Smile Down The Runway

It’s not that hard to figure out that Smile Down The Runway is a manga about fashion, specifically related to the high fashion industry.

But here’s the fascinating thing about this manga: it offers you more than just the sneak peeks into the modeling and the fashion industry in general.

I have yet to catch up with the latest volume of the manga. But reading the first book from the series alone is more than enough for me to include the manga in my recommendation list.

What Smile Down The Runway is all about

This is the book description that I got from Bookwalker.

Chiyuki Fujito has a dream: to become a Paris Collection model. The problem is that she hasn’t grown past 158cm. As she is too short for a model, everyone around her tells her to give up on her dream. However, no matter what anyone says, she wouldn’t give up. Her classmate, a poor student named Ikuto Tsumura, also has a dream he hasn’t been able to let go of, which is to become a fashion designer. But one day, Chiyuki tells him that it’s“probably impossible” for him, causing him to consider giving it up…?! This is the story of two individuals who wholeheartedly chase after their dreams, despite others telling them that they won’t ever come true.

What got me to read the manga in the first place

I won’t deny that I wanted to give this manga a try because the manga was on sale on Bookwalker along with Root Double. In fact, I bought both books at the same time during the sale.

Well, what can I say? I love bargains.

Sure, the sale does get me to buy the manga. But what got me to be interested in the manga has a lot to do with the trailer that I saw around two months before the anime came out.

It was thanks to the trailer that got me to be interested in the manga in the first place.

What makes the manga worth reading

On the surface, Smile Down The Runway may seem like it’s not that much different from Paradise Kiss and Gokinjou Monogatari because of its similar theme.

But here’s what makes the story in Smile Down The Runway much better in my opinion.

For me, I find that the story in Smile Down The Runway is so inspiring whether the story is from Chiyuki’s perspective or from Ikuto’s perspective.

You may not be in Chiyuki’s situation where she can’t be a runway model because she’s not tall enough while Ikuto can’t be a fashion designer because his family is poor and he can’t afford to enroll in the fashion design college.

But we all can relate to this problem: how many times have you heard that you can’t be and can’t do what you want to do only because of you lack certain things?

In Chiyuki’s case, it’s her height. And in Ikuto’s case, it’s his family situation.

Despite what people tell them, they never give up on their dream and keep pushing to make their dream comes true.

If you’re in the pursuit of making your dream comes true, I’m sure that you can relate to what Chiyuki and Ikuto are experiencing. Well, at least for me despite being in a different situation.

Sure, the story will still tie back to the modeling and the fashion industry. But the focus of the story is more about how Chiyuki and Ikuto overcoming the obstacles that get in their way to make their dream comes true.

It’s because of this reason that I find the manga to be worth reading because of how inspirational it is. The story seems to be hinting you that you should never give up on your dream and keep going regardless of what people say.

There are many manga series that give you more or less similar inspiration. But this manga nails down this inspirational part the best.

What I didn’t expect when I read the manga

It’s nothing unusual for the anime to leave out some parts of the story in the manga since there’s no way for them to cramp everything in one season.

Since I only managed to read the manga not long after the anime began, I find that it’s too bad that they don’t include quite a few things that happened in the story. These things don’t impact the story in a big way, but it’ll be good if they can add them in the anime.

For one, Ikuto’s interaction with Kumi Moriyama. If you watched the anime and you have no idea who she is, she’s one of Yanagida’s assistant way back before Kokoro and Ayano worked with Yanagida.

In the anime, you don’t see a lot of interaction between Ikuto and Moriyama. But in the manga, you’ll get to see Moriyama teaching Ikuto how to create a drape. She even told him about who Yanagida was and what happened to those who came to work with Yanagida.

But here’s the interesting part that doesn’t make it to the anime: in the morning before they left for the event, Moriyama discovered the drape that Ikuto created the night before. She couldn’t believe that the drape that Ikuto traced on a flat surface was so accurately drawn when she compared it with the available pattern.

It was hard for her to believe that Ikuto was able to do that despite being an amateur. Even the pro couldn’t do that accurately without relying on the pattern.

And then there’s another part where Chiyuki’s father invited Ikuto to attend another fashion show with him. You don’t see this part in the anime, in case you’re wondering.

I can go on and on what is missing from the anime. But suffice for me to say that there are quite many things in the manga that don’t make it to the anime.

Who should read Smile Down The Runway manga

If you enjoy manga like Paradise Kiss and Gokinjou Monogatari, you’ll certainly enjoy reading this manga.

Even if you don’t enjoy manga with fashion as its theme, I will still recommend you to give this manga a try considering how inspirational the story is.

Where to buy Smile Down The Runway manga

It’s too bad that you can only get the manga in digital format. If you’re interested in this manga and you don’t mind to get it in digital format, you can get it right here on Amazon:

Buy Smile Down The Runway manga on Amazon

Can’t buy the manga on Amazon? You can also buy the manga at Bookwalker. That’s where I got mine.

Buy Smile Down The Runway manga on Bookwalker

Prefer to read the manga in Japanese? You can buy the Japanese version of the manga in print right here at CDJapan:

Buy Smile Down The Runway manga in Japanese at CDJapan

Over to you

What do you think about Smile Down The Runway? Will you give this manga a try after reading about it here? Let me know in the comment below.