Welcome to the Ballroom takes a look back into Aki-chan’s past and we learn how she and Chi-chan started to dance. While we are still at the competition and haven’t even proceeded to the finals yet, this time the episode is less dragging and we see a lot of essential scenes and explanations. Let’s jump straight into the details!
Japanese Title: 敵
Heat 19. Rival
Chi-chan and Tatara are still fighting as if there is no tomorrow. Kiyoharu and the others are watching them with growing worry, since they don’t seem to settle down and it might cost them the entry to the semi-finals. At the same time, Aki-chan is also facing some problems with her partner, because his family came to watch and he is not used to have familiar faces watch him. She starts to argue with him, because she can feel the pressure. Tatara/Chi-chan so far have a perfect score, even though they keep arguing, while she and her partner already lost a point in the actual round. When Chi-chan, on top of all that, starts to bother Aki and tease her, she makes a trip down memory lane to how she started dancing and how she was partnered with Chi-chan…
Kiyoharu is wet
Let’s get this over with first: Gaju made Kiyoharu wet. I loved that scene because Kiyoharu was mean to Gaju first. This little banter shows how close they must be, and how well they know each other since they go way back. All four of them – with Mako-chan and Shizuku – have been standing on the dancefloor since they were young. Chi-chan even watched them when they were younger. They have to know each other enough to play around like that and I thank the producers to take out the time to show their connection.
Fine feathers make fine birds
The first part of the episode was spent giving Tatara another important lesson, this time about clothes. Chi-chan and her fancy clothes make great sense now that she explained how a simple piece of clothes could decide if you pass a round or not. It sounds really boring, but they made it so dramatic that it was actually amusing. Now poor Tatara has to worry about where to get money for clothes as well… Let’s hope Kiyoharu is generous and can keep giving his old clothes, so he can simply fix them instead of buying a new suit.
A look at the past of Aki and Chi
Did you realize that their names were Aki and (Chi)Natsu? I just realized that now. They are Autumn and Summer. Their hair color even fits their name, as well as their temper. Chi-chan is a girl full of fire. Aki-chan is soft and shy but can be really stormy and intense if she wants to. That is the impression I got from Aki’s flashback. At first, she was very shy and she didn’t stand up to her bullies. However, she did amazing things when Chi-chan stood up for her. They ended up becoming friends and this was where the whole drama starts. Ambition got in their way. It was a very realistic setting, with Aki-chan never speaking up or telling Chi-chan her feelings. Now that we know this information, we are able to understand Aki-chan a lot better. Also…
Aki-chan and her sexuality
Is Aki-chan a lesbian? I am really bad with these kind of things because I have the feeling that it is always a big issue or a secret if somebody is homosexual (if the character isn’t the joke of the series). So was this once again a hint at someone being not heterosexual? Is Aki-chan feeling these kind of feelings for Chi-chan? Or is it just admiration or a girl-crush like Chi-chan has for Hongo? I don’t know, but I like how she was really angry at Chi-chan for ‘flirting’ with Tatara. Which leads me to my last point…
Tatara/Chi-chan couple soon?
Is this leading where I think it is? Will they be lovers? I am not sure I like it. Of course, they are a great pair in the dancing world and I love to watch them quarrel. It’s just that I do not necessarily see them as a love couple. At least from Tatara, I never got those vibes. If Chi-chan really likes him, that will give us enough material to cover the last 5 episodes…
This contest is one of the longer ones, but I think it doesn’t drag on like the final cup of the first half of the series! This time around we learn so much that is not about dancing but about the characters and that makes it a lot more enjoyable than looking at Tatara dance…
Also, as we already know, the anime will overtake the manga and keep going with the storyline the manga author gave the anime producers. That means the things happening in the anime now will probably be the same as in the manga. So manga fans should join the anime fun now!
On another note, I went to the Welcome to the Ballroom collaboration cafe the other day and got to eat some food there and enjoy their drinks. I had a Mako-chan tea that tasted like yuzu. It fits her so well, since the taste is just as soft as Mako-chan is. My food was a partner-chicken-plate that didn’t have anything to do with any of the characters, but was super delicious. Only Kiyoharu was not impressed. You can take a look at some of the pictures in this tiny gallery. If you want to know something about the cafe, feel free to ask away in the comments or write me an e-mail!
Kiyoharu judging the chicken dish
The decoration at the Animate Cafe
Mako-chan’s yuzu tea and Gaju’s strange pineapple drink!
The dessert plate with a Chi-chan coaster!
Expectations for the upcoming episode
Well, it would be nice to know what Aki-chan is feeling for Chi-chan. It seems like we will see a bit more jealousy (?) from Aki-chan. My hopes are also high that we will proceed to the next step of the tournament, so we will see if Tatara and Chi-chan get their act together. Personally, I want to see more of Kiyoharu. No, rather I want to hear him. He slowly but surely made his way up to one of my favorite characters. So, please don’t let him disappear like Sengoku…