Manga First Impression – After Work Duet

You guys know my habits by now. The Japanese title reminded me so much of film, Shall We Dance?, and having the focus being on older non-professional dancers was a huge bonus. So, here we are.

The basic premise is that 35-year-old Kohinata Hitomi (male), is a bit out of shape and looking for a fun way to gain some physical strength again. He ends up taking a trial course for an adult men’s ballet class, and despite the muscle cramps – he falls in love with ballet. Mostly due to his co-worker, and ex-ballerina Sakuragi Honoka’s spectacular performance which… he ends up secretly filming and causing a bit of a ruckus over. The adult ballet classes might have started out on the wrong foot, but with the variety of characters involved it’s sure to work out!

As of the first volume, so far it’s progressing as I anticipated. Having Hitomi being an adult whose never danced before as the protagonist is a lot of fun. He’s earnest about his efforts, but has had more then his fair share of mis-steps. Most of which have been introduced and resolved steadily. It allows Seta-Sensei to flex their ballet knowledge via other characters, explaining fundamentals and other basics in an easy to understand way. Although, with a lot more hilarity since poor Hitomi is a danseur now and that involves some unique dance wear requirements.

I really like Sakuragi Honoka – the embodiment of appearances being deceiving! Her introduction has a very strong impression, and has gradually softened as the chapters have progressed. It’s given what we know about her background, and current situation. I’m looking forward to seeing more of her story as it intertwines with Hitomi’s progression in dance.

One of my favorite pages of the volume.

As of writing, the support characters are quite the variety although a little underdeveloped. A lot of key details, and relationships have are set up, I can only hope the series gets enough time to develop it fully. I’m very happy with Youichi, and Yuka’s storyline – it happened so quickly but really gave a lot of movement to the story so far!

Art-wise, and I mean this in the most polite way possible, isn’t the most distinct. I found myself comparing Seta-Sensei’s style, especially in the eyes, to a few other artists. The character designs are stylish, but not over the top with solid designs that are harmonious when together but stand alone as well. The detailing is par for the course, more emphasis on the dance stills, close-ups, the less dance focused sequences are scaled slightly back. The use of textures, negative and positive space is solid, but not impressive.

Overall, I don’t anticipate this title appealing much further then it’s current readership and ballet fans. It’s a solid entry to a long-line of ballet themed titles, but not outstanding. I’ll be reading it as it publishes in physical volumes. Thanks for reading! And let me know down below your thoughts on your favorite ballet series!



  1. This manga reminds me of a web comic I read recently about a grandpa of a big family that decided that when he retired he wanted to try out ballet. It was a really interesting story not just about dancing but also about the stigma for older gents that want to learn how to dance and how elderly people in general are really pressured to up hold social norms. I wish I could remember the name of the web comic, it was really good!

    Liked by 3 people

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