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Manga / Dance Dance Danseur

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Dance Dance Danseur is a manga about ballet written and illustrated by George Asakura, which began serialization in Big Comic Spirits in 2015. It got an anime adaptation on April 9 2022 produced by MAPPA.

The series tells the story of Junpei Murao, whose love for ballet sparks when he sees a male ballet dancer at a young age and gets intrigued by ballet that he insists on doing it even though it's considered unmanly. Then tragedy strikes and Junpei chooses to follow on his late father's job as a stunt coordinator and pursues Jeet Kune Do which is all manly. Enters Miyako Godai, who sees Junpei do a brilliant kick combining ballet and Jeet Kune Do skills and recruits him to join her mother's ballet studio. Junpei's love for ballet reignites again but first, he has to face challenges and make sacrifices to be freed from the shackles of manliness to formally pursue ballet.

Dance Dance Danseur displays the following tropes:

  • The Bully: Junpei's friends bully Luou all throughout episode 3, however, they aren't all terrible as some of them attend his Swan Lake performance to support him even after they showed adverse reactions to him announcing that he'll do ballet.
  • "Double, Double" Title: The word "dance" is repeated twice in the title.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Jumpei sees everything in sparkles when he witnesses guys dancing ballet. He also sees them whenever he's excitedly doing ballet moves.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Junpei goes through three. The first is his Important Haircut shortly after his father's death and ends up abandoning his dreams of being a ballet dancer. The second happens following him fully dedicating himself to ballet dancing. The third happens after a Time Skip following him accepting Ayako Oikawa's scholarship at her ballet school, where his hair has become longer with natural curls and more appropriate for a ballet dancer.
  • Foil: Luou acts as one toward Junpei. He's everything Junpei isn't; passive and isolated, meanwhile, Junpei is boisterous and friendly. Furthermore, Luou is the experienced Technician while Junpei is a naturally inclined Performer. They both aim to play the prince in the Swan Lake performance and fight over the role. To further highlight their contrasting nature, Junpei ends up playing the prince and Luou does the role of the antagonistic Rothbart.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted and played with. While Junpei does have a natural inclination for dancing, because he 1) quit ballet for years and 2) learned mainly from imitating dancers in videos, he has to put in a lot more work to both break the bad habits he developed from being self-taught and refine his technique to be more suited for classic ballet.
  • Hot-Blooded: Junpei is super loud, loves to jump and spin around, and gets nicknamed "wild monkey" by the much calmer Luou.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Junpei does Jeet Kune Do because he wants to be seen as manly and cool by his friends. He even starts learning ballet in secret for fear of his friends' negative reactions. However, this gets subverted later when he decides to drop this whole "showing others his manliness/coolness" thing and tells his friends he quits the soccer club to do ballet instead.
  • Important Haircut: Junpei used to have long hair when he was a child but cuts it short when his father dies and he's asked to take care of his family as the only male remaining there. It marks the point where he stops doing ballet in order to do the much manlier Jeet Kune Do. He has a second one after he resolves to dedicate his efforts into becoming a ballet dancer as a teenager, shaving his head down.
  • Love Interest: Miyako is this for Junpei. He mistakenly thinks she has a crush on him when she was just trying to recruit him for her mother ballet's lessons.
  • Muscles Are Meaningful: As Junpei advances in ballet, his body develops into a muscular build suitable for a professional dancer.
  • The Quiet One: Luou doesn't speak much which causes him to be an easy target for bullying.
  • Real Men Have Short Hair: Junpei cuts his long "girly" hair during childhood to be regarded as manly by others because his long hair, alongside him doing ballet, was a source of mockery back then.
  • The Rival: Luou fulfills this role for Junpei. He's close to Miyako and does ballet with much more grace compared to Junpei, and the latter is even jealous of him and wants to be better than him in ballet.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Junpei is wild, passionate, and loud, while Luo is calm, distant, and soft-spoken.
  • The Stoic: Luou doesn't emote much; he wears the same expression on his face all the time.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Luou is the technician, whereas Junpei is the performer. Luou does ballet accurately and is more experienced than Junpei who does it for fun and more freely. Junpei learns then that this version of ballet he does can't be called classical ballet and he isn't suited for it by the judge after his Swan Lake performance.