[REVIEW] Strobe Edge by Sakisaka Io: A Ms. Not-so Popular Meets Chick Magnet, and yes, you've heard this before, but this one is good!

May contain   [SPOILERS!]
Strobe Edge volume 1 chapter 1
Strobe Edge © Sakisaka Io/Shueisha [First serialized in Betsuma]

Strobe Edge by Sakisaka Io: A Ms. Not-so Popular Meets Chick Magnet, and yes, you've heard this before, but this one is good!
Review/recommendation by baka-girl (Some rights reserved)
Rating: 8.5 of 10 ♥

Okay, this is my first review in March. Haven't reviewed anything since Valentine's *sweatdrops*. I'm introducing another gem that I found a few days ago, and again, it's a shoujo manga. Actually I wanted to write a shounen manga review but couldn't find any title that inspired. Anyway, this manga represents another case of what I call Not-so-popular girl meets and falls in love with super-popular boy. For some reason (or maybe just my mind fooling me), I think this manga gives similar Kimi ni Todoke and Koukou Debut vibes. I'll let you judge for yourself...

Quick Summary
Kinoshita Ninako is just a simple girl who still doesn't understand love. Well, she has friends who can teach her, but no personal experience means she remains clueless. A little accident helps her to get close to Ichinose Ren, the most popular boy in her school. A few moar run-ins later, she gets to know a Ren that most people don't know. This, per shoujo norm, leads her to fall in love with him. It's not easy, though, since Ninako already has Daiki crushing on her, even though she doesn't feel the same way. Moreover, Ren already has a girlfriend.
Will Ninako able to convey her feelings to Ren? Or will she choose to go out with Daiki? Find the answer in Strobe Edge!

Deeper look at each main character —

Kinoshita Ninako

Ninako profile taken from volume 7
[Ninako profile taken from volume 7]
At first, I thought she was just a simple (and slow) girl. I changed my impression about her in volume 2, after she fought back and sided with Ren when The Rejected Alliance (girls who confessed to and were rejected by Ren) badmouthed him. She was cool that time. I'm also amazed that she can keep loving Ren, even though he already has a girlfriend. It may sound so simple, but it's not that simple you know, especially because she already become Ren's friend and may see a lot of lovey-dovey scenes between Ren and Mayuka. Even after Ando confessed to her, she still rejected him because she can only love Ren and she feels bad for Ando if she goes out with him just to erase her feelings for Ren. If it were me, I'm sure I'll fall for Ando because he's soooo kind to Ninako :p Maybe some of you think that she's so lucky, having Ando (and later, Ren) love her, but I think she deserves that. I mean, she's a really, really good girl.

Ichinose Ren

Ren profile taken from volume 7
[Ren profile taken from volume 7]
I'm sure he's one of the many reasons why people (including me) keep reading Strobe Edge. You already know from the picture that he's hot. He even emitting his cool aura there. But he doesn't really care whether he's hot or not. That he's a Chick Magnet gives him a lot of problems. Girls he rejected talking trash about him, other guys hating him for no reason — Ren has experienced them all. That's also the reason he didn't have lots of friends in middle school. Maybe Ando was his first best friend in middle school, the reason why Ren doesn't smile a lot. Ando had told him that it was best if he didn't smile since his smile was so deathly, even Ando was taken :p Another point about Ren is that he's wayyy more mature than other guys around his age. Even Mayuka thinks that he's more like an adult than her, even though she's older. At first, he's reluctant to admit that he's in love with Ninako, so persistent that his relationship with Mayuka will never change. He gradually accepts his feeling after breaking up with Mayuka. In the newest chapter that I read (chapter 33), he finally confesses to Ninako.

Ando Takumi

Ando profile taken from volume 8
[Ando profile taken from volume 8]
Yeah, I made this 'deeper look at each main character' section just for him, because I can't talk about him without mentioning that Ren rejected Ninako when she first confessed. And I absolutely don't want that! He's my favorite character in Strobe Edge, how can I leave him out?! Sakisaka-sensei introduced Ando in volume 2. I immediately liked him because his style is really my type! And he's a womanizer, you know that I love womanizers, right? :D He's such a funny guy and much more refreshing than Ren. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have problems. He and his ex-girlfriend and Ren have had complicated problems in the past. That's the reason he become a womanizer. But he stops being one after falling deeply in love with Ninako. He's so kind to Ninako, always telling her to stop loving Ren because it only bring her pain. He keeps telling Ninako to move on — with him. Ninako doesnt' do it (because she's madly in love with Ren), but he still loves her. In the recent chapter, his ex shows up again, telling him that she still loves him. I know that he's not going to end up with Ninako but I don't want him to go out with his ex again!

Strobe Edge began its serialization in 2007 in Betsuma mangazine and ended in 2010. It's another work from Sakisaka Io (but I haven't read her works besides this one). I'm reading the scan thanks to Starry Heaven and Bikkuri!. Starry Heaven released chapters 1-23, Another Light (extra from volume 2), Unfinished Map (extra from volume 5) and Colorless Dream (extra from volume 6). Bikkuri!, on the other hand, already released chapters 23 through 34 and Wishing for Yesterday (extra from volume 7). More on the side stories below. If you ask me about the Indonesian version, I don't have any news about it. Already searched it in Elex Media's forum, but can't find it. Let's just hope Elex or m&c! picks up this series because it's awesome! I want more people to read it (one of my many reasons for writing this review)!

Ando and Ren in middle school
[Ando and Ren in middle school]
Aside from Strobe Edge, Sakisaka-sensei also made five extra stories included in the Strobe Edge tankoubon. So far, I've read four (because the last one in volume 10 remains unscanlated). Strobe Edge ~Another Light~ is the extra chapter from volume 2. The story is of how Ren met Mayuka and their relationship before Ren met Ninako. The extra chapter from volume 5 is entitled Strobe Edge ~Unfinished Map~. This is about Ren and Ando and how they first met in middle school and the love triangle between Ren, Ando and Mao. This extra chapter also contains the reason why Ren never smiles. I cropped the page about it just for you readers :). Colourless Dreamer is the title of the extra chapter from volume 6, unrelated to the main storyline. In volume 7, we get Strobe Edge ~Wishing for Yesterday~. The story is about Yuu (one of Ren's friends) and Sayuri's (one of Ninako's, later Daiki's girlfriend) past. I haven't read the last extra chapter from volume ten, but based on Baka-Updates, it's about Manabu's (another friend of Ren) love.


Good artwork, decent storyline, awesome characters, so I'm giving this series 8.5 of 10 ♥. Make sure that you buy this series if it's released in your country. Believe me, it's worth it!
PS: If you're already a fan of Strobe Edge, I can recommend these mmv. This one is Ren x Ninako and this one is Ando x Ninako. They don't actually contain spoilers so, those who haven't read the manga can watch it too ^^ It's good and cute; Strobe Edge fans must watch this! xD


Strobe Edge images used here for reference are © Sakisaka Io/Shueisha. No infringement intended.

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