Episode 6 of Welcome to the Ballroom was a rather slow episode and a good moment to take a breath. It was what we needed for Episodes 7 and 8, because the emotional roller-coaster just took off and let me assure you, it won’t slow down!
Japanese Episode Title: 天平杯
Heat 7. Tenpei Cup
Tatara and Mako challenged Gaju and Shizuku in the upcoming Tenpei Cup. If they beat them, Gaju would have to get back together with Mako and Shizuku with the still recovering Kiyoharu. And then the day arrives and the contest begins. Tatara is facing Gaju in waltz, slow foxtrot, quickstep, and tango and starts to feel the pressure just by looking at the other dancers. Shizuku and Gaju steal the show and even though the Tatara/Mako pair is not in the same heat as them, the pressure is on. Their dances are all very basic and secure to make sure they can proceed to the second round. The quickstep is the one thing they trained most for with the most complicated choreography. And when Tatara is concentrating to perfectly show their routine, they crash into another couple. Does that mean it’s game over?
I’ll make a man out of you
In the beginning, Tatara was this cute, little, lost puppy. And now he is here, defending Mako and having a dream and I just love how he is still himself, but a better version. He is still cute and blushing all the time. He is insecure and shy. But he knows what he wants and he knows what is wrong and he won’t let anybody play with him. Can I just say that I fell a bit in love with him? The contrast between his gentle nature and his fierce fight for Mako-chan is great and makes me all excited for him. He is a great character and I loved when he defended Mako-chan in one scene and kept her from butting heads with Shizuku in another. Then on the other side, he was staring at Mako in awe because of her power or because she was so beautiful in her dance dress. Somebody give this guy a medal!
Murder on the dance floor
Mako-chan didn’t want to be called a washboard by her big brother, so she put stuff in it to make it seem like she had boobs. They were perfectly bouncy and all, until they nearly hit another couple and all the material of her one boob went flying over the dance floor. Did anybody else think of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s song ‘Murder on the Dance Floor’? She was basically sabotaging the other pairs, all of them going down because they stepped on the substitute-boobs with only the two of them still in the heat. Does that not somehow make anybody disqualify them? Isn’t it obvious where the stuff came from and could argue that it was intentional? In any way, the whole situation was hilarious and I enjoyed it a lot and am thankful they didn’t really disqualify them. (And please don’t do it later, like it was with Tatara substituting for Kiyoharu…)
Girl’s be ambitious
Dear, precious Mako-chan! The girl is so strong and has to listen to so much crap from Gaju. I just hope he will get what he deserves, and that is neither Mako nor Shizuku. But Shizuku already showed her big brother how far he can go and what she won’t tolerate. The moment she slapped him, I was so thankful. I am not into unnecessary violence and do not think it is right to hit people in real life. But you know, in a series where all the people are made of paint, it doesn’t hurt for them to get hit once in a while. It makes me feel better about the make-believe justice I witnessed. If Mako wouldn’t have done it, I would. I could print him out and just rip his picture apart after punching him in the face myself. So Mako-chan showed she didn’t desperately need Tatara to stand up for her (which he still did, and so well!)
And Shizuku also woke up from the dead, after Tatara said his partner would be able to dance as well as Shizuku. She had some sass here, and to be honest I wished she that she wore her glasses in that scene. Her eyes were beautiful.
Baby, come back
This one will be short, but I needed to say it: KIYHOARU IS BAAACK! And with him is his…mother? This was definitely a highlight as this was also the cliffhanger of the episode and I actually went, ‘WHAT, IT’S OVER?’
Themes & Trivia
Judging ballroom dance: This time it seems the judging was a central topic, as everything was about Tatara being rated well so he would get into the second round. I did a quick search to see what they were actually looking at when they were judging and the answer was a bit unsatisfying. In general, everY judge can look at whatever he wants. But of course there are some things that every judge considers when looking at the pairs on the dance floor, and since there is very little time to check the ability of at least 6 dancing pairs at the same time, it is good to have a few general points.
One of the important things is, as we also heard in this episode, the posture. Some people can decide just by that if the pair is good enough to proceed. That’s why normal people have to practice a lot of posture before they get into dancing and some have to practice and work on iT for a long time. I would say Tatara could still use some training on his everyday-posture, but once he is on the dance floor, he magically has the good posture needed for dancing. Well, he is our genius after all.
Another point can be ‘rhythm’, because what would a dance be without music? So staying in tact is important.
And then there are obvious things like the dance routine, how good the woman fits to the man, and how well balanced they are as a couple. The way she moves, the way he expresses power and is leading her. The exact execution of the right steps for the dance. The list seems endless, and I thought there was still a great lot to learn for Tatara. No wonder this series has two cours.
This episode has been an emotional roller-coaster and it will probably stay so, as far as I can see in the preview! What is it with all of them being confident in one scene and then shaking from fear in the next. Their excitement for dancing is an inspiration and they try so hard even with Tatara’s little experience. There are also the laughing scenes with Mako-chan and her bra, the heat of anger hitting you when Gaju is saying stupid things and a sudden feeling of affection for Sengoku, who is watching over his student so warmly. The next thing I know, I sit there ‘Awww’-ing because Kiyoharu has screen time and I didn’t realize how much I missed him and would rather see him instead of Gaju. The only thing I like about Gaju at this moment is his hair. Because it looks cute when he pulls it back.
Hopes for the Upcoming Episode
I didn’t get my hopes too high, but what I wanted happened! Kiyoharu came to watch them dance! Well, not Shizuku, because I feel like for some reason Sengoku doesn’t want Kiyoharu to see Shizuku dance with Gaju. I wonder why? Is Kiyoharu such a scary person? For someone like Sengoku?
And Shizuku also woke up from her trance, so that’s already two wishes granted.
But the next one is really hard! Somebody has to go after Mako-chan, but the cliffhanger is more about judge Hyodo and Kiyhoaru not seeing things… So maybe this time one of my previous wishes will come true and Kiyoharu will help Tatara, give him hints and motivate him like the great *senpai* he is. And I hope they will not send Mako-chan into the coma that Shizuku was in, now that Kiyoharu is back and the emotions are rocking up. Somebody needs to take care and of and be nice to our cute Mako-chan.
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! You can also check out our reviews for other series this season. We would be glad to hear from you!