Welcome to the Ballroom 1×03 & 1×04 & 1×05 Review

Welcome to the Ballroom Partners

Wow, guys, I didn’t think I’d have to review this many episodes of Welcome to the Ballroom at once. I missed “Dance the Waltz” because I was in San Diego so I anticipated having to do a double review. But then they dropped “Dancer’s High” and “Partners” on the same day, and now I look like a major slacker.

Watching these episodes in a group was, I think, actually quite beneficial, because I got to watch the entire competition in one fell swoop rather than having it be broken up. “Dance the Waltz” and “Dancer’s High” dealt with the Mikasa Cup and Tatara subbing in for Hyodo, while “Partners” introduced Gaju and Mako. However, because I’m reviewing so many episodes at once, I’ll format this a little differently than usual. Bullet points away!

  • Tatara is exceptional at reading people and mimicking. Everyone was impressed by how quickly he learned Hyodo’s choreography (just by observing him!), and he’s able to lead both Shizuku and Mako quite well, despite being a beginner. Still, he is a beginner, and the anime did a much better job than the manga of highlighting how awkward Tatara was on the dance floor.
  • Welcome to the Ballroom PartnersHyodo continues to be awesome, dancing on a broken leg to issue a challenge to Tatara. His tango was amazing, before the whole collapsing thing.
  • I love Hyodo and Tatara’s relationship. “Dance the Waltz” and “Dancer’s High” built nicely off of Hyodo’s introduction. That Tatara lit a fire in Hyodo, and then Hyodo goes to visit Tatara when he gets out of the hospital. I love that it’s a more or less friendly rivalry centered around dancing and not a love triangle.
  • I promise that the treatment of female characters does get better, although right now it’s kind of appalling. I wouldn’t blame anyone for dropping because of it. The anime is starting to emphasize Sengoku’s jackass qualities a little more, although really, ripping Shizuku’s dress off was just gross. She’s in middle school. (At least she slaps him in the manga. I wish they’d left that in there.) Plus there was another gratuitous Banba boob jiggle.
  • Welcome to the Ballroom PartnersGaju and Mako appear! “Partners” did a great job of showcasing their strained relationship. I’m not so much down with Gaju’s mullet (in the manga it just looks like long hair), but I do love these two and I’m happy that they’ve finally made their appearance. This is when things really start to heat up.
  • The animation style is growing on me. They still look weird, but dance is all about lengthening your body, and I’m sure the style is meant to emphasize the dynamic and expressiveness of the dance. I’d love to see more animation in the dance sequences, but considering the number of couples on the floor, I’m sure that’s just too difficult to produce.

What did you guys think of “Dance the Waltz”, “Dancer’s High”, and “Partners”?

Author: Jamie

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from THE Ohio State University. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, and conventions in the NYC area.

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