Strobe Edge Volume One is a manga by Io Sakisaka, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2012. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read so far, I would agree with this rating.
The main character of Strobe Edge is a high school freshman named Ninako Kinoshita. She’s been friends with a boy named Daiki for several years, and it’s obvious that Daiki has feelings for Ninako. Ninako’s friends try to convince her that she’s in love with him.
Ninako soon meets the aloof Ren Ichinose, one of the most popular boys in the freshman class. As she starts spending time around Ren, she comes to realize that she’s in love with him and not with Daiki. By the end of this volume, confessions of love are made by various characters and Ninako learns some information about Ren
When the story of Strobe Edge begins, it comes across as a typical shojo love triangle of a female protagonist and two potential male love interests. However, as the story progresses and the reader learns more about Ren, it becomes clear that there’s going to be additional elements that have the potential to incorporate some very interesting emotional conflicts to the series.
I also thought that Ninako was a little annoying at first, because she came across as being a bit of an airhead. As the story progresses, though, Ninako can be confused about what she’s feeling, but doesn’t come across as much of an airhead. I wonder if Sakisaka had originally intended for Ninako to be an airhead, but found that that depiction didn’t work well in the long run for the story she was wanting to tell.
When it comes to the art, I have to admit that early on in the first volume, some of the drawings look a little on the rough side. As the volume progressed, the art started to look better. Fortunately, the story becomes interesting enough by the end of the first volume that the reader can start overlooking the art and become immersed in what is going on between the various characters.
Strobe Edge isn’t bad for a shojo manga series. While there are some respects in which it can come across as another “typical” shojo story, there are other ways in which Sakisaka was able to incorporate interesting character dynamics to make Strobe Edge an enjoyable experience for readers who may not typically fall into the shojo manga reader demographic.
If you’re a fan of shojo manga, I would recommend giving Strobe Edge a try.