Monday, May 6, 2013

Manga Mondays #148: Swan vol. 6 by Kyoko Ariyoshi

Manga Mondays Meme

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog almost 3 years ago. It started out as a personal feature, but I decided to turn it into a meme last year. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme is a great way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

Swan vol. 5 by Kyoko Ariyoshi


As the only exception to the Japan Ballet Association's scholarship program, underdog dancer Hijiri Masumi trains hard every day with other students who have all won the right to train under the best dance instructors. Because Masumi's technique leaves much to be desired, master instructor and genius dancer Alexei Sergeiev demands that she return to the basics to improve her technique. Masumi practices diligently, so that she will be chosen as one of three student performers in the Japan Ballet Company's special performance in Moscow. Eventually, some of the ballet students depart for various destinations around the world to further their dance careers. As Alexei leaves for Moscow, he reminds her once again to master the basics, because her journey has just begun. Hearing this heartening message, Masumi vows to work hard, and returns to the ballet studio to practice, only to find a handsome new foreign student has arrived. Will this newcomer support her in her quest to develop as a dancer, or will romantic entanglements become an obstacle? (courtesy of Goodreads)


*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

Hijiri annoys me in this volume. Irritation isn't the emotion that I should be feeling. Pity is probably more appropriate. Hijiri has such a low self-esteem. This isn't uncommon in a teenage girl but it manifested itself in so many ways in this volume that I couldn't help roll my eyes.

First Hijiri has a nervous breakdown because there's a new Russian prodigy. Once she sees Lilliana perform, she loses it - she has stress induced hearing loss. She can't imagine performing after someone so good. Then, when Hijiri gets back to Japan, she discovers that she has landed a better role in a ballet than Princess Sayoko, the injured star of Japanese ballet. She feels guilty that she has usurped her idol. Then she feels even worse because she's worried that she's going to force Princess Sayoko push herself too hard and get hurt again. My head is spinning from all of Hijiri's stress.

Then we have the arrival of a little love triangle. There are two male Japanese ballet dancers who are significant characters in the story. Hijiri apparently has a crush on the dark haired guy. I don't believe he feels anything for her beyond friendship. But the light haired guy is in love with Hijiri and she's put him into the friend zone. It's all a little confusing. I wonder where it will go in future volumes.

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  1. Poor Hijiri! She sounds like *she's* about to have a breakdown from all the stress!

  2. Your blog is beautiful!! :) I just stumbled upon you on the Blog Hop, I look forward to your posts!

  3. I find it interesting that there are still love triangles in manga. I don't know *why* exactly I find that interesting, but I really do. I think that I need to give manga a go one of these days...I might have to enlist your help in selecting a place to start! :)

  4. I don't read manga but what a pretty cover.

  5. Please, please, PLEASE read Hana-Kimi! It's my favorite Manga. :D

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