Strobe Edge (Volume 1)
Strobe Edge is a new shojo manga from Viz, that follows a young girl trying to understand what love is. Ninako Kinoshita is a bit clueless as a protagonist, which can make for a good story, but it's kind of unbelievable how far gone she is here. She's a pretty passive character, taking in the advice of her friends and listening to them tell her how she should feel. As the first volume of this series moves along, she begins to think for herself more and makes decisions regarding her life, which makes her more likable, but you can't help but think that the guy she's pining over deserves far better by that point. Her childhood friend, Daiki, has been in love with her for a long time and everyone in Ninako's class (aside from her) know this and are rooting for them to get together. But she suddenly finds that the way her friends describe love is how she is feeling toward the guy that every girl in school has a crush on, the unattainable school idol Ren, a stoic guy whom Ninako has the fortune to have a few run ins with to keep her dream alive. I hate to say that Ninako is pathetic in this story, but Satisaka isn't doing much of a service to the character portraying her the way she is, as a character who sits back and just sort of lets things happen. At the same time, everyone has had that unattainable crush, so people will certainly relate to this story, and you can't help but want to see how events unfold. Strobe Edge certainly isn't delving into new territory or anything, but it's a cute romance story, illustrated well, in a quiet story of high school love. Despite its many flaws, it's hard to completely write it off.