Manga Review: Strobe Edge Volume Eight

Strobe Edge Volume Eight is a manga by Io Sakisaka, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2014. The series is rated “T’ for teens; from the eight volumes that I’ve read of this series, I would agree with this rating.

Strobe Edge Volume 8
Written by: Io Sakisaka
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: January 7, 2014

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, Mayuka. 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. Daiki ends up coming out of the love triangle getting into a relationship with Ninako’s friend, Sayuri. At the end of volume five, Daiki’s older sister breaks up with Ren.

Ninako spends most of this volume dealing with her confusion about her feelings with Ren. While she knows she likes him, she’s afraid that if the says anything to him that he’ll feel awkward and not want to be friends anymore.

At one point in this volume, Ninako makes the decision that she wants to pursue Ren. However, Ando’s former girlfriend Mao talks to her and tells Ninako about Ren and Ando being friends in middle school and how she came between them when she dated Ando in order to get closer to Ren. Now knowing this information, Ninako decides to try to suppress her feelings for Ren because she doesn’t want to get in the way of Ren and Ando potentially becoming friends again. Unfortunately, Ninako tells her friends that she’s no longer going after Ren but won’t explain why; this causes her friends to worry about her.

As I read this volume, I thought that Sakisaka was able to effectively portray Ninako’s conflicted feelings. Throughout the scenes that she appeared in, I almost thought I could actually feel the emotions that she was feeling. I just kept feeling so bad for her, especially since she’s unaware that Ren has actually developed feelings for her. It almost makes me want to smack Ren and tell him to just tell her straight out how he feels so Ninako can quit beating up on herself.

A new character is introduced, a loud-mouthed guy from another class who’s working with the cheerleaders for the upcoming sports festival. As he spends time around Ninako, he actually becomes the source of some helpful advice for her.

From what I’ve seen, there should only be two volumes left of Strobe Edge. At this point, I’m going to predict that these final volumes will focus on the sports festival and wrapping up the loose ends in regards to the various love interests. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Sakisaka will ultimately bring the story of Strobe Edge to its conclusion.

If you’ve read the previous seven volumes of Strobe Edge, then I think you’ll also enjoy Volume Eight.

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

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