I was afraid for like a day that Ballroom was delayed for another week. Thank goodness it was just Amazon/Anime Strike being belated once again.
With Tatara and Mako teaming up to beat Gaju and Shizuku, we’re pretty much gearing up for the first real match in Ballroom e Youkoso. I do love it when sports anime have serious odds going against the main character and this show especially feels like an uphill battle. Gaju genuinely looks like a beast on the dance floor and it certainly doesn’t help that Shizuku has adapted to Gaju’s lead very quickly. Even though Tatara is very good as assimilating moves and leading his partner, he still knows very little about dancing (this episode has him learn about the floor). Furthermore, can anyone really disagree with Gaju when he thinks Shizuku is the more compatible partner? Being of the same height certainly makes it easier for Gaju to lead her than with the shorter Mako. The sad thing is that Tatara and Mako as partners makes way too much sense in terms of both personality and height.
The fact that Sengoku has finally decided to properly teach Tatara should be a sign that our protagonists are very serious about getting Gaju to partner with Mako again. We’ve seen a lot of Sengoku being a bit mean to just about everyone around him these past few episodes but now, I can’t deny that he knows dancing like the back of his hand. He effectively creates a flashy program for Tatara and Mako and he is quick to notice when Tatara is unaware of how the dance floor works. Some of Sengoku’s methods are a bit…extreme. I don’t know if I’d force Tatara to dance with Mako in a crowded dance hall but then again, I can’t deny that the team got results.
Knowing that Tatara’s parents are divorced adds a lot of depth to how Tatara views the relationship chart laid out in this show. The union of two dance partners have been compared to that of a married couple and Tatara takes this analogy very seriously. Having dealt with a mother who left him behind, it comes to no surprise that Tatara dislikes the idea of Shizuku and Gaju leaving Hyodo and Mako behind. Ideally, Tatara would rather see everyone back in their original partnerships because with that setup, everyone would be included and happy. The only problem is where does Tatara even fit in all of this? If he does succeed in getting the original partnerships back in order, Tatara would be a sort of fifth wheel among the cast. I am glad that Mako took the time to encourage Tatara to think for himself more. It not only encourages Tatara to feel more confident about dancing but it also motivates him to really think about where he fits in all of this. I’m sure Tatara would find happiness in getting these people back into the original unions but I think he’d be even happier if he had a permanent dance partner.
It’s a shame that Tatara and Mako’s partnership is apparently temporary because they really do suit each other really well. They both understand each other’s insecurities and flaws and they help each other out. I wonder if their compatibility will come into play even after the Tenpei Cup is over. Mako has gotten so close to Tatara that it’s hard to imagine she’d be okay with Tatara being partner-less again.