One of the most highly anticipated new anime series dropping this year, Welcome to the Ballroom, will have its world premiere at Anime Expo on Sunday, July 2. From the teams who brought us Attack on Titan, Pony Canyon, Kodansha and Production I.G, the series premiere will also feature special guest appearances by director Yoshimi Itazu, animation director Takahiro Chiba, and producer Tetsuya Kinoshita.
If Attack on Titan is any indication of how the creative teams will be approaching Welcome to the Ballroom, fans should look forward to some visually striking choreography. From the trailer above, the animation style isn’t as clean as Attack on Titan, but has it’s own unique renderings and offers more liberties when it comes to over the top expressions from the characters. After Yuri on Ice proved to be such a success, there’s no wonder why Welcome to the Ballroom is receiving such attention.
The team behind Welcome to the Ballroom bring an impressive history of projects with them. Itazu has worked with Hayao Miyazaki and was the lead animator and character designer for the 2015 film Miss Hokusai. Chiba held the position of character design and animation director for Kamichu! and also chief animation director and sub character designer for Psycho Pass. And finally kinoshita has been with Production I.G since 2001, where he helped with the animation sequence in Kill Bill: Volume 1 as a production manager.
Additionally, Itazu, Chiba, and Kinoshita will all be attending the Welcome to the Ballroom panel on Saturday, July 1 at 5pm for discussion and attendee Q&A. The manga first appeared in 2011 by Tomo Takeuchi in Kodansha’s Monthy Shōnen Magazine. It has gone on to sell over 1.5 million copies, but only recently has been put on hiatus due to the author’s health back in early 2016.
Here’s the official plot synopsis for Welcome to the Ballroom, courtesy of the Anime Expo:
A professional dancer named Sengoku rescues Tatara, an introverted third-year middle school student who is being harassed by delinquents. Tatara ends up at Sengoku’s dance studio where he meets Shizuku Hanaoka, a schoolmate he comes to secretly idolize. From this defining moment when Tatara enters the world of dance. Sengoku is a free-spirited, dynamic international dancer who recognizes Tatara’s potential and begins to coach him. Through dance, Tatara meets another schoolmate, a dance prodigy named Kiyoharu. Through these new friendships, Tatara develops a passionate desire to improve as a dancer and be accepted by his peers and rivals, which nurtures his own native talent. And through interaction with Tatara, other dance members are encouraged to take steps to overcome their own challenges and issues.
Directed by Yoshimi Itazu, Welcome to the Ballroom stars the voices of Shimba Tscuhiya, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Ayane Sakura, and Toshiyuki Morikawa. The series will debut in Japan on MBS on July 8, 2017 and on Tokyo MX, BS11, and Gunma TV on July 9, 2017. There is currently no date set for the U.S. at this time.
Source: Anime Expo