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Manga Review: Strobe Edge Volume Three by Io Sakisaka

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Strobe Edge Volume Three is a manga by Io Sakisaka, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2013. The series is rated “T” for teens; from the three volumes that I’ve read of this series, I would agree with this rating.

Ninako Kinoshita is a high school freshman who is in the middle of a love triangle. She is in love with a guy named Ren, while Ninako’s friend Daiki has confessed that he likes Ninako. Unfortunately for Ninako, it turns out that Ren already has a girlfriend: Daiki’s older sister. Ninako’s friend, Sayuri, has confessed to Daiki that she likes him. Another potential love interest for Ninako was introduced in Volume Two: Ren’s classmate, Ando.

Several major developments take place for the characters over the course of Volume Three. The biggest is that Daiki and Sayuri become a couple, so he is taken out of Ninako’s tangled love web. Ando also gets a better idea about how he feels for Ninako, and we also get a little bit of backstory for him that explains why he was acting like such a player back in Volume Two.

Another big development is that Ren’s friend, Manabu, gets jobs for some of the characters at a café that his cousin is opening up. Manabu ends up bringing in Ninako, Ren, and Ando to help fill those part-time jobs, which provides for some interesting character interactions later in Volume Three. This volume ends on a cliffhanger, and it will be interesting to see how the story progresses in Volume Four.

I have to admit that Daiki and Sayuri becoming a couple completely caught me by surprise. For the short term, at least, I think this is a good plot development; it allows the character web around Ninako become a little less tangled than it was at the end of Volume Two. It will be interesting to see if Daiki and Sayuri can make this work in the long run, or if Daiki will end up back in the line of potential suitors for Ninako. Personally, while I like Daiki’s character, I think it’s probably best for him to be out of the situation that he had been in during the first two volumes of the series.

I also liked getting the backstory for Ando, because it helped me to better appreciate him as a character. Unfortunately, I can’t really root for him and Ninako to end up together at this point, because I question his motivations at this point in the story.

When I finished Volume Three, both the character development that took place in this volume, as well as the cliffhanger ending, made me want to read the next volume. If you’ve read the first two volumes of Strobe Edge and enjoyed what you read, I think you’ll be pleased with how Volume Three progresses the story.

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About Lesley Aeschliman

Lesley Aeschliman is a freelance writer who began writing on a full-time basis in 2007. She has served as the Anime editor at BellaOnline.com, and she also writes and maintains two blogs: Lesley's Musings... on Anime and Manga and AeschTunes.