Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Manga Review: Let's Dance a Waltz, Volume 1, by Natsumi Ando

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Volumes: 3.
Spoilers?: Not really.
Volume: 2.

Goodreads Synopsis:


Homely and shy, Himé is burdened by the name her mother gave her, “Princess.” Wanting nothing more than to be unnoticed and live a modest life, Himé gets a jolt of inspiration when she tries a dance class where she meets Tango. Her teacher/dance partner, Tango happens to also be her classmate at school. Unfortunately, Tango is desperate to keep his ballroom dancing a secret, believing it will ruin his cool image if anyone at school finds out. Will Tango quit teaching Himé in order to keep his secret or will he be the partner Himé believes he’s destined to be?


I’m not sure what to think of this series.
Ando has made good and bad series before, and I’m trying to be a continued supporter of her work, but I’d been warned about this one.
Hime is sensitive about her body, and the way people think of her. No one notices her, and when they do, it’s for a bad reason. But she gets pushed into dancing, and she loves it. She starts dancing with Tango, and she loves it. Tango, however, doesn’t want anyone to know.
I am intrigued by the characters. Hime seems all right, but I’m surprised by my interest in Tango. He’s a bit of a jerk right now, but I feel like he could be a really nice guy, if he wanted to. His dancer friends seem nice, too.
I have two main problems with this, though. Firstly, Tango’s fright of people knowing he dances. I don’t understand why that is such an embarrassing thing, or why people make fun of him for doing it. Dancing is amazing, and people shouldn’t be ashamed about something they’re good at and enjoy doing.
Then, there’s the body shape trope. Hime is not small, and people don’t like her because of it. She’s insecure about it. And at the end of the book, after two weeks of dance practice, she’s miraculously tiny-waisted. I’m disappointed in this, that she has to be small to be pretty, and that it happened so fast. It would make sense for her to get in shape after working out and dancing, but not that fast. That’s ridiculous.
I really want to like this, and I really want to support Kodansha’s shojo series, and I love dance books. I’m going to read a couple more, but I’m a little iffy at this point.

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