Ballroom e Youkoso

Title:Ballroom e Youkoso
Welcome to the Ballroom
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Production I.G.
MORIKAWA Toshiyuki
Lackadaisical teenager Tatara Fujita stumbles across the previously unknown sport of ballroom dancing, and is instantly intrigued.

24 episodes
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Watch Stretch [series:3390#628]
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(All episodes watched):

There seems to be a distinct genre in anime in which a teenager (usually male) discovers a new and unusual sport and seeks to become one of the best at it. Here, it's ballroom dancing. I had mixed feelings about this show. I was modestly curious about this activity, and Tatara seemed to have a halfway decent personality. The fact that a girl he likes is another dance student was alluring. On the other hand, it was hard to believe that anybody would instantly fall in love with any sport to such a degree that they would practice until they had blood on their feet. Tatara's personality isn't detailed enough to explain that. He is starting off from such a level of gross ignorance and incompetence that it's hard to believe that it would ever be possible for him to be a champion. The confusing mixed signals we get (he's good/he sucks) about his talent frustrated me. Is he doing this mostly to attract the girl he likes, or does he really have an instantaneous passion and immense innate talent for ballroom dancing? I was tempted to download this show but save it to watch at some indefinite point in the future; but I watched episode three and enjoyed it. The reason the still thoroughly amateur Tatara makes his first appearance in a competition is unlikely but not impossible, and I couldn't help wondering what the deal was with the expert rising star who he must substitute for. I decided that for now I'd continue watching after all. Surely Ballroom would only be twelve episodes long, after all, so I didn't feel that I was risking much.

As unlikely as a newcomer being catapulted into professional ballroom dancing competition is, if I ignore that problem, this show is pretty fun. The story has a pleasing, titillating complexity to it. Who wouldn't be thrilled to be dancing with beautiful women? Yet there is little or no fanservice and the characters are convincing and likeable. The jokes are decent as well. I was somewhat surprised at how well this show held up as it extended into an unexpected second season. Early on, I had been skeptical about whether this show could really entertain me, but I found that I still looked forward to new episodes and enjoyed them. Many shows have already overstayed their welcomes at the end of their first season. I didn't really have much of an idea how it will all end (will Tatara win a major championship?), but it was fun nevertheless. As the show neared the 24-26 episode mark, I didn't detect much of an overarching plot to it. Romance doesn't seem to be an option, and the only goal for Tatara seems to be that he get better at his craft. Maybe it is based on an incomplete manga. It's hard to buy things like Tatara having his muscles wrenched apart somehow makes him a more energetic and better dancer. It didn't dawn on me that episode 24 would be the final one until I noticed it's title. Still, I must admit that I felt a definite sense of pleasure and closure as it wrapped up. It did not try to be groundbreaking, but it did a good job of what it did.

Last updated Friday, August 10 2018. Created Sunday, July 30 2017.

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