Ran across Ao Hara Ride manga last night and read as far as I could.
Yoshioka Futaba has a few reasons why she wants to “reset” her image and life as a new high-school student. Because she’s cute and had a demure personality she was ostracized by her female friends in junior high, and because of a series of misunderstandings and mishaps, she couldn’t get her feeling across to the one boy she has always liked, Tanaka Kou.
Now in high school, she is determined to be as unladylike as possible so that her friends won’t be jealous of her. While living her life this way contentedly, she meets Tanaka-kun again, but he now goes under the name of Mabuchi Kou. He tells her that he felt the same way as she did when they were younger, but that they cannot go back. Will Futaba be able to continue her love that never even started from three years ago?
As the reader I feel really conflicted between her love interests. On one level I want her to be with her first love because it’s awesome shojo fluff and they really helped each other grow as people. However, as a woman I feel that she made the right choice by moving on to someone who was ready to “commit” to being her boyfriend instead of sometimes kissing partner. It takes courage to respect yourself and know what is most important and move towards it instead of regressing. At this point in the story Futaba has already made the decision to be with Touma Kikuchi and Kou is finally ready to man-up and fight for the girl he loves.
So the question remains: Where does my vote lie?
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