Synonyms: Strobe Edge ~Unfinished Map~, Strobe Edge ~Another Light~, Colorless Dreamer
Published: Jul 2007 to Aug 13, 2010
Authors: Sakisaka, Io (Story & Art)
Serialization: Bessatsu Margaret
Score: 8.461 (scored by 7817 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagsromance shoujo
Mar 11, 2010
The mangaka decides to start the story off with a very familiar situation. Ninako, a girl who is very naïve towards love, falls in love with one of the popular guys in school, Ren. At first, all seems good, but we soon find out Ren actually has a girlfriend. Then the manga introduces another boy called Andou, who loves Ninako, and thus the typical love triangle is formed.
Well, the plot itself isn’t exactly deep, but it’s developed extremely well. For example, the mangaka leads you to think that Ninako and Ren would make the perfect couple but then decides to throw in a flashback story of Ren and his girlfriend and how deep their relationship really is. Continuing this, she makes it seem like Andou might end up with Ninako, but manages to keep Ren in the triangle stil. I’ve never read a story that there wasn’t a couple that I supported, but I’m actually neutral towards this love triangle. The story makes you feel that, whatever couple happens, it won’t be a happy ending still.
This story is really good at showing unrequited love. It shows the true aspect of love, love is not always happy. Even if you give your lover to someone else, there won’t necessarily be another Prince Charming to come and pick you, because love is not easy to get rid of/change. It tackles the question, if I love someone, but that person doesn't return the love back, should I continue loving this person or should I give up? Also, the way it makes romantic situations is very praiseworthy. The manga especially reuses the “train love incident” a lot, where Ninako and Ren are alone in the train. Still, every single time this happens it’s still very interesting as Ninako has different feelings. The love in this story is realistic and it’s developed well.
I feel that the only really well developed characters in are Ren and Ninako for now but I’m sure the mangaka is going to focus a bit more on Andou later on.
Ren – At first, he seems like a grown up, your typical overprotective boy that most girls like. He doesn’t seem to talk much, so it seems like his character is very mysterious at first, but slowly we see that he is a very confused character. He knows he loves his girlfriend, as the history/bond he developed with her is very strong, but his overprotective character takes the best of him as he starts to care for Ninako, and realizes it too late, that he has feelings. While in the beginning, we see him as a strong character, he further develops into one of the weakest characters in the story.
Ninako – A typical shoujo main character, a girl with love problems, but isn’t able to really understand love yet. But don’t underestimate this, as Ninako gets smarter. Yes, she gets smarter, unlike so many other stories I’ve read, Ninako slowly, but surely, starts to become more experienced. Furthermore, Ninako only loves Ren, no matter how hopeless it seems to her, she still chases only after Ren. We may see that she’s very selfish, to be trying to steal a guy who already has a girlfriend, and Ninako knows she’s selfish. She finds herself questioning if its right for her to keep loving Ren so much, but she realizes, no matter how wrong it is, she still loves him too much. I love her determination, and with this trait, even if Ninako looks very weak, she's probably the strongest character in the story.
I’m probably thinking too much here, but since the art is very shoujoish, I always feel that the art greatly enhances the effect of a typical setting. As if, it wants us to realizes that she’s using a typical shoujo setting and turning it into something new.
I love this manga. Honestly, I think it’s probably my favorite shoujo manga. It’s enjoyable, well developed and each chapter is worth the waiting. This is one of the only mangas, where after I finish reading one chapter, I want a chapter right away, even if there is no cliffhanger. I’m happy to have touched such an amazing story, and it’s been worth every single second of my time.
I will end this review with this.
Love is not that simple and will always hurt someone.
And Strobe Edge has depicted this better then any other manga I've read. read more
Sep 19, 2009
Why, then, out of all of those titles, have I decided to leave a review for this seemingly ordinary and cliche, been-there-done-that shojo?
This is because Strobe Edge managed to get that spark running again for me.
But before I go into that, here are the basics.
Strobe Edge’s story is nothing that deviates from the usual. Ditzy, clumsy, awkward girl falls in love for the first time for the most popular guy in school. A love triangle ensues with the girl, the popular, lead guy and the guy's bestf friend. Nothing new.
What I like about Strobe Edge (and what I’ve read from Sakisaka Io-sensei so far) would be the way she handles cliches. She handles them – for the lack of a better, more accurate term – sincerely. She puts nothing complicated out – no extreme characters, no denseness, no ridiculous plot twists, because first love is already complicated enough.
For one, Strobe Edge isn’t exactly a biased manga - although we have a clear set of leads, Sakisaka-sensei made the journey towards the obvious end worth it, like they aren’t just going to end up together JUST BECAUSE they’re the lead characters, but because of what they - the main characters and the involved parties - went through to get there.
Strobe Edge is a manga that'll make you want to have your first love all over again.
I love Strobe Edge’s characters. They follow cookie-cutter patterns, but at the same time, they break away from them.
Ninako can be like any other girl out there experiencing the haplessness of first love. What made her stand out for me among the hordes of shojo heroines is that she is straightforward, honest and she just wants her friends to be happy . Ninako has been consistent so far: she is as awkward as she is sincere, and although she falls in love for the first time, she doesn’t really go out of her way to find it and be dramatic about it.
Ren is your typical heartthrob. Quiet, mysterious, not able to express his real feelings, and, well, really good-looking and smart. But something’s different: he’s taken, and he isn’t really all that willing to throw all those memories away just for the lead shojo character. Despite his attraction to Ninako, he loves his girlfriend not only because he’s supposed to, but because of the memories they share. In the end, he's just a regular guy, who doesn't know how exactly what's right.
There is the clear third party: Andou. Andou is Ren’s ‘best friend’. He is a happy, outgoing playboy who knows just the right moves. He falls in love with Ninako and changes for the better: that is, he decides to ditch his old ways and take on the path of true love. Typical. Now, onto what’s different: he loves Ren, as well. They aren’t really close as best friends are supposed to be. In fact, they both share a trouble-filled relationship. But for some reason, Andou is attracted to Ren and he treasures their friendship. This, however, doesn’t get in the way of his love. He doesn’t throw away either of them. He fights head-on and he says that he won’t give up until he has a chance.
The side characters (especially on Daiki’s side) are given proper attention, and they really just don’t blend in the background and act as characters who can be thrown out of the scene when it’s not convenient for them to be there anymore. Faceless roles are rare (actually, I don't remember any).
ART: Again, nothing really special here. Typical shojo style - good-looking boys, cute girls. What I love, though, is the pastel-y feel to it, even if it’s black and white, reminding me a bit of Honey and Clover (anime).
DIALOGUES: Quick, easy to understand, and pretty sincere and honest with what it wants to play out.
I began with Strobe Edge reeling from the disappointment that I faced with Ouran. I stayed for a whole different reason.
Getting back to my first point: What spark did Strobe Edge fire up in me, and how did it do it?
Strobe Edge is enjoyable because it doesn't pull off its story with flashy plot twists. In fact, at its core, Strobe Edge is esentially a love story, and it doesn't try to become something that it's not. While in that process, it still manages to effortlessly tap into friendship and growing up (among other things) because those are inevitably connected to love in the first place.
Strobe Edge is a manga that'll make you want to have your first love all over again.
I adore this title, and will definitely have it up in my bookshelf once it gets licensed in English. read more
Mar 22, 2011
I wonder if it was a poisoned apple.”
You like him. He’s confused and has a girlfriend, who’s gorgeous and a model. The model girlfriend has a brother who is your best friend and loves you. Oh, what a tangled web we weave. (I’ve been wanting to use that line all week!)
A girl who falls for a mysterious boy. A boy who loves his best friend A school where teachers are borderline extinct. All these things we will see in this manga and a lot of others out there making it pretty unoriginal in summary. Characters that are unpredictable and make their own history will make this manga as original as it can be while still keeping it’s charm as a slice of life.
I wasn’t going to review this one due to the fact that it’s a bit cliché at times but then the heroine did/said something that made me go WOW, not meaning World Of Warcraft but wow, as an exclamation of surprise in my part. The girl didn’t settle or played a guy’s feelings just to forget “the one” she actually liked. For someone who seemed childish and impulsive she acted surprisingly grown up and honest with herself. Making her a really exceptional heroine.
Ninako acts the way she looks, which is carefree and happy, just like a child. Never having been in love, she asks her friends what it feels like and after hearing them. comes up with the conclusion that it feels like a eating food gone wrong. One meeting, one guy, one train and a broken charm later she won’t have to wonder what love feels like anymore.
The story develops rather fast and slow at the same. There’s a moment where a character questions their love by asking how can she like someone she barely even knows anything about. It was at that time I realized this manga was indeed rare in it’s story and yet simple as can be. Love does take time,. Not a lot in some cases, but for it to be true love, it has been my experience that knowing more than their name will be a deciding factor. For me, all bets are off when they smile though, to each their own.
We see the ups and down and the moving on of a relationship and all of it with such delicacy you don’t notice until it’s over (the manga not the relationship). The beautifulness of first love, growing together and changing. Something I tend to forget when I’m submerged in romance shojo manga is that first love, though great and wondrous, it’s not always eternal. We all change and sometimes at a different pace and we end up growing apart.
As a reader there is very few thing that are worse than not knowing the characters you want to understand. Luckily for us, that isn’t the case here making it a really sweet ride.
All information comes thoroughly and systematically for our pleasure. We get to know the characters and judge for ourselves their choices based on their story. As the pages pass not only does the story flow beautifully but we see how the characters we have grown to love, change and grow up.
Ninako is never frustrating or plain. She is sweet, caring and funny and warms her way into the coldest of hearts while still being klutzy and a crier. She surprised me as I mentioned above, she is as Ren calls her, “weird.” She doesn’t do what you’d expect, most of the time I think she even surprises herself (so to speak).
I’d be lying if I said that my favorite character was the protagonist.
Ren is mysterious and good looking and that alone would have made him predictable had the mangaka not given him an edge and a serious and tenacious personality. All that and he was still caring and thoughtful. But Andou was so great of a character I was actually rooting for him more than Ren (sometimes) just because he had “that role” that you know will not end well but you love him so much you hope it changes. His character comes alive and he ends up reminding you of all the other great guys who didn’t get the girl (by the way that is by no means a spoiler just a fact).
The art is nothing overwhelmingly amazing. Ninako looks fragile and petite and it’s emphasized more when she opens her mouth, fitting into her role. Ren reminded me a little of Kimi ni Todoke‘s Kazehaya. It could have been just me though but he is so well drawn and yet there is nothing ostentatious about him. Makes you wonder what you like about him, but I dig the mysterious, so well… There are some awkward times when the characters look too tall/long but nothing to make you cringe away.
This is actually the review of the second time reading it. I remembered a certain scene that stayed with me and was surprised this manga doesn’t get as much hype as it deserves. It’ short and definitely sweet both characters and story. It’s not a perfection personified but it’s pretty beautiful nonetheless.
Aug 27, 2011
Story: (F) - Well the story is pretty simple. Ninako Kinoshita is your typical cutesy, ditzy shoujo heroine who likes this guy named Ren. She finds out that Ren has a girlfriend. So she quietly suffers with her unrequited love while vowing not to get inbetween Ren and his girlfriend. Now this could be a pretty interesting plot. I mean, it's simple, but if an author knows what they're doing they should be able to construct a somewhat engaging storyline even with a simple premise. Too bad that never happens with this manga. For about 20 or so chapters we have Ninako staring at Ren all day talking about how her heart hurts when she talks to him, or about how she wants to be his girlfriend but she doesn't want to break up his relationship with his current girlfriend blah blah blah. I'm serious, that's the only thing that happens in this manga. It's basically Ninako's diary with pictures showing her daily life. Maybe if she did something other than think about Ren all day we could have a story. Then the author randomly decides to throw some kind of pseudo-love triangle which doesn't really go anywhere because Ninako never likes the other guy in said "triangle." Most of the time she's annoyed by him, and there's never a time when she even considers liking him. She only likes Ren the whole time.....what an interesting triangle. The other guy (Takumi) starts liking Ninako a few chapters in, and his story is pretty much identical to hers. Whenever his character is shown he's either talking about how much he loves Ninako or about how much he wishes she didn't like Ren. So this manga is pretty much two diaries consisting of nothing but: "I like Ren....but we can never be together..." "Ren looks so pretty right now...." "Ren is so cool and myserious...." "Did I mention I like Ren?"/ "Ninako looks so cute right now....like a doll!" "Why can't Ninako just like me instead of Ren!" "Stupid Ren...Ninako should like me instead..." .........I don't know about anyone else, but after awhile that kind of story just doesn't interest me.
Other than that there's random slice of life/school elements thrown in there (as if we care) that try to make the story seem more "realistic." Trust me, none of that makes the manga anymore interesting. When Ren finally does break up with his girlfriend, Ninako is still conflicted about what she wants, and why is that do you ask? I wish I had an answer, but I really don't know. When Ren finally confesses to her (come on this isn't a spoiler. It's obvious) she rejects him because she doesn't want to hurt Takumi's feelings........even though she doesn't like Takumi that much anyway. kjsdajsdajs;djlksd. That idiocy plus the ever so annoying and infamous shoujo "misunderstandings" make this one lame, cliche, and boring story.
Art: (C+) - I admire all manga artists because it really is impressive to be able to draw the way they do. That being said, the art in Strobe Edge is good. Actually it's very good. But....compared to other mangas it just doesn't stand out. It's pretty to look at, but it just isn't something to get too excited over. Io Sakisaka (the author and artist) has a style that's very unique to her - as in you can always tell when it's her manga - but even though her style is nice, I just don't like it that much. The girls' eyes are really big...all the guys look the same...it's just not my cup of tea. I also think she should try and be a little more creative with her character models. I'm reading her newest manga, Ao Haru Ride (don't ask me why I'm reading it. maybe out of boredom? O_o), and the heroine of that story pretty much looks exactly like Ninako, and the the love interest looks exactly like Ren. The art is clean and simple, but that might actually be a downside. Sometimes it's too simple and too boring.
Characters: (F) - The characters in Strobe Edge might actually be worse than the story...and that's saying something. I found Ninako to be really annoying. I guess she was supposed to be energetic and bubbly, but I actually thought she was too childish and dimwitted. She had this same doe-eyed look on her face throughout the whole thing, like she was surprised all the time. To be honest she kind of reminded me of an infant the way she was constantly wailing, crying, tripping over things, dropping things, and not understanding simple concepts about relationships. There were like 10 million instances where she tripped and fell into Ren's arms. There was even one time when her hair got randomly stuck in a tree and he had to get it out for her.......it was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. I didn't get why Ren and Takumi were so "in love" with such a childish girl. Speaking of Ren and Takumi, Ren is the typical tall, dark, mysterious type. He was actually pretty mature and serious most the of the time, but not in a good way. I found him to be really boring and stiff, and don't even try to explain how he was able to get a girlfriend in highschool who's also a model.....gimme a break. Takumi is the opposite of Ren. He's energetic and loud and annoying. Oh, and he has blonde hair, just so that we can know how completely opposite they are. Takumi has no point in this manga. The "love triangle," or lack of one, is probably one of the most poorly conceptualized storylines I've seen in a long time. All other side characters in this manga are boring, pointless, annoying, and forgettable.
Enjoyment: (F) - If you already couldn't tell I pretty much hated this manga. I only kept reading because I thought MAYBE the love triangle thing would actually be developed. I thought that MAYBE Ninako would start liking both of the guys and have to pick between the two. I know that's cliche, but then atleast SOMETHING would have happened other than 42 chapters of pretty much nothing. I don't know who's rating this manga highly, but my only guess is that it's girls between the ages of 9 and 12.
Overall: (F) - Strobe Edge makes me remember why I'm not a big fan of shoujo. For something that's rated so highly on this site I was expecting something with a little more substance. The story is one of the worst out there. Not because it's an extremely horrible story, but mostly because of the execution. It's SO boring and predictable, without any redeeming characters or plot development. If the most intense thing that happens during the whole manga is Ninako falling off a chair or missing a train, then we know that something about the story is seriously LACKING and for that I blame the author. If you like a semi-romantic manga with a pointless love triangle, boring characters, boring story, then this manga is for you. If you're like normal people out there then you'll definitely stay away from this one and spare yourself the tedium. read more
Nov 29, 2011
Strobe Edge, a typical shoujo manga that one may read. The story starts off simple, readers may not be expecting much from this series at first sight. Because it seems cliche, a guy having a girlfriend (being so popular in school), and a normal high school girl. However, this manga touches on the inner feelings of these characters more than the development of the storyline. The story proceeds pretty slowly for something that can end quickly. There was nothing much to dwell on this cliche storyline but the inner emotions of the characters.
This is what makes Strobe Edge a more unique manga than the other series that have similar storyline. The details of the characters feelings are greatly shown in the art of the characters' facial expressions and actions. Short and insightful lines delivered by Ninako each time as she struggles with her feelings for Ren give the manga a greater and deeper meaning. This is because the author strives to teach her readers the feeling of love.
The art is what you will typically call - pretty boys art. Actually the male characters look quite alike with their features, only slight difference, and with a different hairstyle and hair colour. In short, if you fit the hairstyle of Ren on Andou you will still see the character as Ren. So goes for the girls, even the sideline female characters look pretty. (Can't believe that they are normal high school girls). If you go for pretty art, this is what you should see.
I have re-read this series many many times, and every time I find it enjoyable to feel for the characters within the manga. The author puts in quite a lot of effort in making the story a meaningful one so it will only do justice if we, the readers, read it extra tastefully. Strobe Edge is a manga that can touch your hearts if you do try to feel for the characters. The best part is that no character is actually the real antagonist, which is quite different from normal shoujo manga. It's a rare opportunity that I get to enjoy a manga series without flaring up at any character particularly.
Jun 21, 2009
Oct 11, 2013
What shoujo manga tend to lack that Strobe Edge strongly holds is that real sense of development. Most of the time, the mangakas have the male characters save the female in typical situations, and only then does she gain confidence to stand up for herself and others, but in this story, Ninako goes through self-discovery and develops from the hardships of unrequited, first love by herself. I personally feel that female protagonist make too many cliche mistakes by deciding to go with an easier, less painful route in predicaments, which is why I love Ninako so much. She follows her heart and doesn't let others persuade her to think otherwise.
Ren was also an interesting character. It isn't until much later that we find out why he is the way he is, and because the backstory's not overly dramatic like most pasts we see, it's simple yet heartwarming to the point where it's easily relatable. He seems like the mysterious type in the beginning, but the small twist in this story make it perfect for steering his real personality progressively throughout the manga without losing our attention completely.
In truth, there's no character I thought was unnecessary. Every chapter, every subplot seemed to fit itself perfectly and weaved into a very charming manga that's perfect for those who are looking for a romantic classic to read. I highly recommend it for first-time readers of manga, as well, to try out this page-turning read. read more
Feb 17, 2012
Strobe edge isn't very long, but there is a lot packed into one chapter. It's not a shoujo manga with filler development. Sometimes it's incredibly sad and other times it can be very funny. The contrast flows naturally out from the characters. Another thing I really like about strobe edge is that the main girl isn't just kind and bubbly without much behind her character. Another way to put it is, she feels both real and special. Other characters around her too feel real. I'm not usually into a playboy paired with a quiet lone wolf as possible love interest because it's a bit stereotypical for shoujo manga, and honestly, those types don't even go togethe as friends or enemies. They are usually created for the sake of the main girl, or just fan-serving, but strobe edge feels different. They are there and they are friends/enemies because they have to be. It's that sort of presence and relationship I sense, so I guess the only way to describe it is that the characters and their relationships are in the right place. Of course, I don't mean I like the situations they are in since I honestly dislike reading things like love triangles.
Overall, I enjoyed strobe edge a lot even though it's heartbreaking and simply sad at times. Even if you are not into complicated relationships or stereotypical high school love lives, I still would recommend you give it a try. Strobe edge is a superb example that even with subjects that have been reused and recycled billions of times, they can still be as good as they should be because, if we have been reusing them for so long already, it must mean that they have great potential to be something even more amazing.
Feb 10, 2010
Sep 27, 2011
Although it exhibits a common plot for shoujo mangas – cute girl falls in love with the coolest guy in school, it was a lot more than I expected. Our heroine here, Ninako, suffers from an unrequited love for Ren who is, unfortunately, committed in a long term relationship with his first love. Being in an unrequited love is such a pain in the ass. You know the feeling when you just want to rush to that someone and then you realize that you just can’t? Or better yet, you know you shouldn’t. That is how Ninako’s everyday life turns into a drama. The other characters too have their own stories to tell.
Although I’m a beginner when it comes to love, after reading this, it feels like I’ve undergone all the heartaches and dokidokis in the world. It depicts that falling in love isn’t just about flowers and butterflies, but it is experiencing pain to appreciate happiness.
Other than the ultra mega i-don’t-know-how-to-describe-how-beautiful-it-is art of Io-sensei, the whole story is heart-warming and you’ll see yourself glued to your computer chair until you finish the whole manga. Warning: This is ADDICTIVE. Happy reading then! Ja ne~ read more