「これはっ……友達になれないタイプだっ!」 (Kore wa…… Tomodachi ni Narenai Taipu da!)
“He’s… the Type I Can’t Be Friends With!”

Junpei is still on the fence about dancing- caught between the “cool” act and the ballet act. Miyako rightly calls Junpei out for checking out his phone more than the ballet. The whole disinterested “I’m too busy for you dancing dweebs” is all part and parcel of his cool man’s man performance. He doesn’t even bother dressing up-although he at least notices that eventually, making him feel out of the crowd.

As if wearing improper clothes and the chasm between ballet and stereotypical “manliness” weren’t enough, there is also the height factor added on to Junpei’s dance insecurities. Mama Godai points out that Miyako is taller than Junpei-which, while a normal thing for their age group, does nothing to help feeling like a fish out of water in the ballet world. From personal experience, when starting (or in Junpei’s case, re-starting) a hobby, there’s nothing like feeling you don’t belong to squash any motivation for learning that activity and Junpei certainly seems to be heading towards the exit sign.

The distance between him and ballet increases when he meets Miyako’s reclusive cousin Luou (Uchiyama Kouki) whose grace and poise far surpass Junpei’s. To be fair, the comparison of Luo vs. Junpei to a human vs. a monkey at least gives Junpei hope-after all, primates evolved into humans (although Junpei’s evolution needs to happen on a much accelerated timescale). The whole emphasis on Luou being only “a quarter” foreign makes me curious if they will address racism, which is itself historically a whole issue in ballet. It was a clever move on Mama Godai’s part, getting Luou on the scene to light a fire under Junpei’s hunched-over ass.

We get some chuckle-worthy moments, between Junpei putting his dance-belt on super-hero style and the typical teen boy “I have to *gasp* touch my crush during dance class” embarrassment. I’m glad they balance the seriousness with genuine humor that isn’t forced or mean-spirited.

Highlighting the physical limitations of being his age-limiting his height and muscle-gain and the emotional rollercoaster of that age with his Miyako crush goes a long way in showing that Junpei is not just ballet-he is also a middle-school boy. I appreciate the multi-dimensionality they add to his character as someone struggling with his identity, passions, physicality, and emotions-it makes him more real than being just the ballet boy. It’s impressive how well they portray these characters as normal teens with Junpei’s awkwardness and Miyako’s self-absorption with Luou. They subtly deliver the plot and character set-ups without being heavy-handed and without turning anyone into caricatures.

It’s a subtle, yet powerful move to use ballet roles to subvert character expectations. Junpei is astonished that Miyako dances a good Odile because in his love-blinded eyes, she seems more like the pure, innocent Odette. Luou is surprised that “that monkey” can dance the prince and the “monkey” in question can’t believe that the refined Luou will be Rothbart. It speaks volumes to the message that identity and abilities aren’t honestly defined by appearance, but by your heart and passion. Heck, in Junpei’s case, his appearance as the kid surrounded by people and smiles is a total façade created only by acting the role people want to see.

At the heart of Junpei’s popular kid act is the very real, raw desire to be needed. As a kid, the idea that you are needed because you are of use to someone else (in Junpei’s case, as the “man of the house” needed to protect the womenfolk) is learned. Hence his tough guy act. When he feels he is needed by ballet, he puts his all into ballet. Once that is crushed by comparisons to Luou, he drops ballet. Now that he feels needed for his friend’s band, it seems natural that he’ll try his hand at music. I am a little doubtful of his soccer friend’s interest in starting a band. I could see him trying to catch Junpei doing something embarrassing on camera for the net views. I didn’t realize this before, but the Roosters were actually a Japanese rock-band (and quite a good one too). Also on the music side of things, that ED-sequence was simply phenomenal (courtesy of art director, Fujino Mari)!

Junpei gets a knife to the heart when Luou shows up. Miyako makes it crushingly clear that she asked Junpei to get on board the ballet train-not for her sake, but Luou’s. Since Junpei appears to be Mr. Friendly, Miyako hoped that dear cousin Luou would finally get a friend-not what poor Junpei was hoping for. Miyako’s blushes made it obvious from the start that Luou and Junpei would be rivals in more than just dance. It was rather oblivious of Miyako to say what she did to Junpei, who clearly likes her. She’s shooting herself in that pink-slippered foot. No way would an awkward boy want to return to a dance class where he is outclassed in love and dance by his rival.

ED Sequence

ED: 「風、花」 (Kaze, Hana) by (hitorie)



  1. Miyako is very much Odette instead of Odile. She went out to entice Junpei/Siegfried, the naive, flighty, innocent prince, to the Godai ballet studio. Eventually, Junpei meets Luou/Rothbart there. Luou has a calculating, aloof, better-than-thou presence which required Chizuru (Miyako’s mother) to make a deal with him than has him turn up for ballet practice.

    Luou demos to show how pas de deux is supposed to be done and takes it a couple of steps further to embrace Miyako/Odette and doing it seamlessly with Miyako not being to help herself but to follow through with the dance move. Luou/Rothbart is showing to Junpei/Siegfried that this is his domain and Miyako/Odette is his and his alone.

    @Princess Usagi, there’s more to come. (^_^)

    1. I think Miyako is much more of an Odile (the false swan-princess), for the reasons you give. I like how they show her to us, first from Junpei’s perspective and then after dancing Odile, they reveal her deceptiveness.

      I am really curious to know what Chizuru agreed to give Luou in exchange.

      Princess Usagi
  2. I am an totally stranger to Ballet, even for Male Dancers.

    But i think they need to beef up their Back and Stomach muscles a bit. Because the Human Body is build this way to Lift Weights into the air with their Arms. The Spine is the connection of the Arms and Legs. So there could be a bit beef up. Sure we do not need an Bodybuilder. Look at the Cheerleaders Males that do lifting figures. Are they also Muscles monsters? Perhaps there is a good inspiration or Ice Scatting Pairs, too

    In the end, the Female dancer or Male buddy trust you to hold them steady in the Air

    Keep going on. perhaps with more episodes i could join in

    1. I think if muscles are your thing, perhaps this series might not quite have what you’re looking for, given its realistic portrayal of middle schoolers who aren’t supposed to get all beefed up. The dance teacher even addresses that.

      Princess Usagi
    2. Junepi is so skinny he has to run around in the shower to get wet. But he’s 14. Chizuru is right – it would be dangerous for him to buff out too much now, because it would restrict his growth. This is a matter where patience is going to be the only answer for him.

      1. Agreed. I rather like how they are portraying him as a physically realistic middle-schooler. They can explore the frustration that comes with not having adult capabilities yet, which is more intriguing than the unrealistically beefed up “eye-candy” (I guess if you can call it that) that other shows opt for.

        Princess Usagi
        1. The Male Dancers hide their Body mostly under their Cloths, except their Arms. So there is no “Eye-Candy”. I was just concern of the Lifting Figures would be to dangerous for both of them


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