A very promising start for an underdog story!
(Spoilers in this review)
One Sentence Summary: a boy who lacks direction and ambition in his life becomes interested in ballroom dancing.
Impression: Like I said before, Ballroom e Youkoso is a type of underdog story, which always appeals to my heart. Unlike in Boku no Hero Academia, where the underdog protagonist initially entertains a passion yet lacks the talent/ability, Fujita Tatara (the main character of Ballroom e Youkoso) doesn’t know what he is should be striving for life. After becoming enthralled with ballroom dancing, he opts to beg a pro ballroom dancer to start teaching him and manages to impress the man after practicing for an entire night.
I like how this episode concluded because it shows the main character’s drive and motivation to reach for an ambitious goal (to become a profession competitive dancer) while not selling him as some genius prodigy. After all of his hard work, Tatara’s form was still not perfect. And that’s how it should be after a single night. But seeing such determination and GUTS portrayed on-screen always gets me excited.
Unlike some of the other Summer 2017 series I’ve reviewed so far, this show had a nice pace and didn’t feel rushed. Sure, the episode as a whole felt predictable to some degree, but I think it’s important that a show doesn’t just blitz through the opening episode. Otherwise the audience is left with weak characterization and minimal reason to emphasize with the characters. Tatara’s self-defeating laugh and desperate attempts to find a goal in life was properly conveyed in this episode and the show is better for it.
Introducing someone who could be considered a foil to Tatara this early on in the narrative is also a plus. Hanaoka Shizuku is a female classmate who is very serious about ballroom dancing and contrasts quite nicely against the initially directionless Tatara. Maybe some personal bias and current personal experiences is causing me to enjoy this dynamic, but it served the show well. I’m just not sure if this can be an interesting romance with just this, but we shall see.
I have been made aware that the episode is slightly different compared to the manga (aka no vomitting after his all-night dancing spree). But whatcha gonna do? Vomitting isn’t pretty.
I’m excited to see the next episode.