Skeeter Rabbit is a 3-volume manga series by Uran; an author otherwise best known for Paradise of Innocence, as well as a lot of loli doujins. Skeeter Rabbit presents a break from his usual output, though it also proves that old habits certainly die hard.
This manga follows middle school student Usa Ayano, who is infamous among her classmates for being spectacularly useless in PE. She has no rhythm, no energy, and no drive at all to improve herself. Unbeknownst to all but her best friend Miki, Usa is also a pervert. She loves to ogle at other girls and spends most of her allowance buying gravure magazines.
One day during gym class, Usa notices the mysterious, dark-haired Hoshihara Chika. She tries to strike up a conversation about how dancing during gym class sucks, but ends up clearly offending Chika. When she later tries to follow her in order to apologize, Usa discovers that Chika actually goes to a professional dance school. In fact, she competes on the national level. Now even more determined to apologize, Usa rushes into the shower room where she catches Chika, alone, masturbating in one of the stalls. Don’t you love it when things just keep getting worse and worse.
Chika doesn’t buy into Usa’s assurances that she’ll never tell anyone, pushing her to demand something in return for silence. Usa then asks her to become her dance coach, which Chika reluctantly accepts.
From there, Skeeter Rabbit follows the duo’s training sessions and growth. Chika is adamant that they are only teacher and student, absolutely not friends. However, Usa’s amateur enthusiasm and boundless optimism eventually begin to break down her guard. Usa, meanwhile, has to work hard both during and between lessons. She genuinely wants to improve, with an upcoming dance recital serving as a frightening deadline.
I don’t have any connection with dancing or hip hop whatsoever, but I still got hooked on Skeeter Rabbit. I read through all the volumes in one sitting and had a great time learning about what goes into a dance routine or what different techniques are called. Usa and Chika make for interesting protagonists that stand to learn a lot from each other, and seeing their rocky friendship improve was delightful as well.
And just as routine begins to set in, they are joined by new characters to revitalize the story. Usa’s friend Miki begins to suspect that there’s something going on between Usa and Chika, which she comes to see as a threat to their friendship. She takes some… extreme measures to deal with this, which she comes to regret almost immediately. We are also introduced to Shika, a fellow dancer who has to pair with Chika for an upcoming tournament. She has long idolized Chika and spent years practicing hard to gain her approval. When she finds out that Chika took in a complete rookie instead, she comes to see Usa as a rival.
Besides the story, the art is also very nice. The characters are well-designed and the dancing is convincing enough, even if the lack of actual motion in printed media does take a bite out of the excitement. In line with Uran’s usual output, it’s also incredibly lewd. Skeeter Rabbit has full nudity and plenty of fanservice to go with it. This ranges from the usual scenes like characters changing and hitting the showers, to more deliberate sexual acts. There is some masturbation and characters—mainly Usa—fantasizing about doing the nasty. These fantasies become a bit more real in the last few chapters, though nothing that upgrades the manga to all-out hentai.
My one major concern with Skeeter Rabbit is that it ends up feeling rushed towards the end. The last few chapters move far too quickly. Eventually, it all concludes in a way that would’ve been nice, if only the execution and build-up towards it had been better. I also hoped for a better romantic pay-off and was disappointed that Chika’s abusive home-life doesn’t get any kind of resolution either. It’s literally what the story starts out on, but outside of some callbacks it’s not meaningfully addressed at all.
The erotic touch to the story does also make it difficult to recommend the manga to a general audience, especially with the characters being young teens. If the premise of a yuri manga about learning how to breakdance sounds interesting though, then I’d recommend giving it a shot. You’ll know as early as chapter 1 whether you can bear with it.