Friday, October 21, 2011

Book Review: Swan

Review by Sierra, 10th grade

Swan is a Japanese graphic novel about a girl named Masumi who wishes to become a prima ballerina. However, she must over come many obstacles, including her fatal flaws and the great prodigies and rivals that stand in her way.

The series of Swan is full of competitions, unrequited love, and most importantly, Ballet.

The books are amazing to the artistic eye. Kyoko captures the grace and beauty of ballet, and multiplies it a hundred fold with anime stylized, but very accurate structure and anatomy for male and female characters.

To an artist, or someone who loves looking at drawings, they will be charmed at once by the pages of beautiful figures and graceful poses. Fans of Ballet will also enjoy this book, for the story shows and even tells you about many ballets, and the costumes and dancing that is drawn are very wonderful, and very accurate to the real deal.

Its flaws, however, probably make a lot of people turn from the book before they can really become hooked. These flaws include the over exaggerated eye lashes and flowing hair of the men, the rather intense use of shojo(manga for girls) sparkles/roses/fire, and the longer then normal dialogue. Manga(a form of Japanese Graphic Novels) is supposed to be carried not only by the dialogue, but also by the art. This book, though it's art is fantastic, can be somewhat confusing to someone who has just started reading Manga. Certain actions are not shown or explained very well(such as when a ballerina begins to falter), and one dramatized emotion can be confused with another(Such as amazement and awe that looks more like fear and dread).

The story is a soap opera, filled with fears, suspense and competition. This is not necessarily a flaw, but the listed things are so constant, that it can become very exhausting.

Aside from these flaws, the books are amazing to read, and to any hard core fan of Manga, this is a must read.

Note: Our library does not have this series, but you may request the books from another library through MeLCat here.

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