Why, cause I really love this manga series when I first read it. And the best thing about this series is the ridiculously gorgeous art that is best shown with the covers made by Tomo Takeuchi. Since I have sometime with me (and to preemptively apologize for deciding to not watch the anime due to lacking the resources to watch it legally), let’s look at the covers of the manga from the start till now.
Warning to the anime viewers, spoilers abound.
The cover that started it all, showing off Tatara preparing in the Mikasa stage, rearranging his hair with both of his hands. Though I felt that the cover is a lie, since he looks too cool looking for a beginner (except for his hair).
While the art is beautiful, context wise it is really bland, since it’s just Tatara doing the same thing in Volume 1, with a less interesting background to look at.
So I’ll talk about the summary instead, which is about Tatara substituting (curtesy of Sengoku) for Kiyoharu Hyoudou (who has a bad leg injury) for one lucky waltz with Shizuku Hanaoka, the introduction of the Akagi siblings, and Tatara deciding to bet against Gaju Akagi in a ballroom dancing competition.
Now that’s more like it, real story, ballroom dancing, and it’s an actual competition too. In this cover we are introduced to Mako Akagi (the girl in yellow who Tatara is dancing with) and Shizuku Hanaoka (the girl in purple, showing off her back and symbolizing the dream where Tatara would need to work hard in order to chase after). I like the way that Tatara’s sight is towards her with an awe including look, while Mako is dancing with her best shot. I presume that this is the foxtrot stage, cause there has been some changes in for the other probable dance, waltz.
P.S: Chapter 11, The Flower & The Frame is one of my favorite chapter in this series.
Funny how this will be the last time where Mako will have her role reduced after performing the Sengoku style quickstep with Tatara. And ironically, Tatara becomes the flower here while Mako (and her dress) acts as his yellow frame, recording his first run as a ballroom dancer in his history of life.
After 4 consecutive volumes of fierceness & competition, Tatara is finally able to relax and let his hair puff out (which is the only physical trait that differentiates him in the manga world). Honestly, this should be the cover for the first volume since ballroom dancing is a new thing for him when the volume started, but I’ll let it slide as it can be seen as a resting point where Tatara now faces high school, more dancing and…
A wild new character appeared (though she has already appeared in volume 5), and her name is Hiyama Chinatsu, an experienced ballroom dancer who has a…role issue. Unfortunately for both of them, they are the best each other can handle right now. Sure, they are all smiles here, but the same expressions are not obviously similar and it’s going to be a rough ride to professionalism.
This is the cover that gets me reading the manga in the first place, and ironically, it’s actually my second least favorite cover of the series (my least favorite being Volume 2). Sure, we’re introduced to Kaname Sengoku (a world class dance, Tatara’s mentor and the one who brings him to the word of dance) and his gorgeously made, but he’s only here for just 1 chapter (Chapter 27, the first chapter of this volume) and then the rest moved on to Tatara & Chinatsu’s in another competition secretly, Tatara accidentally disqualifying themselves to them going to a training camp. And given that Tatara didn’t appear in the cover for the first time, this just stood out for (in my opinion) the wrong reasons (which for me is the narration point of view).
After the events of Volume 7, but Tatara & Chinatsu had a bad falling out in terms of their partnership, forcing both of them to pick up the slacks in the training camp. Both of them, just before finishing their preparation (obviously their last step is the hair, it is always the hair), looked at each other with a similar determined expression of advancing to reach their goals. However, the Japanese name title can be served as a transparent wall between them, showing that there are still some cracks that they needed to iron or break before reaching the spot of perfection.
Congrats Chinatsu, you finally defeated Mako for the most appearances in the volume cover as a female. Second of all, this is one hell of a cover, with both of them (prepped their hair to competition standards) dancing & searching for unity between them. One note is that the blackness surrounding them is a huge narration standpoint, if you looked at one of their competitor’s point of view.
So, that’s it, the 9 current volumes of the manga starting from 2011, hope that there is a medium called the manga, and for me it is less taking to search & read than watching anime.