In a small provincial town filled with a spirit of preservation for a traditional performance art called, "Owara," arrives Hotaruko, a transfer student from Tokyo. When a local boy named Hikaru catches her in an awkward stance in—what was supposed to be—an empty classroom, they form a strange bond. What's more, their bond makes way for an unexpected development...?!
Tsukikage Baby starts out promising, but quickly lags into boredom when it starts to repeat the same situations, declarations, and rejections over and over again like a skipping record. It reads with the intention of having a different ending than it was given, as the main character has feelings for a character for the entire series before giving them up in the last three chapters. So, the ending seemed unlikely, disappointing, and forced.
Since it is a romance manga, it is horrible to have messed up the believability of the romance between the two characters, who wound up together, so much. In every romance, there is
a certain amount of “Will they? Won’t they?”, but it only works when those scales are balanced carefully, which they certainly were not in this manga.
Again, as I said, the pacing was of this manga was off, going through an exceptionally slow story development for the first eight volumes before rushing to a cluttered ending with new characters, never before mentioned, appearing in the second to last chapter. The author, writing a serial manga, also focused too heavily on placing the perfect cliffhangers to keep people reading, but which don't work in the finished product’s favor because nothing exciting ever follows those cliffhangers.
So many essential elements are just off in this manga, but still the introduction to Owara dance as a subject is interesting. However, the rest of it is uneven, all over the place, and boring.
Tsukikage baby is a manga about a small provincial town and its traditional dance, Kaze-no bon.
THe STORY is about Romance and dancing, beginnings and ends, letting go and finding a new home. The dance itself is depicted and discussed in such a way that it appeares to be more than plot, almost as a charcter. Its the binding element in this story and gives it cohesion and also rounds off the story and ties in every character.
The manga is rather short, the romance is quite simple or lets say conventional, but the main focus is the small towns community and the tradition of dance.
This is intentional by the author as it takes away the focus of the other characters, who just happen to take part in the annual festival. I think the manga is beautifully done with an almost documentary aspect about the tradition of Kaze-no-bon.
for everyone interested in traditions, dancing or culture im sure this is a short and entertaining (sprinkled with romance) read.
The ART is clean and beautiful, not too much of effects, not overbearing, perfect for the topic. characters are well drawn and porportionate, easily distingushable.
The CHARACTERS are likeable, even though not as finely protrayed as in the authors other work, Sakamichi no apollon (Kids on the slope). This is because the story is altogether shorter, and the author tends to convey feelings much more between the lines rather than oviously in your face. The main character is Hotaruko , a city girl who recently lost her mother and returns to her grandparents on the contryside. The story follows her progress of letting go and finding a new place to call home as well as find closure with her mothers passing.
I ENJOYed it a lot! the dance focus is what drew me in first, as i learned traditional dance (nihon buyo) at a point. Kaze no bon is a quite famous festival in northern japan and the dance is unique to the area. The characters are well done and i found teh portrayed dynamics interesting and well executed.
Overall this is a simple romance without much shenanigans, or clicheed tropes like a hateful girl rival, harassment in school or some such. its a story about growth and tradition, about dancing and different forms of love.
Its a gem among shoujo romance because so so so many other fall into the same old tropes and cliches, this one here is refreshing and realistic and sweet.
I recommend it for people who are fed up with the same stuff that always happens.