“Welcome To the Ballroom: Volume One” Review

Warning: If you have not read “Welcome To The Ballroom, Volume One” by Tomo Takeuchi, don’t read this review unless you want spoilers!

I’m back with another book review, and I’m finally starting “Welcome To the Ballroom” by Tomo Takeuchi! Like “Let’s Dance A Waltz,” this series has a ballroom dancing competition setting. When I’m finished reading both series, I’ll do an in-depth comparison of both, but in the meantime, let’s see the summary so we know what this manga is about!

“Feckless high school student Tatara Fujita wants to be good at something — anything. Unfortunately, he’s about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this, and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Kaname Sengoku sends them packing. Sengoku’s not the neighborhood watch, though. He’s a professional ballroom dancer. And once Tatara Fujita gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will never be the same.”

This was a very interesting first volume! Tatara really does seem like your average guy, but he’s not boring to read. He’s actually a character we can all relate to, because he has this insecurity of whether he has a special talent or if he’s capable of doing anything significant. This inner struggle is one of his main conflicts, and something that I assume will be more explored later on in the manga.

I think it’s kind of obvious already as of who the love interest for Tatara is (spoiler alert: It’s Shizuku) but she thankfully does not go without any depth. She’s established as a Grade-A student, has a ton of snarky remarks that make her entertaining to read, and all the professors are shocked that she’s studying abroad with her boyfriend instead of going to some great college like they expected her to be.

…Yes, you heard that right. Shizuku, the love interest, already has a boyfriend. Having read many romances where a guy falls for a girl who is already taken, it’s clear that this will either go one of two ways most likely:

  1. The girl dumps her boyfriend or vice versa, and proceeds to get together with the main character or
  2. The main character ends up just not getting together with the girl.

We’ll see how this goes in later volumes of the manga, and I’m not going to linger too much on this because we have yet to see it develop further in the series (again, this is only Volume 1).

However, compared to “Let’s Dance A Waltz,” romance is clearly not the main plotline here. Instead, it focuses on Tatara’s inner conflict of wanting to be good at something, to know that he’s capable of doing something significant,  no matter what deters you. Even when the fellow people at the dance studio shun him, as well as hearing how others outside the realm of dance look down on ballroom dancing or as dance as a career in general, Tatara just goes for it! He himself has his own struggle as of whether to move onwards with trying out dance or not, but he decides to take the risk and go for it, and that’s what starts his character development and makes me want to read more overall.

Compared to “Let’s Dance A Waltz,” it’s clear that “Welcome To The Ballroom” gives us a more indepth understanding of the types of ballroom dances available, as well as the concept of ‘shadowing,’ right in the first book. I feel like we’ll learn some more indepth dance terminology later on in the series as it goes, and so not only does this teach those with less knowledge of dance a little bit, but the artwork in this volume also helps to show the differences between each dance style demonstrated.

Overall, I both like and dislike the artwork in this volume because though it does help to emphasize the rougher, on-edge scenes, the softer, less dynamic or intense scenes get the same rough-looking art treatment. This makes the softer scenes feel a bit too rough to read at times, and so that lessened the impact the softer, less-intense scenes could have.

Overall, 4 out of 5 stars! I eagerly await to read the next volumes of this series!

Warning: If you have not read “Welcome To The Ballroom, Volume One” by Tomo Takeuchi, don’t read this review unless you want spoilers!

I’m back with another book review, and I’m finally starting “Welcome To the Ballroom” by Tomo Takeuchi! Like “Let’s Dance A Waltz,” this series has a ballroom dancing competition setting. When I’m finished reading both series, I’ll do an in-depth comparison of both, but in the meantime, let’s see the summary so we know what this manga is about!

“Feckless high school student Tatara Fujita wants to be good at something — anything. Unfortunately, he’s about as average as a slouchy teen can be. The local bullies know this, and make it a habit to hit him up for cash, but all that changes when the debonair Kaname Sengoku sends them packing. Sengoku’s not the neighborhood watch, though. He’s a professional ballroom dancer. And once Tatara Fujita gets pulled into the world of the ballroom, his life will never be the same.”

This was a very interesting first volume! Tatara really does seem like your average guy, but he’s not boring to read. He’s actually a character we can all relate to, because he has this insecurity of whether he has a special talent or if he’s capable of doing anything significant. This inner struggle is one of his main conflicts, and something that I assume will be more explored later on in the manga.

I think it’s kind of obvious already as of who the love interest for Tatara is (spoiler alert: It’s Shizuku) but she thankfully does not go without any depth. She’s established as a Grade-A student, has a ton of snarky remarks that make her entertaining to read, and all the professors are shocked that she’s studying abroad with her boyfriend instead of going to some great college like they expected her to be.

…Yes, you heard that right. Shizuku, the love interest, already has a boyfriend. Having read many romances where a guy falls for a girl who is already taken, it’s clear that this will either go one of two ways most likely:

  1. The girl dumps her boyfriend or vice versa, and proceeds to get together with the main character or
  2. The main character ends up just not getting together with the girl.

We’ll see how this goes in later volumes of the manga, and I’m not going to linger too much on this because we have yet to see it develop further in the series (again, this is only Volume 1).

However, compared to “Let’s Dance A Waltz,” romance is clearly not the main plotline here. Instead, it focuses on Tatara’s inner conflict of wanting to be good at something, to know that he’s capable of doing something significant,  no matter what deters you. Even when the fellow people at the dance studio shun him, as well as hearing how others outside the realm of dance look down on ballroom dancing or as dance as a career in general, Tatara just goes for it! He himself has his own struggle as of whether to move onwards with trying out dance or not, but he decides to take the risk and go for it, and that’s what starts his character development and makes me want to read more overall.

Compared to “Let’s Dance A Waltz,” it’s clear that “Welcome To The Ballroom” gives us a more indepth understanding of the types of ballroom dances available, as well as the concept of ‘shadowing,’ right in the first book. I feel like we’ll learn some more indepth dance terminology later on in the series as it goes, and so not only does this teach those with less knowledge of dance a little bit, but the artwork in this volume also helps to show the differences between each dance style demonstrated.

Overall, I both like and dislike the artwork in this volume because though it does help to emphasize the rougher, on-edge scenes, the softer, less dynamic or intense scenes get the same rough-looking art treatment. This makes the softer scenes feel a bit too rough to read at times, and so that lessened the impact the softer, less-intense scenes could have.

Overall, 4 out of 5 stars! I eagerly await to read the next volumes of this series!

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One thought on ““Welcome To the Ballroom: Volume One” Review

  1. Pingback: Looking Forward to 2019! – mysticalauthoress

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