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Strobe Edge, Vol. 1 - Io Sakisaka It's absolutely hilarious how most of my five-star ratings are about manga rather than books. It's a problem, it's weird, it's something you probably won't understand--but I admit, mangakas capture my heart better than some books can. Hence the reason why most of my all time favorites/five-stars are manga rather than books.

Strobe Edge starts out with our--what seems like a very cliche--heroine, Kinshoshita Ninako, a girl who's had no experience in love. But when she finds herself feeling these unspoken and painful emotions around the school's heartthrob Ren, she's convinced that these feelings are of "love." However, winning Ren over doesn't seem to be quite so easy--he's in a long time relationship with his older girlfriend! Now discouraged, how can Ninako ever push away these increasingly persistent feelings for him? And perhaps, she may not have need to?

My first reaction after reading this summary:


Honestly, seeing as I am a very avid reader of manga (shoujo and shounen alike) and am involved in a lot of manga site forums, I've heard about Strobe Edge just about everywhere. I've even tried to make myself read it, though the summary and its clicheness even there made me want to poop on myself. Honestly! I had no intention ever to pick up Strobe Edge but that all changed when I started reading Sakisaka Io's Ao Haru Ride (pronounced ao-haraido). Now, before I go on a rampage about that manga, I'd just like to say that it was amazing (GO READ IT NOW!) and it was that that made me pick up Strobe Edge. I ignored the artstyle, in which I first disdained but now love so much, and read through the first volume.

And fell in love.

It's very obviously cliche, according to the summary, on both the Japanese version and the Goodreads version. But that summary just doesn't give the manga any justice. None at all! I'm so sorry I ever doubted Strobe Edge. Because this manga is absolutely beautiful; granted it has lots of the clicheness: Unexperienced heroine, crush is on the school heartthrob, love triangle, etc. but there are lots of unclicheness too: Ren's older girlfriend which he loves, an amazing second love interest, Ninako's desire to move on and not dwell on Ren. Ninako is also a heroine in which she doesn't make me want to choke her, like just about every other shoujo heroine alive. Ren is amazing. Ando is also so inspiring and delightful.

Sakisaka Io made me fall in love with all her characters. Even the ones I didn't like. But all in all, if you're afraid to pick up this manga because of its cliche summary, then that will probably be the biggest mistake of your life.

This review is for the whole manga.