Kou recalls the heartbreaking story of how he lost his mother, and how he blamed himself for not spending enough time with her before it was too late. Knowing his hardships, Futaba goes out to find him to help bring him up from his despair and self loathing.
It’s not often a show goes back and forth between being good or bad before getting really good at the very end. Blue Spring Ride has made me eat my words with the writing for this final arc. The flashbacks before now had always been of happier moments. The pastel colors and rough shapes gave a homey, friendly atmosphere that one might associate with fond remembering of days gone past. That’s why it was so jarring, in a good way, to see the same colors used in the scenes where Kou finds out he will lose the person he cares about most in life. What killed me was watching his mother take in his attempt to be calm, and still see through that things were going bad for her.
I also loved this new explanation for Kou’s behavior. Self loathing is something that can easily happen with people that age, and to have that kind of traumatic experience it’s easy to see how his mind went down that path. He felt himself responsible for his mother, because he was the only one there. By focusing on the future, he feels like he ruined the present beyond what could be forgiven. This mutual misunderstanding just let himself spiral further and further down. Not only that, but he started to treat the things he blamed for not paying more attention to her as if they were the problem. You’d be hard pressed to find a better motivation for a character to slip into delinquency.
While Futaba obviously doesn’t understand everything that’s caused Kou’s hardships, it’s hard not to admire her bullheaded desire to bring him out of his rut. The first time, her following him seemed a bit unnecessary. She didn’t really know anything about Kou yet. Now that she has gotten to know him and his situation better, she has a much better reason for dashing out into the night after him. She does seem to realize he blames himself for some things, and she finally gives him the perspective he needs to forgive himself. Her stubbornness is actually a virtue in getting at Kou until he can realize that for himself. The hug in the climax is obviously also a tease for the romance, but I can actually see it simply as Kou getting so overcome with emotion that he feels the need to reach out to her.