Dance Beats!

Border 9:16 / 16:9

A BearToon Studios Original Comic

Dance Beats!

Coming q3 of 2024

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COncept Art

First Concept of Kazuki and Ume


Kazuki (left) and Ume (right) look very different from their current designs (below). Initially, Kazuki was going to be Ronan, an American break dancer competing in Japan. Ume was going to be Japanese. Later, I decided to draw from my real life and thus Ume is now a Filipino aerialist performing a show in Japan.

Susume


Susume is actually Scandinavian. Susume, meaning “go forward”, left his home country with his family to Japan at the age of thirteen. Out of a hope to find success and support his family, he chose to study art and found the Kamikazi Five Dance Crew. Susume is a freshman in college and used to go to high school with Cho.

Taro and Toru


Taro (left) and Toru (right) are German twins. Their real names are actually Gunther and Severin, but the meaning of their Japanese names are the same. They are tall, hairy and nearly identical. They traveled to Japan to explore different kinds of dance.

Kikuchi Ume


Ume is modeled after my wife which is why he takes on a feminine appearance. Ume is also named after my wife’s middle name, Mayumi, and her favorite flower.

Ume is an aerialist at a dance club when we meet him. He’s had a hard life living on the streets, often sleeping in cars, and panhandling for money. Ume represents the hard life that many gay people have had to face after being disowned by their parents at a young age. He is also resourceful, sensitive, and strong-willed.

Ume
Brushstroke Arrow Rapid Curved Long

Ume Flower

Yoichi


Yoichi is the husband of Mai. During the day he works out choreography for the dance crew, finds gigs, and keeps the whole ship running. Yoichi and Mai balance one another, like helping Mai relax and enjoy life away from work.

Mai


When we meet Mai she is actually three months pregnant. She works as the head of the marketing department at a corporate job. As a borderline workaholic she works long hours. Mai is girl bossing herself all the way to the top. At home, Mai helps keep Yoichi grounded, but inside she admires his ability to dream big.

Kazuki Okashi


Kazuki’s first name is Okashi, but he hates the name because it’s “too sweet”. In truth, he lives up to his name. He is sweet on the inside, but hard and sturdy like a tree on the outside. Despite Yoichi choreographing the dances, Kazuki is the lead due his level of talent. Kazuki had ample time to hone his skills from an early age.

Grandma Hoshi


By far my favorite character in cast is Grandma Hoshi, named after my wife’s Grandma Star. Just like her she is a firecracker, always tending to her plants and flirting with her boyfriend, who she insists can’t know she’s wealthy. She also has a loyal fanbase on social media who love watching her make herbal remedies.

Cho


Cho is the younger sister of Yoichi. She is in her last year of high school. She is very close to Susume as they went to school together. Although Cho is trans, she would tell you she is just an ordinary girl. She even has a crush on an older boy.

Jamie


Jamie is the closest thing that Ume has to a best friend. Jamie works at Sakura Dance Club as a bartender. Although Jamie and Ume have only known each other for a few months, they instantly connected. Jamie has dreams of becoming a singer, but for now he’ll have to settle for serving drinks.

Storyboards

Pilot episode

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