Monday, June 3, 2013

Manga Mondays #151: Swan vol. 9 by Kyoko Ariyoshi

Manga Mondays Meme

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 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. 9 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.

This volume is all about the Tokyo World Ballet Competition. In that way, it's a little dull, because it's just dance after dance after dance. On the other hand, we get to visit a lot of characters we met in previous volumes and meet a few new ones.

Hijiri does pretty well in the competition. She misses one move, but still gets a high score because she did such a good job of covering for it. Everyone is impressed by her strength of character. It's another instance where Hijiri's inner determination makes up for her lack of technique - although we're seeing this less and less because her technique has improved so much.

We also meet Leonhardt von Christ (he was briefly in the previous volume, but is more prominent here). He shows up as a student at Hijiri's school mocking ballet as boring. Then lo and behold he's a ballet dancer in the Competition. He does a solo of Spartacus. You can see his confidence/arrogance in his performance. He has a style that really sets him apart from the other men. You can already tell that he will play a large role in future volumes.

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  1. This sounds like one of those filler installments, if you know what I mean. The author develops things slower and simply introduces new elements to surprise you along the way. However, it sounds like this ballet competition was full of surprises!

  2. The Ballet competition aspect intrigues me!

  3. It could easily be turned into anime.

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