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Smile Down the Runway
Chiyuki Fujito has a dream: to become a Paris Collection model. The problem is that she hasn't grown past 158cm. As she is too short for a model, everyone around her tells her to give up on her dream. However, no matter what anyone says, she wouldn't give up. Her classmate, a poor student named Ikuto Tsumura, also has a dream he hasn't been able to let go of, which is to become a fashion designer. But one day, Chiyuki tells him that it's "probably impossible" for him, causing him to consider giving it up…?! This is the story of two individuals who wholeheartedly chase after their dreams, despite others telling them that they won't ever come true.
Sep 28, 2017
108 of 194 chapters read
30 people found this review helpfulPreliminary
“True beauty is born through our actions and aspirations, and in the kindness we offer to others.”
There exists no greater complement to this manga than the words of model and designer Alek Wek. Amidst an era in which violent melees and cheesy romance dominate novels, films, and games alike, Runway de Waratte serves as a cherishable reminder that human virtues dazzle in the mundanity of everyday life with comparable, if not greater, brilliance than fantastical tales and melodrama. In applying a shonen format to a genuine modern industry, the manga has masterfully crafted characters that are both relatable and inspiring within a surreal narrative. Be it the grouchy mentor who stubbornly adheres to his lofty ideals regardless of criticism, or the father who hardens his heart to reject his daughter's ambitions, not a single persona is conceived superficial, nor is he conveniently imposed to shoulder the story line alone. The result of such portrayal of relationships is the blurring of distinction between protagonist and antagonist, between adversity and opportunity. The artistic rendering of thematic scenes and dialogues only serves to further elevate the struggle of the characters beyond mere physical or the mental conflicts, amplifying them into passionate messages that truly speaks at the audience.
Occasionally happening upon magnificent works like Runway de Waratte is what sustains my conviction in manga as a potential medium of quality literature as opposed to a source of cheap entertainment. Indeed, it is a fascinating epiphany in realizing how a well-composed story compels one to care so much for a subject he has no knowledge of. Reading the manga is an experience nothing short of mind-blowing, and I was reminded, yet again, how slight the line between fiction and reality truly is.
Jan 22, 2019
37 of 194 chapters read
14 people found this review helpfulPreliminary
Runway de Waratte is technically about Fujito Chiyuki, a girl who is too short to become a model, and Tsumura Ikuto, a boy who wants to be a fashion designer, but seems to have given up on it. Originally, I thought this manga would be more similar to a shoujo style- with romance, school life, and drama, but it turns out Runway de Waratte is set up in a shounen way, complete with battle and training(?) arcs. It's a very engaging story, and it's evident how much hard work both of the main characters put in to realize their dreams. I use the term both main characters loosely, however, as it seems like the plot forgets Chiyuki halfway through. Currently speaking (up to chapter 37), Ikuto is the main focus, and as fascinating as it is, I do think Chiyuki's storyline should be explored more.
There is a good reason the art is rated so highly on this manga for me. Firstly, it is aesthetically pleasing to look at, however, good art in a manga should not just look appealing, but it should carry the attitude and the drive of the characters as well. It's amazing how dynamic the art can make sewing look, or how the character's will flows through their movements. The most interesting thing about the art are the eyes and the body positions of each character, and how that can reflect what the person is thinking and feeling.
I wish I could rate this category 10/10. I really do. All of the feelings and conflicts feel very realistic and there is character growth. However, while Ikuto's character is amazing, and you could see his character arc and how he was changing as a person, we barely get to see Chiyuki (Again, as of right now at chapter 37). Chiyuki has less time than many of the background characters, despite being listed as a MC. I hope to see more of Chiyuki and her struggles as well, because her problems (hinted at in chapter 36-37) are quite interesting as well.
This manga is really unique. It's rare that a manga can make me feel this excited about anything, but I think what makes it really special is the way that the stakes are real for the characters, and it shows the amount of work they have to put in. It was really enjoyable to read, and I can't wait for the next chapter.