Amushasu, of the Alaturca Alagun performing troupe, believes in magic created by talent and hard work to reach the hearts of his audience. He does not have any respect for the magic of genies, though he does happen to own a very dissatisfied one named Mayu. His faith in his ability to sway a crowd is threatened, however, when he comes across a beautiful young lady whose heart appears to be untouchable.
It seems that while Juggle’s two volumes have already been completed in Japan, only Volume 1 Chapter 1 got out and was translated for consumption outside their borders. Yet even at only 40+ pages, Juggle Volume 1 Chapter 1 already sets the standard high for what sexual fanservice and ecchi should strive for.
For one, Juggle is drop-dead gorgeous. It exudes style and grace that the idea that Miranda Priestly, the eponymous Devil that wears Prada, would mistake the manga as the draft for Runway’s newest monthly magazine issue isn’t ridiculous in the slightest. The clothes are not your stock sailor girl uniform, or any stripperific
variations of said uniform. Certainement pas! Mon amie, they belong in a Paris runway. Wearing them are elegantly elfin girls, hauntingly beautiful as a masterfully-crafted porcelain vase, and just as delicate and fragile. And le background mon amie… *chef’s kiss*
Its aesthetics easily and vastly outshine the cookie-cutter faces, round unappealing blobs that are supposed to be breasts, and bland backgrounds of dime-a-dozen ecchi works. That fight is already over but Juggle went one more step forward: instead of choosing Japanese School No. 22085 for its setting, it hopped on a magic carpet into desert Arabia, invoking in spirit, sort of, what comes to your mind when you hear the term “Arabian Nights”.
In brief, the story so far is about a performing troupe in the desert Arabia led by a perfectionist showman Amushasu. Amushasu believes in magic, not of his lazy-ass genie girl in a lamp, but in the magic of music and dance. He can touch and sway the hearts of the crowd, and that to him is in itself a sort of magic, an enchantment that will stay with the crowd for the rest of their lives. And then he meets a lady he cannot sway, his impromptu deviation from his troupe’s practiced performance, one that almost led him to at the very least an accident with a few fractures just to hand her a flower while on a swing, notwithstanding. It infuriates and intrigues him. And there the story cuts off. As I said, we only have Volume 1 Chapter 1.
But here’s the thing: the performing troupe setup allows for body contortions that emphasize and enhance the female performers’ figures' appeal while the Arabia-style setting allows them to utilize the Arabian harem clothing styles, adding the titillation of the sheerness of the fabrics, the flair of the clothes' extra fluff and ribbons, and the exotic feel to the overall appeal. The setting empowers the sexual fanservice instead of just being a stage for the sexual fanservice to occur. And that's something a host of ecchi works need to work on.
Sexual fanservice isn’t just about what is shown but how it is presented. It’s the reason why the toothbrush scene in Nisemonogatari still reigns in the collective memory of the community while some barely censored explicit nudity in <insert bland ecchi anime> isn’t even a miniscule blip in the radar.
In a very visual medium like manga and anime, the ecchi niche must become the most visually striking of all the genres if it is to leave a lasting impression. A gimmick can only take an ecchi franchise so far.
I must confess that I’m a 3D>2D kind of guy. There is no love lost between me and the ecchi genre in anime. Even so, I admire this work. I sketch and draw as a hobby. I’ve even drawn portraits of actual people. And this work speaks to me. So, for what it’s worth, I admire this.
Personally, Juggle does not expand dong. Juggle fellates mind.