Manga Review: “Strobe Edge” Volume Two

Article first published as Manga Review: Strobe Edge Volume Two by Io Sakisaka on Blogcritics.

Strobe Edge Volume Two is a manga by Io Sakisaka, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read so far, I would agree with this rating.

Strobe Edge Volume 2
Written by: Io Sakisaka
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 1, 2013

Ninako Kinoshita is a high school freshman who is in the middle of a love triangle. Ninako is in love with a guy named Ren, and Ninako’s friend Daiki is in love with her. To make things worse, it turns out that Ren already has a girlfriend, and that his girlfriend is Daiki’s older sister, Mayuka. Ninako’s friend, Sayuri, is in love with Daiki.

And if that isn’t complicated enough, another potential love interest for Ninako enters into this already tangled web. Ando is a classmate of Ren’s, and he’s shown as being a bit of a player. During Volume Two, Ninako, Ren, and Ando all end up being on the planning committee for the culture festival. Ando appears to be interested in Ninako, but she doesn’t appear to reciprocate his feelings because she’s still in love with Ren. Unfortunately, the situation isn’t helped when Ninako ends up in a situation where she has to be around Ren and Mayuka. In addition to all of that, Ninako has encounters with the group of girls who came together after being rejected by Ren.

By the end of Volume Two, it’s become rather clear that Strobe Edge is a story that will be more than just a “typical” shojo manga series. I have really enjoyed the drama and tension that is created through the tangled love web with some of the interrelationships that exist between the characters, such as Daiki and his sister.

Volume Two also includes a bonus story called, “Another Light.” This story takes place two years before the start of the story in Strobe Edge, and it shows how Ren and Mayuka became a couple in the first place. I thought this was a really good backstory, and I can see why this was done as a bonus chapter rather than being incorporated into the main story as a flashback. There’s enough going on in “Another Light” that it wouldn’t have been as strong if it had been distilled down to a flashback sequence.

The one thing I find interesting is the fact that Sakisaka designed Ninako and Mayuka to have a similar look, especially in the face. As a reader, it makes me wonder if Ren initially started becoming friends with Ninako because of this resemblance to Mayuka.

By the time I finished Volume Two, I found myself interested enough in the characters and story of Strobe Edge that I really want to read the next volume after it comes out.

If you’ve read the first volume of Strobe Edge and enjoyed it, I would recommend reading Volume Two.

I wrote this review after reading a copy of Strobe Edge Volume Two that I checked out through the King County Library System.

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