Ao Haru Ride: Catching the Breeze of One’s Youth


Blue Spring Ride [Ao Haru Ride] revolves around Futaba, a girl who was in love with a boy named Tanaka Kou in middle school. However, before anything can begin, he suddenly transfers schools over summer vacation. In high school, her world is turned around once again when she meets Kou again, this time under the name of Mabuchi Kou.

One thing I find interesting about Blue Spring Ride is that, although quite a few people who read Sakisaka Io’s works like Strobe Edge better, it was her current series that got green lit for an anime and a movie (the Strobe Edge film seems to be a bonus, almost as if producers were gunning for flow on success). But if I think about the themes that are covered in both series, then I think that decision was the right one. Strobe Edge really was all about ‘falling in love’ — that’s what the entire story is centred around. On the other hand, Blue Spring Ride has as its foundation a story about relationships between friends and family. And the strength of this foundation is demonstrated by the anime, which is built almost entirely on it. Read more of this post

What manga can teach you about life

I know that this one's for girls in their tweens...but I unabashedly love CCS to pieces!!
I know that this one’s for girls in their tweens…
but I unabashedly love CCS to pieces!!
And I’m completely willing to admit it!

Was flipping through one of my favourite manga again the other day, when I came across something that really made me reflect on the role that manga (and anime) writers often play in society, especially if their protagonists are school aged children. Of course, I’m only writing this up now because it has great relevance for Chihaya too.

** WARNING ** SPOILERS for CCS and Chihayafuru AHEAD **

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Hamatora and Re:␣Hamatora: Let’s keep this nice and quick…

NB: Hamatora is another of those mixed media projects, though as far as I can tell, it only had a complementary manga...?
NB: Hamatora is another of those mixed media projects, though as far as I can tell, it only had a complementary manga…?

(Summary from ANN) “Minimum” – a special inborn power found in a limited number of human beings, known as “minimum holders.” In Yokohama, the detective team Hamatora, formed by two minimum holders named Nice and Murasaki, comes across information connected to a serial killer being pursued by their old friend Art. It turns out all the victims are minimum holders like them. Unwillingly at first, the two detectives become involved in the investigation.

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Chihayafuru Manga: Poem 139

Am I ready?

Poem 48 (Kaze wo itami):


風をいたみ 岩うつ波の おのれのみ くだけて物を 思ふころかな

Kaze wo itami iwa utsu nami no onore nomi kudakete mono wo omou koro kana

Like a driven wave,
Dashed by fierce winds on a rock,
So am I: alone
And crushed upon the shore,
Remembering what has been.


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Magi: I really didn’t need another reminder of just how superficial I can be…

In a medieval world where nations are still being forged, a young boy magician has grown up in a closed magical space. Eventually, he enters into the world at large to find out about himself and what role in the world he should play…

Magi - The Labyrinth of Magic
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic…

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Sukitte Ii na yo: a slightly more realistic high school romance

When ‘Japanese high school’ and ‘shoujo romance’ come together, the first title that comes to mind is probably Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You). Reactions to that manga and anime are different, though the most common one seems to be that it’s somewhat unrealistic in terms of how slow ALL of the relationships move, or, to put it another way, how pure they all are. I won’t get into that particular debate, but this was one of the reasons I decided to try Sukitte Ii na yo (Say You Love Me), as it had been promoted as a more ‘realistic’ look at high school romance in Japan. I would say that that’s a pretty good description.

Tell me that you love me...

Tell me that you love me…

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Hyouka: it’s all in the details

It’s ostensibly a ‘mystery’ series, after all!

Sitting down to write this comment was one of the most difficult tasks I’ve had to do in a few months. Normally, something about a show – whether I liked it all that much or otherwise – will pop into my mind fairly quickly, and I’ll be on my way. That’s certainly what happened with at least two of Hyouka’s stories, the latter of which produced this particular post on episode 21. However, the all-encompassing theme that I simply have to write about is eluding me: as much as I try to think about it now, I’m not sure what exactly it was that compelled me to watch this series week after week. What I intoned after the end of the first major arc remains true for me: there is something quite profound about the stories that Hyouka tries to tell, but it’s almost impossible for me to put it into words. That said, pictures aren’t going to do it either, so I’m just going to have to try!

Anyone else still doing this…?

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Sakamichi no Apollon: the curse of noitaminA strikes again?

Don’t you love those musical notes and symbols?

When it was announced that Watanabe Shinichirou and Kanno Youko would be teaming up again for the first time since Cowboy Bebop, and for a series centered around jazz, parts of the Western anime fandom exploded in reverent anticipation. Whilst Kanno has remained quite prominent as an anime music composer, Watanabe has only directed a handful of shows over the years, and English-speaking fans were understandably excited about the prospect of another series that could go down in history. However, when it was confirmed that Apollon would only have the standard 12 episodes of the noitaminA block, fear and disappointment replaced those formerly positive emotions. There was no way that the manga’s 9 volumes could fit into just 12 episodes, right?

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Tsuritama: Eno-shima-DON!!

I’m not surprised they didn’t even try translating it…

Despite a youth of constant relocation, Yuki is still unused to meeting new people and all the attention that comes with it. When he comes to Enoshima and is befriended by an alien who transfers into his school at the same time, the potential for embarrassing situations increases exponentially. But all that alien really wants to do is fish – how does this translate into a situation where four vastly different people come together to save the world? (Not a spoiler, honest – Yuki, the main character, brightly reveals this to us in the first episode).

If this doesn’t tell you what kind of show this is…
I kid, I kid – it’s not some kind of ‘power rangers’ show…I think… ^^;

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In memory of 2011 その8: 佐藤くん、まだヘタレだけど、かっこいい...

Happy New Year! Which also brings us to the 8th post of this yearly review.

This past season has been a good one for comedies in my book, what with Kimi to Boku also giving me huge laughs week after week. But Working’!! is definitely where my loyalties lie at the moment, after an excellent final episode that more than rivals the former’s own strong offering this week.

The moment that stayed with me this season, however, is better described as being heartwarming:

Satou, smiling gently as he asks Yachiyo to talk about Kyoko as she always does...

He thus reassures her of his fondness for her normal self…

…earning a happy smile in return…although he also pays for it…

There’s no doubting it – Satou is still pretty much a wimp about this unrequited love of his, but just like Takanashi in episode 9 of the first season, he really shows his cool side here. Hence, it’s Satou’s turn to make my list for the year gone by. Just who will be on next year? ^^