ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Blue Flag,’ Volume 3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Blue Flag Volume 3

Blue Flag Volume 3, is a romance drama manga written and illustrated KAITO and published by VIZ Media. Blue Flag Volume 3 centers on four teenagers caught in an unexpected love quadrangle. With a bit of unrequited love as two classmates, a boy and a girl, begin to fall for each other when each of their best friends has already fallen for them.

In Blue Flag Volume 3, Taichi is left feeling racked with guilt after Toma is seriously injured from diving in front of a car to save him. Taichi doesn’t only feel guilt for just getting his best friend hurt, but for also taking away his last chance at making the summer baseball tournament. Guilty and frustrated with one another, the two best friends clash in an emotional argument. Futaba, worried about both of them, invites Taichi out in an attempt to cheer him up.

This volume hits hard with all of the emotions. KAITO has a great talent for capturing emotion, and this volume shines a light on that skill. They do such a fantastic job of conveying the characters’ emotions through their facial expressions. It’s as if you can feel what they are feeling in those very emotionally raw moments.

I especially liked the facial illustrations during Taichi and Toma’s argument at the hospital. Taichi lashes out and blames himself for Toma’s injury and causing him to miss his last chance to achieve his dream of taking the baseball team to the championship. However, Toma lashes back at him, saying that Taich’s life is the most important thing to him. KAITO does a superb job of showing that each character is feeling their raw emotions from anger and frustration to guilt and fear. As I was reading, it was as if I could feel Taichi and Toma’s emotions too.

This volume just keeps the emotional gut punches coming as it reveals more about Taichi and his self-esteem and resentment issues. Blue Flag Volume 3 shows that during Taichi and Toma’s middle school years, he became more aware of the differences between him and Toma. At the same time, Toma was more athletic, popular, and got along with everyone. It also doesn’t help that the first girl Taichi liked was only friends with him to get closer to Toma. 

This moment and realization of the differences between him and Toma lead to Taichi’s self-doubt worsening and forming resentment towards Toma. I liked that this volume shows more of Taichi’s emotions and inner thoughts. As someone afraid of sharing his interests and feelings with others, out of fear that he will be judged unfavorably, he doesn’t open up about his feelings easily. I felt like this volume gave a lot more depth and understanding of Taichi’s character and his struggles. 

Additionally, I continue to enjoy this series so much because the characters and their discussions feel authentic. That is thanks to KAITO’s amazing writing skills and creating realistic characters. I love how they make their characters, and their conversations feel real and relatable. For example, in Blue Flag Volume 3 Futaba and Masumi discuss the difference between loving or liking someone. The entire conversation between the two girls just felt like something that actual people would have in real life.

Overall, Blue Flag Volume 3 will hit you in the gut with so many emotions. The mangaka knows how to convey the character’s powerful emotions through storytelling and art. KAITO does a phenomenal job with this volume from the art to the story. This manga continues to be a great series. KAITO knows how to craft and tell a story about romance in a way that feels authentic from beginning to end.

Blue Flag Volume 3 is available from booksellers and online August 18, 2020, visit Viz.com to learn more.

Blue Flag Volume 3
5

TL;DR

Overall Blue Flag, Volume 3 will hit you in the gut with so many emotions. The mangaka knows how to convey the character’s powerful emotions through storytelling and art. KAITO does a phenomenal job with this volume from the art to the story. This manga continues to be a great series. KAITO knows how to craft and tell a story about romance in a way that feels authentic from beginning to end.