An unexpected love quadrangle with a dash of unrequited love as two classmates, a boy and a girl, begin to fall for each other when each of their best friends have already fallen for them.
It’s the last year of high school, and love is in the air. Romantic feelings that have been building up over years of friendship come to light. When Taichi’s classmate Futaba asks him to help her confess to his best friend, Toma, it sparks the catalyst that begins the sweet and heart-wrenching journey of their third and final year of high school.
For some reason, Taichi Ichinose just can’t tolerate Futaba Kuze. But at the start of his third year in high school, he finds himself in the same homeroom as her, along with his childhood friend and school sports star Toma Mita. But one day Futaba opens up to Taichi, admitting she has a crush on Toma and asking for his help in confessing to him! There’s just one problem—Toma seems to already have a secret crush on someone else…
Blue Flag starts off as a typical shoujo high school romance, but then introduces a quadrangle of unrequited love. Taichi is someone who flies under the radar, but his childhood friend Toma is the popular guy. Taichi seems to find Futaba annoying at the start, because of her timid nature and her clumsiness, and when she first approaches him to ask about Toma, he doesn’t think she stands much of a chance. However, he still agrees to help her catch Toma’s eyes, by including her in activities or such, or by reforming her image, but he also warns her that Toma’s ideal type is the opposite of her. Taichi himself believes that Toma is crushing on his sister-in-law, from the description the latter gave to him back when they were in 6th grade (and we do get to meet her, so it seems his hunch was valid). Slowly, however, it becomes apparent that Taichi himself starts to like Futaba, while Toma, noticing their interactions thinks they are both crushing on each other. Meanwhile, Futaba’s friend Itachi also has been noticing more stuff, and she confronts Taichi about what he is doing, helping Futaba without thinking of consequences.
The story is about the developing relationship between Taichi and Futaba, sure, and so much of its storyline is also about the relationship between the characters. Futaba talking about how she first started liking Toma, Toma’s and Taichi’s childhood memories, even Itachi’s protectiveness about Futaba and the confrontation between Toma and Itachi all have so much going on individually. Their interactions with each other are cute, at times, and others, you can feel your heart breaking with the hidden looks. I am not holding much hope for the queer characters because it seems like the ones they are in love with are straight, so yeah, I am bracing for some secondhand pain. It is an interesting story in assumptions and misunderstandings though, with a lot of subtle depictions of love amidst it, and so much of what Toma says or reacts with changes in context (though it is pretty obvious early on), while Itachi’s actions seem transparent early on, but we have yet to dig into her characterization. The artwork is nice, and with the storyboard having so much to tell within its format (just those two panels where Taichi is subtly signalling to Itachi were hilarious), it is an engaging read.
Is it diverse? Two of the main characters are queer
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Viz Media LLC, via Edelweiss.
Releases on April 21, 2020