Cutest Moments of Kou and Futaba In Ao Haru Ride

Ao Haru Ride
Ao Haru Ride

Ao Haru Ride or Blue Spring Ride is a shoujo anime series released in the year 2014, but it remains popular amongst shoujo anime fans. The manga was written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka.  Ao Haru Ride got quite a bit of critical acclaim in Japan and was consistently called one of the best shoujo manga. The series revolves around the story of Futaba Yoshioka, a 16-year-old girl, and Kou Tanaka, a 16-year-old boy. Futaba has just started high school. Futaba leads a dull life as she always tries to portray herself in an uninteresting and unfeminine way in front of her female friends at school. She fears being ostracised again like she was in middle school for being “too pretty”.

However, one day at school, she meets Kou Tanaka, her childhood love who had moved to Nagasaki in middle school. But his demeanor has changed. He now uses the surname Mabuchi and has become a cold and indifferent person. Back in middle school, the two both liked each other. Kou invited her to the summer festival. But when their classmates questioned their relationship, Futaba impulsively declared that she hates all boys so as not to get ostracised by them. The next day she finds out that Kou has moved to Nagasaki.

Now, back to the present day. As the new school year starts, Futaba decides to become the class representative to make some changes in her life. This anime is all about the ups and downs of high school life. Ao Haru ride is ultimately one heck of a ride for the romance anime lovers out there. So here is a countdown of the cutest moments in Ao Haru Ride!

1. Futaba sees Kou through the window

In episode 2, Futaba is depressed about losing her friends after she stood up to them for badmouthing Yuri. As she is deep in her thoughts near the corridor, she bumps into Kou, peeking his head out the window. Kou had told her previously that she was just pretending to be friends with Asumi and Chie. Futaba accepts in front of Kou that it’s her fear that lept her from pursuing real friendships. She was too focused on her goal of getting friends that she forgot she had to gain real friendship. But she tears up as she speaks and gets embarrassed to see other students walking nearby. Kou hides her face in his shoulder to hide her teary face from others. In my opinion, this was the moment when Futaba gets reminded of why she fell in love with Kou the first time.

Kou and Futaba
Kou and Futaba

2. After Futaba asks Kou about his family

In episode 3, Kou is dragging Futaba along when she asks about his family. He answers some of her questions but soon gets fed up with her curiosity. He let her go as he was dragging her. But then she holds onto his hands instead. She tries to make eye contact with him to get to know his true feelings. But his eyes are no longer as clear as they were before when they were in middle school. Kou ultimately gives in and puts his head on her shoulder. He asks her about the past and if she had waited for him at the summer festival like he had asked her to. It turns out she did wait for him, that too for a long time. The two reminisce about old times.

Futaba asks Kou about his family
Futaba asks Kou about his family

3. While they wrote the apology letter

In episode 4, Futaba and Kou arrive late for their class representative excursion bus, so they have to write an apology letter. Throughout the training camp, Kou stays aloof and doesn’t help out much with the others in their group. However, when they have to read what they wrote about the importance of school events, Kou steps up and reads it. He reads it with ease and even answers questions with conviction, while it was Futaba who wrote it. She feels incompetent for not being confident and easy-going like Kou. When they are writing the apology letter at night, she expresses her doubts about herself. Whereas Kou tells her that he’s not easy-going, he’s just half-baked. These two sharing their insecurities and just being open about themselves is just so comforting to watch. Futaba kisses the back of his head to comfort him.

Writing the apology letter
Writing the apology letter

4. Kou drags Futaba away from his brother

In episode 3, Futaba meets Kou’s elder brother Tanaka-sensei who is their school teacher. His brother asks if they are dating, to which the two start bickering about who loved each other in middle school. His brother remembers Futaba from the time Kou would write her name in his notebooks. But Kou didn’t want to be embarrassed by his brother, so he screamed that teacher is making a pass at a student. He then runs away with Futaba so that Tanaka-sensei can’t tell them anything.

Kou and Futaba with Tanaka-sensei
Kou and Futaba with Tanaka-sensei

5. Kou says he likes her shampoo smell

In episode 7, Kou tells Futaba that he likes her shampoo smell. They’re sitting together in the metro when Kou tells her that she has an attractive smell. He asks her if he’s wearing perfume or something. He wanted to get a reaction out of her but gets even more flustered himself when she does blush.

Ao Haru Ride - Futaba buying shampoo
Futaba buying shampoo

6. When Kou and Futaba hide from Tanaka-sensei

In episode 7, Futaba is seen distancing herself from Yuri since she doesn’t know how to tell her that she likes Kou too. Unable to tell her during recess again, she makes an excuse and goes out to sit in the corridor with her bread to be alone. However, suddenly, Kou appears there out of nowhere. He is running away from his brother who wants to eat lunch with him. Kou covers Futaba’s mouth so that Tanaka-sensei can’t hear them when she gasps in surprise.

Kou dragging Futaba away
Kou dragging Futaba away

7. When Kou almost-kisses Futaba

In Episode 8, after school, Kou and Futaba are hanging out on the fields. Kou asks her if she should be so comfortable alone with a ‘guy’ at night. She says it’s fine since Kou is someone she trusts. But he then gets on top of her to show her that even he could take advantage of her. Kou gets close to her to try to kiss her but then flicks her forehead instead. He was trying to show her why she should not follow Kou in those areas at night. Futaba cries not because she was scared but because she was embarrassed about how excited she got that Kou was going to kiss her.

Ao Haru Ride - Kou and Futaba by the river side
Kou and Futaba by the riverside

8. After learning about Kou’s mother

Kou and Futaba finally talk about his mother’s passing. Ever since Futaba met him again in high school, Kou has always been very reserved about his real feelings. She didn’t even know that his mother passed away after they had moved away during middle school. In Episode 10, the two finally had a chance to talk about it after the study session at Kou’s house. Futaba ends up crying again when she hears about Kou’s mother. She also confesses her feelings to Kou for the first time.

Futaba finds out about Kou's mom
Futaba finds out about Kou’s mom

9. When Futaba runs to save Kou from the Cop team

When the two were in middle school, their class was playing a game of cops and robbers. Kou got caught by the cop team while trying to save Futaba. He was confined in a circle. Futaba decided to save him as she liked him and wanted to return the favor. But she gets caught too. This scene was too cute not to include in this list of Ao Haru Ride moments.

Ao Haru Ride - Young Kou and Futaba playing cops and robbers
Young Kou and Futaba playing cops and robbers

10. Kou and Futaba hug near the river

In Episode 11, Kou goes back to acting aloof to his friends even though he had shown his true side to them before. Futaba gets worried about him and goes out looking for him. She goes back to that street where he hangs out at night. At first, Kou acts like he’s annoyed with her always butting in his business.

Ao Haru Ride - Kou and Futaba by the river
Kou and Futaba by the river

He tells her that she will never understand the things he has been through due to the loss of his mother. But Futaba still doesn’t back down. She points out that Kou has already started caring for them. That’s why he is scared to get too close. As the two hug while lying near the river, they are both crying. This scene marks the point in their relationship when Kou finally lets her in his heart and lets go of his inhibitions.

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