"The scent of air after the rain... I heard your pulse. I saw the light."
Ao Haru Ride, (shortened to AoHaRide in the original Japanese release; officially translated as Blue Spring Ride in some countries), is an ongoing shoujo manga by Io Sakisaka since 2011, following the success of her previous work Strobe Edge. It is currently serialized in the magazine Bessatsu Margaret and compiled in eleven volumes along with four Light Novel adaptations. Both Anime and Film adaptations were announced and are set to be released in 2014. The anime is available on Crunchyroll under the title "Blue Spring Ride."The story follows Futaba Yoshioka, previously a quiet and gentle girl who has changed her image to become approachable and confident, after her insecurity accidentally drove away her First Love Kou Tanaka and her popularity with the boys caused her friends to leave her. Despite her newfound persona, she is anything but happy, and she only realizes this when Kou re-enters her life, now under the name Kou Mabuchi. In the two years they haven't seen each other, Futaba is shocked to realize that Kou has changed so much. Despite what they felt for each other in the past, Kou informs her that they can no longer be what they used to be. However, Futaba's love for him reawakens and she is determined to unlock his past and heal his heart.Joining the whirlwind of adolescence are Yuuri Makita, an unpopular but gentle Kawaiiko; Shuuko Murao, a lone Sugar And Ice Girl with an attachment to Youichi Tanaka, a young teacher and Kou's estranged older brother; and Aya Kominato, an outgoing boy with his heart set on Shuuko and a rivalry set on Tanaka-sensei.Has a Character Sheet.
Betty and Veronica: Touma is the Betty and Kou is the Veronica to Futaba's Archie. At the same time, Kominato is the Betty and Tanaka-sensei is the Veronica to Shuuko's Archie. Later, Futaba becomes the Betty and Yui the Veronica to Kou's Archie.
Beware the Nice Ones: Yuuri isn't particularly forgiving if you steal her cupcake, or if you mess with her friends.
Big Brother Instinct: Tanaka-sensei tries to take care of Kou, but it's too bad Kou keeps rebuffing his advances. It's not because Kou hates him; Kou feels guilty for not taking better care of their late mother like his brother asked of him.
Big Heroic Run: Kou clearly remembers Futaba running to save him during their cops and robbers game in middle school. It's been such a fond memory for him that he thinks of this whenever he feels she is rescuing him.
Caught in the Rain: In a bittersweet moment, this is how Kou and Futaba come to bond with each other in middle school, and that very memory is how Futaba is able to identify Kou after the Time Skip.
Chekhov's Gun: Tanaka-sensei discovers Kou's crush on Futaba when he circles her name in his notebook. Kominato finds the same exact notebook four years later, and that's how he (and the audience) finds out that Kou still likes her.
Class Representative: The group become class representatives, though the most they have come to fulfilling the actual stereotypes of the trope itself was urging Kou to keep up his grades.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Yui tries to keep Kou with her by distracting him from going after Futaba.
Cool Teacher: Tanaka-sensei gets along with his students very well to the point some students don't address him as a teacher.
Covert Pervert: Futaba tends to unconsciously sniff Kou's neck. Kominato also has some porno mags and he's willing to show you if you're his friend as long as you don't tell Shuuko, shhh!
Cross Over: Ao Haru Ride constantly shared covers with Ore Monogatari when they made front page of Bessatsu Margaret. The authors of both manga collaborated on a one-shot crossover in honor of Bessatsu Margaret's 50th year anniversary.
The Cynic: While Futaba is a Wide-Eyed Idealist about reinventing her image, Kou is far more pessimistic about what he can change about himself.
Deadpan Snarker: Leave it to Kou to ruin your attempts at impressing girls, Kominato... not even, Futaba! On the other side of the spectrum, Shuuko snarks at Tanaka-sensei in her side story before falling in love with him.
Debut Queue: The prologue of the manga detailed Futaba and Kou's lives in junior high.
Do Not Call Me Tanaka: It's Mabuchi, now, all right? except when he decides during his first sit-down meal with his brother and father since he moved back, to change his last name back after high school once he's done sorting his feelings out.
The Dog Bites Back: When Futaba finally tells Asumi and Chie to back off from Yuuri (which ends up with her losing their trust completely), Yuuri follows up by giving them their own verbal comeuppance in front of the entire class.
Eating Lunch Alone: In the beginning, Yuuri always ate lunch alone after being shunned by the girls in the class.
False Dichotomy: Come the middle of the series, Kou is "forced" to choose between Futaba and Yui, and he indirectly chooses Yui on the basis that she needs his support to get through a tough spot in her life that has happened to him before. However, there was no reason why he couldn't pursue a relationship with Futaba while helping Yui out at the same time. Then again, as Futaba represents moving on and Yui represents being in the past, he most likely stuck with Yui to have a reason for being reminded of his mom's death, and feels guilty about leaving behind those memories when it's obvious his mother was very important to him.
Kominato figures out that part of the reason Kou rejected Futaba was because he knew that if they became an Official Couple, Futaba would be bothered by Yui being close friends with Kou. He tells Kou that he's being an idiot.
First Name Basis: Futaba starts addressing Kou by his first name just a couple of days after they meet again in high school even though they've only talked to each other three times in middle school. The reason for this is that he doesn't want to be called "Tanaka-kun" and she feels that he would be a stranger to her if she calls him by his legal last name, Mabuchi. This leads a lot of people into thinking they're closer than they claim to be, like Tanaka-sensei, Kominato, Yuuri, Touma, and Yui. Kominato starts calling Kou by his first name in vol. 2 after becoming his friend during the events of the Horrible Camping Trip.
Futaba gets jealous when she mistakenly believes that Kou calls Yui by her first name and later when she found out that Yui called Kou by his first name.
Tanaka-sensei actually returns Shuuko's feelings, but knows it's unrealistic for them to have a relationship at this point in time, so he purposely tries to encourage Kominato to go after her instead.
I Warned You: Time and time again, Kominato tells Kou about the dangers of his co-dependent relationship with Yui. When Kou finally makes the break and realizes the reprecussions, he expects Kominato to tell him these exact words, but surprisingly Kominato doesn't and just tells him to move on.
Improvised Umbrella: When Kou and Futaba take shelter at a shrine in the rain, Kou lets Futaba use his gym uniform as an umbrella.
Long-Lost Relative: Kou and Tanaka-sensei were separated from each other when their parents divorced, which led their relationship to be slightly strained. Tanaka-sensei still has a Big Brother Instinct towards Kou, but Kou doesn't like confiding in him.
Love Triangle: Of note, there's Futaba/Kou/Yuuri and Kominato/Shuuko/Tanaka-sensei. Looks like we'll be seeing Touma/Futaba/Kou after Futaba/Kou/Yuuri was resolved.
More like a Love Dodecahedron now with Touma/Futaba/Kou and Futaba/Kou/Narumi occurring concurrently!
Tanaka-sensei's is leaving Kou to deal with their mother's illness and death by himself. He was unable to visit often because he lived far away and just becoming a teacher, but it had more to do with being afraid of watching his mother die.
New Transfer Student: Kou's classmate from Nagasaki, Yui Narumi, is going to turn out like this soon.
Nice Guy: Touma is respectful of others to the point that his friends accuse him of being a goody-goody. This doubles as a Fan Nickname, where fans have taken up referring him as "GG" before his name was officially revealed.
No Guy Wants an Amazon: Futaba bases her judgment of reinventing her image on this, as her previous incidents of being more feminine caused her friends to ditch her because she caught the attention of the guys they had a crush on.
Not What It Looks Like: When Futaba and Touma confront each other about Futaba's Accidental Pervert incident, Kou assumes that Touma's been doing something far worse to Futaba, causing Futaba to invoke this trope.
Parental Abandonment: Slightly subverted in the fact that Kou spends more time on his studies than with his mother (which is made worse when she dies) coupled with his parents' divorce, this is cited as one of the reasons for Kou's drastic shift into becoming a Broken Bird.
Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Futaba is usually depicted in pink clothing and backgrounds while her hair colors lean on the warm side. Kou, on the other hand, is often colored using cooler shades. Played straight in the fact that they're respectively the Red Oni, Blue Oni of each other.
Power Trio: Futaba, Shuuko, and Yuuri spend a lot of time together.
Shipper on Deck: Kominato is one for Kou and Futaba, though it's more because he wants to help Kou than it is because he thinks Kou and Futaba are a good match. Uchimiya, on the other hand, supports Touma and Futaba.
Shout-Out: "I saw the light" from the Tagline was inspired by the song "I Saw the Light" by Todd Rundgren, according to an interview with the designer of the series' logo, Yasuhisa Kawatani.
The CD Kou lent to Yuuri? In the manga, the cover wasn't drawn, but in the anime, the cover has theDave Matthews Band on it. It fits, as Kou's character profile states that his favorite band is the Dave Matthews Band.
Unrequited Love Switcheroo: When Futaba comes to the conclusion that Kou is too caught up with Yui to develop any sort of relationship with her, she decides to move on. This causes Kou to have an epiphany on what matters to him the most, and he begins pursuing her more aggressively.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Although they don't get along at first, Kominato and Kou befriend each other during the Class Representatives training camp, though Kou still has trouble thinking of Kominato as a friend.