Strobe Edge 2Posted: March 16, 2013
Io Sakisaka – Viz – 2013 – 10 volumes
This series is still fairly cheery, but with a new love interest named Ando comes more drama. Ninako focuses really hard on staying friends with Ren, but Ando keeps interfering and embarrassing Ninako further. Ando is a player, and likes calling people out when they’re being shy, but it’s clear early on that he’s developing a crush on Ninako. Ren tries to speak to him about not playing around with Ninako, since she’s not like the other girls Ando picks up, but Ando counters back by telling Ren he needs to stop leading Ninako on and treating her nicely if he has no intentions of dating her.
This sounds a lot heavier than it really is, and most of the volume is still Ninako being herself, hanging out with her friends, and having fun with Ando and Ren. We get to meet Ren’s girlfriend and see the two of them together, and in a refreshing change of pace, she’s a really nice girl who gets along really well with Ren. Ninako can’t bring herself to hate her or think that Ren would be better off without her. Plus, since she’s Daiki’s sister, the two have common ground and get along really well.
I was sad to see Daiki sidelined so early on. I thought it would be interesting to see him trying his best to win over Ninako, but his role is greatly reduced in this volume, and he’s all but paired off with one of Ninako’s friends by the end. I doubt he’ll be playing much of a role anymore, unless it’s the big brother/best friend kind of thing.
One of the things I should say about this series is that Io Sakisaka has really awesome commentary. Normally I skip these, because they tend to be really depressing and repetitive stories about how the artist isn’t getting any sleep, how they never leave the house, how much weight they’re gaining, or something really funny one of their assistants said. Sakisaka writes a lot about her chinchilla in volume 1, and there’s a story in this volume about how she got to watch it give birth. Most of the columns are dedicated to her getting her driver’s license, which is still a fairly interesting story, but one of the last ones is about how she is a fan of towel blankets, and likes to have one around her shoulders at all times. When shoujo mangaka write interesting notes, they are always worth your time.
Anyway, this series is still all kinds of cherry and upbeat, and offers a few variations to the usual shoujo romance drama I read. Anyone looking for a fun shoujo series to pick up should definitely give this a try.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.