Smile Down the Runway

Alt title: Runway de Waratte

TV (12 eps)
4.052 out of 5 from 1,337 votes
Rank #1,278
Smile Down the Runway

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.

Source: Kodansha

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Do not watch this if you have a background in fashion and design.I'm sure it's a lovely story, but I couldn't make it past 2 episodes. Everything was so unrealistic that I couldn't help but cringe the entire time.Firstly, sewing clothes is a very expensive hobby! There's no way Ikuto, the poor kid, could afford to buy fabric to make clothes just for fun. There are only so many hours that he could work as a highschool student, so it's unlikely that he could afford to buy random thrift store items to alter, on top of his contributions to supporting his family.In episode one, Ikuto mentions making a suit for some guy's kid. Suit jackets are one of the most complex garments to make. Ikuto is poor, and has no formal training. There's no way he would know how to draft a mens suit from scratch. Even if he's using a commercial pattern bought from the local fabric store (let's pretend for a second that he's not poor, and can buy patterns and fabric), the sewing techniques for constructing a suit are still too complex for some student to pick up without the guidance of someone with tailoring experience.In episode 2, the big drama is that they have one missing model. You don't need 40 models to wear 40 dresses. It's totally normal for there to be more looks than models. It's pretty normal for the model that opens the show to also close the show. They made such a big issue out of nothing, I hated every second of it.When the designer's assistant/dressmaker is asked to alter the dress to fit Chiyuki, she says "Shoot, the fabric is too thick to alter the length" I have no idea what kind of fabric they're using, but there's no such thing as a fabric that's too thick to alter. To alter the length, all you need to do is to cut the fabric, and hem the raw edge. If they managed to cut the fabric to make the dress in the first place, they can definitely cut it again to shorten the length.We also find out the the famous independant designer doesn't know how to sew. How can one possibly start up their own independant brand without a basic ability to sew???? To be an independant designer that doesn't have any sewing ability, you basically need to be born into wealth, so you can hire pattern makers, and tailors/dressmakers. You can't just start up a fashion brand with a bunch of pretty drawings.I'll probably watch one more episode to see how Ikuto will fix the dress. I bet the solution is going to be something stupid that couldn't possibly be done within the 15 minutes they have before the show starts.*update*I was right. He chopped off the sleeves, and at no point does he take the dress off her so he can hem the armholes. Somehow he ends up with a pretty significant amount of fabric; enough to make a voluminous high-low hem, halter neck, apron styled cover. He would need at least 3 metres of fabric to achieve the desired style and volume. There's no way he could have salvaged that much fabric from the hem of the dress. And reveal gimick was also super unrealistic. The fabric would need to be draped to form two sacs of fabric on her back, for the reveal to drape the way it did at the end. I know too much to enjoy this anime. I'm not going to watch any more.


I love this anime, but one of the worst things that it does is leave out is the truth about modelling. Specifically, I am referring to how many models need to or feel pressured to stay skinny. Unknown to most people, models have poor bone quality, enduring Arthritis and Osteoporosis from ages as young as nine. Similarly, thousands of models fall victim to mental disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. ( It is sad because 1 in 19 models feel the need to eat less or purge the food they have already eaten as a way of maintaining their weight. This anime completely glosses over this fact. The primary age range for these sorts of disorders to appear in young models is between the ages of 15 and 24 with victims having 10 times the risk of dying compared to their same-aged peers. I dislike when media ignores these facts as a way of furthering the story's plot. This avoidance of critical information glorifies the visual aspects of the action while completely neglecting the mental or physical suffering that comes along with it. As a note, Smile Down the Runway repeatedly instills the belief that "you need to be skinny tall and skinny " in order to be a model. This is inaccurate and shows a blatant disregard for the plus-sized modelling industry that is currently overtaking the small-sized modelling industry, and ignores the other members of the same industry who are suffering from the accompanying social and mental trauma. In either episode 1 or 2, Chiyuki Fujito's mother alludes to her daughter's eating habits when she says, "you are skinny and talented, but it's too bad you don't have the height." This quote aggrandizes being skinny and tall while simultaneously condemning those who are short or heavily-set. I concluding by stating that it is shameful for an anime as highly praised as Smile Down the Runway to persecute a group of people simply because the author believes it will generate a 'good story'. They should do their research as present accurate facts.

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