Ao Haru Ride Ep. 10: Friendship is difficult!

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Back to the shoujo anime that couldn’t… yay… If you’ve forgotten where we last left off — and who could blame you! — everyone’s over at Kou’s house, but something might have just happened between him and Yuri. Oh dear, love triangles are so much fun.

— Being a considerate friend is easy. You just put yourself in another person’s shoes and imagine what it would feel like to be them. So whatever happened between Yuri and Kou, she knows that being evasive about it would just make Futaba feel worse. But does she put herself in her friend’s shoes? No. Because everyone on this show magically turns into a sucky friend whenever it’s convenient. We need drama! Quick, have Yuri suddenly say nothing even though the two girls are open to each other about their love for Kou! Futaba can then agonize over this moment, wondering if something had happened!

— Naturally, the study session’s atmosphere is all awkward and shit now. And of course, Futaba tortures herself thinking about Kou and Yuri. Predictable. Boring. Dumb.

— By the way, Kou is smart and picks stuff up quickly! As a result, he’s barely studying at this study session at all. What a shocker! But didn’t they all get together for his sake? I love how people always say, “These friends aren’t perfect, because they’re like high school kids in real life! We weren’t perfect back then! This is realistic!” But then no one seems to mind the fact that Kou is tall, handsome, cool, and incredibly intelligent. Is such a person impossible to find in real life? No, of course not. But it sure is funny that every goddamn shoujo ends up hooking up with one. So you honestly have to make a decision. If you’re going to go the realistic route — as opposed to just telling a good story — then why is Kou so perfect in every non-fixable way?

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‘Cause that’s what it’s all about. Kou isn’t perfect, obviously. His personality is shit. But ah, personalities can be fixed, and this shoujo certainly has the patience to fix it. Why? ‘Cause he’s got all the other shit you can’t really change, i.e. his height, his looks, his intelligence, etc. Sure, the guy can get fat, but you get my point. Really, no one wants to fix a dummy. No one wants to fix an average-looking guy. No one wants to fix a fat guy. No one wants to get over the fact that a guy is short (except Lovely Complex, apparently). But if he’s an asshole who wipes lipstick off my face when he wants to, pins me down just to prove he can assault me if he wants to, and insults me when he wants to, well golly, that’s a bishie worth fixing!

— Kou says he doesn’t study because he doesn’t feel the need to. All of a sudden, Yuri has a cringeworthy emotional outburst about how everyone would be sad if Kou was held back a grade. Honestly, I don’t know if that’s such a bad thing. I feel like Kou’s problem right now is that he isn’t being held responsible for anything. He never has to face the consequences of his actions. Fine, fine, his parents broke up and his family situation sucks. Whatever, man. Life doesn’t give you a break just because you’ve had it tough, recently. You still have to face the consequences when you fuck up. The thing is, Kou has absolutely no adult supervision because anime just loves it like that. Asian parents can be overbearing, and maybe this is why anime parents are often non-existent, but this is ridiculous. Kou basically lives by himself and does whatever the fuck he wants to do. His brother is doing a shitty job looking over this high school kid. Seriously, Yoichi’s way too hands off with someone who’s about to be held back. A bloo bloo bloo, he doesn’t want to have dinner with me! Who the fuck cares? You’re his older brother, not his fucking mate. Why are you not getting your brother’s ass in gear? I’m telling you, everyone in this anime fucking sucks. It should never have come to this point. A classmate shouldn’t be the one making an emotional appeal to Kou. Yoichi has failed as a brother and a teacher, ’cause he’s made the number one mistake: he wants to be friends with his asshole of a brother.

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— Uguu, if you have to take supplementary lessons, we can’t hang out together as tomodachis! Uguu, I’d like us all to hang out together. This is so lame.

— The study session is over, but Yuri still won’t do or say anything to help allay Futaba’s fears. Of course, you don’t have to tell your friend exactly what happened, but you could at least not boldly lie about it. But like I’ve said, we have close friends magically turning shitty for no reason. Thanks to this, Futaba watches her friends leave, then storms back to Kou’s place. She just to know!

— Naturally, when Futaba finally returns to Kou’s house, she suddenly finds it hard to be direct. Great. Suddenly, she finds every reason to stay at his house, but can’t just ask a simple question. Sigh.

— Eventually, the girl does get around to her one question, but Kou’s just as evasive as Yuri. But y’see, I already know that Kou’s not going to be the most considerate guy out there. On the other hand, Yuri’s supposed to be Futaba’s best friend so she doesn’t get a free pass.

— So anyway, the subject turns to what Kou’s been through. Y’know, he’s changed and shit, and Futaba wants to know. He finally shows her the altar he has for his late mom. I don’t know, for some reason, I just didn’t find this scene as heartbreaking as it should be. I mean, I expected something like this anyway. So in my mind, it just makes it even more maddening that Yoichi’s nonexistent in this guy’s life. He’s lost his mom, and his dad is nowhere to be found, and big bro can’t even be a proper guardian.

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— All that happened with Yuri was that she saw the altar too. So again, what was so hard about being somewhat open and honest about this with Futaba? Like Kou said, it’s not like he was hiding the altar. I’m not saying Yuri should have blabbed about everything she saw, but there was absolutely no need to blatantly lie to your best friend’s face by repeatedly saying, “Nothing happened.” Just say something like, “I accidentally stumbled upon something personal in Kou’s home that I don’t feel comfortable talking about without his permission. You should just ask him about it.” Is that so hard? It isn’t. Hell, I’m beginning to suspect Yuri had ulterior motives in being so evasive, because being a good friend just isn’t difficult. Futaba blames herself for getting worked up about the situation, but I’m not going to absolve Yuri of blame: Kou and Yuri both were thinking about the feelings of people other than themselves.” Not really, but if you just want to show us a shot of Futaba crying, sure, say whatever you want.

— So what does Kou do? Pet Futaba’s head like she’s a dog and call her annoying for crying so much.

— Futaba’s emotions spill out, and she tells the guy she wants him to not quit school. All of a sudden, big bro decides to now show up. Just look at this guy. I’m weary about this episode already, but there’s about ten minutes left to watch.

— Kou eventually leaves for his job, which comes as a surprise to Futaba. C’mon, you don’t even know he has a job. You want to be with the guy, but you don’t even know he has a job. I didn’t know he had a job either, but I ain’t trying to get with the guy.

— Apparently, Kou can’t forgive his brother because Yoichi had put too much responsibility on Kou’s shoulders when their parents split. Then when Yoichi became a teacher, he didn’t have time to visit their mom in the hospital.

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Yeah, that’s a terrible situation, and Yoichi should’ve been there for his family. But still, what’s done is done. Alright, so you guys don’t get along. Now that Yoichi’s the de facto guardian, however, getting along isn’t a priority anymore. I just think he’s way too friendly with a kid who’s about to fail out of school. Hell, both of them need therapy, if you ask me. Too bad therapy seems practically nonexistent.

— The next day, Futaba apologizes to Yuri, but the latter then admits, Part of the reason I didn’t tell you about Mabuchi-kun’s mom was because I wanted to become more special than you.” Who would’ve guessed! You guys suck.

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2 thoughts on “Ao Haru Ride Ep. 10: Friendship is difficult!”

  1. As boring as this anime would be to watch I can always count on it for giving you interesting things to comment on. The whole non existent parents thing always bothered me. If they do exist they’re probably dead. Sure there are anime out there with parents but it’s not common and in those anime they don’t usually do anything.

    I’ve always wondered how overbearing parents affect the relationship they have with their kid(s) when they get older. Like do they still keep in contact with their parents when they leave home?

    This is a slice of life anime I don’t understand why these characters don’t talk more, it’s what people do. They shouldn’t have to rely on the same thing to create drama each time, does the writer not know how tiring that is?

    1. They shouldn’t have to rely on the same thing to create drama each time, does the writer not know how tiring that is?

      It’s just lazy storytelling. First, by not talking, we mostly get to hear Futaba’s thoughts. And because they are thoughts, they are not conversations. Conversations are harder to write than just having a character describe his or her feelings. Then, since nobody’s talking, it’s easy to create drama from misunderstandings alone. And I suspect most people don’t mind that these characters don’t talk that much because maybe fans are introverted themselves, and wouldn’t find themselves engaging their friends often in conversations anyway.

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