Publisher: Shonen Jump
Mangaka: Elck Itsumo
Lettering: Inori Fukuda Trant
Skating Advisor Narumi Takahashi
Read On: Viz Media
Two on Ice Chapter 1 is a promising debut that blends the world of figure skating with the charm of young and budding romance. The first chapter sets the stage for an intriguing story that captures the essence of both the sport and the relationships that develop within it.
The manga begins with a flashback, introducing us to the protagonist, Hayuma, during his early childhood. Hayuma’s fascination with ice skating is ignited when he encounters a talented young girl on the rink, and for the first time, he meets a peer who is leagues ahead of him. This initial encounter sparks a determination in Hayuma to catch up to her, setting the foundation for his journey in the world of ice skating.
As we fast forward to Hayuma’s third year in middle school, the story takes a turn when he encounters the same girl on the ice after a daring stunt gone wrong. The rekindling of their connection introduces readers to the characters as well as the world of pair skating. It’s worth noting that the manga benefits from the expertise of former world medalist Narumi Takahashi, ensuring the accuracy of the sport’s depiction and setting the stage for future insights into figure skating.
While the manga hints at a romance between the two main characters, it’s essential that the series effectively balances this budding relationship with the sport itself. It would be a welcome change if the romance progresses naturally without overwhelming the narrative, allowing both elements to coexist harmoniously. For now, it’s a nice blend between the relationship and the sport.
In terms of art, Two on Ice presents a stark contrast between its normal scenes and skating sequences. During regular moments, the art is standard fare for a Shounen Jump manga, with excellent panel layouts and expressive character designs. The characters, despite their youth, are delightful, with a blend of brashness and elegance that makes them easy to invest in.
However, it’s the skating sequences that truly shine. They are portrayed dreamily, with each stunt in motion perfectly framed to capture the skaters’ grace and skill. Motion lines effectively convey the sense of movement, immersing readers in the world of figure skating. The supporting cast adds to the manga’s charm, with distinctive designs that make it easy to differentiate between characters.
With a 57-page first chapter, Itsumo manages to establish characters and provide necessary exposition without overwhelming readers. Hayuma embodies the determined protagonist archetype, while the prodigy’s interest in him adds an intriguing dynamic. Their interactions, though somewhat clichéd, are undeniably heartwarming and leave readers with a warm feeling.
Two On Ice Chapter 1
- The art has two styles that suits their moments
- Warms the heart
- Middle school protagonists won't vibe with everyone