Manga Monday: Blue Spring Ride
Story and Art by Io Sakisaka
Article by Mara Wood
My introduction to Blue Spring Ride occurred when Crunchyroll debuted the anime. From the opening credits scene, I was hooked. This, this, was the shojo series I craved.
Blue Spring Ride specializes in the quiet moments. Futaba spent her early teenage years ostracized by other girls. The reason? She was too cute. Jealously ran rampant, and Futaba had to make a choice. She shed her girly ways and became a messy tomboy.
She was happy with her life until Kou comes back into her life.
As a young teenager, Futaba and Kou had a blossoming puppy-love romance. Before they could get closer, Kou moved and Futaba changed her ways. The Kou Futaba meets as a high school student is much different than the Kou she used to know. The two teenagers had their reasons for change, and their reconcilliation reveals the challenges they faced. How will Kou change Futaba? Can Futaba help Kou deal with his past?
Blue Spring Ride is a typical shojo, complete with a cast of great supporting characters. Shuko and Yuri are Futaba’s girl friends, and both of them offer the support Futaba needs at this point in her life. They have their own social problems, and the threesome show just how important female friendships are in high school. Aya is a close male friend in the class who is happy and energetic, a foil to Kou’s somber demeanor. Rounding out the main supporting cast is Kou older brother and high school teacher Yoichi.
The artwork in the series is crisp and distinctive. Manga fans might recognize the art as similar to one of Sakisaka’s other series, Strobe Edge (another great high school drama series). The characters have gorgeous large eyes, and the boys are presented as handsome and, in Kou’s case, aloof.
With it’s romantic close-calls, simple interactions with characters, and realistic growth of relationships, Blue Spring Ride is the ideal shojo for those of you wanting a romance story. The downside? Blue Spring Ride was published by TokyoPOP, and only used copies can be purchased.