Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ballroom e Youkoso 2

Sengoku assigns 2 instructors to teach Fujita the basic dance moves: Karen Banba and Tomochika Jinbo. Sengoku commissions them because as trainees they don't get paid but Fujita proves to be a bad student. Fujita however takes heart when Shizuku wishes him luck.

Meanwhile, it's revealed that Shizuku is competing at the Semi-Finals Amateur Dance Competition and Sengoku announces that he's going to see it. Naturally, Fujita goes too, along with Karen and Jinbo. There, Sengoku gets fawned over by some girls who recognize him as the Latin Dance Champion. Fujita sees Shizuku's dance partner, Kiyoharu Hyodo for the first time and feels intimidated by the boy's aura. It turns out however that Kiyoharu is the same age as Fujita. Kiyoharo and Shizuku wins the Semi-Finals round, but Sengoku is annoyed at how bored Kiyoharu looks after accepting his award.

The next day, Fujita is still reeling from the previous night's exciting competition and mooning over Shizuku when he encounters Kiyoharu, who looks quite different out of costume. Kiyoharu is tehre at Shizuku's behest to give Fujita Kiyoharu's last year's dance pants. The pants however need some hemming. After a demonstration of what Fujita learned over the past week under Karen and Jinbo's tutelage, Sengoku decides to let Fujita observe and follow Kiyoharu's moves. It turns out that Fujita is better at imitating moves than at taking actual dance instructions. He is even able to follow Kiyoharu's excellent footwork and Sengoku wastes no time rubbing this in Kiyoharu's face. Kiyoharu, however, remains unfazed.

In school, Fujita is thrilled to find that Shizuku is waiting for him at the locker room, but she's only there to tell him that they are finished hemming his pants. The two of them go to Kiyoharu's place and along the way Shizuku explains that she and Kiyoharu have been dance partners since they were 5 years old. Shizuku also says that on the night of the semi-final round, Kiyoharu had a fever and yet he still danced at an excellent level. Shizuku reveals her plans to go abroad to train but that Kiyoharu is not interested in that. While Shizuku goes to get the dance pants, Fujita secretly observes Kiyoharu rehearsing. To his surprise, he sees an image of Shizuku dancing with Kiyoharu. Shizuku explains that some dancers are so attuned to their partners that even when they are dancing by themselves, it still seems like they're dancing with their partner. At the studio the next day, Fujita rehearses the basic waltz and Sengoku is surprised to see that he is dancing with Shizuku in mind as his partner.

In this episode, we see some hilarious faces made by the characters. Fujita especially but Kiyoharu got the most laugh from me when he made the "scary yawn" at Fujita.
I'm still enjoying the show. The style can be quite extreme (distorted faces, contorted bodies to the point that they are almost grotesque) but most of the time the images are tame and when it's tame it can be beautiful. Especially the close ups. Long shots are a bit touchy though because you can see how little they pay attention to the character details. Characters and proportion look weird in long shots.
I think it could use a little more movement in the dance sequences but I guess that would take too much from the budget. The production value is quite high already.
Anyway, in this episode, we see Kiyoharu established as the genius. Like if Fujita is Sakuragi then Kiyoharu is Roukawa. I get that vibe between them. Or, if you wanna refer to more recent anime, then Fujita is Naruto and Kiyoharu is Sasuke. I think it's a common trope in anime and always, always, there's the girl in between. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
I hope this show does not fall into a box.