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I should have seen it coming just from looking at the title of Episode 20 of Welcome to the Ballroom: ‘Friends’. Everything went different from my assumptions last week, and I am a bit disappointed, because I got all excited about my own fantasies. But it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this episode. I just expected more. Want to know what my biggest let-down was? Let’s get into the details!
Japanese Title: 友達
We jump once more into the past of Aki-chan and Chi-chan. We see that Aki-chan was always eager to keep Chi-chan next to her and was devastated when her friend stopped dancing. She only kept going so that Chi-chan could look at her. Then we are back in the present where Chi-chan is actually watching Aki-chan as intensely as possible. It seems like they somehow understand each other without words. For Tatara, everything is nice to follow and even though they still have problems with dancing, he hope they would do well. That is, until Kiyoharu and Kugimiya talk to him. Kugimiya makes it clear how important points are and that Tatara might be too nice with his rivals, and Kiyoharu’s efforts to help Tatara turn out like they always do.
It seems like Aki-chan was in need of friendly attention from Chi-chan. At least that’s what I took from their flashback and the conclusion of the episode. Oh, and the title was a massive hint. Since Chi-chan was the one who stood up for Aki-chan and who saved her from the bullies, I guess it’s only logical that she only cared about friendship and not something more. Even though until the end I really thought there could be love… Well, however, I still like their friendship. They understand each other and the moment where they ate bananas together showed how adorable they could be and how much they went through together.
This episode I realized more about Chi-chan and her relationships. People know her, and even though she doesn’t communicate too well with everybody and often uses harsh words, they understand her and don’t hold it against her. Instead, her family, as well as Tatara and Aki-chan, understand her body language. Like this, she has this circle of close friends she can trust and I think that’s also what made it possible for her and Aki-chan to renew their friendship.
Kiyoharu and his Monkey Experiment
I still love him and he is hot and I love his voice. He is amazing. Only this time, I really have to wonder what he is up to. Tatara is his tiny monkey and he is doing random things to ‘help’ him become a better dancer. But the truth is that he is not really helping him. I feel like he understands what Tatara would need to know, but instead of simply telling him how to make fire and explain it to him in detail, he simply throws him some matchsticks and expects him to know what to do with them. This time again, when he comes to help Tatara, he makes everything worse. Poor Tatara is too weak to escape him and trusts him too much. Maybe he also hopes that the thing Kiyoharu gives him this time will actually help him. As we see at the end of the episode, it doesn’t seem to help much…
Kiyoharu is still wet
Yes, this deserves its own text. He is still wet and goes to Tatara to blow-dry his pants instead of letting Tatara dry his own dance clothes. Kiyoharu is just a tiny bit privileged. ‘Use your spare clothes’, he tells Tatara who wants to faint just thinking about how much a fitted suit will cost him and that he will probably need it in the future… I still love Kiyoharu. He wore the strange towel around his body so well and didn’t care for anything. He just wanted to dry his clothes. I admire how he doesn’t even feel remotely bad about the things he does. If you ask me, they could have let him drop the towel to reveal his chest… I mean, after the hot onsen scene, there is nothing we haven’t seen yet, no?
This episode was over so fast! I really enjoyed it, so I didn’t even notice the time flying by. However, it would have been nice if they didn’t make Aki-chan look for friendship. She already sees Chi-chan as her personal hero and wants to keep her close. She cries over her so much. I wanted to see her in love with Chi-chan so badly that I guess I forgot that this is a sports series and that we do not need to get too deep with love of this kind and the problems it would bring.
If we are already talking about love and dance sports, there is another thing. This episode, there were many hints on partners being couples. There were the sickeningly sweet rivals of Tatara, who were talking about getting married if they did well. They were obviously in love. Then we had the whole backstory of Mine Goro (Aki-chan’s partner) who got to know his wife through dancing, I guess. Let’s also not forget Aki-chan’s dad, who told Tatara that he will leave it up to him to buy his daughter a beautiful wedding dress. Is this supposed to be a hint or a joke? I don’t know, but either way, it made me wonder if dance partners often end up as a couple. I know dancing probably needs a lot of trust and since partners touch each other a lot and practice together all the time, there is a big chance you get used to your partner and even start to like him. It really made me wonder.
If anybody asks me, Tatara and Chi-chan are better off as friends.
This really is hard to say this time! We are progressing so slowly, I wonder if this will be the last we get to see in the series. There are only four episodes left, so I think there isn’t much room left. Even if Tatara and Chi-chan drop out of the current tournament in the next episode, what will they do with the last three episodes? I bet they will end the series with the end of this tournament, and then maybe have a nice reunion with Sengoku. I hope that the problems Tatara has now will end up being the key to him and Chi-chan being able to dance together. Maybe they can have one more weak round and then they will work out how to dance together, get in synch and win this cup within the next three episodes so that we can hope for another season of this series at some point.
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