I have been a fan of this manga ever since I picked it up at my favourite comic place a little over 3 weeks ago and when I heard there was an anime adaption coming out on July 9th of 2017 my mind immetialy short circuited I went into a comatose state. Having now reawakened by the date edging closer and closer. I thought I should spread the good news about Welcome To The Ballroom. (I sound like I’m recruiting you for my cult).
The story revolves around Tatara Fuijita he is absolutely desperate to be good at something or anything in his case. He’s about as average as a slouchy teen can be. Thus the local bullies go after him like a cat after a mouse, they try to hit him up for cash but is saved from departing with his money when he’s saved by Kaname Sengoku a professional ballroom dancer.
Fuijita fell in love with dance the moment he layed his eye’s upon the way the people moved their body’s from a simple recording of professional ballroom dance tournament he fell in love and couldn’t shake it so he married her. He didn’t do this for a girl or to pay off a debt he saw something a movement a flicker of beauty within the seamless time of dance and decided he to wanted to fall into this world as it called to him like a siren in a sea of endless purgatory that is his School career.
The story is set in Middle School right before he enters High School which is just annoys the crap out of me due to how almost every anime is set in one but as the characters barley spend any time there it’s merely background noise to the dancing and to exaggerate how immature they act which can only be portrayed by teenagers or at least very immature adults who refuse to grow up.
When your at that time of your life the stakes are high especially when your trying to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. In Japanese culture your supposed to have your life figured out by the time your in Middle/High School.
Similar shows like Mob Pyscho 100 and My Hero Academia which have a premise I enjoy are also set in a High/Middle School where they try to figure out what means to be a hero or how to improve one social skills, in this ever changing setting their surrounded in and there is a reason I bring these two anime up as an example and that is because Fuijita reminds me a lot of Deku and Mob.
Fuijita works hard to improve his dancing and although learns fast it is not unexpected. Dance is not like controlling a super power, or learning how to be sociable or learning to write. Certain dances take less time to master than others and as long as you keep on practicing a persons skills won’t fade, while it is better to start dancing as a child mostly for flexibility it doesn’t mean you can’t start learning to dance at an older age.
His passion for dance drives him never minding the pain as the constantly dances either at home or at the studio, he works hard and it shows. The way that they move in the manga is simply breath taking and to see those beautiful movements animated I shall be speechless.
Studio I.G is being held responsible for the production if you are unfamiliar with them you my know or at least heard of some of there work, Haikyu!!, Giovanni’s Island, The Joker game and Kuroko’s Basketball Season 3, along with many other works that would just be to tedious to name. I bring up these anime to explain what kind story they are telling at least from how I see it.
I have read the entirety of the manga up to the latest release and for those who are looking for a love story this isn’t for you. A coming of age story with a slight twist of romance if you squint it’s even advertised that way in the PV’s saying that it’s 10% romance and 10% roll.
Now let me admit something to you, the only sports anime I have watched was Yuri On Ice and I can practically hear you typing away about how it’s a romance anime not a sport one even the creators have said this is a romance anime but at times it has cut the romance completely for the sport instead. But with Welcome To The Ballroom I know it’s going to be focused on the sport and that the people are taking this seriously from the way they change there hair styles to fit in to there posture while dancing. There only goal is to be the best in their field and for no other reason than they honestly enjoying what they’re doing and there something incredibly pure about this because you can feel there joy lift off the pages and have it light up your eyes.
Now as far as I can tell from the PV’s the animation is quite stunning with a lot of soft colors and very little of the way of harsh tones, I won’t say anymore because what I have seen from the animations I have nothing but praise and you don’t need a list of why I want to see certain scenes animated and because it’s animated there are some scenes that can seem quite odd so I let me address how the necks look.
You may say they have been lengthened in unrealistic proportions but that is simply not true if we look at examples of real live dancers who stretch there necks when they dance they do this because in dance sports the spine needs to be stretched and the neck elongated without being broken and gives dancers that strong upper carriage.
Here’s a pair of professional dancers Marcus Hilton and Karen Hilton, see how they stretch there necks to appear elegant.
When you don’t frame the whole entire body the experience of looking at them is quite jarring. As long as they keep the upper view of the body with little as possible head shots as possible it won’t look as strange to the viewer.
This a show I would take the three episode rule to heart because it does have some unpleasant physical violence to the main character that happens in the first part of the manga but quickly dies down as the series goes along not to say some of it is undeserved from some of the characters points of view. But I should warn before delving into Welcome to the ballroom because after I read it I almost went out to get dance lessons myself. So tread carefully because this truly an addicting manga I can just imagine what the anime will do.