In this very cute, romantic slice-of-life manga, shy and timid Futaba enlists the help of Taichi, a boy she barely knows, because he’s friends with Tomo, her crush. Taichi gives Futaba accidental advice in his clumsy efforts to help be a match-maker, and realizes by the end of volume that he might have a crush on Futaba! What could go wrong? Even more surprises await Taichi as more characters are added and this love triangle becomes a romantic quadrangle.

This was a great story for a shonju romance manga. Futaba is a very typical, shy Japanese girl, and Taichi is the typical on-the-fringe Japanese boy. But, somehow, the stereotypes blend together to make a story that is easy to read. At the end of the day, I am driven by the connection I made with characters, and this volume got me caring about Futaba and Taichi. The writing style is engaging, and each character was given their own, distinct personality. Kaito has some edge-of-the-seat moments where readers are sure to expect a confession of feelings, but as this is only volume one, the satisfaction and release we seek will be put off for a little while longer.

Kaito’s art style is simple but sophisticated. Plenty of detail is spent on the background, especially when that includes other characters. Some of the scenes look like they could be black-and-white photos of neighborhoods in Japan. There is a lot of shading and texture to each character and scene.

VIZ has this rated at Teen Plus. There is some discussion of boobs, relative sizes, and how to make them bigger; as well as bullying and dealing with grief, but there is not much else in volume one that would not be accessible to all high school students.

Blue Flag, Vol. 1
By Kaito
ISBN: 9781974713011
VIZ Media, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: Teen Plus

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NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16), Older Teen (16-18)
Character Traits: Japanese

  • Sara

    | She/Her Teacher Librarian

    Sara is the Teacher Librarian at a high school in a small, rural town in California. Previously, she taught for 6 years in the English department at the same school. Her passion for manga began early in life when a friend introduced her to Sailor Moon. She jumped on the comics bandwagon with the popularity of comic-inspired movies, and she has recently come to enjoy publishers outside of the superhero genre. Graphic novels are a big hit at Sara's school, so she has carefully collected thousands of volumes that frequently fly off the shelves and into students' hands.

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