Fujita has drifted through middle school aimlessly, unable to find friends or anything that can hold his attention. Then, one day, he's attacked by a gang and saved by a mysterious man. But this isn't a karate master; it's a ballroom dance instructor! Reluctantly, Fujita takes a few beginner's classes, only to find his inspiration… an entrancing, teenage dance prodigy named Shizuku. It's Fujita's first step into the high-octane world of competitive dance!
Ballroom e Youkoso was one of nominee works in the 6th Manga Taisho Awards in 2013 (78 points, third place) and in the 8th edition in 2015 (40 points, sixth place). The series placed ninth in the male readers category in the 2013 edition of Kono Manga ga Sugoi! rankings.
The series has been published in English as Welcome to the Ballroom by Kodansha Comics USA since September 27, 2016.
As a fellow Ballroom Dancer-anime lover I naturally decided to look for a ballroom anime and this manga is the little gem that came up. I was not expecting much since the Japanese Wikipedia doesn't even contain a page for Swing so i just quickly skimmed the first chapter until I landed on page 20. At that moment I realized, damn this manga is actually pretty funny.
At first glance everything about the main character, Tatara, just seems like a robotic version of Touma from A Certain Magical Index. However as the story went on and the main character actually gets better at each of the dancesport dances he slowly grew on me and eventually even had me cheering in my mind as I read through the competitions. And yes he's a bit overpowered but man does he fit the mold of a good lead.
I guess what impressed me the most is that it actually included and introduces other ballroom and latin dances, not just the waltz! from all my years watching anime I've never even seen the characters do anything but the waltz, almost as if the Japanese people have never even heard of anything but the waltz! Which I'm sure is wrong, pardon my generalization.
For those interested in Ballroom dancing I highly recommend this series. The main leads are all a bit supernaturally talented and you can't actually see a partner's mirage when you watch a guy practice alone but all the technicalities of each individual dance and all the teaching, practicing, are highly accurate. Takeuchi-san's done his research. I'd even venture to say he's quite the ballroom enthusiast himself to make such a great manga.
I'd highly recommend this Manga to anyone even with the slightest interest in Ballroom Dancing and what it really is. read more
Note: I have had literally no interest in "Ballroom Dancing", which is what the manga focuses on, before reading this. The work isn't complete.
Ballroom e Youkoso is a work that for all intents and purposes, shouldn't excite any sort of interest within most people. While I'm sure there are some enthusiast ballroom dancers around, the premise itself doesn't lure anyone in. However, as I stumbled into the room of Ballroom, I found myself hooked and craving for more.
Of all the categories, the story is the weakest link, however that isn't to say that it is bad. The story follows a formula that is pretty much been set by many before it. Boy X struggles to find a goal in his life, but somehow finds himself in the world of activity Y and slowly falls in love with it.
While it may be cliché, it does work and was more than enough for what was needed.
With that said, the story so far has been quite enticing and captivating and unless the curve suddenly twists, the score will only go up and not down.
The art is simply amazing, it switches between some standard art and a more artistic and raw style of drawing with great care. Nothing feels out of place and instead, the art makes some rather deep scenes feel even more impressive.
It's really hard to rate characters in general, while it does feel somewhat standard, the story's characters fill the roles perfectly. The most captivating part is the presentation of each character's thirst for competition, which is actually harder to find in most other sport-oriented works. The expressions and feelings given out feel realistic and well-done, all while not overdoing it.
Additionally, the look of the characters in "standard mode" and "competition mode" is one of the most artistically impressive elements I've found in any sort of manga in recent times.
Like I've said, I've never really cared much for dance. However, this work has given me a new outlook on this otherwise foreign physical activity. It has an interesting mix of character growth, competition and admiration. What is released so far made time pass too quickly than I desired and that is the mark of an enjoyable work.
While math would otherwise not be able to give it a 10/10 score, I do feel that this is an overall amazing work and I suggest that you give it a try even if you, like me, have no interest in Ballroom Dancing.read more