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Reading Ao Haru Ride made me think about the person I was when I was fifteen.

When I was 15 I was so obsessed with the thought of love. I clearly remember, I spent that summer watching every single shoujo, romance anime I could find. And I was so caught up with the emotion. I felt a lightness every time I came across a sweet moment in an anime. I even had a name to that feeling – the light-fluffy-cloud-feeling. It was so strong, it made me feel happy.

I grew up in an all girl’s school, so I’ve never really interacted with boys until I was almost seventeen. Watching these romance animes made me think and wish that my life could become an anime, just like those of Ao Haru Ride, or Kimi ni Todoke.

But that’s not the case.

I got to hang around with boys more often when I was in my senior year of high school. I’ve received a few confessions from them, and it was all so new to me, that I would say I liked them too, to the guys I actually had small crushes on. As time went by, I realized love like in the animes is completely impossible. Every single guy I liked and then turned down, went crazy or turned too depressed, to the point I cut them off almost completely.

It was worse going into college. When I thought things were going to be different things only got worse. More guys confessed to me and it was either I turned them down (and they turned much crazier than the guys in high school; I cut them off completely) or I got heartbroken myself. It was definitely hard to stand.

I’ve started reading and watching shoujo manga less and less when I entered college. As I read Ao Haru Ride right now, I don’t feel the light-fuffy-cloud-feeling like I used to back when I was in high school. I only feel pain and bitterness. The thought that shoujo anime/manga expectations never happen in reality is just really crushing.

It’s as if I’ve really been given a huge taste of reality.

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