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 Kou the same boy she loved in middle school?
As Ao Haru Ride, Vol. 6 (Chapters 20 to 23) opens, Futaba is trying to process the fact that Yui Narumi, a junior high school classmate of Kou's, has arrived. Futaba feels that a distance has grown between her and Kou since he and Yui started keeping in touch.. Then, something unexpected happens between Futaba and Kou that just causes more confusion. Meanwhile, Toma Kikuchi decides that he will not give up on his quest to make Futaba his girlfriend.
THE LOWDOWN: The Ao Haru Ride manga is a typical high school shojo romantic drama about lovelorn kids. However, there is a little extra tartness and edginess beneath the stylish art of this series from creator Io Sakisaka (Strobe Edge; also published by VIZ Media).
Ao Haru Ride Graphic Novel Volume 6 is one of the better volumes, if not also a little maddening. Creator Io Sakisaka really plays Kou as a conflicted or wishy-washy boy. Which is he more? That depends on the reader's perspective. The ending of Vol. 6 makes Vol. 7 a definite read.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of shojo high school romance will want to read the Shojo Beat series, Ao Haru Ride.