「死ね、ねーだろっ」 (Shine, nē Daro)
“I Can’t Die Now”
What a breathtaking dance battle! Both boys stole the show-Junpei with his superb acting that had all the feels and Luou with his exquisitely graceful dancing. It was truly a marvelous way to symbolize the conflict between Junpei and Luou. It beautifully and wordlessly portrayed the rage, angst, rivalry, and ego that fight for prominence in every teen’s life. You could feel their intensity, their frustrations emanating from every muscle. Luou’s makeuped mask melting at the end was truly poetic-his true frustrations and desires begin to be unmasked-not just for us, the viewers, but hopefully eventually for Junpei as well.
As stellar as Luou’s dancing was, hitting all of the points for technical perfection making him a sure MVP choice, something tells me that he won’t get MVP. In the dance when Prince Siegfried goes down, he brings Rothbart down with him. With how well the ballet parallels Junpei’s real life, I wonder if this is foreshadowing Junpei’s technically unskillful, yet skillfully acted performance overpowering Luou’s dancing in the eyes of some people (judging from the harrumphing of that one prestigious judge).
The prince coming back to life was unexpected. It was frustrating, seeing Junpei totally ignore Chizuru’s training to do his own thing, while also being such a typical teenage thing to do with the impulsiveness. I find that the add on actually conveyed the story much more strongly than if they had ended it the way they were supposed to. It really brought to life the intense struggle between the prince and Rothbart and gives the prince more of a backbone.
I actually got the chance to see a Swan Lake ballet performance for the first time over the winter, so happily it was still fresh in my mind when Dance Dance Danseur rolled around. In the performance I saw, the dancing was beautiful, but as far as characters go, (to me at least) the prince was a bit of a sad sap- falling in love, betraying the princess, then dying in the end-pretty much how Junpei seems to think of him. I honestly like Junpei’s version, he gave the prince more of a fighting spirit and shows Junpei’s budding promise, at least on the acting front.
Junpei’s talent of bringing characters to life from even the most (in his words) “stupid” story shines through. He can even make Miyako blush for real with his earnestness. It was sweet to see him and Miyako in their first teenage romance (putting aside her feelings for Luou for the moment-I have a feeling that is going to change for her with Junpei stepping into those shoes pretty soon).
Even the non-dancing moments were not wasted-filled with characteristic charm, like Chizuru’s moving speech (with a strong ichi-go ichi-e message of never being able to relive a moment) and Junpei guiding the teary-eyed Miyako. I got such a kick out of the scene were Luou was being fed snacks by the swan children-such a bizarre scene, yet so in character for Luou. In spite of his breath-taking dance skills and mysteriousness, his love for snacks gives the sense that he is still just an average teenager.
I have to agree with Junpei, Luou does look pretty damn cool. I got such a kick out of Junpei’s “I want to be the Dark Knight too!” comment. I love how they use his passion for movies to flesh him out, showing his interests outside of martial arts, ballet, and Miyako- making him more than just the ballet boy.
Hyou is drawn in closer and closer to Junpei’s circle. He’s got to have some sort of interest in Junpei if he skips even soccer camp to some see him. He even gets up in arms when some bystanders nitpick Junpei’s dancing. Definitely not the behavior one would expect from someone there to ridicule his classmate. Wanting to “laugh at him” is just a cover up for something he doesn’t want to admit for himself-he finds Junpei and his boldness at pursuing his passion to be cool, maybe even attractive.
Just like how the (as yet) unnamed danseur from his childhood and Luou inspired Junpei, it looks like Junpei is now inspiring others with his passion-namely Hyou and the middle school girl. They don’t tell us who that girl is, but with how they focus on her reactions specifically, I would guess that she will come into play later on, either as a rival or a protegee.
“Just kill him,” (or something like that). lol.
Haha, yes. I have never seen anyone so eager to kill the prince. I can’t blame Chizuru, since Junpei is jeopardizing the performance. But I can’t blame Junpei either because he is only 14 and enjoying himself so much.
Perhaps Junpei is not yet used to “team-play” with the Ballet group