Wednesday, June 19, 2019

10 Dance 1 by Satoh Inoue

I love books about dancing, even though I'm not a dancer. I just find the blend of passion and discipline the art requires so utterly compelling. I can only imagine the mastery it requires one to have over their body, the exacting precision, and the endurance it takes to be on one's feet for hours, contorting one's body in time to music, while staying on the beat. I can't help but admire those who can dance, and well. That's why I always come running if I see a book about dance; it's such a beautiful form of expression.

10 DANCE 1 is a yaoi manga (which means M/M) about two dancers with the same name. Suguki Shinya is a refined and buttoned-up ballroom dancer. Suzuki Shinya is a flamboyant and immature Latin dancer. Both of them are very skilled and have their own dance school, but in order to truly be champions, they have to master the other's arts and do 10 very different styles of dances from both schools of dance in competition.

Even though they are bitter rivals, they (and their dance partners) agree to an alliance, where they teach each other their dances. Their female partners quickly grow frustrated with their temperamental partners and are happy to leave the two men to their arguing, but both Shinyas are incredibly stubborn, and despite getting in digs at each other the whole time, they often end up dancing until dawn. It isn't long before things start to get complicated and their passion for the dance begins to bleed out into passion for each other.

"Yaoi" often means explicit M/M content in manga, so I wasn't sure what to expect when picking this book up. Apart from a few shirtless scenes, this book is very tame. Anyone looking for explicit will be disappointed, but I actually really enjoyed the connection between the two male leads and the descriptions of the dances. It's incredibly slow-going, and even by the end of the book, they haven't really kissed or moved their relationship in a truly romantic direction, but I don't mind slow-burn if it means that there's a deeper connection when the relationship between the leads is consummated.

10 DANCE 1 is a light, cute read and I think anyone who enjoys music and manga will be happy to add this to their collection. I'm really curious to see where both Shinyas end up taking their relationship from here, and whether any new rivals will enter the fray to shake things up.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review! 

3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars

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