, by Kyoko Ariyoshi, is a classic ballet manga from The Seventies
(specifically, 1976-81) and is notable for being one of the very few shoujo
manga from that era to have been published in English; sadly, though, CMX were only able to release 15 volumes out of 21 before closing down, and so the series is now out of print. The plot follows aspiring young dancer Masumi Hijiri as she pursues her dream to become a star ballerina. Friendships, rivalries, dance competitions, love triangles and oldschool melodrama ensue, along with the kind of vigorous training that makes Swan
feel like shoujo
's answer to shounen
Swan provides examples of:
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Aoi and Masumi each get one.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Masumi
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Leon is a genius dancer who nevertheless skips out on his rehearsals whenever he doesn't feel like attending.
- But Not Too Foreign: Leon is half German and half Japanese.
- Chick Magnet: Luci, and he loves it.
- Combat Commentator
- Costume Porn: Any time there are tutus involved.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Larissa
- Driven to Suicide: Sayoko slits her wrists after her injury, due to her anguish over the idea that she may never be able to dance the way she used to again. She survives.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Lucien, much to Masumi's initial confusion.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Masumi's reaction when she finds out that Yuka quit dancing.
- Fatal Flaw: Masumi's lack of musicality, the source of which turns out to be occasional bouts of deafness, triggered by intense pressure and nerves.
- Follow in My Footsteps: Poor Aoishi is under a lot of pressure from her mother to become a star ballerina.
- Generation Xerox: Masumi and Aoishi's rivalry echoes the rivalry shared by their mothers.
- Heroic BSOD: Sayoko, after she gets injured. Masumi also has a couple of these.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Masumi and Sayoko both suffer from this.
- Important Haircut: Masumi gets one at the start of volume 13.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Leon, emphasis on the "jerk" part. Also Larissa.
- Long Haired Prettyboy: Aoi and Lucien.
- Love Triangle: Aoi loves Masumi, who loves Kusakabe, who is fond of Masumi but loves his partner Sayoko more. Then there's the love relations from later on, and that's before we get into all the subtext.
- Love Hurts
- Melodrama: Of course! It's oldschool shoujo, so this comes with the territory.
- Missing Mom: Masumi's mother died when she was a child.
- My Ballet Is Stronger Than Yours
- Naïve Newcomer: Masumi in the beginning.
- The Ojou: Sayoko
- Ojou Ringlets: Sayoko often has these.
- Opposing Sports Team: The Russians. Larissa fits the trope well with her "obnoxious rival" attitude, but Lilliana completely subverts it since she's not arrogant or deceitful or overworked — she's just naturally gifted to a terrifying degree.
- The Rival: Larissa, Sidney, Aoishi, Margie. Masumi always has at least one of these. Though Larissa fits the trope best, personality-wise.
- Sexy Mentor: Oh, Sergeiev-sensei!
- Shirtless Scene: Most of the male characters have one at some point.
- Shower of Angst: Luci, at least once.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears
- Technician Versus Performer: Masumi is a performer, at least in comparison to her peers.
- To Be a Master: The main thrust of the plot.
- Tournament Arc: The various dance competitions take this form.
- Training from Hell
- Wing Ding Eyes: Masumi gets star-shaped eyes when she sees Leon and Luci kissing.