Masaharu Tsuchiya is as dorky as they get and is determined to make high school different than elementary school. But can he keep his inherent awkwardness from ruining his first day? Furthermore, what club will he join? Surely not something like...dance club?
(Source: VIZ Media)
Volume 10: Kyougi Dance-bu e Youkoso
As a part of the JUMP START initiative, the first three chapters of Sesuji wo Pin! to were published in English as Straighten Up! Welcome to Shika High's Competitive Dance Club in VIZ Media's digital Weekly Shonen Jump on the same day as the Japanese release.
Usually I don´t really like writing reviews, but I had to make an exception for this series. That is because it cought me totally off guard and in the end I found myself reading all published chapters present in one go. And you know what? I felt like reading them right over again! So please bear with a little bit of hype swinging in this review^^
The story is centered around our main character Tsuchiya Masaharu who just entered highschool with his friends. They witness the presentation of the dancesport club, during the application period for joining clubs. After being enchanted by the erotic outfits
of the girls in the dancesport club, Tsuchiyas friends drag him along to the club in hope of getting close to the female senpais.
But after seeing the overly manly club president all guys make a run for it while leaving Tsuchiya behind with the president and the girl Watari Eri who maybe wants to join the club. You might say 9 out of 10 is quite high just for a simple story as this about a boy being pulled into a "strange" club, probably thinking it´s another one of those club stories.
BUT I think I would do something unjust by rating this any lower. Just like in, for example, Shokugeki no Soma the mangaka put a lot of effort in his manga. He has to explain all the dances and their steps so that beginners, like our main couple or even the readers, could understand them. I´m not into the matter, but I can tell just from reading that it requires much studying and research to pull it off like that.
But there´s more to it, the character development and competitions keep the series really interesting. This was done in a way I only saw that good, again, in Shokugeki no Soma. Making a "normal" or "not your type" of theme this interesting and you impatiently waiting for a new chapter is one hell of a feat if you ask me.
The characterdesign is really good in terms of picturing the many different characters and making them unique, especially in showing Tsuchiyas various silly facial expressions without making him look dumb or stupid. But I think it shines the most in illustrating the different dances, steps and their positions. You can see right away that they´re all looking different and bring a certain feel to them in another way as well.
The whole cast in this series is great! I can´t even think of one character i really disliked and that´s pretty impressive. The club president is really funny and the other senpais just give off a great feeling too, these little quarrels between the 2nd years for example are always a pleasure to read/watch^^ But even the minor characters are good, Eris best friend Chika comes to mind. FINALLY!! A best friend of the female lead that doesn´t hate the male lead for no reason or is violent/threatening towards him. Rather she is grateful that Eri is having so much fun thanks to him.
Tsuchiya is one of my favorite male leads of all time. He´s really funny, not dense to the point it becomes physicaly painfull to read (trust me, I mean the right one here :P) and is such a nice guy and good partner to Eri. It´s REALLY rare for me to like the male lead in this kind of manga, most of the time we only get dense, insensitive idiots after all... (*cough* Nisekoi *cough*)
Eri is a great female lead as well. She´s shy, cute and hardworking. BUT she´s not some moe blob without any troubles or personality.
Most couples are based on the difference in character and personality with a (sometimes annoyingly) loud male main character and a violent Tsundere as female lead, just to name some stereotypes. But Tsuchiya and Eri are different. I think a huge part of what makes these two so great together is that they´re both quite similar.
Both are rather small and timid, while doing their best together at the club to become better as a dance couple. The interactions between them are really cute to observe and believable at that. There´s a scene when Eri is troubled by a thing that happened in her past and Tsuchiya notices it. He´s not too dense to not care about Eri and her feelings, actually he´s able to help her since he´s been through a similar experience. I really like these moments between them and want to know how this continues.
Think I covered that enough in my introduction^^
To sum it up it´s already a great series to me. Managing to stay really interesting, despite picking a theme I don´t really have a thing for normally, is amazing. In addition with a growing and likeable cast, one of the best couples I´ve seen so far and a lot of space for character development I can say that this is my favorite Jump manga in quite a while.