|Written by||Io Sakisaka|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Original run||2007 – 2010|
Strobe Edge (ストロボ・エッジ Sutorobo Ejji?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Io Sakisaka. It began serialization in 2007 in the shōjo manga magazine Bessatsu Margaret and ended in 2010. The chapters are collected and bound in tankōbon format by Shueisha under the Margaret Comics label. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media with its first volume released in November 2012.
15-year-old Ninako Kinoshita has never been in love until an encounter on the train with her school's most popular boy, the quiet Ren Ichinose. As she grows closer to Ren, she falls in love with him, but must learn to cope with the unfortunate fact that Ren already has a longtime girlfriend.
- Ninako Kinoshita (木下 仁菜子 Kinoshita Ninako?) Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (vomic), Aki Toyosaki (drama CD)
- Ninako is the main female protagonist around whom the story revolves. She is a very kind and gentle girl who falls in love with Ren Ichinose. When she finds out that Ren already has a girlfriend, she resigns herself to being just a friend and to quietly hold onto to her feelings. She is good at most of her subjects with the exclusion of mathematics, which she mentions a number of times is her weakest subject. Ninako is very caring and modest, willing to return any favor even if it is something small. Later on, when Andou tries to convince her to go out with him, she rejects him, saying that being in a relationship with someone she does not love is not right. She wants to remain in her feelings of liking Ren, even if they are not reciprocated, because that is whom she is in love with.
- The male school idol who is basically good at everything and plays the role of main male protagonist. He likes to keep himself isolated from most students and is admired by all of the female populous as a result. He has a close group of friends which are male however the story gives the impression most other male students are jealous of his position. He also has a strong passion for mathematics. Although he has a girlfriend, Mayuka, who is older than he is, Ren tends to lose his guard around Ninako. He only later on realizes his feelings for Ninako, but tries to forget about her by distancing himself for Mayuka's sake. In the end, Mayuka breaks up with him because she realized his feelings toward Ninako and that she treats work more important than love. Ren's feelings toward Ninako grows stronger, eventually making him unable to hide it any longer.
- Daiki Korenaga (是永 大樹 Korenaga Daiki?) Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno (vomic), Tetsuya Kakihara (drama CD)
- Daiki is introduced as a childhood friend of Ninako's and has strong feelings towards her at the beginning of the story. He grew attached to Ninako after his parents divorced two or three years prior to the start of the manga to which he had to make the choice of living with his mother and older sister or his father. Since choosing to live with his father his relationship with his older sister has not been so good. He eventually falls in love with and starts dating Sayuri, Ninako's friend.
- Ando is Ren's middle school friend and also has an idol-like status. He often finds himself competing with Ren like a rival at times. Ando takes advantage of his position and is a big time player among the female students; however, he forms no relationships with them and believes himself not fit for a relationship. His opinion changes after meeting Ninako, who has a strong effect upon him. He eventually falls madly in love with her, saying that he loves her honesty, and often tries to win her favor. He is also very much aware of her feelings for Ren and often tries to help her through Ren's relationship with Mayuka or discourage her from pursuing Ren.
- Mayuka is Daiki's older sister. Her existence is also kept low profile until a certain point where it is found that she is actually the girlfriend of the unobtainable Ren Ichinose. She has a job which is in the modelling business which she pursued for what she thought was Ren's sake and she is currently studying for entrance exams to university. As the series progresses, she becomes wary of Ninako's relationship with Ren but remains friendly toward her. She eventually realizes how much her relationship with Ren is strained: she is almost always busy and has to cancel their dates. In chapter 19, she breaks up with Ren because she now knows that Ren is in love with someone else and she doesn't want Ren to continually repress his feelings just for her. She acknowledges that nothing will ever stay the same, as she herself has changed, and that before she didn't want Ren to change and leave her.
- Sayuri Uehara (上原 さゆり Uehara Sayuri?) Voiced by: Ayumi Fujimura (vomic), Miyuki Sawashiro (drama CD)
- Sayuri, nicknamed "Sayu" (さゆ?) by her friends, is the mature friend of Ninako's who falls in love with Daiki, whom she eventually dates. However, their relationship is not without bumps when Sayuri becomes afraid of confrontation with Daiki when she believes he is cheating on her. Her worries about honesty in relationships comes from her boyfriend in middle school being snatched away from her.
- Tsukasa (つかさ Tsukasa?)
- Tsukasa is a friend of Ninako's who tends to be a blabbermouth. Despite this, she remains loyal to Ninako and often encourages her in love. She has wavy hair often tied into a ponytail.
- Noriko, known as "Non-chan" (のんちゃん?) to her peers, is a friend of Ninako. She has long, straight hair.
- Tamaki is a friend of Ninako. She has short, wavy hair.
- Manabu, more commonly known as "Ga-chan" (がっちゃん?) to his peers, is one of Ren's friends and one of Tsukasa's classmates from middle school. His cousin owns a café, where he works to earn money to visit his senior Ritsuko. He notices Ren's feelings for Ninako early on and desperately tries to pair them up.
- Yūtarō, nicknamed "Yū" and "Tera" by his peers, is one of Ren's friends at school and is both sagely and mature. Unlike Ga-chan, he tends to be more realistic and is reluctant over Ga-chan's matchmaking attempts because of Ren's increasing anxiety over Mayuka. In middle school, he attended the same cram school as Sayuri Uehara, and they began dating. However, they broke up abruptly when Sayuri assumed Yū was cheating on her. Yū regrets hurting Sayuri and realizes their relationship failed because of lack of communication and his immaturity, but knows they cannot return to the way they were. Instead, he encourages her to make peace with Daiki when troubles appear in their relationship(even though he is still in love with her), and tries to move on from her once she has done so.
- Mao Sugimoto (杉本 真央 Sugimoto Mao?)
- Mao is a student junior to Ninako and the others. In middle school, she dated Ando, but only used him to get close to Ren, whom she had a crush on, and later fell in love with him for real. When Mao enrolls into their high school, Ando's refusal to listen to her leads her into deliberately stopping Ninako from pursuing Ren so that Ando would have a chance to win her over.
Strobe Edge originally had a vomic (voiceover comic) produced by Shueisha, where voice actors provided voices to manga panels. Once plans for drama CDs were made, Shueisha closed down the vomic website. Two drama CDs were released, the first on August 25, 2010 and the second on September 22, 2010. The drama CDs used an entirely new voice cast with the exception of Yui Shōji, who was the only one to reprise her role as Mayuka Korenaga.
Strobe Edge received moderate success in Japan. The fourth volume charted at #29 on Oricon during the first week of sales, selling a total of 34,158 copies. The fifth volume ranked at #19 and sold 46,299 copies on its first week of sales. The release of the sixth volume peaked at #24 and sold 51,402 copies. The seventh volume charted at #9 and sold 82,575 copies on its first week and 109,758 in total. The eighth volume charted at #7 and sold 76,372 copies on its first week and 137,087 in total. The ninth volume charted at #4 and sold 152,907 copies on its first week and 211,188 in total. The final volume charted at #3 and sold 132,738 copies on its first week of sales. It became the 43rd best-selling volume of the first half of 2011, selling a total of 356,021 copies.
In a poll done by Escala Cafe in April 2011, out of 316 votes from women from the ages of 22 and 29, 2.5% were interested in a live-action adaptation of Strobe Edge.
Ninako, Ren, and Andou make a brief cameo in Momoko Noda's Heroine Shikkaku.
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