Flashbacks make up most of Episode 10 of Welcome to the Ballroom.They do help us understand the characters better, but if you thought we would be done with the Tenpei Cup this week, then I have to disappoint you. It seems like next week will still dedicate some time of the episode to the Tenpei Cup…
Japanese Title: ボルテージ
Heat 10. Voltage
It is Gaju and Shizuku’s turn to dance their solo. A flashback shows how Gaju got into dancing, what an important role Mako-chan played in it, especially when he started to feel sure that dancing was the thing he loved most. Back in the present time, he loses his cool and thinks about how different his sister danced with Tatara in relation to the way she danced with him. In his confusion, he forgets to concentrate on his current partner, Shizuku, and they have a hard time ending the dance. While most of the viewers did not notice and still cheered for the pair, the judges noticed that things were off. And this makes Shizuku even more desperate to get the group dances right with Gaju. So they train during the short break between the rounds, and next thing, they are on the dance floor, challenging the last three songs of this cup. For Tatara and Mako, these might be their last three dances as a pair. They still hope that they can win over Gaju and Shizuku. But then the dances start…
Gaju might be a bit ignorant right now and I might not like him very much for his bold ways, but the tiny Gaju in the flashback was adorable! It was an adorable scene, how he tried to be manly and play ball games but ended up dancing with his little sister, even blushing because she said she wants to hold hands with him! He was so cute; I really liked the rough child he was. Too bad he lost his respect for his sister in the process of becoming a good dancer. I just hope he goes back to picking it up. In a short moment, we could also see a tiny Shizuku and Kiyoharu. They were adorable, too, but already more like grown ups. So, 100 points to Gaju for being cute! On a side note, I think Shizuku’s flashback was a bit out of the blue. And so short. In general, all the Shizuku parts felt a bit forced, even though there were some important scenes for her character.
Shizuku revival part 2
Yes, she is back again! And even though it is all a dance battle to beat her, we don’t get to see yet how that is. There were some important scenes with her in this episode, which I really like. One was the random memory of her training with Kiyoharu and how proud she was that he considers her a rival. How pure of her to think that it was a compliment from him. How much she must look up to him, to become so proud of his few words. She is a precious little ball of hard work. And then Sengoku started to think about how she pulls out the potential in Gaju. And Marisa thought that she can keep a romantic face during the waltz while holding up a man. For Sengoku’s line, it shows that she is actually actively a part of the dance duo and has influence on him. We see her struggle with Gaju’s big steps and she is impressed by how Mako-chan managed to keep up with him, even though she is so much smaller. But Marisa’s comment left me a bit in the dark. She is holding him up? How? I really would love to hear an explanation on this, but I think it might just be my lack of knowledge when it comes to dancing. In any way, ‘Shizuku is amazing’ is what they said at the bottom of all this and I thought it was good to see her back and take the lead.
Themes and Trivia
Main characters and their friendly rivals: Every good sports series has this thing: the main character has a rival. And mostly they are really fighting hard against each other and as a reader or viewer you can’t help but dislike the rival a lot. With all the tricks they play and things they say as they try to weaken the mental strength of the main character. But then they end up being really good friends because they respect each other and their talent. And this story is no exception. Tatara is the one that fires everybody up, who made Kiyoharu dance harder and who made Gaju realize the potential Mako-chan holds. He is such a big talent and good at everything he does, but none of his rivals are really people he dislikes. I know in the real world it doesn’t go any different because that’s what being a good sports man is about. But Japan is making this relationship between the main character and the rival a bit too…romantic with the whole respect and trust they put into each other. It is amazing but at the same time I am a sore looser and I could never understand why anybody would want to trade shirts or even just look at the person that just won over them. I am just that competitive that I can not take any loss easy, even if I try hard to be cool about it. The over-enthusiastic view on having a good rival and liking him is sometimes too much for me, but Japan loves it, so I guess we will get to see more of it!
Shizuku seems to be back, Gaju saw what Mako-chan can do and it seems like the Tenpei Cup will finally come to an end. The flashback was a good way to make me feel better about Gaju, and just like in last week’s episode, there were nice dance segments. But did anybody else notice that this time, they might have had too little time to finish the episode? The visuals weren’t as good. The moment the art disturbed me the most was when they were children. When they zoomed out of the scene to show both of the characters, their eyes were really simple. Even later, when Tatara was on the stage dancing, they zoomed out to show him and Mako on the dance floor and the eyes just were…dots. I also felt like the dancing shots were a bit rounder and less sharp and that made me feel a bit sad, because the art so far has been magnificent.
Looking back at this episode, it was cute with all the chibi characters appearing, but all in all it was rather…boring. A few sparkles with Shizuku coming back to life, but nothing special. I’d say that so far this was the least exciting episode of the series. Please make the anime exciting again!
Hopes for the upcoming episode
The pace of the first few episodes were so good, and then the Tenpei Cup starts and they throw everything away, all development stopped to show…what? Dance without music? My biggest hope for the next episode is to finally see who wins and which pairings we will see from now on. I would really appreciate it if we could proceed to the next arc.
I think there won’t be much time left in the next episode to show anything but the Tenpei cup. And there are so many ifs. If Shizuku/Gaju win, they probably will stay in their current pairings. But what if Mako/Tatara win, who is he going to dance with from now on? Will Shizuku really pair with him that easily? But, as much as I love him, he isn’t anywhere near good enough for her… Fingers crossed we get to see some brightly smiling winners next episode!
If you liked this review and want to read more, don’t forget to check out our other reviews for this season.