This episode shows us the inside of an amateur championship: The Prince Mikasa Cup. Of course Shizuku and Hyoudou are entering and competing in both Latin and Standard Division. In the toilets, some lame guys are talking shit about Hyoudou. Thanks to last episode Tatara has already realized dancing matters more than anything else to Hyoudou and that he trains harder than anyone, so he stands up for him. But bad luck does not stop there for Hyoudou because on top of being inured, Iwakuma, a competitor in the standard division and last year champion, pushes Hyodou down the stairs.

Because of that, Tatara has to take Hyoudou’s place. I don’t know the rules of Ballroom dancing competitions but it seems a bit weird that they could swap partners like that. Anyways, while dancing with Shizuku, Tatara looks like he has no idea of what he is actually doing.However, this impression quickly changes because Tatara is actually reproducing Hyoudou and Shizuku’s choreography,  and is fully aware of it. Which means, he kind of knows what he is doing. Well, actually, he knows but only for a short time because he soon starts mixing parts of Hyoudou’s choreography with random waltz moves, making his own choreography. But you can’t blame the kid because, well, he only started dancing a little while ago and was pushed into this competition a bit against his will. To me he saved the day. Even better, he saved the day, made Sengoku realize he does not suck as much as the latter thought and on top of that, he enjoyed dancing a lot.

Hyoudou sees Tatara smiling on the dance floor and gets pretty mad at him.  He grabs Tatara by the collar and asks him to “give it back”. Give what back? His partner? His place on the dance floor? The feeling of fulfillment and happiness Tatara got when dancing? I think it’s pretty much the latter. Now, maybe by realizing he has a proper rival, Hyoudou will start pushing himself further, that is at least, what the preview suggests. I can’t be mad at Hyoudou for being angry too. I mean it is not like he chose to not participate in the Waltz, he was stopped by that lame-ass Gorilla guy who is so unsure about himself and his talent that he has to rely on those pitiful actions to assure himself the winning place.

The short bits of fan service in this episode did not bother me. We saw a glimpse of Shizuku’s boobs and Hyoudou’s abs so it’s pretty fair, I won’t complain. However, I don’t like the fact that they characterize the lady with glasses and big boobs, only by her big boobs… I mean I don’t even know her name… All I know is that she has big boobs…

In the first part of the episode, when Tatara first sees the dancing floor, there was a short dancing sequence where characters on the dance floor were 3D models. For a short time I was afraid. I dislike 3D animation. I know directors decided to include some because it’s cheaper than hand-drawn animation but please… don’t animate dancing sequences with 3D animation. I’d rather have only still images, having to imagine the dancing in my head rather than witnessing horrendous 3D animation. But it didn’t last long so that’s fine. I was ready to complain about the lack of dance sequences fully animated but that 3D part reminded me that it could be a lot worse so now I’ll just stick with beautifully drawn still images and I’ll be fine.

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  1. Berry

    I’m not too familiar with dance competitions either, but I think you can swap partners for the different divisions. For another look at dancing in Japan, I think you should check out a movie called Shall We Dance? online if you have time. I had to watch it for a Japanese culture class I took in university and it was a really great movie that has the same subject matter of Ballroom e Youkoso (more or less) and you get to see lots of dancing and competitions.

    Such as in the movie, one of the female characters has one of the male characters as a partner in the Latin division, but then she swaps with another male character for the Standard division. They’re two separate divisions with each their own title to be won and dancers don’t have to compete in both, so I think it’s fine to have different partners for each. Though it’s standard to have one dance partner, because like how the characters were surprised Fujita and Shizuku were able to dance pretty well even though they had never danced with each other before, it’s hard to learn the styles of two different dancers.

    Shall We Dance? also touched on the culture clash and stigma of social dancing in Japan (such as it being shameful, embarrassing, guys only doing it because they’re perverts) that I hoped Ballroom e Youkoso would maybe mention but I don’t think it will. 🙁

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