Welcome to the Ballroom is one of my most-anticipated new anime of the year. As soon as I read about it, I ran out and bought the first volume of the manga. A ballroom dancing anime? Sounds right up my alley.
Kodansha Comics, which licenses the manga in the US, describes the story as such:
Feckless high school student Tatara Fujita wants to be good at something – anything. Unfortunately, he’s about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this, and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Kaname Sengoku sends them packing. Sengoku’s not the neighborhood watch, though. He’s a professional ballroom dancer. And once Tatara Fujita gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will never be the same.
After falling in love with anime centered around less traditional sports like figure skating (Yuri on Ice), swimming (Free!), and volleyball (Haikyuu!!), I somehow knew that I was going to love Welcome to the Ballroom. And of course I do, so I’ve been ridiculously excited for the anime premiere, which is in less than two weeks.
This is honestly the first time I’d even heard of Anime Strike, having only gotten into anime late last year and mostly just working my way through titles on Crunchyroll (or some less-than-reputable sites that shall remain nameless). But judging by some anime fans’ reactions to this news, this Amazon-exlusive-only deal may not be good news.
I have a Prime membership, as well as monthly subscriptions to Netflix and Crunchyroll, and I’m not too thrilled with Anime Strike’s double paywall (a $5 monthly free on top of the cost of Prime, which is already $100 a year). Scrolling through the titles available on AS, I noticed that most of them are currently available on Netflix and/or Crunchyroll, two services that I’m already paying for. I justified the Crunchyroll subscription because of its massive library of titles. As of right now, Welcome to the Ballroom is the only AS exclusive that I’m interested in. Is it worth shelling out $5 a month for essentially one show, excited as I am about it?
At least I’m in the United States, so I don’t have to worry about availability, but I do worry about the inconsistent upload times.
What do you guys think of this news? Do any of you subscribe to Anime Strike? What do/don’t you like about it?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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