10 Dance is a yaoi sports manga that’s heavy on the sport. Thankfully, that sport is competitive ballroom dancing.
Here we have Sugiki, a classical dancer, and Suzuki, a Latin dancer. Despite their similar sounding names, they couldn’t be more different. The story begins when Sugiki, tired of coming in second in all the major competitions, decides he must learn Latin dance in order to do this 10 Dance competition and asks Suzuki to help.
I was really attracted to the cover art of this one. Like a lot of lesbians in the early 90s, I learned to two-step, because ‘country dancing’ was a Thing at the time. I love to dance, but I’m fairly terrible at it. At least the formal stuff. So, I thought this could be a fun romance.
I had high hopes. Early on, there’s this wonderful instruction scene where Suzuki paints lines on his body for Sugiki to watch. It’s remarkably hot.
But… well, this is pretty much the extent of the action.
This yaoi is on-going, but, if it’s actually leading somewhere (and I’m not sure it is), it’s a slooooooooow burn.
There’s a lot of girlfriend drama for something labeled yaoi. I mean, at one point Suzuki doesn’t answer Sugiki’s call because he’s having sex with a random female hook-up. Sugiki is all cut-up about his ex-girlfriend who is marrying his rival…
You’re saying, “But, Lyda, obviously they’re bisexual.”
Yeah, and I’m down with that, except for how it’s played when it comes to the gay stuff. Suzuki is the first one to kiss. He’s trying to get Sugiki to understand that Latin dance is a giant flirtation. Yet, when Sugiki asks him about his tattoo and Suzuki makes some flirtatious comment about people going down on him that Sugiki misinterprets as a come-on, Suzuki gets all, “Whoa! You think I let a guy do that to me!?” (Um, you literally just kissed him, so… yeah? Seems like a reasonable assumption.)
At another point, when he’s tagged along to Sugiki’s competition in England, Suzuki complains about having to sit at a table full of ‘gays.’ Ten minutes later he’s back to thinking about how being led around the dance floor by Sugiki made him feel like a “princess.”
Then, there’s Sugiki who oscillates between “Hey, my sexuality is fluid” and then friend zoning the heck out of Suzuki.
Maybe dancers are like actors. Maybe these two guys are just that dramatic and emotionally volatile. This whole manga reads like: Please touch me/no, don’t touch me you perverted homo/wait, why won’t you touch me? Frankly, this is honest to god why I gave up theatre. I don’t need this particular kind of crazy in my life.
Also eleven chapters and no sex yet (unless you count straight sex, which in a yaoi, I DON’T.)
So, yeah, count me out.
But, maybe you’re thinking to yourself: yeah, I loved those crazy theatre boys and their push me/pull me flirtation. In which case, you can read 10 Dance here: http://mangasaurus.com/manga/3822/10-dance
The art is pretty at least.