Ballroom e Youkoso Episode 2: [Kiyoharu Hyoudou]
Tatara is taking lessons from some trainees of the dance studio but doesn’t seem to be improving at all so Sengoku takes him to a ballroom dancing competition, in which Shizuku is participating. Thanks to that, we finally get a bit of explanation regarding ballroom dancing and especially competitions. Last week we learnt there is different steps and figures and this week we now know there’s different styles of competitive dances. The anime mentions Latin and Standard which are International style competition dances according to my beloved Wikipedia page. In each style there are a few different types of dances such as the ones mentioned in this episode: Waltz and Quickstep for the Standard division.
We are thus introduced to Kiyoharu Hyoudou, Shizuku’s dance partner and dance genius. He is the same age as Tatara but has already participated in various competitions and ranked first in both Latin and Standard division so he can pretty much do anything. Hyoudou and Shizuku win the competition which contributes to establish Hyoudou as Tarata’s number one rival as he gets the fame and the girl. However, when he’s not in “dance mode” he appears less threatening and fits the archetype of the deadpen.
Tatara seems to have gotten worse at dancing, so Sengoku makes him train with Hyoudou as he has to follow Hyoudou’s steps. Tatara does surprisingly well which reveals he is the type of guy who learns better from watching and imitating or rather replicating another person’s movements.
We learn Shizuku and Hyoudou have known each other for 9 years so they are childhood friends in addition to dance partners. As if it wasn’t enough, Shizuku informs Tatara that apparently on the day of the competition, Hyoudou had a fever so he wasn’t at his full potential. Hearing all those things and realizing Hyoudou is even more amazing than he previously thought, Tatara starts to get pissed off at him. But he soon realizes the latter trains harder than anyone and isn’t just talented from birth. Tatara then announces he’s going to cheer for him and leaves right away, like a school girl who has just confessed her love to her senpai.
So this episode served as an introduction to who seems to be Tatara’s main rival and soon to be friend: Hyoudou Kiyoharu. However, as well as learning more about the guy, we also got some character development for Tatara who is now more motivated than ever.
I like Hyoudou but I will admit, for the moment he does not speak much and appears as a very stereotypical character that I like to label as “Talented Bishounen Gives Zero Fucks”. It’s also good if the talented bishounen is also a very sleepy person. Exemples of this archetype being Rukawa Kaede from Slam Dunk and Furuya Satoru from Daiya no Ace. However, I believe Hyoudou changes a bit latter on and becomes more interesting as a character, something else than the “mandatory beautiful bishounen”, because yes, he’s beautiful… Did you see those eyelashes? Man, he’s hot.
I was kind of disappointed we did not get to see more of Hyoudou and Shizuku’s performance. Tatara said he got the chills when watching them and I wish I did too. Buuut, the show redeemed itself with Hyoudou’s dance sequence near the end of the episode. This one was nice, you could feel the intensity Hyoudou was putting in every movement and how serious he is about training and dancing in general.
The comedy in this episode worked on me. As expected it reminded me a lot of Haikyuu! but this is not a bad thing at all. However, sometimes I felt like the pacing or rather the timing of a few scenes was a bit off. Some sequences lasted for a bit too much in my opinion, when the camera could have cut to the next one sooner. I don’t know if it’s just me and if it’s due to the fact I want to the main plot to advance quicker but heh, that’s how I felt.
Seeing Tatara in his ballroom outfit in the preview makes me hope for more dancing sequences as he might enter his first competition! So I’m quite hyped