parents divorced when he was in junior high school, he changed his name and he went with his mother to her hometown in Nagasaki four years ago. When his mother died of a serious illness last year, Kō moved back to to live with his older brother Tanaka Yoichi who stayed with their father.

Ao Haru Ride is an interesting movie about love and friendship, particularly about how a close friendship can still develop between people who met when they were in high school.

Tanaka Yoichi: One year of life in high school is busy and it will pass quickly, but what kind of life it will be is up to you all.

I like the friendship between Yoshioka Futaba, Murao Shūko, Makita Yūri, Kominato Aya, and Mabuchi Kō (also known as Tanaka Kō in the past). They all have kind hearts, and perhaps that's why they all became good friends even though they have very different personalities.

Yoshioka Futaba: I was actually scared to say it. I thought that if I said it, I'd lose a precious friend I'd finally made. But I also thought that I have to say it precisely because she's a precious friend.

Murao Shūko: It's just... I thought that I could say it if it were to you two.

I think it's great how honest they are with each other, such as when Futaba and Yūri found themselves both liking Kō. Even though it would be awkward if one of them dates Kō, they are determined to not let it get in the way of their friendship.

Anyway, I liked the lead characters' romance when they were in middle school, and it's probably because the actors who played young Futaba and young Kō have great chemistry. I suppose it also helps that even if they are not skilled actors, they were good enough to convey the emotions that they were supposed to show.

I wasn't really behind the romance of Futaba and Kō when they were in high school. There are many reasons why this is so, but the most crucial aspect is probably how the actors Honda Tsubasa and Higashide Masahiro couldn't really express the troubled feelings that their roles call for, and I couldn't get invested anymore in their story.

I really don't understand what Kō was thinking when he stepped back from his budding romance with Futaba because of his unfortunate friend Narumi Yui. I don't get his 'either/or' way of looking at things because he is relating to Futaba and Yui in very different ways. I mean, it must be possible for him to be Futaba's boyfriend as well as Yui's friend at the same time.

I think it was stupid of him to assume responsibility for Yui when he couldn't even be responsible for himself. He is so miserable with his life when he let Futaba go, but it's difficult to sympathize with him because it was his decision to be in that situation.

Kominato Aya: People who can't consider their own happiness shouldn't be proud of supporting other people.

Futaba seemed simpleminded in high school, and everything about her is unnatural and awkward: the way she talks, the way she moves... everything. Futaba lacks self-awareness at the very least, and she needed other people to tell her things in order to figure things out about herself.

When Kō told her how troublesome it is to live with fake friends, that's when she saw that she isn't really spending her high school life with true friends. When Yuri told her that she likes Kō, that's when she found out that she also feels the same way about the same guy. When Tōma told her that he's always searching for her first in a crowd and maybe that's how it is when you love a person, that's when she realized that she is in love with Kō.

Kikuchi Tōma: When I'm in a large group of people, I always end up unconsciously trying to find you. Even if I get the wrong person, I look for you. And when I'm trying to find you, no matter how big the group is, I somehow find you first. I wonder if that's what it is to fall in love.

Ao Haru Ride is also about how everyone makes mistakes, and it's important that we are not consumed by it. Wallowing in the past won't change it, and focusing on what went wrong won't make it right.

Yoshioka Futaba: Is everything over after only one mistake? There isn't any person in this world who takes the right path all the time.

When you think you've made a mistake, it is necessary to evaluate the situation and assess if there is any way for you to resolve it. But if it is not possible, the best thing you can do is to learn your lesson and move on. And maybe try not to make the same mistake all over again.

アオハライド Ao Haru Ride