Welcome to the Ballroom is back in the game. The story goes on and things are finally moving. This time we learned more about Sengoku and maybe we even got a hint about where this anime will go. And, of course, this is a new era for Tatara in high school. Let’s not waste our time with the intro, lets dive right into it!
Japanese Title: 出会い
Heat 12. Meeting
It is spring and Tatara is starting his life as a high school student. His noble goal of gaining five nice and cheery friends seems a bit impossible with his honest introduction; he says he likes ballroom dance. At least the girl sitting in front of him is not impressed. And because he looks so adorable, he becomes the victim of some bullies, again. Gaju, who attends the same high school, comes to the rescue. They then get invited to a competition in which Sengoku will participate. Of course, they can’t let a chance like that slip. They have to take a look at the legendary moves of Sengoku…
Introduction: New Partner
We don’t know her name because Tatara was busy thinking about if he should or shouldn’t let slip that he likes dancing instead of listening to her, but as far as the opening goes, the girl seated in front of him is the chosen one. So far, I can say that she looks good, but also a bit two-faced. Even though Tatara is ‘lame’ for liking ballroom dance, she is at the competition with Sengoku. What is this, is she hiding that she likes it? We will see where that comes from, I hope. For now, I have the feeling she and Tatara will be a similar pairing to Sengoku and his partner, Chizuru Hongo…
Sengoku/Hongo pair in all aspects
This was my ultimate highlight of the episode. First we learn about Sengoku and his training abroad. There is a hint at his dark past, something about fighting with his partner. Then we see his awesome dancing, his nice body – even if the angles were a bit strange and I wondered how many muscles he had on his back – and after he tries to let us drown in his dance moves, he proceeds to literally fight his partner. She hits him in the face, he hits back, they start going at each other like Son Goku did with Vegeta. I wondered what was wrong with them, but it seems like they are a perfect pair with this kind of relationship. It was fun to watch.
I also need to point out how nice the animation was. We have seen Kiyoharu doing the ghostly dance during practice and a more fierce dance for the tango when he was hurt and had to show Tatara his place. There was also the fierce Gaju, who always felt a bit like fire to me when he danced. This time, we get to see Sengoku in a tsunami of a dance, not blowing us away but rather drowning us. Or, like Tatara said, making us seasick with his prefect waves and tides. It was beautiful and impressive. I wonder if we will see someone being a flying storm or as steady as the earth as well. And I can’t help but wonder what Tatara will be.
Gaju being cute (?)
I have never been so glad to see Gaju than when he came running to Tatara’s rescue! I don’t know what it was with him in this episode, but he was in general really nice. I get the feeling that he is just really, really bad with girls – hence him being all worked up about Mako-chan needing a bra. And that’s why I liked him more here, where it was just him and Tatara in a non-competitive situation. The way he blushed when he asked Tatara for his phone number was so cute. For a second I forgot that I didn’t like about him. ‘Because you’re my dance-friend.’ Aaaaw. At least now we don’t have to worry about Tatara being bullied by other people at school.
New opening and ending
Not quite my personal highlight but definitely a highlight was the new opening and ending. The animation for the opening was nice. The new characters are all there and we get many clues about their relationship and the things that are to follow. The song just didn’t do it for me as much as the previous song, but it still is quite catchy. The ending is pretty and gives off a romantic vibe, which makes me wonder if there will be some love story as well in the anime. I don’t expect it or need it, but I wouldn’t say no to some feelings growing between some of the characters.
Themes and Trivia
Bullying part 2: Tatara has a new start at a new school and he blows it by a beginner’s mistake: he openly admitted that he is doing ballroom dance. Didn’t he know where this kind of open confession will lead? Since it is a rare sports, it seems rather risky to admit it like he did, and even though I would do it in Europe without a second thought, I am not sure I would have been as brave in Japan. Doing sports like this will make you stand out and that can’t be a good thing on your first school day. He should go and find a group he fits into. At least that’s what anime have taught me so far. Find a group, get closer and THEN you can become honest about who you are and what you like, after you find out if they are okay with that kind of stuff. There are enough series that would suggest doing anything different is bad, so I don’t know why he did what he did.
And then he got bullied right away by those older guys, which really broke my heart all over again. He is too sweet to be a victim. All his work and saving up for the lessons is lost, if he has to buy all those drinks and maybe even lunch and more for some stupid idiots who need to pick on weaker students to feel big. That’s also why I love Gaju, because he saved our Tatara from it and this will make me like him a lot more than before from now on. I now can forgive him for his strange comment about Mako-chan buying a bra and his reaction when Tatara was suffocated by pressed against Hongo’s breasts.
Dance Sports Grand Prix: This is a very wild guess, but Tatara’s and Shizuku’s talk in the dance school about the Grand Prix gave me the feeling this is where we would end up at. The ending has to be him having a battle with Shizuku. It is only one year away and I think it would make a great goal for the series. We can see Tatara improve and grow and find a partner in this second half of the series, and then they can have an amazing show-off.
Ballroom is back with full force. I am so thankful. This episode was enjoyable and nice. I had a lot to laugh about and loved every second of it. Not once did I check when the episode would end. So the ballroom we can enjoy and that has character development mixed with dancing and good animation is back. I hope they keep it up like this!
I also don’t want to leave unmentioned the serious talk between Shizuku and Tatara. It is a very classic situation of a senpai helping a kohai and I think it helped them both. Shizuku is such a strong girl and an amazing dancer. To see her become this important again was a great feeling and I can’t wait to see her train really hard to beat Tatara. The moment when she told Tatara that some people are just born to dance and will be brilliant no matter how late they start was so nice and gave him so much hope.
Hopes for the upcoming episode
I can’t say much. We know Tatara will need some time persuading the red-haired girl to dance with him. We also need to know why she is at Sengoku’s competition. I also expect a few more nice scenes of Gaju, who will probably become a really close friend of Tatara in the process, because Tatara for sure needs emotional support while convincing her. She looks like a very fierce person and not someone who is persuaded easily, so I think that will take up most of the time during the next episode. And a very random hope is: I want to see more of Hongo. She looks fun, and I want to write more about her! Can’t wait for next week!
We went to Kyomaf 2017 for you! You can look forward to an additional report soon about the stage event they held there, with Shimba Tsuchiya (voice of Tatara) and Nobuhiko Okamoto (voice of Kiyoharu) as guests. It was a cute event, so don’t miss it!