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Strobe Edge 1 by Io Sakisaka
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Strobe Edge 1 (edition 2012)

by Io Sakisaka

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413285,656 (3.46)1
Member:swanjun
Title:Strobe Edge 1
Authors:Io Sakisaka
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Collections:Your library
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Tags:Manga, Shoujo, Read

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Strobe Edge, Vol. 1 by Io Sakisaka

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I had problems getting into this manga. Ninako seemed nice, and I loved the bit where she told Ren “If somebody does something for me, I appreciate it, no matter what it is” when he thought he'd given her a cell phone charm that wasn't to her taste. However, she also seemed dumb as a rock, and way too easily manipulated. I get that Sakisaka was trying to show readers that she had no experience with love and had no idea what that emotion felt like, but it was like she didn't have a clue about any emotions, not just love. She interprets her reactions to Ren as the beginnings of a cold, rather than as emotional reactions. This was played more seriously than humorously, and all it did was lower my opinion of Ninako's intelligence even further.

While I was glad Ninako figured things out within the first volume, I still thought it took her a touch too long to realize the meaning of her reactions to Daiki vs. Ren. This line prompted a huge eye roll on my part: “Why does my heart feel so heavy? Is this how it feels when the person you like does something nice for you?” In this case, “the person you like” is Daiki. Ninako hurt her ankle and was feeling a bit lonely on the sidelines while her classmates had fun. She was happy when Ren took the time to keep her company, but when Ren left and Daiki came and said he'd do the same, it made her heart feel heavy. And it still took her a couple scenes after that to figure out that Ren was the one she really loved.

Ren confused me. I couldn't tell whether he was already beginning to develop feelings for Ninako, or if everything he was doing was just him being nice. On the one hand, when Daiki confronted him and told him to focus on the girl he's already got, he didn't deny that he had feelings for Ninako. He didn't confirm that he did, either, but I would have thought he'd at least say something like “You're misunderstanding the situation.” On the other hand, his girlfriend said the two of them call and text each other every day. Even in this first volume, it's made clear that good people don't lead other good people on. When Ninako learns that Ren already has a girlfriend and that her feelings might never be reciprocated, she doesn't turn to Daiki instead. She tells him the truth, because to do otherwise would potentially hurt Daiki worse. If this is what good people do, then what's going on with Ren? He's supposed to be a good guy, so he doesn't strike me as the type who'd continue to call and text his girlfriend while nursing budding feelings for Ninako.

I liked that Ninako was honest about her feelings, once she finally figured out what they were. A lot of shoujo heroines would have remained conflicted, allowing the misunderstandings to grow to the point that finally telling the truth would hurt multiple people. Ninako doesn't let that happen. I also liked that Ninako's friends accepted her decision and didn't continue to pressure her into becoming Daiki's girlfriend. I had worried that Daiki would be the sort to blow up on Ninako when she finally made her feelings and her decision crystal clear. That didn't happen, and I appreciated that, too.

So, there were definitely things to like about this volume. It just didn't grab me as much as it should have. Ninako actively turned me off for most of the volume, Ren is still too much of a mystery (and not really in a “I must know more!” kind of way), and many of the characters don't have much personality yet. Ninako's friend might as well have been an amorphous blob – I couldn't pick any individuals out, and didn't realize the one character late in the volume was one of her friends until I started checking names prior to writing this post. The artwork is okay, but something about the way Sakisaka draws the girls (and, to some extent, the boys) makes it hard for me to tell them apart.

I'm on the fence about whether I'll read more of this series. Ren and Ninako's moments together were cute, but the same could be said about a lot of shoujo couples. If I do read more, it will be via ILL.

(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Sep 24, 2013 |
I'm such a sucker for shoujo manga, no lie. There is nothing better than a cute, innocent romp in Japan's high schools.

Ninako is really cute. At first I found her naivete a bit annoying, but she grew on me. She's just an adorable girl who didn't have much happening to her and now her bubble has been burst, and she's growing up, falling in love, etc.

Ren is of course gorgeous. Tall, dark and handsome to the T. Except this time, he's a super sweetheart! I love that the most about this--the love interest is kind, and so is Ninako.

a free copy was provided via eldelweiss. ( )
  lovelylime | Sep 21, 2013 |
I don't remember when did I first read this manga. I think last two years ago? or something. But I absolutely love this series from the start. I like Ninako very much and of course, Ren!!!

( )
  lexiechan | Sep 10, 2013 |
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Fifteen-year-old Ninako Kinoshita experiences her first feelings of love for quiet Ren Ichinose after a chance encounter on the train, but Ren already has a long-time girlfriend.

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