Here is the long awaited review of Strobe Edge that I’m going to give you guys, sorry it took so long!
Guess I was just really lazy the last few days to read this manga again, because it is kind of slow-paced but… yeah. What manga isn’t slow-paced? Apart from the One-Shot mangas.
So yup, continuing from my preview of Strobe Edge by Sakisaka Io, Ninako finds herself attracted to Ren. She is fully aware of her friend Daiki’s feelings for her because he makes it so darn obvious that he likes her. Daiki notices Ninako’s eyes following Ren and with a twinge of jealously, asks her if she thinks Ren is cool.
Ninako throws the question back to him, picking up a magazine with a model on its front cover and asks him if he thinks the model is pretty. Daiki reveals to her that that model is his older sister, to a shocked/surprised Ninako.
After school, Ninako takes the train home and finding an empty seat, she sits down, only to be lectured loudly by a middle-aged woman on how children these days having no manners. Embarrassed, Ninako hastily gets up but she is pushed back down on her seat by no one other than Ren. Ren tells the woman that Ninako has an injured leg and the woman goes away in a huff.
Ninako realises that Ren shows her his kindness and concern for her through small, subtle actions. This makes her fall more in love with him and by the third chapter, she recognises her feelings for him because she realises that wherever she goes, her eyes will only follow him and will only see him.
The story then introduces us to Mayuka, Daiki’s older sister, who is hinted to us that she has a boyfriend. Daiki confesses his love to Ninako, making her feel troubled. We are then told and revealed to that Mayuka’s boyfriend is in fact, Ren.
Ninako confesses to her friends that she started loving Ren seriously but although she knows that she should give up because he has a girlfriend, she just can’t. She also rejects Daiki’s confession and goes home on the train after school. There, she meets Ren again. (The train has become some coincidental meeting point for Ninako and Ren now in this story)
She confesses her feelings to Ren, who rejects them, saying that he already has a girlfriend. Ninako smiles as she was expecting that answer but tells him that she feels better now that she told him and asks if they can can still stay friends. Ren agrees.
In a side story, Daiki and Ninako’s friend Sayuri got together. Ninako meets Andou, a friend of Ren’s. And at first impression, he is annoying and something like a player. Both Ren and Andou witness Ninako standing up for Ren against past girls who had been rejected by him and Andou notes that Kinoshita Ninako is interesting.
Ninako meets Mayuka for the first time but seeing her together with Ren makes it too hard for her to handle. Andou picks up on her feelings and helps her to escape from the couple.
Throughout the next few chapters, Ren shows Ninako a kindness that she cannot comprehend. She doesn’t understand why he is treating her so nice when him treating her that nice would just increase her feelings for him. Ren also displays a kind of protectiveness towards Ninako that Andou can’t really understand too.
Gradually, Andou starts to display traces of jealously and possessiveness towards Ninako whenever Ren is concerned and some of them are quite hilarious.
And here’s another one:
Great answer Ren, good job ^^
So anyway, Andou admits to Ninako that he loves someone and she’s happy for him. Ninako also meets Manabu, better known as Ga-chan, who is lively and easy to be with. He invites Ninako to work at his cousin’s cafe as a part-time job. He invites Ren to work part-time for his cousin’s cafe too, to attract people to come. Andou tags along too, due to the fact that Ninako is there.
Ren continues to show Ninako kindness and sides of him that he doesn’t usually show others and Ga-chan, being the good, nice and supportive friend, constantly tries to create opportunities for Ren and Ninako to be together. Ren starts to realise that Ninako has an effect on him while Andou starts showing unusually soft kindness towards Ninako too. He tells Ren that he has fallen in love with Ninako and that he won’t give up on her.
We see that Mayuka loves her job very much and that even though she loves Ren too, she prioritizes her job first. Andou confesses to Ninako again but Ninako tells him truthfully that she can’t go out with another guy when she still has feelings for Ren.
Here, she is annoyingly sweet but I understand what she means. Oh Ninako.
Mayuka makes a decision and decides to break up with Ren as she recognises that there’s someone else in his heart and that it’s time for her to move on. Their conversation is heartbreaking and the afterthoughts Ren has after the breakup is really sad. His crying face is heartbreaking too as the tears fall down his face silently.
Ga-chan continues to create opportunities for Ren and Ninako to get closer (however, I wonder sometimes if some of his loopholes for them are unintentional and coincidental or not haha). The next few chapters focuses on the relationship between Ren and Andou, whose relationship had become strained due to both guys liking Ninako in one way or another.
Ren starts to show more signs of care and concern towards Ninako and by the 27th chapter, Ren admits to Andou that he likes Ninako and the proper ‘fight’ for her begins. Things get complicated when Mao, Andou’s first love and ex-girlfriend returns and enters their school.
Things aren’t as easy as we want it to be as after Ren confesses to Ninako, she can’t bring herself to accept him while thinking of Andou, feeling pity for him. Even after getting rejected countless times by Ninako, Andou still loves her and in the end, he does his best to bring her together with Ren, finally admitting defeat.
Our 2 protagonists finally get together and they get their happy ending. And in typical manga fashion, they get together at their special place – the train station where it all started.
Okay so that was reaaaaally long, it didn’t look like a review anymore because I ended up more or less narrating the story sorry guys! But yup that’s a detailed description of Strobe Edge.
Strobe Edge is a nice, simple story about a girl experiencing love for the first time. She then experiences the heartbreak and pain due to loving someone. She also experiences feelings of pity and guilt towards Andou, who has loved her throughout most of the story. And we see how faithful and true she is to herself as she doesn’t want to use Andou to make herself forget her feelings towards Ren. Overall, Ninako is a kind and innocent girl, the kind that everyone loves.
Despite the slow and long-winded story line, it was pretty good. I enjoyed looking at the art because Sakisaka Io draws her male protagonists really attractive, for some reason.
I like Ren’s personality, though I don’t really like how slow he is to realise his feelings for Ninako. Guess you need a flaw to your perfect male protagonist sometimes. All in all, I don’t think I’ll read this manga again any time soon because of it’s dragginess. Maybe I’ll read it again in a few months’ time, but this definitely wasn’t one of my top favourite.
Art: 4/5 (I don’t really like the way the girls are drawn with unusally large, bulging eyes)
Story line: 3/5 (passable. But the end is quite predictable and typical)
Chapter length: 5/5 (Haha it’s full marks because each chapter can be nearly 50 pages long! I guess it’s because the manga itself is short but still. I DON’T CARE ^^ I love long chapters. Can’t stand it when I read a manga chapter that has only 20+ pages)