After a tiny break we are back with Episode 6 of Welcome to the Ballroom! After all the ruckus in the previous episodes, this one actually seems like a tiny break, a moment to take a breath and prepare for the next major project to come up. And let me tell you, I can’t wait for it to happen!
Japanese episode title: ライン・オブ・ダンス
Heat 6. Line of Dance
Mako and Tatara have decided to dance together and show Gaju what his little sister is made of. Back in the studio, they even dare to challenge the newly formed Gaju-Shizuku pair, because the Tenpei Cup is coming soon. If they win, everybody has to go back to their former pairings, meaning Gaju with Mako and Shizuku with Kiyoharu. Sengoku is supporting Tatara in his plan, maybe even suggested him to challenge Gaju, and thus starts to coach them. For this cup, it won’t be enough to be able to dance waltz and tango. There will also be quickstep and – lucky Tatara! – Sengoku knows that one of the main judges really likes a flashy quickstep. While they practice a hard routine that Sengoku had showed them, Gaju/Shizuku and Tatara/Mako bump into each other. As Tatara is the one at fault, Sengoku takes him and Mako to a real dance floor, full of dancing pairs. There, he has to learn how to avoid dancers and stick to the line of dance. Being able to just remember dance steps and and being stuck in your own thoughts won’t be enough to win this cup.
We entered the quickstep, a fast and great dance. I am sure animators hated it, because while the waltz was slow and beautiful, here they are jumping and running and everything has to scream energy! So while I think they are doing a great job and love the animation, they might hate to have to do it. Maybe that is also why instead of animating the other pairs, they are making them look like a ‘storm’ of people. Can’t be complaining, I think they did well.
Gaju is a perv and Shizuku is in a coma
What was that scene with Gaju and the nosebleed? I loved it, but at the same time I don’t really like him so I am a tiny bit disgusted. They saved it with the cute flashback. I laughed out loud when he started bleeding because he kept looking at our beautiful (and recently awfully passive and quiet) Shizuku. I wonder where her reaction to his sudden nose-bleed was? I miss the real Shizuku, where did she go, can someone bring her back? Is that the sudden-support-character-syndrome? She isn’t needed for the main story, so for now she doesn’t need to have reactions? I hope she wakes up soon, or is needed again, soon.
The advantages and disadvantages of being a dancer
Being into dancing is not always fun and roses. While it is nice to have a hobby, you won’t always love it. There are blisters, and probably also sore arms and backs, which they can’t show us that easily, but still. They are there and they are real and we get to see it and I like that. It was a highlight for me, because Mako-chan was also sitting there with her band-aids and Tatara was also thinking about how she had blisters. And it was a touching scene. I loved it.
Dance and Divorce
Tatara and how he talks is sometimes really impressive. How in the world did he come up with this amazing connection between divorce and dancing? Once again, there is this subtle hint to how broken his family is. The dad, the one left behind would be like Kiyoharu if Shizuku danced with Gaju. Dad is sitting at home, drinking. But is Tatara complaining? Not at all! He sees his fathers pain and is just trying his best to not get into a similar situation. He is there for him, a great support. Once more, Tatara was really manly. Because he would be there for his partner, and he will be there for his wife and he will also be there for his friend. He is there for anybody, because he is such a great soul. Another very manly thing he did was when he shielded Mako-chan from bumping into the wall, after bumping into Gaju. It’s tiny scenes like this, that make my heart squeeze a bit tighter because it is so cute and nice and dreamy. Cute little Tatara, I can’t wait for more!
A star is born – Tatara the creepy face
We know things get serious for Tatara when his fluffy face turns into a creepy one like Kiyoharu’s. Okay, he wasn’t quite there yet, but he was showing signs of that creepy face, just in his cute Tatara way. He was blushing and he was o cute while he did it. Eyes big and dreamy and so happy. I loved it, and if that is his creepy face, I can deal with it. Sengoku also recognized it as him being on the right track, so yes, a star is born! Tatara can try and be successful at the dance!
Themes & Trivia
Japan and the Nosebleed: I would like to give you something more interesting, but the history of quickstep will have to wait until the next review, and like I said in the beginning, this episode was one of the slow, breath-takers. There wasn’t much trivia to talk about themes that I would be able to talk about confidently. So let’s talk about Japan and the pervy-nosebleed. There are so many different things people say for where the nosebleed comes from; it is hard to say what is right. I would love to spend two weeks reading material on this topic, but let me tell you the results of my very brief research.
One possible, and for me very logical, explanation is that Japan always had a strong urge to censor things. Even today, all the cute anime guys get undressed and lack one major thing: nipples. So even back then, there was censorship and that’s why, instead of showing the sexy scene, the main character would get a nose-bleed to show his arousal or that something very sexy was going on. Which is a nice way to do it, actually! It might have gotten out of hand, though.
Another thing that is unconfirmed and my Japanese friends couldn’t explain where this kind of theory came from, is that Japanese people tend to have more nose-bleeds than other people. Something about their noses being flat and thus making the nose bleed faster.
Another explanation was, that the whole blood is flushing into the head when the guy blushes because he sees something sexy, and because the blood has nowhere to go, it leaks…from his nose. Whichever of these reasons is true, I can only say it is fun and crazy and I did not expect it in this episode from Gaju, so it was worth a laugh.
This episode didn’t have many things to address. But it was such a cute episode I could flail about for some longer. Isn’t Gaju a cute rooster? His hair is amazing and while they were going on about brushes and brooms, I think Gaju is simply a rooster. Even his behavior fits. So now he can be my cocky rooster. And if he isn’t careful, I might end up turning him into chicken Schnitzel! Better treat your sister better, rooster-boy!
And I also want to mention the amazing roller-coaster animation. I loved how they made it back from the coaster and into the studio, as if Tatara was sitting in there. It’s tiny moments like this when I realize that even someone with an untrained eye like me can enjoy the work they put into stuff like that.
Once again, I also want to address the issue of the men taking the lead all the time. I understand, that’s just how it is. For Mako-chan, it even makes sense, I think she is the type to be guided. Can I just ask why they always look so surprised while dancing? Were the steps the guys lead them to do really such an amazing surprise that they would have to look at them with big eyes even bigger and wide open in surprise? Let me make this my last mention of the ladies being led away by the guys. I will just pretend all the ladies in the series are the ones who prefer being lead and I am fine with it!
Hopes for the upcoming episode
So far, I did not take the episode title into account, because at times I am not the brightest. But this time, can we please state the obvious? Next episode will be all about the cup. I think it is good that we won’t have to witness them practice dancing for another episode, I would much rather see all the glittering gowns and creepy faces. I wonder if there will be another rival appearing. Or if Kiyoharu will at least show up to watch them dance. But if we can judge from the way they treat Shizuku, I guess I won’t get my hopes up too high. They only have ~25 minutes per episode. I can’t expect them to work even more magic on that limited time frame.
All I wish for is a good dance battle. And a glimpse of Kiyoharu. Maybe Shizuku waking up a bit. Oh, and Tatara winning. Because he is our Tensai and he deserves it.
COMING NEXT. Heat 7. Tenpei Cup (天平杯)
If you liked this review and love Ballroom as much as I do, please do come to the MANGA.TOKYO forum to chat about it! Or tell me off because I use the word ‘love’ too much in my reviews. You can also check out our reviews for other series this season. We would be glad to hear from you!