Image source: TVアニメ『風夏』公式 on Twitter
Fuuka is a series that runs the gamut of emotions, as longtime readers of the manga will attest. But there’s also something interesting several fans may not even realize about the show: It’s actually a sequel.
I was hesitant to watch the series or read any of the manga for a long time, because I had thought for quite some time that it was based on sports. I distinctly remembered, I thought, when I saw Fuuka advertised here and there that it was about some track runner or something to that effect. Sports anime isn’t really my thing usually, so I had passed.
So when I finally decided to read and watch Fuuka and found that it wasn’t about that at all, I was confused. I wasn’t sure where I had read that information, but I remembered distinctly pulling up the manga to read a few years prior on Crunchyroll and there was a short, blue-haired heroine awaiting me on its cover page. I remembered immediately disliking the sports anime lilt and was already going to bail out of watching Fuuka because I thought it was more of the same.
When I took the plunge, I really enjoyed Fuuka’s manga version, and I’m enjoying the anime too. So when I discovered from Richard that it was indeed a sequel to the 2005 anime Suzuka, I was very much taken aback. How could I not have realized? Easy, I guess. Both series were written and illustrated by Kouji Seo, and yet I never thought to put two and two together. Not to mention, I guess I never stopped to re-evaluate which manga it was that I was trying to read, anyway.
Image source: FUNimation on YouTube
Suzuka follows protagonist Yamato Akitsuki, who’s just moved to Tokyo from Hiroshima Prefecture. His neighbor, Suzuka Asahina, is a talented high jumper and, after falling in love with Suzuka, Yamato decides he also wants to join track and field in a bid to impress her. This leads to a possible career path for Yamato and a story that unwraps around that and his love for Suzuka. There’s a lot more humor to be had, it seems, with this series, and a much more harem-like setup that I think Fuuka has been missing (not that I miss it personally.) They feel completely different from each other, while still remaining very much the same in recognizable ways.
Yes, there are several parallels between Suzuka and Fuuka, especially the “blue-haired girl who turns a man’s world upside down” trope, and most importantly Fuuka is the daughter of the the previous titular heroine Suzuka, hence Fuuka’s family’s pushing her to be excellent with athletics. It’s not hard to tie them together because of that, but I know I was certainly surprised when I finally put together the pieces of my memory puzzle. Not even during several trips to fact-check online did I take notice of this information, so learning about it finally hit me hard when I did.
You don’t have to know anything about Suzuka, though, to enjoy what Fuuka puts on the table. Recently I laid out why I prefer Koyuki Hinashi, Yu Haruna’s childhood friend, over Fuuka, but the reason I like Fuuka as a series better than Suzuka comes down to one important thing: music and how it brings us all together. Despite all of the problems I have with the heroine and the way Yu behaves throughout it all, I know Fuuka’s dealings with music are as pure as they can get. Suzuka couldn’t reach me in that way with its emphasis on sports, so I’m glad things went differently the second time around–or else I wouldn’t be here saying all of this in the first place.