Futaba Yoshioka is a middle school girl who cannot stand boys. That is the case until she meets Kou Tanaka, and she is immediately smitten with him. Kou moves away before Futuba can really express her feelings for him. Now, she is in high school, and she sees a boy who looks like Kou. But is he the same boy in which she fell in love?
As Ao Haru Ride, Vol. 2 (Chapters 4 to 7) opens Futaba is still trying to reconcile the Kou she knew with the taciturn 16-year-old boy he is now. What happened to him during the three years since she last saw him, she wonders? Perhaps, a upcoming school leadership retreat will provide the opportunities she needs for her to understand him better. Just for fun, Futaba corrals some other classmates to make the trip. There is the shy girl, Yuri Makita; the stoic mystery girl, Shuko Murao; and the talkative boy, Aya Kominato. They are all going to learn something...
THE LOWDOWN: The Ao Haru Ride manga is a high school shojo romantic drama, at least on the surface. Like Ao Haru Ride creator Io Sakisaka's previous manga, Strobe Edge (also published by VIZ Media), there is more than just melodrama.
Ao Haru Ride Graphic Novel Volume 2 shows the folly of young love. There is a girl in love with a teacher, as well as a girl in love with a past version of a current classmate (and, of course, I'm talking about the lead character). In the folly, humor and outright comedy emerges. The young characters' dilemmas are certainly engaging, but I find myself smiling and even occasionally laughing at them.
Young love is such a bumpy ride, indeed. Ao Haru Ride seems as if it will be a good read to ride.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of shojo high school romance will want to read the Shojo Beat series, Ao Haru Ride.