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.
Strobe Edge Volume 10
Written by: Io Sakisaka
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: May 6, 2014
At the beginning of Volume 10, Ninako and Ren have a very awkward encounter and nothing is resolved between them. Later, Ando learns from Ren about Ninako turning Ren down when he confessed his feelings to her. When Ando asks Ninako about it, he learns that Mao filled her in about Ando and Ren’s past. Ando catches Ninako by surprise when he kisses her, but she pushes him away and realizes why he did it. Ninako realizes that she truly loves Ren and runs after him. Mao also declares that she’s going after Ando.
Ninako manages to find Ren and she explains her thoughts when she turned him down and then says that she loves him. Ninako and Ren become a couple, but the transition from being friends to being a couple is a bit awkward…
Overall, I have to say that this was a satisfying ending for Strobe Edge. After everything that has happened between Ren and Ninako, their awkwardness when they become a couple feels very realistic. If it hadn’t had that awkwardness to it, that transition wouldn’t have felt nearly as believable.
The actual story only takes up about half of the volume. The rest of the volume includes three bonus stories. The first focuses on the character of Manabu, and we see when he falls in love for the first time. Unfortunately, he has no real chance with her, but he keeps pursuing her anyway. It was nice to see Manabu get his own story, since he was seen throughout the series but never truly played a major part throughout it. But this story does help explain why we never saw Manabu actively pursuing anyone or looking for love.
The second bonus story focuses on Ren and Ninako, and it takes place after the end of Strobe Edge. While the ending of manga was a nice way to end the story, I believe that this story could have been added on to make the main story a little longer. The ending of this side story would have also made for a good ending for the main story.
The third bonus story takes place when Ren, Ninako, Ando, and the others find out if they made it into the high school that they attend during the series. It’s rather short, and in the long run, I’m not entirely sure if it truly added much. It only truly enforced the idea that Ando isn’t happy about the fact that he’s in the same high school as Ren. This fact was made really clear in the series, so this bonus story is kind of redundant in that way.
In the end, I have to say that I did enjoy the Strobe Edge series. While I hadn’t been too sure about it after the first volume, I’m glad I continued reading the series. While the story itself may have fallen into the “typical shojo” category, the characters were well defined and I came to care about them as a reader. If you enjoy reading shojo romances, then I think you’ll enjoy reading Strobe Edge.
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