Anime: Welcome to the Ballroom S1E2 Review
Welcome to the Ballroom barrels into episode two. Tatara has found his way into the classes and now has to work hard to prove his worth. In this episode, Tatara is taken to a dance competition. If you thought his reaction to the video of Sengoku dancing in episode one blew his mind, the competition makes for some great illustration.
A great new cast of characters is added as Tatara meets Shizuku’s dance partner and is subjected to being taught by two of Ogasawara Dance Studio’s higher level students.
We learn Tatara is a bit hard to teach and the older students become frustrated with him almost immediately. Sengoku demands they all work harder and Tatara puts in his best effort but still isn’t picking up the moves at the speed required to become a pro dancer. He’s starting late in life as Shizuku and her partner have been learning almost from the cradle and have been paired since a very young age.
We spend the episode driving Tatara’s student teachers to tears. There are some great moments of comedy here even as Tatara understands the reality of his situation. Sengoku decides to take Tatara to the competition to see if it can help motivate him to find the lines he needs to hit with his body to learn basic steps. As we have seen briefly in episode 1 Tatara learns quickly by watching. Seeing the dancers in real life opposed to the video he seems to make leaps toward connecting the movements.
Welcome to the Ballroom provides several anime/manga tropes that work very well together to create a satisfying viewing experience. You have a dash of comedic side characters, a very determined main character, an out-of-my-league love interested, and a wizened mentor.
As I mentioned in the episode 1 review Welcome to the Ballroom is available to watch exclusively on Amazon’s Anime Strike.