Aoihana - Sweet Blue Flowers Episode #04 (Mania.com)

By:G.B. Smith
Review Date: Friday, July 24, 2009
Release Date: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If you want a complex tale of star-crossed lovers, this might be giving Shakespeare a run for his money.

What They Say

Episode 4 - “Youth is a Lovely Thing”

After being asked by Sugimoto to accompany her to school, Fumi worries about who to walk to school with: her childhood friend or girl who she likes. When revealing her predicament to Akira, she laughs and they come up with a solution to her problem. In the meantime, Kyoko starts to inquire about Sugimoto…

The Review!
Content:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

Things continue to get complicated for the lives of Fumi and Akira, as they seem to be involved in competing webs of intimate lives. Fumi has apparently agreed to commute into school with Yasuko Sugimoto, but she also has a standing arrangement with Akira to take the train together. Fumi is surprised, and upset as usual, when the next morning she happens upon both Akira and Yasuko waiting for her on the platform. Fumi is unhappy about having to disappoint one of them, but the matter is sorted out easily by Yasuko, who agrees to allow Fumi to commute in with Akira, but asks to have priority in seeing her home.

The more complicated weaves of connections are spun at Fujigaya. Kyouko starts trying to discover why Yasuko, who had once been a student at Fujigaya, decided to leave the school. She asks Mr. Kagami, the faculty adviser to the Drama Club, since Yasuko had once been a member of that club, but he states that he doesn't know.

The bombshell for this episode is that Fumi comes out of the closet to Akira, telling her about her love for Yasuko and their dating. Akira is slightly stunned, but she is not upset or angry, just a little confused as to how to react. In the end, she decides to support her friend, and the two continue on as if nothing had changed for them.

The major twist, already somewhat hinted at earlier, comes when Yasuko takes her regular "retinue" over to Fujigaya as they are preparing for script readings of the Drama Club play, "Wuthering Heights." When Yasuko goes to talk to Mr. Kagami, we see in flashback that the two of them had apparently been quite close. Really quite close. Nothing definite is stated, and the crucial words spoken by Mr. Kagami in one of the flashbacks is replaced by the sound of the wind rustling the trees. Still, as Yasuko already mentioned last episode, there was a student at Fujigaya who was dubbed the "Master of the Library" (it should probably be Mistress?) by a teacher. And Yasuko hung out in the library a lot. And Mr. Kagami always saw her hanging out in the library. Uh huh.

In Summary:

The intersecting lives of Fumi, Akira, Kyouko and Yasuko get more and more complex, as we start to learn of the other players involved in the life of Yasuko. There seems to be a lot more to the tall basketball player than first appeared. Her relationship with the Drama Club faculty adviser at Fujigaya Academy, Mr. Kagami, and the possible connection of that relationship to why Yasuko left Fujigaya, are slowly being revealed a little bit at a time, though the attentive viewer is likely to have already guessed what was what. The series has improved markedly in the past two episodes, as we get less of Fumi crying (she still does, but not so much and not as annoyingly), and a lot more of an intricate story with layers upon layers, slowly being revealed.

Features

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment:

Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard.



Mania Grade: B-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 25
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Aoihana