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Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Strobe Edge 5 by Io Sakisaka

It's Monday and what better way to take the edge off than to indulge myself in one of my current favorite mangas, Strobe Edge. This title has quickly become a favorite of mine as it is so full of teenage angst. I remember those days. Horrible. Ah l'amour!

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites.

Book Description (From Amazon):
A heartwarming story about first love that’s one of the most hotly anticipated new shojo series among U.S. fans.
What is love, anyway? Ninako Kinoshita’s friends tell her it’s one thing, but Ninako wonders what this mysterious feeling really is. When she meets Ren Ichinose, the handsome, enigmatic guy that all the girls worship, her life takes an unexpected turn. With just a few words and a smile, he changes her world...

Resolving to focus on his girlfriend, Mayuka, during her time of need, Ren buries his growing feelings for Ninako. Meanwhile, Ninako sees a different side of Ando when they run into his ex-girlfriend. What happened to Ando in the past, and how was Ren involved?

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.

My Review:
Well, things are really starting to heat up and I don't mean in a romantic way.

Ren realizes he has some feelings for Ninako, but with Mayuka's parents getting divorced, she is falling apart. Ren decides that he will stay by Mayuka's side because she needs him. So, in order to be there for Mayuka, to support her, he quits the café and starts working closer to home. He also starts distancing himself from Ninako, going so far as to avoid her if at all possible.

Meanwhile, Ando has confessed his feelings to Ninako. He tells her he'll wait, but that Ren will never leave Mayuka so she might as well choose him. Ninako feels depressed because she never sees Ren anymore.

Daiki and Mayuka see their father and Mayuka realizes she is slowly coming to terms with the divorce. Mayuka starts picking up extra hours and hasn't had a lot of time to spend with Ren, but he doesn't seem to mind. He tells her he is there for her whenever she has the time. Being the good boyfriend that he is, he tries everything he can to be supportive of her and be what she needs when she needs him.

Ninako and Ando go out on a shopping trip to pick up supplies for the Christmas party. While stopping for refreshments, Ando runs into an ex-girlfriend of his. It leaves him unsettled, so he skips the Christmas party. Days later at work he tells Ninako about what happened with his ex and she starts crying for his pain. He hugs her just as Ren walks in the stock room. Ren acts like nothing happened, but Ninako is mortified; however,  she also realizes he didn't seem like he cared. But will it be reason enough for her to give up on Ren and go out with Ando?

Ando tells Ren that he confessed his feelings to Ninako hoping to get a response out of him. He wants Ren to be honest about his feelings. Ren admits that any feelings he has must be crushed. He's made his choice and he's going to stay by Mayuka's side because she needs him.

I have to love Ninako. She still clings to hope when it seems like all hope is gone. Will she stay true to her heart or finally give up?
Ren has put himself between a rock and a hard place. He is stoically remaining by Mayuka's side out of some inflated sense of responsibility it seems, but can he be happy forcing himself to stay with someone he may no longer love?

Mayuka needs to grow a backbone. Divorce is such a common thing now and for her to be falling apart because her family is now in that situation just seems pathetic. She is older than Ren, but she doesn't act it. She uses him as a crutch, but will she learn to stand on her own without his support?

I have been all about team Ren, but he seems to be making things difficult for everyone and is acting like a bit of a jerk. I have been much more sympathetic towards Ando. Ando has confessed his feelings to Ninako, even going so far as to tell her that he loves her and he'll wait for her. He seems so sincere and he's leaving himself wide open. exposing his vulnerable side. Will Ninako crush his heart?

In a side story, we find out just exactly why Ando doesn't seem to like Ren.

Volume 6 is due out September 3rd.

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