Saturday, May 3, 2014

Manga Review: STROBE EDGE Volume 10


LETTERS: John Hunt
ISBN: 978-1-4215-6448-7; paperback (May 2014); Rated “T” for “Teen”
184pp, B&W, $9.99 US, $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Strobe Edge is a shojo manga (comics for teen girls) from Io Sakisaka (the creator of Ao Haru Ride).  VIZ Media sent me a copy of Strobe Edge Volume 2 for review in late 2012, which was my first experience with the series.  Now, with the release of tenth volume, the series’ North American publication comes to an end.  I can say that in terms of graphic style and tone, Strobe Edge never changed.

Strobe Edge focuses on Ninako Kinoshita, a 16-year-old who falls crazy in love with fellow high school student, Ren Ichinose.  Just before summer vacation begins, Ninako first tells Ren how she feels about him, and that begins a complicated romance.  Things get even more complicated, but Ren changes Ninako’s world.

As Strobe Edge, Vol. 10 (Chapters 35-36 – the Final Chapter) begins, Ren wants answers from Ninako.  She’s not ready to give them.  Now, she fears that Ren is out of her life.  Is that what she wants?  That can’t be what she wants.  Takumi Ando, a boy who also loves Ninako, decides that now is the time to make his move.

[This volume includes a side story, “Strobe Edge ˜Manabu Miyoshi˜;” a “Strobe Edge Bonus Chapter;” and a bonus story.]

The North American version of the Strobe Edge manga comes to an end.  It is a typical high school shojo romantic manga, and Strobe Edge Volume 10 offers a typical happy shojo ending.  Creator Io Sakisaka ties up loose ends, but she offers a lot of extras for readers as she ends the story.  I am guessing that I am as satisfied with the resolution as anyone who has followed this series since the beginning.

Strobe Edge takes the easy way out to satisfy readers, but the lead characters go through enough, even in the end, to make readers earn that sweet happy ending.  I think that fans of Shojo Beat high school romance will want to try the Shojo Beat title, Strobe Edge.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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