The more I watch Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride), the more I see myself in Futaba. And that’s unsettling, not because of her faults, but lately because of her strengths, which are more on display in episode ten than in any of the others to date.
This episode begins where the last left off, with the group of five new friends continuing to study at Kou’s residence, though now, Futuba is unable to concentrate as the envy bug has bitten her. In the last episode, it was Yuri who felt envy at the special relationship between Kou and Futuba, but now it’s the other girl’s turn to feel the same as she wonders what the “nothing” is that the her friend and ex share. It eats her up inside and, as is her character, Futaba is so consumed with it that she goes back to Kou’s house, after everyone has left, to confront him. And there she discovers the secret that Yuri had stepped into – Kou’s mother is deceased, and this is the reason for his change in personality.
This sequence of events is probably something most of us can relate to. We think one thing of a person and later find out that we failed to realize something else. For instance, we might honk at a car in front of us who’s driving far below the speed limit, only to pass it and find an elderly person behind the wheel (though to be honest, we might’ve honked even knowing that). Or we might get mad at a friend who’s late for dinner, only to later discover it wasn’t her fault.
In my life, this episode was timely, as I had just finished having an episode of my own with my wife. Our fights sometimes work along these lines – one person gets mad at the other for being inconsiderate or not supportive enough, only to find that the other person has a burden of his or her own and just didn’t have enough left to give. And per usual, once this comes out, understanding abounds and both sides pour out love and forgiveness.
And Futuba gets it – she gets the last part, the one where you forget your concerns and tend to those of the one in need. She immediately puts away her envy, which could have turned into something prideful and bitter (even without cause), and feels immense sympathy toward Kou.
But it’s the end of the episode that’s more striking. Futuba goes one step further and confesses her feelings of envy to Yuri. She had no need to do this. In fact, Futuba’s meeting with Kou, which was very intimate, gave her another “one up” on her friend, something she could have kept or lorded over her, as Yuri in turn confesses she did with discovering the sorta-secret about Kou’s mother. Still, she confesses, out of love for Yuri.
Confession takes courage, especially when it’s outward toward an injured party. But more than that, even something more personal, like confessing to oneself or to God, can be hard because of pride, which sometimes leads to rationalization or forgetting of a sin.
If nothing else, this series so far has traced the personal growth and maturity of Futaba. Perhaps we could all follow her examples of sympathy and honesty (and perhaps repentance), and we, too, might see something unexpected – a little growth of our own.