Forbidden Dance 2 by Hinako Ashihara, 2003. 192 pages. Published by Tokyopop. Source: Borrowed.
First Sentence:Aya sneaks out of the all-important National Ballet Competition to look for her best friend Nachan, It's a race against the clock as Aya searches for her distraught friend while trying to get back in time for her own performance. But when Nachan threatens suicide, will Aya be able to tear herself away in time? The world of dance can make or break you, and dancers must find within themselves the will and the resolve to overcome any setback in order to make their dreams come true.
Story:I am the one who put the pieces of glass in your shoes.
The second volume of Forbidden Dance picks up right where the first one left off, with Aya searching for her missing friend, Nachan, only to find she isn't quite the friend she always imagined her to be.
I thought that the second volume was a vast improvement over the first one, because in this volume you get to see a little more of the characters, and what makes them tick. I was quite relived to see that the story line concerning Nachan and her betrayal of Aya wasn't dragged out, and that it was drew to a close in the first chapter of this volume.
Part of what makes this volume better than the last was that a little more light was shined on the mysterious past of Akira, the founder and leader of COOL. I thought it was a great move to put a little more about his back story in this volume because it made him seem...well less cold.
Okay, so my favorite part of volume 2 would have to be the addition of the character Diana Roberts, the world-famous ballerina, and former dancing partner of Akira. I really liked this part because Aya's reaction totally cracked me up (fan-girling over Diana and jealous that she used to dance with Akira) and made for some interesting reading. While that was interesting, I really enjoyed how Aya and Diana came to see so much of themselves in the other as well as when Aya...I can't tell you till I review the third volume.
Aya, well she still strung a bit too tight in the second volume, but I think that's part of what makes her such an interesting character to read about. In this volume I feel that we get to see a little more of the tenacity and drive that makes her such a great dancer.
Akira, even though we get to see a softer, more caring side of Akira I still haven't decided if I like his character. Sure, it's cool that he's so very passionate about the group that he started, but at the same time he almost comes across as too harsh.
I'm still not completely in love with the art of Forbidden Dance but the story and characters more than make up for that.
While the actual character depictions are not really done in my favorite style, I do really enjoy the close up face-shots of the characters that Hinako Arakawa does. I think she did an excellent job in those shots with the facial expressions and emotions of the characters.
Final Verdict: Forbidden Dance 2 definitely builds upon the story started in the first volume.
Forbidden Dance 2 earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.