[Left: Coda by Ichimura Hitoshi. Right: Tetsugaku Letra by Sahara Mizu]
This month I have a huge craving of manga, one that I feel like I wanted to devour them into my memories with their art & knowledge, even though my review should never be read professionally.
Although specifically, I’m focused on manga about dancing & sports in general (recently, I have just finished all the chapters of King Golf which available online in English, really recommend it for a really great protagonist) and today I will be reviewing the 2 dance mangas that has been finished, Coda and Tetsugaku Letra, even though this review is according to my memory of 2 months before.
[Plus, this is a really sad excuse as during my writing, I keep repeating some chapters of Welcome To The Ballroom]
(2010-2012), Serialized in Comic Avarus
One day, Kunisada Haruichi who is specializing in Japanese dance in his high-school dance department, meets Yuri Arbatov, a famous and young ballet dancer who comes for a short-term study abroad. However when he gets a hold of Haruichi’s weakness, Haruichi is forced to crossdress on stage
Generic boy meets girl story with the twist that the girl is actually a guy, and surprisingly (maybe because of the shortness), an important element: romance, was taken away from this supposedly generic love story.
Most of the characters are generic (with one sweet partner who unwillingly caused the male lead to stop dancing with the partner, the bitch that could never realistically compete with the “female” lead in skill, and the really strict father that forces the “female”, here is in terms to saving their tradition, which is somehow 10 times urgent than seeing his son crossdress for a ballet performance), and most of the conflict can be solved quickly.
And I disliked the ending due to it being utterly unrealistic.
(2011-2014), Serialized in Gessan
In middle school, Ichinose Kimitaka taught his friends how to play basketball. Despite his experience with the sport, his friends quickly outmatched him in skill. After an incident brought on by his frustration and jealousy, he was crushed to overhear those same ‘friends’ discussing how they wished he’d just kill himself.
On his way to toss out his special basketball shoes, he met a girl who was just as frustrated, throwing her own dancing shoes away. She was so tall, and her hands and feet are so large, that she had been rejected from her chosen hobby of Spanish dancing. He urged her to give basketball a try, and the two exchanged their shoes instead of throwing them away.
As he enters high school, Kimitaka learns that meeting him changed that girl’s life for the better, and she is now a happy, social basketball player. Will Kimitaka be able to find the courage to make new friends and pursue his own talents?
There are romance between the female & male lead, but sadly due to them being together for like 3 chapters at maximum, it is bound to make a lot of viewers grumble.
But strangely it is refreshing for me, since this is one of the first manga that I recently read is not focus on being the best (in this case, Spanish performing trio, which especially in Japan, is a really specific study), but doing so to grow up from learning and having fun as normal high schools instead of talented monsters who found their real talent in such a short time for a change.
[Examples of those monsters? Being able to win the national Inter-High cycling competition in just the first year. Being a skilled golfer in a year after being a delinquent for his whole life. Going pro in Go in just 2 years with the help of a ghost. Being a living legend in the veterinarian industry in probably like 5 years.]
The cover art is great though, in the first volume cover, it shows our main character showing a sense of moment, and in the center we see the red Spanish dancing shoes, a catalyst for how the story starts.