Welcome to the Ballroom (Ballroom e Youkoso) is a 2017 television anime series based on Tomo Takeuchi ‘s manga of the same name. The series was adapted into an anime by studio Production I.G with director Yoshimi Itazu, writer Kenichi Suemitsu, and published by Pony Canyon. The series first broadcast in Japan on July 2017 as part of the Summer season.
“In spite of his successes to date, life on the dance floor is still a challenge for Tatara Fujita – finding a willing dance partner is hard, while a certain classmate of his isn’t shy of voicing her opinion of his hobby as “lame”.
However, there’s more to her dismissive words than meets the eye, and perhaps that difference of opinion is just the catalyst Tatara needs to be bold about his passion and move forward to new heights in the world of competitive ballroom dancing?
The time is right for this young man to take the lead, even if it means stepping on a few toes. With plenty more competitions to test his skills and progress, Tatara is determined to waltz his way to the top.”Plot Synopsis via Anime Limited, May 2020.
Production I.G adapted a bunch of manga titles and I remember the big ones that blew up over time were Haikyu!! and Kuroko’s Basketball. Both were great shows overall and the character designer for Haikyu!! then worked with the studio on another shonen adaptation of a manga known as Welcome to the Ballroom.
Unlike the two shows that I mentioned, Welcome to the Ballroom was received pretty well but had a much lower following because it was simulcasted exclusively through Amazon Prime and also acquired by Pony Canyon’s American branch known as Ponycan US. The distributor is basically similar to Aniplex of America but not to the same quality. Eventually that distributor seemingly disappeared, but the shows that were under their belt were pretty much in limbo.
That being said, here in the United Kingdom was a different story. Anime Limited worked with Crunchyroll to release some of Pony Canyon titles with Rokka -Braves of the Six Flowers- and Sound! Euphonium. They were also able to release Welcome to the Ballroom which was not part of Crunchyroll but were still related to Pony Canyon at the very least.
In fact Ponycan US never really bothered to release Welcome to the Ballroom on Blu-ray in North America, so Anime Limited’s release is pretty much the first English release for the series.
Collector’s Edition Contents:
Anime Limited gave Welcome to the Ballroom the collector’s edition treatment, and much like the first half of the show, the second half got the same style for consistency.
This release is presented with a rigid box containing a digipack to house the Blu-ray discs for the second half of the series. The box also comes with a 24-page booklet and 5 Artcards. The box has clean artwork with the show’s title on the spine and a small mention to indicate which part it is.
The artwork is free of any information or BBFC content and the info sheet covers the information and specification like previous Anime Limited releases. The collector’s edition Blu-ray has 1000 units printed for an SRP of £59.99. This is also a Blu-ray only release and may get a standard edition over time, sometimes if a subtitled only series doesn’t sell out fast it may not get a re-release due to various factors.
- Rigid Box with digipack packaging and clean artwork
- Info sheet for Product Desc. and BBFC details
- 24-page Booklet
- 5 Artcards
Distributor: Anime Limited
Released: 11th May 2020
The second part of Welcome to the Ballroom covers episodes 13-24 across two Blu-ray discs, with the encode done by an unknown individual who collaborated with Anime Limited. This is also the first Blu-ray release that is accessible for English-speaking territories. The audio options available for the series include Japanese with English subtitles as the series was never acquired properly by Ponycan US due to streaming exclusively on Amazon, and Anime Limited mainly place their dub resources on films instead.
The white subtitles are locked during playback, and the regions are locked to B for Blu-ray. I should note that the subtitles are a tweaked version of the Amazon Prime simulcast translation so it’s not the most accurate experience. Like Part 1, this release also features no on-disc bonus features which is both disappointing and probably to be expected.
|Audio||Japanese Linear PCM 2.0|
|Video||1080p High Definition Native format|
16:9 aspect ratio
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
No extras across all discs
Welcome to the Ballroom is available to own on Blu-ray from UK distributor Anime Limited. The series is currently available as a collector’s edition set for Part 1 and Part 2 available through retailers like Amazon UK.
(Disclaimer: Amazon links are also included when available. They are affiliated so if you decide to order them, I’ll earn a small percentage if they ship which will help me with any hauls or small bills. Due to current global situations, shipping restrictions may apply.)