StepMania: The Manga is an original comic based on the wildly popular dance/rhythm game. Made in consultation with the game's creator, and written by Japanese manga artist Shino Uno, StepMania: The Manga follows the exploits of a brash high-schooler named Yukino as she is thrown headfirst into the world of StepMania by her best friend and veteran dancer, Momo, who works at the local arcade.
The StepMania game is an open-source rhythm and dancing program created by Chris Danford. While many people play the game on their PCs, it has been adapted and utilized for dance games on just about every platform you can think of, from the Sony Playstation to arcade machines. What makes the game so special is the freedom it gives players to dance to any song they want! Instead of picking from a set number of tracks, you can choose from thousands of songs and steps people all over the world have created, or even make your own to play and share. You can download the StepMania game software free of charge here.
The characters in StepMania: The Manga play a fictional version of StepMania that is played mainly in arcades. (We can dream, can't we?) However, the game in the manga retains the spirit of freedom and community-focus that the real game does.
Learn a bit about the characters that make up the StepMania: The Manga cast.
Occupation: High School Student
StepMania Level: Beginner's Mode
Profile: A wry but energetic teenager, Yukino Yoshida is a StepMania neophyte who has been pushed headfirst into the world of dancing games by her friends Momo and Kyo. While Yukino's parents insist that she have a traditional Japanese upbringing, her stale old teacher can't keep up with her when she busts out of the house to run to the local arcade.
Since she began playing with Momo and Kyo, Yukino has yet to move beyond "Beginner's Mode," the simplest level of play in StepMania. While her companions have much more gameplay experience, Yukino -- who is spry by nature -- hopes to catch up quickly and is aiming to participate in as many events and tournaments as she can to improve her skills.
Occupation: High School Student and Part-Time Arcade Staff at GAME@Cafe
StepMania Level: StepMania Developer
Profile: A self-taught programmer, Kyo is a well-known developer in the StepMania community. While his dancing isn't on par with Momo's, Kyo's skill is at the computer keyboard where he creates and plays StepMania songs sometimes too fast for human feet. Kyo is always up to date on the latest StepMania releases and is a venerable encyclopedia of songs and step charts.
He is currently helping Yukino learn the ropes by hand-picking songs just right for her skill level.
Occupation: High School Student and Part-Time Maid Cafe Staff at GAME@Cafe
StepMania Level: Expert Mode
Profile: Mischevous maid Momo spends more time playing StepMania at GAME@Cafe than she does working! And it shows: Momo is the most skilled stepper among Yukino's acquaintances. A true otaku at heart, she loves to get worked up on the dance pad to poppy anime songs, and she keeps a meticulous record of her scores and PA ("Perfect Attack," the statistic dance-gamers use to measure the rhythmic accuracy of their steps). Will she win GAME@Cafe's next tournament?