Ninako Kinoshita had never been in love until the most popular boy in school, Ren Ichinose, accidentally breaks her cell phone charm on a train ride. Despite her thinking that was her last encounter with him, he replaces the charm the next day. From there, Ninako’s in love, even if she doesn’t know it completely. Her childhood friend Daiki (who’s had a crush on her for more than a year now) even notices her being more interested in more girly things than before. She begins to realize she’s in love after interacting with Ren more. However, once those feelings are fully realized, she finds out that Ren already has a girlfriend.

The narration is all done from Ninako’s point of view. There’s a lot of cliche, but seeing as this is only the first volume, I’m hoping that it grows out of those cliches as the series goes on. Ren, Ninako’s love interest, is the school heartthrob. Ninako is the inexperienced-with-love and timid girl, and Ren is completely unavailable. The story seems to have advanced a lot in just the first volume, making the pacing feel a little fast, but thankfully, not too slow. The conflict of the main character’s love interest being unavailable was easily seen, but the reason for his unavailability and relationship with someone Ninako already knows helps to spice things up more.

The art is in shoujo style and very clean. Female characters in particular have large eyes, and pieces of hair can be seen and there’s lots of detail so even flyaway strands are included. Io Sakisaka has a distinctive art style from other shoujo styles, which may be a pleasant treat for those who read a lot of the genre and want more variety in art. Occasionally, things like necks, arms, and legs can look more elongated than they should.

Not too many warnings other than the fact that there are romantic situations, as well as the fact that the main protagonist is in love with a guy who has a girlfriend. It’s worth noting that the female protagonist announces, multiple times, that math is her weakest subject, which doesn’t help dispel already existing real-world bias and stereotypes.

Strobe Edge, vol. 1
by Io Sakisaka
ISBN: 9781421550688
VIZ Media, 2012
Publisher Age Rating: T (13+)

  • Emily Serven

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support!

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