(Spoilers in this review) Despite Sengoku’s warning, Kiyoharu pushes himself to dance after witnessing Tatara’s dance. As a result, he demonstrates an intense Tango, but he ends up losing consciousness. His leg will take some time to recover and he will be banned from competitive dance for 6 months because using a double (aka Tatara) is against the rules.
Feeling guilty, Tatara runs into Iwakuma. The two have a bit of a heart-to-heart (and it turns out Iwakuma is a nice guy who didn’t push Kiyoharu down a flight of stairs). Tatara then finds Kiyoharu visiting his house, which leads to another heart-to-heart between two guys. That’s the kind of stuff that defines sports shows! And it seems like he doesn’t hold a grudge against Tatara since he’s aware that Sengoku probably pushed him into dancing for him, but Tatara insists that he enjoyed it. At any rate, the two part ways after Kiyoharu tells Tatara to quickly get on the stage and after asking Tatara to take care of Shizuku for him.
The episode ends with a new girl running into the dance studio and crashing into Tatara. The girl apologizes before telling Shizuku to run. Following after her is a new guy who claims that Kiyoharu is dead before asking Shizuku to dance with him. I guess he’s swooping in now that Kiyoharu is temporarily out of the picture.
Ballroom e Youkoso continues to be a well-executed sports series. Despite the inclusion of troubling camera angles and seemingly gratuitous instances of fanservice, the series continues to do well by competently managing tone. As a result, the humorous bits have great comedic timing, for the most part, that do not bleed into and hamper the impact of the show’s more dramatic moments.
Something that I’ve I’m been enjoying is the inclusion of a rougher art style to depict Kiyoharu’s determination. His shadow-dancing was also drawn in a rougher style in episode 2. Sometimes art shifts can be distracting, but the raw color palette, prominent shading, and excessive lines serve to illustrate the pure emotion and passion present in both scenes.
I’ve been meaning to talk about the show’s depiction of masculinty, but that’s for another post. I might have enough material for a meaningful article now.
In short, the series shifted away from its usual amount and type of fanservice (but if you like shirtless guys, then you’re reaping all the benefits) that might upset some fans and the tried-and-true-sports-narrative is being executed well. Plus, new characters, yay.