ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Blue Flag,’ Volume 6

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Blue Flag Volume 6

Blue Flag Volume 6 is a romance drama manga written and illustrated by mangaka KAITO and published by VIZ MediaBlue Flag centers on a group of friends entering their last year of high school who are in an unpredicted love quadrangle. When one of the boys and girls starts falling for each other, they are unaware that each of their best friends has already fallen for them.

Following the previous volume, Toma and Taichi talk about their futures. But it ends with the two not seeing eye to eye. Shortly after, Toma sits down with Mami for a serious discussion at the cultural festival. In response to her genuine openness, he makes a big decision that could change everything. Meanwhile, time keeps moving forward, pushing everyone to the cusp of making critical life choices.

Blue Flag Volume 6 is beautiful, poignant, and heartbreaking all in one. In my opinion, this volume is the culmination of everything that the series has been building up to this point. All of the drama and emotions come to the enormous climactic moment that nearly broke my heart and made me feel for the characters and their respective situations. I won’t give any spoilers away, but the last page that just had a black background with the word “sorry” especially wrecked my emotions.

KAITO continues to delivers beautifully written stories accompanied by genuine conversations between their characters. I appreciate how they craft honest dialogue as the characters have discussions about growing up, friendship, sexuality, relationships, and love. In Blue Flag Volume 6 there are plenty of conversations like these and all of them are written superbly.

One conversation in particular finally gave me the moment I always I’ve wanted for Masumi’s character. I wanted a moment for her to be vulnerable and talk about all of the things she has been keeping inside herself. From the beginning of the series, Masumi has been perceived as a cool, aloof, and well-put-together person. However, much like Toma, she puts on a facade in front of others to hide her true feelings.

I was surprised that instead of the conversation being with one of her peers, she has it with Toma’s sister-in-law However, as their conversation goes, I don’t think anyone else would have been better suited to have this conversation with Masumi. Since she doesn’t have many friends and with her closest friend, Futaba, being the one she is in love with, she isn’t left with many options for other confidants.

Ultimately, I think Masumi needed an older adult figure with whom to have this conversation. And I’m glad it was with Akiko. She is one of the few adults in the series, but she seems to be very wise and approachable. She can offer reassurance to let Masumi know she is okay the way she is and shouldn’t have to worry about whether other people will accept her or not. And that’s what Masumi needed most of all.

Additionally, the conversation felt fitting since Masumi is aware of Toma being gay and in love with Taichi. So as much as the conversation is focused on her concerns about being accepted for being gay, I think she was also curious to see how someone from Toma’s family would react if it were their child. This adds to the drama of the volume because as Masumi and Akiko’s conversation takes place the panels shift back Toma and Tachi. As if it is a premonition of what may happen next in the story. 

Lastly, the illustration of the facial expressions is so good in this volume. You know that saying, “eyes are the windows to the soul?” KAITO’s artwork is a prime example of that. I don’t know how they do it, but they manage to capture such a variety of emotions in their characters’ faces, specifically the eyes. Particularly, when it comes to the most serious moments in the story. For example, when Taichi makes a comment about Toma being happier in life than he will ever be, that comment strikes a chord in Toma because, in actuality, he is not happy.

He’s unable to be himself freely, he can’t confess his true feelings to the person he loves, and yet, he constantly puts a smile on. He always has a facade up to hide how much pain he is really in. I liked how in this exchange that facade comes down a little and KAITO uses Toma’s eyes to communicate a variety of feelings that have been welling up inside him. Words aren’t needed to communicate how he feels or what he wants, you can just tell by the look in his eyes. 

Overall, Blue Flag Volume 6 is beautiful, heartbreaking, and poignant all at the same time and in the best of ways. So many things happened is in this volume, from decisions about college, confessions of love, discussions about acceptance, and so much more. This volume felt like a huge payoff from everything that has been building up since the beginning of the series. Volume 6 truly is the turning point of the entire series. There is no going back to how things were after this volume, and that just makes me so eager to see where the story will go from here.

Blue Flag Volume 6 is available wherever books are sold on February 16, 2021.

Blue Flag Volume 6
5

TL;DR

Overall, Blue Flag Volume 6 is beautiful, heartbreaking, and poignant all at the same time and in the best of ways. So many things happened is in this volume, from decisions about college, confessions of love, discussions about acceptance, and so much more. This volume felt like a huge payoff from everything that has been building up since the beginning of the series. Volume 6 truly is the turning point of the entire series. There is no going back to how things were after this volume, and that just makes me so eager to see where the story will go from here.