Aoi Hana 1
Opening her eyes, Fumi awakens to the sound of the alarm clock, a new day has begun, her first day as a high school student.
As the Manjoume family chats before Fumi’s father leaves for work, he wonders if their daughter will be alright for her first day of school by herself, considering they just moved back into town.
Intersecting she can hardly go along as a chaperon, Fumi’s mother jokes their daughter may not object if her cousin Chizu were to tag along.
Having breakfast, Fumi is somewhat anxious, wondering if she left her uniform stored away for too long and such, but her cousin Chizu reassures her.
It’s an entirely different scene at the Okudaira household. Rushing out to school, Akira is stopped short by her mother who hands the cheeky girl her bento lunch and declares that her older brother will drive her.
Embarrassed being taken to school by car, Akira mopes the entire way and commands her brother to drop her off at the station.
Running on the platform, Akira accidentally bumps into Fumi. While apologizing, the twin tailed girl is struck by Fumi’s appearance, for she’s tall, slender, with the aura of a lady.
Gazing out the train window to the nearby coast, Akira smiles brightly, her attention is soon caught by Fumi who seems to blush beet red and has tears welling up.
Noticing the girl’s pained expression and an old man standing suspiciously close, Akira understands right away that she is being harassed. Without hesitation, Akira plants the heel of her shoe squarely on the man’s foot with all her might, making him cry out in pain.
Walking together before they split up to continue on to their respective school, Fumi thanks Akira and admires her boldness, while Akira in turn seems to admire Fumi’s princess-like aura.
Having entered the more prestigious Fujigatani Girls’ Academy, Akari has a somewhat uneventful day and soon wonders if she’ll see that girl again that she met in the morning.
Before she takes her leave, a classmate, Kyouko Ikumi, introduces herself and the girls head home together having a short chat.
Attending Matsuoka Girls’ High School, Fumi spaces out during the student introduction round, distracted by what happened earlier.
Although she seems reserved, even shy, Fumi is approached by her classmate Yoko, who introduces herself along with her two friends, Miwa and Misako.
All three girls are members of the theater club, having noticed Fumi is quite tall, Yoko tries to recruit the bespectacled girl into the theater club but Fumi declines. The three girls nonetheless offer to get better acquainted.
At home, Akira’s mother surprises everyone by revealing that friends from long ago will come to visit them later on.
When the doorbell rings and their visitors enter, Akira is dumbfounded to see the tall girl she had met that morning on the train, and vice versa, Fumi is surprised to see the energetic twin tailed girl that had saved her from the pervert.
It turns out that not only their respective mothers had been good friends many years ago, but Akira and Fumi had been best friends in kindergarten.
Remembering flashes of their youth spent together, the girls recall how back then Akira was the tallest one, while Fumi was the shorter of the two.
Though some things remained the same, Akira is still the outspoken and daring one while Fumi is still introverted and very much the crybaby.
The girls remember how Akira stood up for Fumi and helped her along to the nurse’s office when Fumi had accidentally wet herself, or how Fumi would not stop crying when she was moving away.
Reminiscing about that time, Akira is surprised and bit peeved that Fumi, who used to be the shorter one, has grown to bem uch taller than her, but the twin tailed girl teasingly remarks even with her length she doesn’t seem to have large breasts though, much to Fumi’s embarrassment.
Later that evening, Fumi talks about having met Akira again to her cousin Chizu, with whom she seems to have a special bond.
Interrupted by Fumi’s mother who calls them downstairs for a surprise, Fumi is shocked when she sees it’s a celebratory cake, congratulating her cousin Chizu on her impending marriage.
The next morning, Akira hurries to the train station, excited she will get to see Fumi again. But when she arrives at the station, Akira sees her friend is crying.
It seems Fumi’s heart is unable to come to terms with her cousin Chizu getting married and can barely hold back her tears. Being offered a handkerchief, Fumi thanks Akira and is even more moved when Akira remarks that Fumi’s always been a crybaby.
“Aoi Hana” (青い花), also known as “Sweet Blue Flowers”, originally a yuri manga by Takako Shimura, sees its anime adaptation begin! And what a very promising start it is!
Was looking forward to this series and if it stays this course it could prove to be a sure hit for me as this first episode struck all the right cords on many levels, offering an interesting mix of slice-of-life with a character driven romance.
The animation, while looking simple at a glance is actually beautifully subdued, perfectly accompanying the gentle music and breathtaking scenery, all coming together to provide a pastel-like painting that illustrates and accentuates the different characters.
Character design is simple and easy on the eye, but looks all the more appealing due to style and visual elements used throughout the rest of the episode, from camera angles, focus zones to lush landscapes and lighting.
Topping the promising combination of those elements is the suggestion this series will be focusing on character development and interpersonal relationships, showing the personal growth of the characters and how they relate to one another.
In that I would roughly say this series may turn out to be a mix of character driven “Maria-sama Ga Miteru” with its yuri overtone and pastel colored series like “Sketchbook ~full color’S~”, “Asatte No Houko” and “Aria”.
From the few synopses I read, we will probably see the girls have their respective romantic woes, especially for Fumi… but with a very explicit opening animation sequence focusing on Akira and Fumi, as well as the explicit theme of the series I hope that the ultimate romantic conclusion will be one between Akira and Fumi.
If you’re a fan of slice-of-life series, yuri themed anime or character driven shows, then surely check out “Aoi Hana”, looks like one of of the more promising series this new season.