First Impressions (Anime): Ballroom e Youkoso

Pretty much been screaming about it everywhere, but I’ve been waiting for an anime adaptation of Ballroom e Youkoso since I started reading it 2 years ago at a friend’s recommendation!! So frigging happy and excited that it’s finally airing!! XD \o/

Anime: Ballroom e Youkoso 「バールルームへようこそ」Welcome to the Ballroom

To sum it up in a simple sentence:
Ballroom e Youkoso follows the story of average, aimless middle-schooler, Fujita Tatara, as he’s introduced to ballroom dancing and the competitive world of Dancesport.

Ballroom had its world premiere at Anime Expo 2017 at the beginning of July, a week before it was scheduled to air in Japan, and then a Twitch premiere 2 days before the scheduled air date. I actually got up early (time difference) to catch the stream of the first episode online, heheh \o/ And then watched the immediate encore again.

WARNING: I don’t think there’s anything that could warrant specific warnings of… unless you’re an absolute stickler for consistently accurate anatomy… But I’ll get to that in a bit.

I’m sure you guys would have figured it out by now, but this First Impressions post is likely to be highly biased due to the fact that I’ve been a huge fan and advocate of the series for awhile now, haha! I also did not expect it to turn out this long… oops.

One of the reasons why I’d been hoping for an anime adaptation after getting into the manga was because of how gorgeous the dance scenes themselves were portrayed by mangaka, Takeuchi-sensei; I thought that being able to see these uniquely illustrated scenes in a sequence of images on screen would be even more amazing. Another reason was how expressive each character was on paper.

With such a stellar production team working on the anime adaptation, it was hard not to have some pretty high expectations for it. I’m so darn happy to say the anime hasn’t disappointed in the least! XD

The story from the manga was slightly streamlined for quicker introduction and a better pacing. With its clever framing, character animation and detail, even with the generic Shounen setup, I daresay it captures old and potential new fans’ attention easily. It looks so good!
Along with the beautiful sense of movement and and flow, Ballroom’s character animation has done a wonderful job with how expressive and endearing each character is portrayed. I could go on to say exactly what I though about each and every character, but I should keep my fangirl in check here /o\

Unison Square Garden’s “10% roll, 10% romance” opening is such a lively track that’s been stuck in my head since the first time I heard it. I’ve fallen in love with its catchy tune and am seriously considering purchasing the single album when it’s out! The whole opening sequence was also really fun to watch, including some interesting choice of shots and transitions.
I may be clueless about Ballroom Dancing, but I’ve realised that besides the anime’s ending, “Maybe the next waltz“, by Komatsu Mikako, it sounds like many of the background tracks are basically different music that can be used for the various ballroom dances. I guess that’s pretty much expected to add to the show’s substance, but a revelation like this was pretty cool. 🙂

Tatara is so cute /////

The number one issue I’ve seen going around about the anime is about how crazy extended the necks of the characters are, which is stretched even more when they are dancing. I even got asked by a friend whether the manga was illustrated like this.
If you’d like to know… Yep! The manga stretches the anatomy, especially the characters’ limbs and necks, as I mentioned in my manga post awhile back, too! Even if it looks ‘unprofessional’ or ‘bad’, I’m quite happy the anime decided to keep the style of art this way. In my opinion, this style contributed to Ballroom’s portrayal of elegance and fluidity. But I totally understand where everyone’s coming from and this is just my personal thought. To be honest, I did snicker a little when the giraffe necks were much more prominent in Episode 2 XD There’s no doubt Ballroom’s anatomy is inaccurate, but I like the stylistic choice.

I mentioned it in my previous season anime interest post, but a friend and I were so excited for the anime we rushed out a simple cosplay photoshoot for Ballroom before it aired. It’s nothing special or anything, but if you’d like to see a few photos, you can check them out on Instagram 🙂 Ballroom e Youkoso’s turning out to be one of my favourite sports mangas — alongside Rookies and Haikyuu!! — and I’m hoping with all my heart this anime will pull in more fans of the series.

I’ve only watched the first 2 episodes at this time, but the third episode just aired so I’ll get to watching that as soon as I can! If we follow the story of the manga, there’ll be lots more high-tension-animated-dancing-action to look forward to in the coming episodes. Beyond excited for it! XD

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