In Danza, Creator Nasume Ono (Not Simple) presents an uneven collection of short stories surrounding the bonds of human relationships through parenthood, friendship, brotherhood, and, in the most touching story, cross-cultural family by marriage. The first story is pat and clichéd. A boy returns to his father’s vineyard in hope of reconnecting. The second story is more moving and creative, involving distance, time travel, and second chances. In the third story, “Diorama,” Ono is at her best. The final image is surprising and sweet. “The Geleteria and the Carbinieri” offers a dose of humor before the forced and uncomfortable intimacy of “Smoke.” The final story is interesting but uninspiring. Each story features her signature style of wide mopey eyes, sharp noses, and thin legs. The artwork is lovely. Her ability to convey expressions with one or two pen strokes is always impressive. Occasionally, she focuses in too tightly and this reviewer found it disorienting, often not being able to tell which character was being focused on. However, this quirk didn’t affect the overall feel of the book. Ono always offers the reader something, so this is a good addition to large collections.
by Natsume Ono