Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Ao Haru Ride volume 6: kisses and confusion (Manga Review)

Io Sakisaka
Ao Haru Ride volume 6: 7.5/10

Ao Haru Ride Volume 6 (Shojo Beat/Viz) picks up with the school festival. Futaba knows she has to tell Kou about her feelings, but out of nowhere, another girl shows up! (OH NO!) Narumi is a figure from Kou's past, the years where Kou was away, a time Futaba knows nothing about.

Kou seems concerned with Narumi but also a bit indifferent towards her. Futaba goes to watch a show where the cute guy who has a crush on her is playing bass! Kou leaves Narumi's side to stand by Futaba at the show. As Futaba and Kou are trying to talk to each other over the noise, their heads turn towards each other...and...and...

Maybe they kiss? What does it mean? Who the hell knows, because they never actually talk to each other when it matters. (LOL)

From there, Kou and Futaba can't quite seem to get on the same page. Multiple opportunities present themselves for each to be honest with the other, but they just can't seem to do it. This is one of the areas of most shoujo manga that annoys me a little. I don't remember it being this hard to communicate when I was a teen, not when it was so clear how both people felt.

I won't really spoil much more about the plot of the volume other than to say that Narumi has a history similar to Kou's and so he seems to feel somehow responsible for her well-being. He might be taking it to slightly extreme ends, but it is in keeping with his character so far.

Clearly we won't get a resolution between Kou and Futaba anytime soon!

The art continues to be miraculous. It is simply some of the greatest manga art I've ever seen. I love the character designs, their expressions and expressiveness, the way lines are handled, the incredible use of screen tones...I could go on and on! It's top top tier. Just beautiful. I could look at it all day and be amazed by each little detail of a mouth, a finger, an expression, a design...

If you love Ao Haru Ride so far, you'll love this volume. But it isn't the strongest volume because it's a lot of drama, and not necessarily the finely paced, slow character reveals of past volumes. That's the only reason it isn't rated higher. Ao Haru Ride volume 6 gets a 7.5/10. But in the scheme of the whole series, it continues the strong qualities that are making Ao Haru Ride a landmark shoujo series.


Please legitimately purchase or borrow manga and anime. Never read scanlations or watch fansubs. Those rob the creators of the income they need to survive and reduce the chance of manga and anime being legitimately released in English.

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