Jan 13, 2021
This is the first work of Kumiko Saiki's to get an official English licensing (still holding out hope that the sequel to it will get picked up, as well), which is a shame because Saiki has a remarkably fun storytelling and art style. I don't really write reviews but I desperately want more people to pick this work up; it's a real treasure.
I can't examine how much realism this work has in regards to revue theatre, or schools for that, but that's not why someone reads a Josei work. This has the emotional realism you would hope for from a Josei work. The two main
characters Sarasa and Ai are both high achievers in the school as you would expect(despite being middling at best students in their introductions), so the main story beats are figuring out 1)why they are interested in performing 2) presumably, learning to adjust their dreams (as both character's did not always want to go into the school, in comparison to their classmates). And, of course, all other sorts of teen melodrama and entertainment industry beef along the way. Warnings for that: one side character does have an eating disorder, and one of the main characters did suffer childhood sexual assault. I think these issues were handled well enough (although, I cannot say how they will be continued to be handled), but would say the eating disorder was handled less well. Not in an oof way--the ending to that story just felt very Saturday Afternoon Special, which is fine. Not all works need to seriously delve into what they discuss.
I really like Saiki's art, as stated before, I think it's bubbly, and charming, and perfect for the story it tells. There were no moments where the paneling was anything less than serviceable, but I also wasn't wowed by any of the spreads. All of the character designs were distinct, too, without needing to step outside of the relatively (in terms of manga art) naturalistic style. I have no thoughts on the background art.
Assigning numbers feels rather arbitrary, so it's an 8/10 because it didn't blow me away, but I think it's a good work, and I believe that would be evident to most people who read it. Give it a chance before the anime airs, I guess : ).
What did you think of this review?