ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Blue Flag,’ Volume 8

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Blue Flag Volume 8

Blue Flag Volume 8 is a romantic drama manga written and drawn by mangaka KAITO. The volume is published and localized in English by VIZ Media’s VIZ Signature imprint. 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.

Toma and Futaba have their first sit-down talk after the big fight at school. Meanwhile, Taichi struggles with the problems that have been dumped in his lap by his friend’s choices, and he ends up distancing himself from Toma. Then, one day, Toma stops coming to school. Left in the lurch, what can Futaba and Taichi do? Everyone chooses their futures, and time marches on as the series moves towards a heartfelt conclusion.

Blue Flag Volume 8, completely melted my heart and took my emotions all over the place. From main characters having emotional breakdowns and passionate confrontations to heartfelt conversions and resolutions.. Blue Flag Volume 8 truly does not hold back on any of the touching moments.  All of this is due to KAITO phenomenal writing ability when it comes to crafting a story full of emotionally raw moments. One part in particular, where Taichi and Toma finally have their first real conversation since Toma’s confession. This moment was beautiful and emotional to see it unfold, and definitely well worth the wait to see in this final volume.

Additionally, the mangaka, KAITO, does not disappoint when it comes to the art in this Blue Flag Volume 8. I have always loved how KAITO switches between a simple art style to a more detailed and realistic one as a way to capture the mood of the scene and convey a spectrum of emotions on the characters’ faces. I especially liked how they applied this in the scenes featuring Toma and Futaba when they are having their argument. Switching between the simplistic and more detailed art style definitely helped to balance the seriousness and levity of their discussion.

Unfortunately, I’m sad to say that the last chapter of this volume felt like the weakest chapter out of the entire series. That is not to say that it was terrible, it feels rushed and not as satisfying as a reader. Granted, it does give a satisfying ending for some of the main characters. While it leaves gaps and unanswered questions for the other characters. I also question the artistic change that was made for this last chapter.

For example, without giving any spoilers away, in the last chapter it is told from a character’s first-person perspective. Which is very different from how previous chapters were done. Personally, I think if there could have been more time to feel in the gaps and questions then that would have made this chapter a stronger ending for the series.

Overall, Blue Flag Volume 8 is a must-read! Especially for long-time readers and newcomers alike, as it brings this heartfelt story of friendship and first loves to an end. KATIO does consistently delivers beautiful panels as they switch between detailed and simple art styles to capture the tone and emotions of the scene.  Accompanied with great writing that captures heart-wrenching moments between characters that were well worth the wait to see in this final volume. While the last chapter has some weak points and feels rushed, it doesn’t take away the emotional impact that this series has had. Blue Flag is a great example of how well a coming-of-age love story can be told. It is a refreshing, emotionally raw, and beautiful story that I can not recommend enough. 

Blue Flag Volume 8 is available wherever books are sold June 15, 2021.

Blue Flag Volume 8
4.5

TL;DR

Blue Flag Volume 8 is a must-read! Especially for long-time readers and newcomers alike, as it brings this heartfelt story of friendship and first loves to an end. KATIO does consistently delivers beautiful panels as they switch between detailed and simple art styles to capture the tone and emotions of the scene.