A professional dancer named Sengoku rescues Tatara, an introverted third-year middle school student who is being harassed by delinquents. Tatara ends up at Sengoku's dance studio where he meets Shizuku Hanaoka, a schoolmate he comes to secretly idolize. From this defining moment when Tatara enters the world of dance. Sengoku is a free-spirited, dynamic international dancer who recognizes Tatara's potential and begins to coach him. Through dance, Tatara meets another schoolmate, a dance prodigy named Kiyoharu. Through these new friendships, Tatara develops a passionate desire to improve as a dancer and be accepted by his peers and rivals, which nurtures his own native talent. And through interaction with Tatara, other dance members are encouraged to take steps to overcome their own challenges and issues.
Anime is an imaginative medium in which the potential is endless. An anime can have nigh any subject matter; be it a merchant and his wolf-girl companion dealing in economics, or a lone otaku who finds his passion for bicycling. So, how then would I say I feel about an Anime whose chosen subject matter is ballroom dancing?
Ballroom e Youkoso follows a very similar format to prior sports animes, such as: Kuroko no Basket, Haikyuu!!, Baby Steps, and many more. The primary difference being that this show takes the initiative to apply this format to an idiosyncratic subject matter; that being
ballroom dancing. Does it work? You bet it does.
Ballroom e Youkoso leaves you thrilled and passionate throughout each episode. It leaves you rooting for the lead character; and for his given partner in any routine. It leaves you wondering what direction the show plans to take, and whether or not we'll see the lead accomplish his dreams and ambitions; or rather in this specific case, find his purpose and the place where he belongs.
This show will, undoubtedly, surprise you. I had originally planned not to watch the show; I felt it was likely similar to Yuri on Ice (which isn't bad, but not my specific preference) and that a focus on ballroom dancing would be silly or pan out poorly. I was wrong, very much so. The show has so much more thrill than you'd expect from ballroom dancing; engaging emotions of romantic tension, competition, companionship, and motivation. The show also seems to appeal to all audiences; rather than Yuri on Ice which had more of a targeted audience.
The characters are interesting, and each one has just enough shown about them that you feel like you want to know them better and to understand the setting more. The story follows a standard format of growth for a lead character whom prior felt, perhaps, underwhelming - but the growth is portrayed well through effort and practice making it enough to motivate and excite the audience.
The art is well done and unique; the music is that which tunes itself to ballroom dancing, and for that reason has it's own unique qualities and is unlike what you hear in most animes.
The show if I could describe it best would be: more than meets the eye. It'll take you by surprise and you'll surely enjoy the journey it's taken you on. I would highly recommend Ballroom e Youkoso.
Now that, is seriously an unexpected but a very pleasant surprise. Damn, that is something really lighting up! Dancing TV shows have really been a trend lately, but what I’ve just witnessed is something much more impressive. The anime is 100% about ballroom dancing exclusively.
This is the very first anime series dedicated to professional ballroom dancing, if I’m correct, hell, that’s the first anime dedicated to dancing at all! There’s been lots of shows about all other kinds of sports like basketball, football, baseball, tennis, volleyball, swimming,… and tooons of others, and finally, FINALLY, we’ve got to ballroom dancing, which can’t make me anything but
You see, being a ballroom dancer myself for 15 years, I’m SUPER DUPPER OVERMYHEAD EXCITED seeing my favorite sport at last getting an anime adaptation, and though it’s only’ve been a couple episodes, but trust the expert, judging from what I saw – this is gonna be EPIC.
The story is more than simple. A total newbie is been dragged into the world of dancing by some stranger who happens to be an expert and will teach our hero and bla-bla-bla… Now agree, that is mostly common plot thing to almost every sports anime, not to mention that our main character is making a tremendous progress since the very beginning of his trainings… aaand that’s all because he’s been charmed by a beautiful classmate girl who also happens to be into dancing (actually he was just stalking after her and that’s how it all happened, but that’s not a thing). The thing is that the creators have really made a COLOSSAL work by showing every single move of the dancers that we see, such detailed, every singe line and angle of their body as they stand prepared to waltz, every dynamic motion as they dance cha-cha, and every emotion on their faces – from serious and confident tango to romantic and sensual rumba.
With that said, all I can tell about an art style is “FANTASTIC”. Though I’m not a fan of frequent usage of 3D in anime (more a fan of an old animating style), this one does deserve to be noticed and praised for its aliveness, vividness and multicolourness.
The anime will amaze you with musical compositions – rhythmic and inflammatory – they will make you dance even sitting on a chair. From opening to ending – this is a trip to a wonderland that will drag you into an unrestrained yet splendid whirlpool of dance sports and you WILL beg for MORE. Not to mention flawlessly looking girls who will make your heart beat speed up twenty times faster;)
The show is expected to be on the level of “Your Lie in April” that startled us with great characters, its own unique drawing style and a feeling of full immersion in deep waters of music; this is what you SHOULD look forward to from “Welcome to the Ballroom” series,… but about dancing.
Sports shows sometimes are very hard to handle especially on the art and animation category. Some studio really pushed their limits just to achieve and match the sports for the sake of the overall production of the series. But don't you worry, Production I.G is back to save the day! before I conclude my review, let me discuss the show's fine points and noticeable flaws
This really bothers me when I watched the very first episode. The similarities between this show and Hajime no Ippo's pilot episode is insane. This is definitely interesting or rather annoying for other people but for me atleast, I
still quite enjoy the 1st episode even though the execution isn't original. The overall plot is quite decent, I think the show doesn't really bother saving all of its full potential rather than making a risk and just blows everything up just to impress us the audience very early in the series. The show really excels on the general build up, giving us major informations that helps us to enjoy and understand the series. Though not all of them are given, there are times that you can't understand some of its given basic rules or even major guidelines for the competitions. Also I find the characters quite appealing, tho they're still not that very well fleshed out. But overall the show still really is trying hard to give us knowledge to understand the show fully. Btw, you know that one series that blew all of its animation budget for episode 1? and then as the show goes on, the quality melted? Ballroom e Youkoso wants to avoid that. ( "Yes we were born to make history!"~ )
I won't say much on the art because that's Production I.G for you. Stellar visuals, very detailed character designs, clean frames and great cinematography. I love the style and the details for the series but there is that one major problem that the series really can't avoid even for bigger studios like Production I.G, the lack of time for animating complicated performances. That's ballroom for you, very good to look at when it's animated perfectly but very hard to animate and it takes so much time. For now, I've seen some dancing scenes that felt too short, for the most part it's just editing and a detailed keyframe. I'll definitely accept Production I.G rotoscoping real ballroom sequences rather than having them waste time on animating these from scratch. ( Tho, it is confirmed that I.G really don't rotoscope real movements, they're more likely to use them as reference.
Overall, Ballroom e Youkoso is a good show, having such fascinating visuals and with an interesting premise really deserves to be one of the highlights of this season. But let's still wait and see if this show really deserves the praise. Do I recommend you to watch it? Definitely! Is it for everyone, probably.
Coming from Production IG who's track record we are all aware of, Ballroom e Youkoso is certainly a star in this packed summer 2017 season.
This run of sport and athletic anime being produced is really a joy for me to see. The diversity and vast approach all of them are taking and the care they are putting into portraying these different sports, it's something wonderful to see. Ballroom e Youkoso is a part of this wondrous run.
As far as the story goes, I am a little disappointed with regards to the setup. Fujita being a complete novice but yet holding some miraculous ability
that goes beyond reason, Hyodou being an absolute beast on the floor. This is something we have seen time and again, but the show is charming enough to compensate for this well trodden road. The addition of Hanaoka, who is talented in her own right, as Hyodou's partner and the focus of Fujita's fancies, and then Sengoku, former superstar who is now a teacher, it feels a bit like a mashup in ideas between Haikyuu and Yuri on Ice. They all work well together, especially considering the fact that the anime is about dance.
Fujita's arc so far has been enjoyable, watching him and his growing desire to compete is quite admirable. His growth as a dancer is almost laughable but then there are moments where his internal brilliance shines through and you get caught off guard, just like the characters in the show.
I also appreciate that even though Fujita is the MC, the other pairs and members of the dance studio play such an integral part in his development. They aren't exactly a team but function as some sort of strange family with rivalries and desires to get better.
The animation of the show really sends it to the top in my honest opinion. The art exaggerates the postures and figures of everyone in the show, which makes the dancing feel that much more real. In real life, dancers are meant to be larger than life and this show captures that well. Everyone appears long, everything flows, it's all extremely dynamic, the steps are crisp and precise, the emotion shines through each movement. It really is a great example of how to animate an activity with such a range in movements, from little swings of the hip and sliding of the feet to leaps and quick steps in succession.
As the season progresses, I am eager to see more of the dancing, how it evolves and how all the students can overcome their own personal dilemmas through their dance of choice.