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. 13 by Kyoko Ariyoshi
Young Masumi Hijiri dreams of becoming a prima ballerina, but faces many challenges on her way to the top of the dance world.
After winning the silver medal in the World Ballet Competition, Masumi and her partner Leonhardt Von Christ are invited to train at the prestigious New York City Ballet. New to modern ballet, Masumi struggles to understand it, but the esteemed choreographer Balanchine is not impressed with her skills or knowledge. Then Masumi runs into an old classmate who has become jaded and wants to give up on ballet. Will this encounter help or hurt Masumi at this critical point in her career? (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 meets New York! It's so nice for a change of pace in this volume. Hijiri travels to America and discovers not only a new country but a new world of dance.
A few nitpicky things that stood out to me in this volume. The language barrier is nonexistent. I've noticed this before, but I was reminded of it when Hijiri got to a new country. It seems as though Hijiri speaks every language. She comfortably converses with Russians, Americans, Cubans and more. Either they all speak Japanese, which I doubt, or she speaks Russian, English, and Spanish, which I also doubt. Also, Hijiri comments multiple times on how big New York is and how it has such tall buildings. I find this amusing because Tokyo in the 1970s was probably about the same size as New York City.
Hijiri is back to being the underdog in New York. The ballet school where she's now training focuses on modern dance, which is an entirely different style. It's hard for Hijiri to make the transition or even to understand it well enough to teach it to herself. It doesn't help when Hijiri discovers that the head of the school didn't really want her there. He only took her because Leonhardt insisted, and he wanted Leonhardt. He's looking for every opportunity to fire her.
Hijiri is also upset when she finds an old friend studying at the ballet school. Her friend has lost the love for ballet. She's only going through the motions. She's more interested in living the luxe life with her boyfriend in an upscale apartment. Just as much, she's been embittered by the politics of the American School of Ballet. I think Hijiri is worried that she may become the same way.
I'm curious to see if Hijiri can succeed in this new world. No longer is she her own worst enemy. Now she has to overcome the low expectations of her instructor. This will be when her character may really shine.