Hi everyone, today we’re looking at Volume 3 of Strobe Edge which picks up right after Ren’s pulled Ninako into a closet to hide from Ando… and hugs her while they’re in hiding. Some of the students from the Alliance of Ren’s rejected girls are still picking on Ninako, when Ren finally steps in. When Ninako catches sight of him telling the girls off, she realizes that Ren has been avoiding her for her own good. However, Ninako doesn’t feel like backing away from Ren just because of drama. I totally agree with Ren who calls her weird. Even though she knows Ren is taken and her feelings may never be reciprocated, she still strongly believes that there is beauty in her love for him which gives her the courage to continue their friendship.
Ando’s also a weird one. He falls harder and harder for Ninako despite his knowledge that she is completely infatuated with Ren. Later at the school festival, Daiki and Sayuri are revealed to be a couple when he intervenes on the class proposal to have Sayuri change into a bikini.
Ninako brimming with enthusiasm gets coerced into a frog suit to draw attention to the booth. When she bumps into Ren, he decides to put on a cool samurai costume to help draw customers in. At the end of the day, a group photo is taken and Tsukasa, the photographer, took two shots. One of the group, and an extra one of Ren and Ninako just for her friend which is SOOO SWEET! (I gotta do this for one of my friends if this ever comes up)
Next chapter begins with Ren, Ando and Ninako on the morning subway to school. It’s crazy crowded because it’s rush hour and while Ando panics from comedic claustrophobia, Ren’s using his arms to create a safe and comfortable spot for Ninako. LOL it’s totally not awkward when the situation turns into Ando who asks Ren who shield him so Ando can shield Ninako. Ando’s flurry of emotions coupled with the heat of the subway makes him sick and he quickly leaves, followed by a concerned Ren.
Through a misunderstanding later that day, Ninako deduces that Ando is dying but when it’s all cleared up, Ando tells her that love can be fatal and asks her not to look at Ren “that way.” Despite Ando’s easygoing personality, he’s getting quite serious about his feelings for Ninako and actually asks her out even though he knows that she’s in love with Ren.
Later, Ninako’s sitting by the side of the school watching Ren play basketball to “heal her wounded spirit” after receiving bad grades. Ando finds her (as he always does) and they talk a bit about first loves. Then later in the classroom while mulling over the upcoming make-up exams, she meets and bonds with Manebo over their poor grades. (LOL) Manebo offers her a part-time job at the new café that his cousin is opening and Ninako agrees.
Ninako and Manebo both panic at the thought of daily math review for their makeup exams and Manebo enlists Ren as their tutor. As if it’s not bad enough that Ninako is being tutored by her crush. When Manebo gets called away from an announcement, Ninako is left alone with Ren and her wandering thoughts. As if anyone could pay attention to math when their crush was around…
Of course, after Ren and Manebo pass their makeup exams, Manebo brings up the fact that both of them will be working together at the café. And, it also just so happens that Ando is working at the café. After work, Ando presses Ninako again about her one-sided love towards Ren. I love how the night ends with Ren and Ninako picking up scents of winter in the wind. There’s something poetic about it, almost like they’re sharing a secret and it will somehow draw them closer.
I really like Manebo’s role in this story. He’s emerging as the one that kinda brings Ren and Ninako together even though he doesn’t know he’s doing it and because he’s so close to Ren, he notices how much freer, happier and childish Ren act around Ninako.
Thank gosh we have Sayuri and Daiki to easy our hearts on the side. When they have lunch on the rooftop, Daiki asks Sayuri if it’s “a pain” to make him lunch every day but Sayuri tells him that it makes her happy. Daiki’s falling deeper in love with Sayuri and it’s so sweet to see how devoted he is and what a great and supportive girlfriend Sayuri is in return.
I always immensely enjoy Daiyuri moments 😉 however, the next part of Ren and Ninako’s story is probably my favourite moment thus far in the book. Ren and Ando have just stepped onto the subway and Ninako is rushing down the stairs to the platform. She ALMOST makes it but she trips (typical clumsy shojo protagonist) and she misses her ride. What’s unexpected is when Ren steps through the subway doors just before they close and the doors shut in Ando’s face. All three of them are surprised. Even Ninako asks Ren why he gets off the subway. He doesn’t even know why and they laugh. I love how they bond over sweets as they wait for the next train and Ren tell Ninako that he loves sweets but refrains from snacking in front of Mayuka due to the demands of her model life.
During work, Ando makes Ninako coffee in the staff room. It’s interesting to see Ando slowly open up to Ninako as he tells her of his past love and even though they may not end up a couple, I can see Ninako becoming one of his closest friends. After work, Ren, Ando and Ninako bump into Mayuka who finished work early. When Mayuka suggests that the four of them go for Tea, the wind breezes by; Mayuka notices her boyfriend sniffing the wind quietly but Ninako is the one who boldly states that the wind “smells half like autumn and half like winter.”
Mayuka’s insecurities react to the sudden connection between Ren and Ninako and tells Ren that she has work-related business to discuss with him, making the group split up. Ninako is completely supportive and enthusiastic, it’s hilarious. While Ando and Ninako walk home, Ando voices his discontent with Ninako’s one-sided love and finally confesses his love for her, asking her to use him to forget about Ren…
THEN THE BOOK ENDS! OMG. Volume 4 tomorrow!
What are you pondering today?
- Strobe Edge Volume 2 Review & Volume 1 in Retrospect (littlecloudcuriosity.wordpress.com)
- Strobe Edge Volume 1 Review (littlecloudcuriosity.wordpress.com)