Author(s) :Ariyoshi Kyouko
Masumi Hijiri, our teenage heroine, is a cheerful girl who lives out in the sticks in Hokkaido. She lives with her dad, a sculptor, but her mind is always on ballet, and she dreams of becoming a great ballerina like her deceased mother. But it's not easy studying ballet out in a rural classroom where farm animals occasionally run through the rehearsal studio. Masumi loves ballet so much, she travels all the way to Tokyo to see a special performance by visiting Russian dancer Alexei Sergeiev. The ballet is sold out, but she forces her way backstage, where she runs into the performers. She is so stunned to meet them that she can do nothing but express her emotions through ballet, in an impromptu attitude en pointe, before the security guards hustle her away. Luckily for Masumi, her spontaneous dancing intrigues Alexei, who thinks she has natural talent. The Russian dancer invites her to participate in a special national ballet competition for which he is one of the judges, and before she knows it, Masumi is attending a special ballet school in Tokyo. There she meets a bunch of rising ballet superstars who become her friends and rivals. Kyogoku Sayoko, an elegant, slightly older girl, takes Masumi under her wing and tries to teach her how to be a better ballerina. Aoi and Kusakabe, two of the male students, become Masumi's friends and try to make her feel at home. But it's not all fun and games at ballet school. Alexei Sergeiev becomes Masumi's personal coach. Furious at the idea that she might squander her natural talent, he leads her in a harsh training regimen, taking her to the edge of collapse.