Forbidden Dance

Forbidden Dance

By Hinako Ashihara

(TokyoPop) ISBN 1591823455

This is the charming, if eccentric, tale of Aya, a young girl who has seemingly lost the power to dance after an accident at a ballet contest. Her life finally turns around after she sees the boy Akira dance with the COOL ballet troupe. Revitalised, she makes joining COOL her life’s ambition, and nothing, not even the fact that COOL is an all-male company, is going to stop her.

Aimed at a young teen audience, Forbidden Dance is replete with the school angst and success pressure that dominates this branch of manga fiction, but the energy, power and enthusiasm of Hinako Ashihara’s story-telling elevates the tale above the crush of its peers. As Aya’s story progresses the ending is never a foregone conclusion and even the most jaded reader must wonder “what next?”

In a crowded and conservative market, it’s good to see quality story-telling in varied settings, and most fans would probably benefit from giving this book a chance.

© 2003 Hinako Ashihara. All Rights Reserved.