When I was a little girl (well, and not so little I must admit) I loved to watch dance competitions on TV. Ballroom dance to be exact. All those pretty people swirling around on a big dance floor. The shining, glittering dresses almost flowing in the air, wrapping the mesmerizing couple as they floated an inch above the wooden floor. Beautiful as a couple of swans, tall and almost a little intimidating. Dancers, the most amazing people on this earth. I did dance when I was a little girl; ballet when I was around 6-8 years old and then I danced a variant of ballroom dance when I was around 13 or so. Yeah, I am not even close to swirling anywhere unless you can call stumbling down the stairs swirling.
I still dream about being one of those diamonds out on that floor though. So, when I saw that there was an anime about ballroom dancing my heart skipped a beat. Then I got worried. How do you even make something so beautiful work when animated? I was a bit afraid and skeptical when I turned on the first episode the other day. It took approximately two minutes for the disappointment to arrive. It wasn’t the dance, because I hadn’t even seen it. No, it was the looks. They looked like any other sports anime. Yeah, Welcome to the Ballroom is a sports anime, which it should be, but dancers are magical, beautiful creatures. They don’t have ugly shadowing like the guys in Haikyuu and Kuroko no Basku. You know what I am talking about, right? I was disappointed, I wanted something more, better, more amazing.
Well, one can’t get defeated by the looks so obviously I kept looking. It took me a couple of episodes to getting used to the looks. I am gonna admit now that if it wasn’t for Sengoku, the pro who lures the mc Tatara into dancing to begin with, I wouldn’t have adjusted as well. His stature, oh man. He is magnificent.
Tatara is a shrimp, as it always is in these kinds of anime. The mc is the little one, hitting from under. He does it well, I’ll admit to that. You root for him and you (I at least) really dislike his designated partner (in the second half which, in my, opinion, is the most important part of the anime).
So, I got over the looks and now, in hindsight, I actually think that the design of the characters fit well for the dancers. If I compare to the character design in Yuri on Ice!!! where they are ice skaters, which actually has similar bodies, I do prefer the ones in this one now. On another note, now that I am comparing; this is a proper sports anime, that one is not. I am unsure of why MAL has tagged it as a romance. There is no romance involved in it whatsoever. The closest you might come is that Tatara is a bit spellbound by Hanaoka and has a wish to dance with her in the first part of the anime. That urge soon turns into competition between the two.
My fears never came through, the anime is beautiful. Albeit, some of the facial expressions are hilarious while the couples dance. It truly is a sports anime and not some shoujo anime with cute girls squealing at the sight of hot men (only me squealing at the sight of Sengoku *sigh*) or stuttering, blushing, lovesick, big boob girls being annoying. Just normal teenagers mixed with dancers of all ages and sizes (one of the ladies at the dance studios is a chubby woman. She is the cutest.), and with all moods and personalities. It’s about competition but also about friendship and past and present demons.
I think you can tell how much I love this anime. I hope there will be a second season. I need that in my life. I need more ballroom dancing. I need the glamour. I need the sweat and tears. I need this. (Also, I need more Sengoku)