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Strobe Edge Vol. #03 Manga Review

2 min read
Strobe Edge Volume 3
Strobe Edge Volume 3

The ditziness returns!

Creative Staff
Story/Art: Io Sakisaka
Translation: JN Productions
English Adaptation: Ysabet MacFarlane

What They Say:
Ninako’s feelings for Ren continue to stir, especially since he seems to be sending her mixed messages. One minute he’s avoiding her and the next minute he’s holding her to hide her away from Ando! Could seeing Ando’s interest in Ninako be causing some subtle changes inside Ren?

Content:
Ninako attempts to confront Ren, but he simply continues to ignore her. Though this depresses her greatly, she later sees Ren thwart an attempt at bullying her by some girls from the “rejected alliance,” and she “realizes” that he was ignoring her to protect her from abuse. Ren finally relents and begins talking to her again, and she makes up with Ando, convinced that he was simply trying to cheer her up.

Later on, we get to see a little more of ditzy Ninako as she gets excited for the Cultural Festival. Plenty of silliness ensues, and Ninako and Ren are able to get a little closer. Next up, we are treated to a rather fun chapter in which our heroes are trapped in a crowded train, and then Ninako gets the mistaken impression that Ando is dying. Afterwards, Ren helps Ninako and a classmate named Manabu pass their make-up exams, and then the trio end up working at a café along with Ando.

As the volume comes to a close, Ando reveals that he was once in love with a girl who had a crush on someone in a relationship, and then goes on to confess his love to Ninako.

In Summary:
Things take a somewhat interesting turn here, aiming a lot more for comedy than drama throughout. Honestly, the series feels a bit stronger in that regard anyway, so it certainly makes for a refreshing change of pace. In fact, the train chapter is probably the most fun moment of the series up till this point. Meanwhile, Ando provides an interesting alternative to Ren, and is even fleshed out a little throughout the book. On the other hand, Ren’s moments in this volume feel a little bland outside of a few gags. It would be nice to see the series dig into the complex situation he finds himself in, placed between his interest in Ninako and his relationship with his girlfriend. Instead, he just seems to be mostly coasting by for now, not really attempting to address the problem. Even so, the rather charming humor makes up for a lot of the subpar drama presented here, so hopefully in later volumes the former won’t be drowned out for the sake of the latter.

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B+
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B

Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: March 5th, 2013
MSRP: $9.99