Article first published as Manga Review: ‘Strobe Edge’ Volume Five by Io Sakisaka on Blogcritics.
Strobe Edge Volume Five 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 the five volumes that I’ve read of this series, I would agree with this rating.
Strobe Edge Volume 5
Written by: Io Sakisaka
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: July 2, 2013
Ninako Kinoshita is a high school freshman who is in the middle of a love triangle. She is in love with a guy named Ren, while Ninako’s friend Daiki has confessed that he likes Ninako. Unfortunately for Ninako, it turns out that Ren already has a girlfriend: Daiki’s older sister. Ninako’s friend, Sayuri, has confessed to Daiki that she likes him, and two start going out. Another potential love interest for Ninako was introduced in Volume Two: Ren’s classmate, Ando.
In this volume, while Ando and Ninako are out shopping for supplies for a Christmas party, they run into Ando’s old girlfriend from middle school. This is the girl that used Ando back in middle school to get closer to one of his friends, and Ando wants nothing to do with her. After an awkward exchange, Ando leads Ninako away. Later, while talking during a shift at work, Ando grabs Ninako in a hug to comfort her, and Ren suddenly walks in. As you read these panels for this, you can actually sense the awkwardness.
After this, Ando tries to convince Ninako to go out with him, but Ninako comes to the conclusion that she still loves Ren and would simply be using Ando to get over him. In fact, she decides she’s going to work on pretending she doesn’t feel anything for Ren.
Meanwhile, Mayuka and Daiki are spending some time with their father before he leaves. Over the course of this volume, Mayuka finds herself doing some soul searching, and a major change takes place at the end of Volume Five because of her.
There’s an additional short story called “Unfinished Map.” It’s a supplemental story about Ren and Ando back in middle school. In fact, this story covers the incident that happened with Ando’s ex-girlfriend who appeared earlier in the volume. In the actual story, Ando has always been a bit on the vague side when he talked about what happened between him and his ex-girlfriend, so this story was a nice additional piece for the reader to have a better understanding of this part of Ando’s history. This was a very well-done supplemental short story, and it adds a new layer to what has already been presented in the series.
When it comes to the main story, a major theme that runs through this volume is confusion. Ninako finds herself feeling confused about her feelings for Ren, and Mayuka also starts having confusion and doubts about her relationship with Ren. The confusion for both of them permeates much of the story that appears in Volume Five, and right at the end of the volume, one character loses their confusion while another characters gains a sense of confusion.
The love triangle also really goes through some very interesting changes in dynamics over the course of Volume Five. And with what happens at the end of this volume, it’s going to be very interesting to see where Sakisaka takes the story for Volume Six. I’m actually looking forward to getting a chance to read the next volume, and hopefully I’ll be able to read it sooner rather than later.
After reading Volume Five, I believe that readers who have read and enjoyed the first four volumes of Strobe Edge will really enjoy reading this volume as well.
I wrote this review after reading a copy of Strobe Edge Volume Five that I checked out through the King County Library System.
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