Winter 2020 Anime: Official Info, Airdates & Trailers
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In Episode 14 of Welcome to the Ballroom, a decision is made, secrets are unveiled, and even though I said I wouldn’t talk about the whole gender issue about who can lead and who can’t again, I will have to come back to it in this review, because it was the main theme in this episode.
Japanese Title: 結成
Tatara is dancing in group classes, so he gets to practice with ANY partner at all. Sadly, he isn’t feeling like he is getting better at all and he would have loved to go and have one fixed partner. But Chi-chan doesn’t seem to come anymore and then the girls at his studio tell him about how they think she was the male partner in an all-girls-pair. Those pairs are necessary for the dance world because girls tend to enjoy dancing a lot more than boys so they form same-sex couples to be able to dance. That’s where Chi-chan’s leading skills (or rather her inability to follow) come from. Tatara then has to rush off to his part time job in a cafe. There he meets Akira, the daughter of the owner, and suddenly Chi-chan is there as well, as it turns out they were partners before. As they have a very intense discussion, Tatara somehow ends up with Chi-chan as his partner because she challenges Akira to beat them at the Mikasa cup. After that evening, the two of them start training together. To be able to enter a cup, they have to win one of the novice contests first to become D-class. Good thing, the next contest is coming soon…
It was to be expected, but here they are, two girls dancing with each other and showing that they are capable of leading! I liked the short image of Chi-chan in her pair and how they made it the reason why she can’t be lead easily and that she can’t give up her way of dancing easily because she’s so very used to being in charge. She is cool and responsible and knows what she wants. I liked this short glimpse into the dancing world.
Chi-chan & Tatara pair
We finally found Tatara a partner! Or rather, he was made to be her partner because of her own childish emotions and games. But they practice and work well with each other, as long as it’s not on stage because there, they failed miserably thanks to Chi-chan’s thick head. I liked how his pride was a bit broken by the fact that she didn’t let him lead properly, followed by him deciding to be the perfect follower and just doing whatever she wanted, waiting for her lead. Her surprised face was great and it worked out decent, I guess.
Chi-chan & Aki-chan pair
What is it with the two of them? The way they talk to each other shows that they have known each other for a long time and they like each other. I also guess they had some rough time saying good-bye, probably because Chi-chan just sprang it on her that she would stop. That’s how their relationship got strange? Aki-chan also said some mean things about her partner, but as it turned out during the contest, he was anything but bad. So what is the issue there? I hope we find out soon because these were my favorite parts in this episode. Especially the moment when Aki-chan was ripping away Chi-chan’s blanket, under which she just got changed, and she was surprised at how cute Chi-chan looked. It was such an honest reaction and showed that the two of them really must have been good friends at some point.
Trying to do some research on this topic, I only came to one conclusion: same-sex couples equal LGBT couples for some, which I think is really stupid. Just because two girls dance with each other and want to compete doesn’t mean they are in a romantic relationship! But the internet seems to think that way and when I finally got behind all the LGBT-issues, I found out there are some competitions for same-sex dancers without the LGBT aspect. It also includes all-male couples but it remains true that it is not possible to participate in the regular dance competitions as a same-sex couple. Too bad, though I understand the thoughts some have about it being hard to compare a male-male couple, where both partners have a lot of strength, to a female-female couple. Sports always try to be fair, so I guess it is an issue to be resolved in the future.
We are back at it with the girls and the following! How come when she is doing all the leading, the comments are ‘why is he letting the girl do all the work’ but when he is leading, the comments are ‘she can follow him so well!’ Why can’t she lead, if it works for them? They are a couple where she has a lot of experience in leading and he – obviously – has none, so why can’t they have her being the lead? Is it some kind of rule or technical thing that I don’t know of because I am not familiar with dancing? I love the series in general, but this whole ‘the girl has to follow him’ is ridiculous and in my opinion fits Japanese society pretty well, where the woman is still expected to do all the housework along with her regular job and the children. Japan really has to work on it because even though they occasionally put out power girls into the world, most of them end up being the cute, little follower in the end, because that’s the way it is expected to be. This series seems to not be any different, because if we look at the title of the next episode (‘Taking the reins’), it seems like Tatara will finally be able to take the lead. I hope it will not be like I think, but if it is: Booo! I would have expected more, since they already made the whole leading a big theme.
Which also reminds me: Karen-sensei and how she lost her weight… Yeah, that also annoyed me. Now she is pretty and thin and everybody was surprised. Great scene and very important to the story (?).
But let’s get to something more positive. Tatara is finally working part-time! How did he afford the dance lessons for the last…6 months? But anyway, he is so precious and hard working. Even during work, he is trying to fix his posture so much that other people would notice. His hard work even gets a bit annoying, but I think he will find a good balance soon. Nobody could be angry with a cute guy like Tatara.
I really, really hope that, maybe, Chi-chan will be able to be the leader in the group. Or maybe they at least make it seem as if it’s okay for a girl to be leading. I don’t want anymore of those ‘why is he letting her do all the work’. She wants to do it and she is happy about it. If they had a chance to practice with that kind of setting, I am pretty sure they also could have gotten first place.
I also think I saw Tatara dance with a guy, which I think might be a way of showing him through experience how it is to be lead by someone properly.
However it will turn out, I will still really like this show! Don’t get mislead by my rant about leading and following because I know there are still many issues we have to fix in this world, and while I like to rant about it, I have made my peace and accept it as a part of the series. That’s just how it is now and I still love the characters and their development. Chi-chan is still a mystery, but I am looking forward to meet her as Tatara’s real partner.
While we were enjoying this episode, a new anime season has started and with it came a bunch of new reviews as well! Check them out and let us know what you think of the new season in the comments or on our MANGA.TOKYO forum! See you next week!
NEXT TIME: Heat 15. Taking the reins
Keep warm this winter season with the latest anime info at MANGA.TOKYO!
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