Man, this was another mixed bag. I feel like I got this love/hate relationship with this show at the moment. And it goes without saying, the part I love the most right now is the dancing bits so far. I really appreciate the animation for it, and just for that alone, I want to keep watching because it’s beautiful!
As for the characters… I swear to god, I am trying to remember the last time I have really disliked a protagonist from the get-go. Junpei is a piece of work, and I’m sorry to say, but right now, there is absolutely nothing about him that strikes me as likable. It’s so bad that I really can’t stand listening to him. His obnoxious and haughty attitude has really been testing my patience.
In particular, I was not a fan of his jealousy episode where his rationality has already been chucked out the window. Luou has been strictly trained ballet since he was young, so of course he’s going to be better! I suppose you could say Miyako’s words of calling him a prodigy and her mother’s willingness to train him got to his head, big time.
But boy, it sure didn’t help the already muddy situation when Miyako revealed that besides the fact she was looking for a potential partner for the festival, when she had saw him doing the 540 jump, she thought maybe he could be friends with Luou.
Naturally, Junpei, who was under the impression she had invited him to do ballet because of his talent and possibly having feelings for him did not take this well. It ticked him off when she said she did it for Luou’s sake, and it only aggravated him further when he asked if she had any feelings for him, and she got all flustered about it. And now we got a load of jealousy in the mix too.
At this point, I honestly don’t know what to say to this. This is a terribly messy situation brought about by yet again, another selfish action on Miyako’s part. I would say even thoughtless with the way she was not thinking about how Junpei felt when she told him all of this. And of course, Junpei who has been misunderstanding her intentions all this time does not take this well. Suddenly he went from someone who was needed to feeling like he is replaceable by someone who is better, and we see him retaliates by refusing to show up to practice at the studio and announce he won’t participate in the Dance Festival because of the Soccer Training Camp. Of course, we know the whole thing of ‘being replaceable’ is an excuse to stop doing ballet, furthering his wishy-washy feelings and inability to finally find the resolve to commit to a cause.
But as much as I have so many problems with Junpei at the moment, we cannot ignore the fact he has a very serious complex about what it means to be manly, and his biggest weakness is his inability to say what he wants, as opposed to going with whatever strikes the fancy of others. We saw this yet again with the way his friend suggested they form a band together. Junpei felt like he had to meet his expectation, and so agreed to do it even though despite what he tells himself, it’s actually not really where he wants to put his efforts right now.
However, I have to admit, I am a bit perplexed about how he feels about ballet as a whole. He struggled to watch the performance for Swan Lake– heck he freaking dozed off on it until the intermissions. He even likened it to a high school recital, bored and unimpressed, that is until the stars of the shows appeared. Only then, he became engrossed in the performance. Honestly I’m not entirely sure what he truly thinks of ballet. Don’t get me wrong, Junpei clearly loves dancing, it’s in his veins! But he has yet to properly experience the process of putting together a show with many other people. Of course it’s not unheard of to rather be participant than an observer, or the other way around. For some, they enjoy both. It could be that Junpei is one of those types of people who is more interested in experiencing it himself, as opposed to being the observer. That would probably explain why we saw him fall asleep during the show until the protagonists showed up. Only then he was engrossed what was happening on stage.
Finally last but now least Luou! It was a bit unfortunate we didn’t get the chance to see much of him this week, but compared to the others, at least his character as intrigued me enough to be interested in his story. Also helps that I don’t have any negative feelings about him off the bat. According to Miyako, he is struggling with wanting to quit ballet, but at the same time, we can see he can’t quite let go of it either. In other words, he is basically the exact opposite of Junpei.
With that said, it goes without saying it was truly a messy episode, both with the pacing (again) and the drama, but despite that, I’m going to keep watching so as long as I have the will to do so. I am also going to give this one more episode for coverage consideration. Junpei’s tears in the preview gives me a bit of hope that Junpei’s character finally sees light at the end of the tunnel for his complex about being manly enough. So I am hoping that Luou’s performance is going to move him to understand that he can’t keep hiding his love for ballet. He needs to follow his own heart and for once stop thinking about what other people want of him or think of him, and just go after what he wants. But while he may be close to overcoming this first hurdle, we can already see the next one approaching. Although Junpei is said to have natural ballet feet, what he doesn’t have is height at the moment. It will be interesting to see how he will cope with that when not meeting the standard expected height comes into play.