I started reading this series to fill the gaping void in my heart left by “Ballroom e Youkoso”’s indefinite hiatus, and that might be the problem.
This series isn’t bad, it’s actually quite good. Asakura is an experienced manga artist and so visually I have no complaints. But I feel like I’m less tolerant of its faults because I kept comparing it to Ballroom e Youkoso.
The protagonist is, in my opinion, just not a very likable character. While Asakura seems to be going for a commentary on how masculine men can do ballet too!! it never quite hits the mark for me.
In an early scene, you have an adult man telling the protagonist (a young boy at the time, not even a teenager) that since his dad is gone, he’ll have to protect and take care of the family now. NEVER MIND THAT HE HAS NOT ONLY HIS MOM BUT HIS OLDER SISTER. There is no critique of this scene, and fast forward to the protagonist as an aggressively rude MASCULINE type. He only joins ballet (after cutting ties as a young boy in order to be “masculine” ) because he saw the main girl’s underwear when she did a ballet jump in front of him in her school uniform. Like, that’s literally the reason why he goes, regardless of how he’s entranced by the dance itself when he gets to the studio. He still followed her there in the first place because of a shot at her underwear. For the rest of the volume, he basically gets free lessons from her mother, yet refuses to stop calling her “babaa” (extremely rude way of addressing an old lady), and is generally an unhelpful asshole the whole time.
Even though I’ve said all this, it’s still volume one so there is room for improvement. Although potential is not a promise, so I am wary of investing any further in this series. But what REALLY gets me is just that the whole time I was reading, I kept thinking “Tatara wouldn’t do this.”
Anyways, through this experience, I have gained even more respect and love than I knew was possible for Ballroom e Youkoso and the author Takeuchi Tomo. I’ll keep thinking over whether to continue reading this one.