As the freshmen gather for the welcoming ceremony, all eyes—including those of the short and awkward Masaharu Tsuchiya—are on a beautiful and elegant couple walking through the doors. Stunned, Tsuchiya trips and accidentally pushes over a girl just as small as himself, Eri Watari. As he apologizes, the ceremony commences, and the clubs begin introducing themselves. Eventually, the dazzling pair from earlier walk up on stage, presenting to the new students the dancesport club. With the spotlight on them, the suave man and the gorgeous woman deliver a spectacle that blows the audience away.
Tsuchiya's friend suggests he join the dancesport club for the chance to meet and dance with the captivating woman from the earlier performance. When Tsuchiya approaches the club room to apply, a huge crowd of boys eagerly await, only to be quickly scared away by the terrifying club president, Masumi Doigaki. In the end, only Tsuchiya and Watari remain interested in joining the club. And thus, the two amateurs' journey in dancesport begins!
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
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.
Just personal scratch.
Advised, possible spoilers.
Opinion & Informal
The art was nice. The proportions and anatomy for the most part checked out but there were of course deliberate odd body types in this manga. Although some characters had some weird shapes, the characters themselves didn't look off despite that. The detail and use of tones were also very impressive. I initially thought of how hard it would be for a mode such as manga to capture an activity like dancing with all of its technicalities and intricate movements, while that was the case in some areas I mostly felt like the manga was able to
make it work. I didn't feel like the nature of manga disconnected the dancing too much. The methods of art and panel layout used were able to capture a sense of the movement and excitement in their dance battles so that's a plus to me. There were a ton of very impressive impact shots and sequences that were able to back up the hype and excitement verbally expressed in the manga which was also another plus. While there weren't too many panoramics or environmental shots, there were a good amount of showcases of artistic skill in the form of detailed impact shots with a lot of wow factor that kept every dance battle interesting. Even outside of the dance battles, the overall art was good where the backgrounds and extra bits had just as much detail.
Panel Progression: 8/10
The panel progressive was impressive. The liberal use of panel cutting alongside with nice looking tones created an immersive atmosphere in each dance battle. The unique facial expressions, the attention to minute details such as sweat, anxiety, and burning emotions, and the creative use of layout all added to that atmosphere. The overall panel progression was fine. It didn't progress too slowly or too quickly but was noticeably on the slower side as a lot of time was spent on the asides of each character both in and outside of the battles. The panels were clear and conveyed information well. There weren't a lack of panels so nothing felt confusing either. Overall, I gave this area an 8/10 because of the impressive attention to panel layout, panel flair with interesting panel-cutting, and an appropriate flow to keep something like dancing interesting in a manga form; I think that there has to a bit extra care made in sports manga to translate a movement-based activity into a purely visual medium such as manga which I feel this manga pulled off decently well.
This is where I feel a bit let down and disappointed. I did like how each and every characters received a modest amount of development and attention, however, that's just it. I couldn't tell who the main character was. The development dedicated to the other characters really detracted a lot from the main couple, Wata-Tsuchi. I don't even entirely agree that Aki-Shou were supposed to be a part of the mains. I really didn't care about the Masumi-Rio couple either. All I wanted was more Wata-Tsuchi which sadly wasn't very common in the manga. I feel like there was too much effort made to develop the other couples and individual characters. While objectively that's a good thing, it would have been more appropriate in a slightly longer manga. The initial setup was for Wata-Tsuchi. They're the main characters. They're the most interesting to me because of their predicament. They have so much room for backstory and development. I was utterly disappointed in their lack of screen time. It's probably just a personal thing though. Overall, I think there was too much time spent developing the supporting cast that it detracted too much from the development of the main characters considering how relatively short this manga is; what I mean is that it's too short for what it is for what it seemed like it wanted to do. I will praise the character designs though. The characters were definitely memorable especially when they were dressed up. Not only with the way they dressed, their personalities and dynamics were interesting enough remember them.
The plot had a conventional but interesting setup. It's a typical first-year joins some club trope, but this time it's a dance club. I think the only catch this manga has is just that, that it's about dancing. While the activity is unique, everywhere else the setup can be compared to other sports manga. Truthfully, what actually hooked me into looking into this manga was the synopsis cover art lol.
I liked how well the Wata-Tsuchi couple developed. The other ones were mostly okay but a bit predictable and eventually stagnated. For example, the Aki-Shou couple pretty much stayed in the same realm for the entire manga. Sure, they got their 1 chapter backstory but that's it. They stayed the same arguing bunch through and through. Not once was there any hint at developing their foundation. What I mean is that why are they always arguing aside from, "I can't stand that woman" or "I can't stand that man." Why? Not much aside from shallow statements was done to support their supposed hate for each other. Their backstories were left simple. They received way too much screen time even with their lackluster reasoning to their dynamics. I feel that their relationship on a deeper level wasn't fully explored and developed. The Masumi-Rio couple however received an somewhat appropriate development as the third-year group. I sort of expected some sort of farewell setup for the third years which was the case in "their final competition." Yet again though, I thought they received way too much screen time for what their characters represented. The development of the Wata-Tsuchi couple was well done, but I craved more. They each individually had their own backstories and motivations for joining the club. I loved how they came to understand each other on more than acquaintance-levels and ultimately came to support each other's weaknesses. The way how each resolved to get better for the other person was lovely. I really felt like the manga was able to capture a purely platonic companionship between a boy and a girl. Understanding, support, and a reason to change was all there in the Wata-Tsuchi development. I wanted more. I absolutely needed more. I really wanted the statement, "What kind of couple do you think they are what kind of couple do you think they'd become?" to be delved into a bit more. I wanted to see the extent of what their relationship could be. I wanted to see deeper feelings and more passionate emotions between those two in regards to what they wanted in their relationship. Platonic or romantic, I didn't care what it was. I just wanted to see them talk about it and experience it. The manga already did a decently good job beforehand making them feel alive, why not go further and develop them into something great?
The conclusion left me wanting more but I thought it was appropriate. There were a few chapters dedicated to the "aftermath" and the state of everyone's lives years later. The conclusion itself answered most of the big questions but didn't exactly go into what the future for the Wata-Tsuchi couple was. I did like how Wata-Tsuchi created their vision of the dance club with the exodus of the previous presidents...Wata-Tsuchi created a fun dance club that emanated a feeling of "anyone can do it!" I enjoyed that. The actual ending sequence had a sort of beauty to it in my opinion. There were no words. The only thing there was was dancing. It was just purely a dancing sequence between Wata-Tsuchi. The elegance of their final dance was captured well. Their final bow was beautiful and I'll remember that ending. I liked the final conclusion and is one of the most well done final panel sequences I've seen.
This was a joy to read. The story was interesting and the couples were cute. The story taught a bit about dancing on a surface level which is fine. The highlight of this manga is the impressive art, panel progression, and cute main couple. My gripes about this manga are the needless time spent on developing the rest of the cast including the supporting characters. Too much time was spent on humanizing supporting characters which detracted a lot from the development of the main characters. Overall, the Wata-Tsuchi couple is to die for.
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.