Strobe Edge Movie Recap
Strobe Edge is every friend-zoned girl’s ultimate dream come true. By that, I mean the plot. Story-wise, characterization-wise and chemistry-wise the movie was okay. Better than Ao Haru ride if you’ll ask me.
Overall, the movie was nicely done. And I’m not talking about the production only but the characters as well. I don’t know if it’s really the intention of the show but I haven’t noticed any major conflict. There were no evil plans or b*tchy ex-girlfriends or selfish second leads. The only thing that hinders the relationship between the OTP is, in fact, the main leads themselves. Their sense of loyalty and sympathy towards the people around them was just too great that they were willing to sacrifice their own happiness. Well, in the end, the supporting leads willingly gave way. The problem is solved and they live happily ever after.
I love the first part of the movie where Ninako smiles charmingly at Ren and he smiles inquisitively back at her. I find it way too cute. 🙂
PS: This is a baby recap.
Before spring break, Ninako Kinoshita (Kasumi Arimura) confessed her love towards Ren Inchinose (Sota Fukushi) at the most convenient place on earth…the subway.
Just a side note, the subway plays an important role in this movie. Memorable things do happen in the subway. For example, this is where Ren accidentally steps on Ninako’s cellphone strap which introduced our leads with each other. Ren replaces the crushed strap the next day and from then on, they casually greet one another in school or anywhere else they meet. Through time, Ninako gradually falls for Ren.
Now, back to the confession. Ren politely rejects her feelings because of the perfectly valid reason that he has a girlfriend. All along she knew he’s in a relationship. But despite that, Ninako chose to express her love. She’s just glad he is aware of how she feels and hopes they stay as friends.
Fast-forward to the new semester. Coincidentally Ren and Ninako became classmates. Ninako’s friends are excited about it, but not her who remains calm and seemingly unperturbed of the fact that she’s a step closer to her long-time love.
One of their classmates, Ando Takumi (Yuki Yamada) recognizes her as the girl whom Ren rejected at the subway. He isn’t subtle about it though, putting Ninako in an embarrassing situation. Ren who sees her discomfort tries to pacify her quandary and talks with Ninako like nothing happened. Ando notices their friendly exchange and asks if she’s okay with it. Yes she’s cool with it. That’s what she wants in the first place.
Girls who were also rejected by Ren invites Ninako to join their group. But when they started to badmouth Ren, she covers up for him. Ando sees the little argument and tells Ren about it.
Ren, Ninako and Ando were assigned as class representatives. After school, the trio buys school supplies. However, Ando keeps on complaining that he’s already tired which earns a reprimand from Ninako since he was the one who volunteered for the task. And this is when Mayuka Korenaga (Arisa Sato), Ren’s model girlfriend joins the group. As expected, Mayuka is pretty, confident and vibrant. Ren and Mayuka act all sweet and so whether Ninako likes it or not, she’s bound to get jealous of their ongoing romance. Ando notices her struggle and finds a way to escape.
They run off to somewhere and there they talk about Ninako’s unrequited love. Ando is grateful for not being able to experience her pains. She then thanks him for saving her. Like he said, watching is tough but it doesn’t mean she’ll blame Ren for everything. She did love him knowing that he has someone else.
The next morning, Ren warns Ando not to play with Ninako’s feelings. But the latter is quick to dismiss his unwelcomed reminder, obviously because he is not in the position to do so. His blunt outburst shuts Ren up.
At the subway, Ninako accidentally trips. Ren happens to be walking behind her and sees the little accident. It’s cute that he tries to control his urge to laugh but a few teasing smiles escapes. And both laughs knowingly. 🙂
They talk while waiting for the train. She apologizes for running off with Ando and offers chocolate goodies. She’s amazed that he eats sweets and shares that she’ looking forward to the day that some guy she’s dating will take her to a café. They’ll order different cakes, she’ll ask for his share and though he’s surprised, he’ll readily give in. At that, she says sorry for being too talkative. But he’s actually interested to hear her story, sharing that unlike her, Mayuka doesn’t eat sweets because of her job. Ninako realizes that even at that moment, he’s thinking about his girlfriend. Tsk!
Few days later, Ren is very busy about something. Ninako learns from Daiki, Mayuka’s brother, that Ren has been visiting his sister every night. Seems Mayuka is having difficulty in accepting the fact that their father is getting married again and Ren is supporting her get through that phase. Ren promises to be by Mayuka’s side until the end and he intends to keep it. Ninako can only encourage Ren as he in turn encourage Mayuka. Okay, that’s just sad. 😦
While Ren is busy keeping his promise to Mayuka, Ninako is having a hard time dealing with her own emotions. She wants to do something for him but all she can be is a by-stander. Ando doesn’t believe her noble intentions and frankly tells her that people are inherently greedy beings. They are bound to do everything for the one’s they love and she will one day reach her limit. He reminds her that Ren has a girlfriend and he’ll never mistake her for Mayuka. But then Ninako remains resolved. She’ll be the one to declare if she’s at her limit or not.
Since Ren is exerting too much effort helping Mayuka and also because of the strains of his part-time job, his body finally gives in. He faints at the subway. Good thing, Ninako is
stalking following him and takes care of him. When he wakes up, he admits to being lame and not fulfilling his promise to Mayuka. All Ninako can say is “It’s okay not to try your hardest sometimes”. This eases his worries and they board the train together.
Ninako falls asleep during their ride home. Ren didn’t bother to wake her up and sleeps too. They already missed their stop when she wakes up and she says sorry for the trouble. She wants to see him off but he refuses. Still, she can’t just let him be and follows him. Of course, she nearly falls down the stairs. He catches her and pulls her for a hug. Both are shocked and bid their awkward goodbyes. Thank gawd, he didn’t say sorry for the hug.
Ando properly says sorry for going overboard the other day. She forgives him straight way since he was only thinking about her. He then shares that he too experienced heartbreak. Back in middle school, he dated a junior but later he found out she was only using him to get closer to his best friend. One day, his gf and best friend betrayed him. For everything he said, she just smiles sympathetically.
Ando is stricken with her kindness and understanding that he finally recognized he’s in love with her.
Ando and Ninako agree to watch the firework display together with their friends. But since the other’s didn’t show up, they just go on their own. Again, Ando tries to convince Ninako to give up on her unrequited love. She just have to work hard and use people if she has too. He even volunteers to be the sacrificial lamb. But Ninako doesn’t have the heart to do a sly thing like that.
And who would have thought that they’ll be bumping into Ando’s ex-gf, Mao. He loses his cool and shouts at her. When alone, Ando spills the beans. He’s not only mad at Mao but at himself as well. He didn’t work hard enough to keep her and hasn’t reconcile with his best friend, losing the two most important people in his life at the same time. Ninako gently says that he’s not to be blamed for what happened.
Ninako: You’re not lame because you’re the one who was hurt the most. Without leaving a single trace, you wear a smile on your face. Even if the truth is that you’re in pain.
Ando pulls her for a hug, confessing right then that he loves her. He’s willing to be used as a rebound and he’ll be patiently waiting for her answer. Though in truth, he’s not expecting a positive response.
Eventually they part ways. Ninako goes to Ren’s workplace, where she sees Ren and Mayuka talking with each other. She can’t help but shed some jealous-induced tears. Ren sees her despair and it’s rather obvious he’s worried for her. Mayuka notices his reaction and puts two and two together.
Mayuka finally decides to end things with Ren. She knows something has changed between them. The Mayuka who loved him before is no longer the same Mayuka she is now. Unknowingly, her career has become a more important part of her life, much more important than him. Besides, she’s not only doing this for her sake but for him as well. He too has changed. He may not know it yet but he already loves someone else. He just have to embrace it like she did.
Ren’s breakup with Mayuka becomes a major buzz at school. Ninako’s friends advice her to strike while the iron is hot, meaning she makes her move before some other girl snatch Ren away. But she has no plan of doing such. It would be inconsiderate of her. And so, she puts some distance between her and Ren. Something like giving him space.
Skip to their class tour.
Ninako is lost. It’s a given since she has no sense of direction. Tehehe! When Ren calls her name, she immediately run towards him. Because there is a stair, she gladly falls down the muddy ground. He lends her his sweat shirt. And since it’s too big, he offers to roll the sleeves for her, hence, the skinship above. Tehehe!
Ren opens up about his recent breakup. Again, he’s blaming himself for its failure. Ninako consoles that he’s just too kind that he puts other first. After speaking to Ninako, Ren feels all cheered up.
Ren and Mayuka meets up for their final goodbye. Ren admits not understanding her intentions when she called it quits at first. But now, he realizes that she’s right. He was just using his promise to deceive themselves. After that, Ren becomes more open with his feelings towards Ninako and they grow closer to each other.
Mao talks with Ninako about her relationship with Ren. The truth is, the best friend Ando is referring to is Ren himself. She liked Ren before but he was too kind to betray Ando. She forced herself to him which causes the rift between the two best friends. She can’t let Ninako do the same and subject Ando to that kind of circumstance again, so she’s asking her to avoid Ren.
Being the good soul that she is, Ninako follows Mao’s advice. She’s acting cold towards Ren and he can’t help but notice it. But she fervently denies that something’s troubling her.
Ando grows more desperate when Ren admits having feelings for Ninako. It’s heartbreaking when Ando asks these questions.. “What should I do to replace Ren? How should I make you love me too?”. Still, Ninako can’t reciprocate his love.
It’s the school fair and Mao is being harassed by some jerks. Ando acts unconcerned but nevertheless saves her. There, Mao confesses that Ren didn’t betray him. She’s remorseful for using him back then. This time, Ando is willing to forgive and move on. He knows she’s been suffering too and with that he can empathize.
Meanwhile, Ren demands some talk time with Ninako. He’s in love with her and wants to be his boyfriend. He can’t understand why she’s acting distant all of a sudden. But Ninako already made up her mind. To end things with Ren, she’s forced to tell him she has problems of her own and had enough taking care of his bullsh*t. Ren is heartbroken and apologizes for asking too much.
When Ando learns that Ninako dumped Ren, he’s actually confused. She can’t even return his feelings and now she’s rejecting Ren? Is she doing this out of pity for him? She’s just like Ren, sacrificing their own happiness for other’s sake. If that is so, she’s doing it halfheartedly and forces a kiss. She’s about to slap him when she realize he did that to deliberately make her angry.
The truth is she can’t go to Ren anymore. When he rejected her, she was the one who asked that they stay as friends. But it only gave her gradual pains. She started to become greedy and wanted more. Ando comforts her, saying that it’s normal for humans to want happiness. Thinking it through, Ninako decides to be greedy for once. Even if she hurts other people, she would still like Ren. Ando smiles and tells her to go.
All the while, Mao is listening to their conversation. And since, he already gave up on Ninako, it’s her turn to pursue him. She’ll definitely win him fair and square. Ando warns that this time around, he won’t be easy to get. Mao is confident. She wouldn’t want it the other way around.
Ninako runs after Ren. Of course, she’ll find him at the subway. There she says her emotional piece.
Ninako: When you said you love me, I was very happy but if I accept you, someone will be hurt. But those were just excuses. Actually, I want to be with you, even in small things I want to call you, send you messages, have a date in a café with you, share cakes with you, but I would eat more than you.
Ren: Then I would say “It can’t be helped and I’d give my share to you. We’ll walk side by side. Even without words, we would naturally hold each other’s hand.
There’s only one thing left to do and that’s to say I love You to each other.
And they got hitched at the subway.