Title: Strobe Edge
Author: SAKISAKA Io
Margaret Comics, 2007
Wahhh! I really enjoyed this manga! Right after I finished reading it, I rushed over here to write it up for this site 🙂 It’s so cute! I have enjoyed this manga author in the past, and once again she has created an interesting series. The artwork is very cute and I found the characters to be very fun. While there are some typically “shoujo” events in this series, in general it feels a bit more realistic than the usual shoujo romance story.
KINOSHITA Ninako is a first year high school student. She is a cute girl, with a somewhat introspective but nice personality. She can be naive about some things, yet show surprisingly good common sense about others. Every day she hangs out with her girlfriends in class, and they all stare dreamily at the school idol, Ren-kun. Ren is handsome and smart, but is also very quiet and mysterious. He is an idol among the girls, but in general, he appears to be a loner. Ren is not the type to be the center of attention surrounded by a bunch of girls. Instead they all admire him from afar. Ninako admires him too, and often finds herself wondering how he would look if he smiled. She would like to see that…
Meanwhile, all of Ninako’s friends tease her about joining in on the Ren-worship because they know that Ninako already has a boyfriend. Well, she is not technically going out with anyone, but everyone totally knows that their classmate Daiki is in love with Ninako. Ninako likes Daiki well enough– they have been friends for a long time, and she helped him through a rough time– but she isn’t sure if she is in love with him or not. Naturally, her friends insist she IS in love with him, and they all think Ninako and Daiki should get together.
Daiki is very cute. He blushes at the sight of Ninako, and it really is very obvious that he cared for her. He begins to worry a bit when he notices Ninako watching Ren with the other girls, but she insists that she only admires Ren in the sort of way you admire someone on TV- it’s not REAL, she just likes to watch him. Daiki tries to believe this, but he still g ets angry at Ren, especially after finding out some surprising information about him.
In reality, Ninako finds herself thinking about Ren more and more. When they have a chance encounter on the train one day when going home from school, she becomes even more interested in him. He never smiles. He is always so quiet. As she observes him more, and after some more random encounters, Ninako thinks she may be falling for him for real.
But are Ninako’s growing feelings ever going to be returned? Ren occasionally shows some kindness to Ninako (which is unusual) but he shows no signs of actually liking her in that way. Additionally, Daiki’s feelings for Ninako can’t easily be ignored. His animosity towards Ren is another problem. What information does Daiki know about Ren?
I really need volume 2 of this series now. (EDIT: I got volume 2 and the rest of the series. It is very cute! AND, it ended up being licensed in the US by VIZ, so go buy it! 🙂 Oh, AND AND, they are making a live-action movie in Japan based on it! Yay!