Hi everyone! I’m really excited to share my Strobe Edge Volume 5 review with you guys because it feels like, and probably has been months since the last volume came out. I finally got my hands on the manga today, blew through it in about fifteen minutes and I was super eager to review!
This volume mainly focused on Ren and Mayuka’s relationship. Up till now, Mayuka has been going through a lot. Since her parents’ divorce, she’s only had to rely on Ren and her younger brother Daiki. Ren has been a really strong support source in her life and whenever she felt insecure, she was afraid that Ren would leave, but he’s always been there for her, sticking to his promise that some things in her life really don’t change.
On Ninako and Ando’s end, Ando is still persistently trying to convince Ninako to choose him. However, having heard Ando’s romantic history, she’s reluctant to go out with him when her heart is still with Ren. In the previous chapters, Ninako told Ando that when he truly fell in love with someone, he would begin to understand Ninako’s feelings for Ren .For Ando, Ninako is a challenge that marks a new step in his life where he’s ready to give up his flirtatious days and settle into a mature relationship.
My favourite part of this volume has to be the part where Sayuri is talking to Ninako and their other friends about her ex-boyfriend who broke up with her for another girl. Sayuri encourages Ninako to fight for her feelings and aggressively pursue Ren. She believe that if Ren and Mayuka are strong enough together, Ninako’s pursuits will be futile anyway. Her point is that just because a boy has a girlfriend, doesn’t mean the feelings you have for him are meaningless.
Though Ren’s friends Manabo, Yu and even Ando are aware that Ren has feelings for Ninako, whenever Ando or Manebo try to pressure Ren to take action on his feelings, he decides to suppress and squash them since he’s set on proving his promise to Mayuka and being a good boyfriend. I think Yu is probably the one who understands Ren’s personality the best and he’s also reluctant to step into the drama in his friend’s lives.
On Mayuka’s end, she’s beginning to reconcile some internal struggles with herself, her work life and her personal life. She’s not completely oblivious and she’s picked up on the fact that Ren might have feelings for someone else. In the end, what shocked me the most was that the author, Io Sakisaka, decided for Mayuka to be the active instigator of their break up.
We’ve all gone through our love problems so it’s easy to relate to someone like Ninako. I’m a hopeless romantic and even though I know certain romantic endeavours may end in heartbreak, it’s worth taking the chance if it means being with someone you truly love. And even if that person doesn’t love you back, there’s nothing wrong with caring for them as a friend. What Ninako is struggling with is her intense love for Ren from a distance, and like Ando said, there are definitely limits to that.
I think what makes Ninako such a great character unlike other protagonists of the shojo genre is that although she, like many other heroines are stumbling into love and relationships for the first time, she handles her emotions and her relationships with others rather maturely. She’s not just a clumsy cheerful character who gets what she wants because she’s the author’s protagonist. The story itself is also a huge determining factor when it comes to Ninako’s growth and outcome as a protagonist. The plotline is common enough that many people can relate to it in real life but still possesses an element of unpredictability despite its classic fit into the shojo genre.
This volume gives the reader an omnipotent perspective over all the different characters and the different emotions as well as perspectives. We’re given a little less of Ninako, but more of Mayuka, the mysterious girlfriend that we didn’t know much about. Mayuka turned out to be a pretty great character despite her role as an antagonist and love-rival to Ninako. I wonder what the future holds for Ren and Ninako now.
I hope you guys enjoyed reading strobe edge and this review! The bonus chapter about Ando’s romantic past was also quite a treat! Though this is somewhat late, thank you so much for reading! I am aware that the rest of the Strobe Edge series is online and has been translated by fans but I’m still fixed on waiting for official translations and I do have my reasons… Stay tuned for some Light Otaku Living posts coming soon and thank you again for dropping in!
What are you pondering today?