Daydream Sanctuary Features

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

23:00: Where "Awesome" and "Attention-Grabbing" Dancers are so FORGETTABLE

By Matsumoto Tomo
Midori: I'm not interested in guys.
Higa: ....
Person 1: That Higa guy is such a plain looking fellow.
Higa: *hears music... starts dancing*
Person 2: But look at him now! When the music started, people started noticing him 'coz he's so awesome when he dances!
Midori: You're right... even I can't take my eyes off him.

RATING: D+ (DISAPPOINTING! It's not only average, but it also sucked in so many ways~)
FAVORITISM: 2 Hearts ---> DISLIKE (but 3 Hearts for the megane bishie that kinda reminded me of Ouran's Kyouya~)

This manga's definition of an "awesome guy" is someone who is handsome and could stand out using his wild street dancing moves.

Oh please.

It's nice to see an attempt to do a manga about street dancing (that's how the mangaka defined the type of dance in this manga on those extra sections)... but the characters are just doing poses. You can't visualize them moving. Even though it has been emphasized so much, the characters DON'T STAND OUT AT ALL. These eye-catching guys just happen to be able to have whole page/s for himself once in a while; not enough to leave an impression to the reader.

It doesn't seem to be street dancing either... just some plain freestyle dancing (And what's with those clothes? Too simple. They look more stylish on the promo/cover images, but so plain in the actual chapters). And it really sickens me that the "good performers" in this manga are those that can get attention, not exactly those that are skillful. Bah.

And does the mangaka know any particular song at all? No titles were mentioned on the music/songs that have been played. No mention on the type of music being played either. All we get to know is that the rhythm/beat was nice and if there's a sudden change on speed.

And for a manga that is not about slow dances, the pacing in it is freakin' slow. There's nothing wrong on slow-pacing.... but it just doesn't fit this type of manga. It's about street dancing (well, supposedly, isn't it?) so make your audience excited and awed, not bored to death.

Nothing much happened in this series. Sometimes it also feels very repetitive. It doesn't feel like it had a story at all, or if it did, a very short paragraph would be enough to get the full picture.

What had gotten me more disappointed was that though it already failed to tell a good "story of an unrecognized yet talented dancer", it still attempted to write a love story.... following shoujo romance cliches and didn't bother to put any sensible development on it. Seriously, is "jealousy" that necessary for one of the main characters to realize something? Do all the "awesome" guys have to do something dangerous and heroic for a girl? And how dare the girl complains about one-sided love if she hasn't even confirmed it? And what's with the necessity of making a big deal of the main guy's voice? (Might've made sense if he'll also become a singer aside from a dancer)

*sigh* Yeah, though the story's already so pathetically written, characterization's no better. No development and not enough background; it's difficult to grasp the characters' personality because we only know so little of them (yeah, even the main characters). I'm even having a hard time differentiating the two main girls even if they have an obvious hair length difference. =_=

It would've really helped if Higa's brothers had been introduced. We'll be learning more about Higa's background with that. And it'll be interesting if our amateur main characters get compared to professionals. It would also be cool if the different types fo street dancing (like those mention in those extra pages) were featured! Also, make the main characters aim to become more skillful, not just stand out. More importantly, make the readers appreciate the love for dancing; use the characters to show how enjoyable dancing is... don't use dancing to show how cool the characters are.

There are so many ways that you could do with this kind of story but for some reason the mangaka didn't seem to have given this much thought (just wrote whatever came to her mind). Dancing may be difficult to express/illustrate/present in manga form, but I believe that in the hands of a good mangaka, it's possible. But this mangaka doesn't seem to have the skills to write such a manga yet. Too bad, the story idea was really nice.

Oh well, the manga maybe lacking in so many ways but overall it's not really that bad. The comedy was really so-so but there was a part that made me laugh a lot (Cool group name for the competition! Haha!). I suggest that you read this manga as a slice of life romantic shoujo with dancing... not a manga about dancing. I guess that's what it's really meant to be, which is why I didn't appreciate much because I was looking at it in a different way. So if you don't follow my example and set your expectations low, then I think you could somehow appreciate this manga. =D

(Too bad. I really liked the tankoubon cover. So blue xD Hehe)


Kanade said...

I loved this. I loved this mangaka's stories. Scanlations were kinda a bit weird, but this mangaka does write cryptically, so sometimes separate phrases/words/sentences might not make sense.

But I so love it. And I love the way she draws. The way her men and women smile, the way they hodl each other is kinda very very tender. I think I've re-read her stories a few times.

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Kanade
I haven't read the mangaka's other works so I can't compare.... but hhhmm... are you sure of this having cryptical messages? The dialogues seem very simple and straight to the point. =/

No objection on the art though. I find the drawings nice ^^

Kanade said...

I think so too, but Beauty Honey series seem to have either a poor translation bug in the earlier chapters or it's the mangaka's original way of writing :S Speaking of which, I haven't checked her works in Japanese, I do have the link at home though 8D

Sapphire Pyro said...

@ Kanade
Was Beauty Honey the more popular one among the mangaka's works? Hmmm... maybe I'll check it out.

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