Dance Dance Danseur Episode 1 [First Impression]

Eva’s First Impression

Coming into this, I was super excited to finally get to see a new ballet series! It’s been a long time coming, and I was more than thrilled to see they did not resort to using 3D animation for the dancing, which was beautifully done! But when we were introduced to the characters…  that was pretty much when things sort of became sour for me.

Meet Murao Junpei, he became smitten by ballet when he first saw a man perform during the 64th Ballet Festival. He described the feeling as tingling and exploding stars, and quickly his interests shifted to wanting to do ballet. However while he was given permission to do so, the idea of doing so was not something he could be open about to other boys his age since they would make fun of him for it. But before he even had the chance to take proper lessons, his father died from a heart-attack, and suddenly Junpei is being told by his relative that he has to be the man of the house now. That mentality and new circumstances made him feel like he had to do whatever it takes to follow his father’s foot-steps to become more manly. And since ballet was not considered as such, he left it behind while practicing some techniques at home.

Junpei is given an opportunity to finally try doing ballet again when Godai Miyako, (a girl he is sort of denying to have a crush on at the moment, all while he is convinced she has a crush on him), shows up and calls him out on the fact his high kick he likes to cover up as a Jeet Kune Do technique is actually a ballet’s ‘540’ and asks him to do ballet together with her. The next thing he knows, Miyako is going on to her mom (a ballet instructor) about how she sees Junpei as a potential pas de deux partner for the dance federation’s fall festival.

Talk about things unfolding a mile a minute. I seriously had to pause, rewind and double-check things because I was losing track of what was going on. Seriously, this episode had a huge pacing issues with how there was a whole lot of development to take in.

But my biggest gripe with the premiere were with the main characters. I didn’t find them to be particularly likable, which is honestly not the greatest impression to have at the start of any series. I will be giving them the benefit of the doubt to grow on me in due time (ideally within the next few episodes), but at least for today, I have to say wasn’t a huge fan of Junpei’s attitude. While I feel for him and understand why he behaves the way he does as reflex to deny his true feelings to focus on being more “manly”, there were a number of scenes where I felt he was acting like an brat.

For similar reasons, Miyako has rubbed me the wrong way. Seriously, with the way Miyako suddenly dragging him into ballet and then without consulting him, she announces that she wants him to potentially be her pas de deux partner, like excuse me, selfish much?

On the other-hand, Miyako’s mother is sort of a mixed bag. While I wouldn’t fault her for telling him the reality of what it means to get into ballet at this stage of his life (which means to give up everything), it really left a bad taste in my mouth when she told to quit the soccer club that have a camp at the same time as the dance festival. This is because she decided to give him free lessons under the assumption that he’ll perform at the festival- and yet none of this was actually properly discussed with Junpei!!! And good grief, there are so many problems these bloody assumptions that it infuriates me! Basically Miyako and her mother are banking on the fact Junpei actually loves ballet, and are trying to nudge him into finally honestly commit to it. Needless to say, this is not the way to go about it, and until then, they don’t have the right to tell him to quit anything else until he makes up his own mind!

Apart from the problematic trio, we were briefly introduced to Luou who who has been seen to lock himself in his room for the entire episode. Apparently he only comes out at night when Miyako sneaks him the key to the studio. Apparently he doesn’t want to be seen by Miyako’s mother considering she had mistaken Junpei for him when she first saw him in the studio. I sure hope he comes off as more likable… Please, I really want to be able to enjoy this series!

Honestly after watching this my initial enthusiasm for the series has taken a hit and I have become a bit more skeptical of how this might turn out. It’s quite disappointing way to come out of this premiere, especially since I didn’t I think I would be ranting about the main characters. I have been looking forward to a ballet series being adapted for a very long time so I am quite determined to give this a few more episodes to see if the characters can turn themselves around and grow on me.

As to whether I will pick this series up will largely decide how things play out in the next episode. Usually I give three episodes to decide I want to cover a series, but given how shaky of a start this one has, it will largely depend on how the next episode fares. If it does well, then I’ll be more inclined to try covering another before making a decision if I want to commit to it or not. So here’s to hoping the next one will be better! PLEASE!

Possibility of Covering: Low Will see how the next episode or two goes.
Possibility of Watching: Moderate

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing

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2 Responses

  1. zztop says:

    There’s a fantranslation of Danseur’s ongoing manga, if you’re interested to see how the source compares.

    Another ballet manga I can think of is the Magnificent Grand Scene by Cuvie; have you read that one?

    • Eva says:

      Thanks, I’ll take a look to see how the first episode’s chapter compares for reference of the next one.

      And yup I’ve been reading Magnificent Grand Scene! 😀 I’ve put it on a hold a while back once I caught up to it since I binged it haha, but it’s a fantastic one! I’m kind of annoyed the official English license is digital only though =3= Would’ve preferred physical… But it’s a ballet series I would love to see adapted!

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