Yoshioka Futaba has a few reasons why she wants to "reset" her image and life as a new high school student. Because she's cute, she was ostracized by her female friends in junior high, and because of a misunderstanding, she couldn't get her feeling across to the one boy she has ever liked, Tanaka-kun.
Now in high school, she is determined to be as unladylike as possible so that her friends won't be jealous of her. While living her life this way contentedly, she meets Tanaka-kun again, but he now goes under the name of Mabuchi Kou. He tells her that he felt the same way as she did when they were younger, but now things can never be the same again. Will Futaba be able to continue her love that never even started from three years ago?
This is my very first review, so i'm very sorry if it's not so good :)
When i started reading Ao Haru Ride, my expectations were very high since i LOVED the mangaka Io Sakisaka's previous manga. However Ao Haru Ride still succed to reach my expectations, yeah maybe even more than that. Note: I only read the 11 chapters that can be found on the internet.
I really like the story. I started to read this manga because i wanted a good shojo and that's exactly what i got. The story starts out with showing the past of our two min characters, Futaba & Kou. Futaba dislikes guys, but she likes Tanaka kou (Tanaka-kun) , he is different to her. Kou also likes Futaba, but overhears her saying she dislikes all boys, and things get difficult. soon after this, Tanaka suddenly transfers to another school and disappears out of Futabas life.
Then we jump forward to 15 year old Futaba whos in high school. Her personality is very much different from the innocent cute girl we saw at first; the reason for this change is that Futabas friends started to dislike her for being cute and taking all the attention from the boys. As a given, Futaba soon meets Tanaka-kun, however he looks different and acks like a totally jerk. And he even changed name to Mabuchi Kou.
I like the story pretty much, since it's a typical shojo story, but not in a bad way. You won't get the "meeeh..." feeling while reading this. If you like Shoujo, there is no way you won't love this.
Io Sakisaka's art is ADOREABLE. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. really, it's just so pretty, shiney-shiney, fluffy and cute without being the usally shojo-style. Io Sakisaka haves her very own beautiful and remarkable drawing style.
The Characters is fine, i specially like our Main hero. Our main heroine, Futaba, is pretty standard shojo girl, She's not too plain and very likeable. At first she's trying to be all un-cutey and such, to make "friends" but soon realizes that she can't go on like that. She manages to make new friends, but is still the lively, not-so-cute girl, but in a way she developed a little. Next time where she develope, -- and this is what make her VERY likeable to me -- is when she realizes she loves - and want to be Kous girlfriend. I can't say WHY this is so special, but read the manga and you will understand, since you will surely think "Oh no.. not this type of manga.. dont tell me she.. oh.. she didn't. YAY!"
I find Kou very interesting. He's not this typical emo-like guy, but he also hides some troublesome past behind him. Everytime i read a chapter, i just want to know more about Kou.
I enjoyed this manga very much. I looked for a good shojo, and i sure found one! It's also have good comedy in it and good moments between our main characters which just makes you go "Kyaaaa~" (And the art i so pretty too, it's just perfect)
Overall: 10 . I might overrated it a bit, but im just so in love with this manga, i decided to give it 10. And i will recommend this manga to ALL shojo-lovers. Read it!read more
So this is a very updated review that I'm making since this manga is now complete.
Story: 7/10 - I really loved how the started off the manga. The plot was slightly cliche but was pretty decent. Like how they built up Kou's character to finally reveal his sad backstory. But in the later arcs, I feel as if the whole "love triangle" ordeal was a bit too much. It had pointless drama and the drastic character change in Kou towards the later chapters of the manga felt forced. So forced & drastic I didn't even think that was actually his character. I felt like the author was just throwing random details to try and wrap up the end. Which is a shame because I felt like it could have been something significantly better.
Art: 8/10 - I really love the art style of the characters and how everyone had distinct features. Overall very eye pleasing.
Character: 7/10 - I'd say all the main characters and main supporting characters had some decency. The personalities weren't too bland.
Kou obviously being the asshole of the manga (in the beginning) has very nice development. He was probably the character with the most depth and had the most development. But his drastic change throw me off. It was nice to see a sweeter side to him, but there was literally no gradual transition. Just a "oh, yea, he's such a sappy sweetheart now" It looked like the author was running out of ideas.
Futaba was annoying at times with her almost winy personality. Her character hardly changes except after her fake friends ditch her after the first couple chapters. But the bond between her and Kou is quite pleasant minus all the stupid love triangle jazz.
Now to the friends AKA the supporting Characters.
Yuuri was the sweet innocent type, and her overall character never changes and her personality is pretty typical in a shoujo. Not saying it's necessary a bad thing, but she has no depth.
Murao was the quiet, caring type. She's very straightforward and had good head on her shoulders.
[the next part is a spoiler--skip if you don't want to know]
It's revealed later on that she really likes Kou's older brother, who is a teacher at the school, and they go in a backstory of her and him. It was nice to see how her feelings for him grew and intensified throughout the story. But it was also sad to see her confess and then get rejected. I appreciated her character.
[end of spoiler]
Kominato is that blunt yet very caring guy who you could just have a great time with. He has slight development later in the series, but he's the typical "go to man" for Kou. Not really a spoiler since it states it in his description, but he's in love with Murao, which adds for future tension in the manga.
And now for Kou's brother, Tanaka Sensei. He's a big ball of joy who really cares for his little brother. There really isn't much to say without really spoiling too much (I mean the last chapter of the manga). Pretty average character overall.
Enjoyment: 8/10 - Regardless of my opinion on the plot and characters, I did really enjoy this series. As soon as I saw the first episode of the anime in July, I had to know the secrets that Kou was hiding! So I picked up the manga and fell in love.
I wish my enjoyment level was higher, but due to the obvious things I pointed out, I don't think it's possible. But on a side note, I really loved the last chapter, even though it was obvious, I felt like the very last pages of the chapters were symbolic to the entire manga.
Overall: 7/10 - I know this is probably an unpopular rating, but I really did enjoy this manga. I do suggest that if you do like shoujo, to read this one! It's definitely a good manga to pick up if you're new to the genre :)
I have to say, I'm slightly disappointed with this manga.
I can see it is a very popular manga and shoujo manga readers are head over heels with this one, but I just can't understand why.
Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of Io sensei's previous work (eg.Strobe Edge) as she usually takes shoujo elements and wraps it up into a nice meaningful story.
The mangaka starts by setting a strong foundation in this manga: catchy plot, interesting and lovable characters and some good slapstick comedy.
All is well until the main characters start doing idiotic things without explaining themselves properly. It's like "Ok, you did that. I don't agree but can you at least have a good excuse to do it? wtf"
There were a lot of unnecessary and cliché things done in order to drag the story.
Then the course of events goes from those situations onwards in a very unrealistic way. It feels as they shoot themselves in the foot and then try to make up for the mess by doing something far-fetched from reality.
The art style is a strong quality of Io sensei. I would like to see more mature-looking heroines in the future, though. Usually, they look a little bit child-like compared to the male main characters.
There's some good character development in the beginning.The main characters' issues are relatable.
It all goes in vain as the story progresses. Io sensei really makes us believe that these characters are different from the vulgar shoujo characters by adding some unusual features to them. However, in the end, they end up doing the most predictable things and it is pretty disappointing.
Also, I don't understand the need for a love triangle. It is just there to fill a gap I guess. I wish the mangaka would have conveyed more meaning to it. Perhaps, she should have explored the unrequited love theme and the codependent relationships that unfortunately do exist in real life.
There's very little character development for the supporting cast, but in the rare moments that it does occur, I do appreciate it.
I had pretty high expectations in the beginning. I think part of the enjoyment I once had faded away a little. I can't feel that much empathy as I used to for the characters as well. I still think it is a good story that catches your attention right away but I did get dissatisfied in the end.
Do not be fooled, my fellow Shoujo lovers--this is a refreshing manga.
The theme of "change", "love", and "friendship" have been the cornerstone for shoujo manga. In actuality, it's been repeated for so many times that the essence and beauty has lost its click. Things become cliche and repetitive, that it sends me to a rampage. Although this manga holds these overused themes, it stands out for me.
One mistake a person could make is judging a manga before they could thoroughly understand it. Let's say you've only read three chapters of it; will you judge it then? Neglecting the fact that the characters and the story can develop, you may miss the chance of reading a heart wrenching and emotionally moving manga.
Don't get me wrong, the plot is a generic shoujo manga. A girl who was bullied in the past wants to fit in, so she completely changes herself as a person--but then she finds out that the change that she has obtained never brought her true happiness or satisfaction. Then a boy comes in and shoves some sense into her brain...story continues and they find out that they depend on each other.blablabla they make friends. What makes this manga stands out is how it approaches these situations differently.
The author makes a point on how there is no meaning in a person's life if they don't treasure the relationship with another human being. This opens a door to AMAZING character development, and it really makes a person feel personally connected with each character. The repetitive idea in this manga is "change", the characters want to change, but the great thing is that, they were able to change because they had friends that helped them do so.
I think this manga brings a new breathe of fresh air to overused themes. The romance is cute, the theme is wonderfully established, and the art is awesome. Oh gosh, if you just want a good read. Read this. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's a masterpiece, but for sure this is a really good manga. :) read more