REVIEW: ‘Blue Flag,’ Volume 7

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Blue Flag Volume 7 is a romantic drama manga written and drawn by mangaka KAITO. The English release is published by VIZ Media. The plot of Blue Flag follows a group of friends entering their last year of high school who are in an unpredicted love quadrangle. When Taichi and Futaba start to fall in love and begin dating one another, they are completely unaware that each of their best friends are in love with them. 

Now after the previous volume, rumors spread like wildfire after Toma’s shocking confession during the culture festival. Taichi is left feeling confused and uncertain. While other people in their circle of friends are soon affected as well. Meanwhile, Toma’s brother Seiya sits him down for a frank talk. All the thoughts and emotions everyone has kept hidden are finally coming to light, and relationships begin to change.

The mangaka, KATIO, continues to deliver a beautiful coming-of-age story through crafting authentic dialogues. Throughout Blue Flag Volume 7 there are different moments between the main characters where their conversations are very deep, some even painful, but also very necessary for the story and characters.

I was very impressed with how KAITO does a great job of making the conversations feel so real. Take, for example, the scenes where Taichi is invited to talk to Shingo and Kensuke,Toma’s friends, about Toma’s confession and his sexuality. Shingo takes a neutral stance in the conversation, whereas Kensuke’s comments are ignorant and negative toward gay people. Granted this is a conversation between teenagers; they are young people that do not fully understand the world, but they are trying to figure it, and themselves, out in the process. 

Additionally, even though some of the conversations made me cringe, I know KAITO writes the conversation this way for a reason. It is because this is real. The mangaka doesn’t shy away from the fact there are people that feel and talk negatively about people in the LGBTQ+ community. Overall, I am glad that they included this conversation because it doesn’t ignore the real prejudice and ignorance that exists. 

Furthermore, the backbone of this volume is the conversations that take place between various characters. The conversations help to move the story forward, bringing some things that have been building up over the course of the series to fruition and closure as the series approaches its final volume.

In addition to the writing, I love how KAITO sets the tone and the emotions of various scenes through their art. One scene in particular, between Toma and his older brother Seiya, is especially my favorite. KAITO does a great job of communicating the tense silence and heavy emotions between the two characters throughout their talk. 

I liked how they smoothly transitioned and zoomed in on the characters’ facial expressions, points of view in the panels, and hand movements. For example, throughout their talk there are moments where Toma isn’t fully visible, however, KAITO has a way of making the reader feel what he is feeling in this moment. 

Lastly, I love how KAITO continues to touch on different social and personal issues in the story and characters’ arcs. In Blue Flag Volume 7 it touches on the importance of not belittling personal feelings for the sake of others. For example, in this volume, Futaba feels concerned and conflicted about her feelings in the situation between Toma and Taichi. It is not until she talks to Mami and Masumi, that they encourage her to prioritize her emotions over others for once. Something that this character has repeatedly struggled with over the course of the series. 

Overall, Blue Flag Volume 7 is a perfect example of why this is a great series. I continue to highly recommend this series as beautifully authentic and one of the best-told coming-of-age stories I have ever read in a manga. From the hard-hitting and authentic conversations to the beautiful art that sets the tone and emotions, the series continues to touch and build upon issues.This volume is packed with so many feelings and it does a tremendous job of setting things up for the next and final installment as the series approaches its end.

Blue Flag Volume 7 is available wherever books are sold on April 20, 2021.

Blue Flag Volume 7
5

TL;DR

Overall, Blue Flag Volume 7 is a perfect example of why this is a great series. I continue to highly recommend this series as beautifully authentic and one of the best-told coming-of-age stories I have ever read in a manga. From the hard-hitting and authentic conversations to the beautiful art that sets the tone and emotions, the series continues to touch and build upon issues.This volume is packed with so many feelings and it does a tremendous job of setting things up for the next and final installment as the series approaches its end.