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Old 2022-05-07, 02:09   Link #41
Guardian Enzo
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Absolutely stunning and stellar on every level. Best anime episode of the year so far for me and it's not all that close.
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Old 2022-05-13, 14:42   Link #42
magnumcyclonex
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What an eye opening episode. If we thought those 3 were the best in that class, Jumpei got an awakening when he saw the SS class.

It took a long time and many directives from Godai sensei and the pro dancer to instill the basics into Jumpei but it wasn't until the Pianist old lady who really woke him up to his own realization and re-focus on what he needs to work on. A gentle nudge and kind viewpoint now takes Jumpei on a humbling journey where he apologizes to Luou.

The many sides of Luou. He himself can be fearful as we saw in last week's performance, but he saw fear upon entering the class. Turning back into recluse mode, it takes hearing from our overly enthusiastic MC some goading to get Luou back into competitive mode. Just goes to show that all Luou has is ballet, but without Jumpei, he is almost useless in life. It will be fun to see Luou depend on Jumpei as much as he despises it. Surely by the end of it all, they will become equal partners?!

Other fun moments: Jumpei seeing his old soccer teammate who gives him words of encouragement, Jumpei dragging Luou to the prestigious school, then bursting in and announcing their attendance, and Jumpei apologizing to the little ones for taking up too much stage time.
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Old 2022-05-13, 17:00   Link #43
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That woman was sure rude voicing her disdain, but clearly baited Junpei right into her school.
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Old 2022-05-13, 20:24   Link #44
leongsh
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Episode 6
Maybe it is time to stop worrying about MAPPA dropping the ball in animating the dancing. They are doing a very good job so far. It's the halfway point (of an 11-episode run) and they are holding up well.

For the story proper, Junpei (and effectively Godai Ballet as well) is called out by Oikawa Ayako, the Artistic Director of a top ballet company in the country. What she saw in his and Luou's performance wasn't classical ballet. She is of the old-school and does not regard their performance as art. She is a stickler and she has clout.

Clout that was one of the basis for many mothers to enroll their daughters with Godai Ballet as Chizuru was formerly a principal ballet dancer with that same ballet company. This has Chizuru getting the brunt of the mothers' wrath at that censure of Godai Ballet. To her credit, Chizuru stood up for Junpei. She knows that he is a very rare find and aims to keep him, even at the cost of losing those other students.

Junpei is well stung by Ayako's comments that he even questions what is ballet and whether he is really doing ballet. He goes all shounen protagonist to find out, and even drags Luou along, to gatecrash the 8-day ballet summer school being held at the ballet school run by the ballet company led by Ayako. Ayako lets both Junpei and Luou join the full class. She definitely saw the talent in Luou and Junpei and is looking for the opportunity to swipe them from Chizuru / Godai Ballet if they meet her expectations.

It is there that Junpei gets his real introduction into the world of classical ballet. The world of practices and coordinated moves. Where the basics are drummed in, like Luou has, that they are able to dance more freely later on. Luou is no good with groups and shrinks silently. Junpei sure knows how to rile up Luou to stoke Luou's competitive fire in him.

His wake-up call came not from the instructors or his peers in the summer school class, but from the kindly old lady that plays the piano live for the class. She shows him the SS (Scholarship Student) class of older boys dancing in unison that makes him understand how far he still has to go. He gets the sparkles from watching them dance in unison and it becomes his new immediate aim.

The episode ending has Junpei (and us) discovering how much of a shut-in that Luou is that he has no clue on how to navigate the use of trains. While Junpei does make fun of Luou, he takes the opportunity to also apologise to Luou for wrecking his opportunity to go overseas for training and competition. He needs Luou to be his guide in the world of ballet as it was Luou that gave him the insight comments that helped him to keep up with the ballet summer school class.

Side note: One of the new characters introduced is Yasuda Misaki. In looks, he is a doppelganger for Arima Souichiro from Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (His and Her Circumstances).

Last edited by leongsh; 2022-05-14 at 02:17. Reason: Spelling corrections
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Old 2022-05-13, 20:48   Link #45
larethian
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I know nothing about this show except it is about ballet and has 2 main male leads based on cast list and I've not read preceding posts to avoid spoiler. Before I start this show, question: is this BL-ish?
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Old 2022-05-13, 21:35   Link #46
leongsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larethian View Post
I know nothing about this show except it is about ballet and has 2 main male leads based on cast list and I've not read preceding posts to avoid spoiler. Before I start this show, question: is this BL-ish?
No. It isn't BL-ish. The main characters don't swing that way.
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Old 2022-05-14, 01:58   Link #47
Guardian Enzo
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I find it utterly depressing that that would be the first question someone asks, but whatever.

Best series of the season, and nothing is really coming that close.
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Old 2022-05-15, 11:36   Link #48
SeijiSensei
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I would like this series more if Junpei wasn't such a self-important fool. There's some hints that he may begin to mature in the episodes ahead. We'll see. I still struggle to believe he can compete with boys who have doing ballet for years.
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Old 2022-05-15, 17:49   Link #49
Guardian Enzo
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I would like this series more if Junpei wasn't such a self-important fool. There's some hints that he may begin to mature in the episodes ahead. We'll see. I still struggle to believe he can compete with boys who have doing ballet for years.
I dont share your view on Junpei, who strikes me as one of the most realistic portraits of a 14 year-old in recent anime. Self-awareness is a difficult thing, even for adults - very few middle schoolers have any semblance of it. Hes basically reacting in a classic it feels good so I need more of it manner - he seeks out more of what stimulates his endorphins. I dont find him especially foolish or self-involved above and beyond what most kids his age are.

On the competing front, well, its pretty clear at this point that hes not - any practiced eye has been telling him how lacking he is in fundamentals. Hes basically reached a glass ceiling as far as his ability to progress in ballet based on his athleticism and acting alone - if hes to go any farther he has to move beyond the self-gratification phase and incorporate that which those other boys have been doing for years. But he shows a desire to do that, and the conversation with the pianist was an eye-opener for him in what the world on the other side of the chasm looks like (and what he has to do to reach it).
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Old 2022-05-16, 01:29   Link #50
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Another win for obaa-chan's knowing how to properly communicate.
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Old 2022-05-20, 23:11   Link #51
leongsh
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Episode 7
Junpei has taken the advice of the old pianist to heart and is focused on practicing ballet properly. He is still behind the main three dancers in the ballet summer school. They are Luou, Misaki and Yamato. In turn, Junpei is improving at a rapid pace. He is given special attention and instructions by the instructor, Nakamura sensei, and he takes the guidance seriously. Nakamura comments about how much he has improved. There's some backbiting from the other boys in the class but they are put in place by Misaki who says that Junpei is taking the instructions seriously and correcting himself whereas the others have not.

Kotobuki and Junpei break the ice with Junpei complimenting Kotobuki on his strong fundamentals. This results in Kotobuki inviting Junpei and Luou to attend the Romeo & Juliet ballet performance put up by the Oikawa Ballet Company at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan in Ueno Park. Kotobuki coming from one of the sponsor families of Oikawa Ballet Company has choice seats in the house. Luou initially refuses but is suddenly eager after finding out the lead dancer for the production is a Russian ballet dancer formerly from the Mariinsky Ballet.

MAPPA has done a good job with the ballet dancing practices at the earlier part of the episode, and here at the concert hall performance, they continue to show their love for the show in animating the ballet performances. Both Junpei and Luou are impressed enough by the performance that they stood up during the performance. That's a big no-no in etiquette. Luou takes it further by calling out "Bravo"

Junpei and Luou later learn that this ballet summer school is actually an audition for a ballet scholarship to join the SS class in Oikawa Ballet School. Yamato and Misaki are highly displeased to hear from Junpei that he and Luou are not here to get the scholarship. Yamato feels that their presence in the class is mocking them and challenges Junpei and Luou to a ballet dance off.

Yamato goes first and displays his powerful style of dancing with a variety of pirouettes and gets good ovation from the younger ballet students. Junpei is second to go and he has taken the lessons to heart and dances with a focus on precision in doing multiple single pirouettes. He may not impress the younger ballet students but he gets claps from Miyako who trains there and happens to pass by to see the performance, and another girl who we first saw in Episode 5. That girl commented that Junpei is better since he did pirouette properly and technically correct instead of Yamato's more sloppy performance. Since the basis of comparison was on how much ovation each got, Yamato prematurely declared victory.

Luou's competitive spirit was fired up as Yamato commented that Luou could not beat him since he is not consistent in class. Junpei backs up Luou to give his go. Luou impresses with more technically demanding multiple pirouettes and crouching pirouettes. His performance is viewed as better and difficult than what the SS class students in the school can do. Impressing everyone that Yamato concedes defeat even before Misaki's turn to perform. It's obvious that none of them can match up to Luou. That helps to break the ice between the boys but Misaki is still aloof. This turns out that Misaki is extremely serious in wanting to secure the sole scholarship on offer and views Luou as a major threat. Misaki does not know that Luou has absolutely no interest in getting the scholarship nor doing ballet in Japan. Luou is aiming for Russia.

We do get to see a few more flashes of the hard training forced onto Luou when young by his grandmother. His grandmother turns out to be a top ballet star from yesteryears. This was implied in the old photo of a top ballerina in the books kept in the library of the school. Luou slammed the book shut when Kotobuki peered over Luou shoulder to look at the photo of his grandmother that Luou was viewing intently.

In this episode, we get confirmation that Luou's quarter foreign parentage is Russian. He mutters in Russian when preparing to perform the dance-off. There's also the scene of Misaki doing an online search on Luou and finding out more about Luou's mother, Mori Mazuru, and her past. It is stated in the write-up that Luou's mother is half Russian.

EDIT:
The Tokyo Bunka Kaikan - https://www.t-bunka.jp/en/gallery/index.html

Last edited by leongsh; 2022-05-21 at 07:20. Reason: Adding a link to the concert hall.
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Old 2022-05-21, 08:49   Link #52
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
This turns out that Misaki is extremely serious in wanting to secure the sole scholarship on offer and views Luou as a major threat. Misaki does not know that Luou has absolutely no interest in getting the scholarship nor doing ballet in Japan. Luou is aiming for Russia.
This is the type of thing that could be easily resolved by Luou explaining that he has no interest in the scholarship. Of course, this doesn't happen because ... drama.
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Old 2022-05-21, 09:09   Link #53
leongsh
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
This is the type of thing that could be easily resolved by Luou explaining that he has no interest in the scholarship. Of course, this doesn't happen because ... drama.
The real world is the same. When people are focused on their goal, anybody that is seen as a threat to that goal would continue to be seen as one despite some of these categorically denying interest in that goal. I've experienced it before in pre-university college where I was the sole Science stream student in the college's debating society with the rest being Arts stream members. I was viewed as a threat by some Arts stream students to the limited number of slots for Law School even though I have flatly told them that I had no interest in going to Law School. During my entire school life in pre-university college, they did not believe me to be not interested in pursuing Law. I ignored them and went on with my life while they continued doubting my denials.

Your life experience is likely different and may not have experienced such roughly similar situations.
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Old 2022-05-21, 11:20   Link #54
SeijiSensei
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Nobody I knew cared that I wanted to go to graduate school in political science. Both for college and graduate school my "competitors" included people from across the US and around the globe. I never really thought about anyone as a competitor, though; maybe that's why I never got to the top of my profession. Family life more than made up for that.
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Old 2022-05-27, 14:48   Link #55
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First I thought Junpei was raising flags with another girl infecting her with his sparkly excitement or passion only for there to be love confession with Miyako, didn't see that one coming.

Although it's a shame this entire thing is set up by plaboy-in-disguise in order to bully/manipulate Luou.
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Old 2022-05-27, 15:46   Link #56
magnumcyclonex
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What.Just.Happened???!!!

Here I am watching the episode and it's progressing nicely. Natsuki comes into the limelight and all of her interactions with Jumpei are unique and sparkly. I can't help but feel like these two were destined for each other.

But then playboy manipulator creates the situation to get Miayko and Jumpei alone, and they let their feelings for each other known.

I feel a bit betrayed by the storytelling in this episode. By completing the love triangle, it simultaneously became more complex. All of what was built up between Natsuki and Jumpei was just so quickly thrown out, and I thought their sparkly synchronization was a good sign for Jumpei to move on to, and be inspired by another girl. Never did I think he would "go back to" Miyako, and if he was going to, I didn't think so this soon.
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Old 2022-05-27, 21:23   Link #57
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So for once a story was actually realistic and didn't have the guy jump at (no pun intended) the new chick he just met 5 seconds ago. For me it was a breath of fresh air. With that said there's definitely going to be some drama ahead, and things could always change. They're still just kids and most people don't end up with the first person they date/have a crush on.

I did enjoy the interactions between Jumpei and Natsuki, and I'm sure we'll see a lot more of her.
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Old 2022-05-28, 00:01   Link #58
leongsh
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Episode 8
We have our 4th member of this square properly introduced. She's Ayako's daughter - Oikawa Natsuki. She is in the 6th grade of elementary school but is in the 13-15 SS class for girls. Automatically, it would seem she is placed in that class due to nepotism but we learn later from Miyako that she is the best in that class and everyone else in the class is fighting for No. 2. Even Junpei notices that she stands out in the class when the summer school class boys get to view the SS girls class from the viewing room.

When Junpei goes to see her after her class ended, she was the only one left in the studio still practicing. Her ethos of practisng as much as she could so that she stays at the top. Her continuing effort to practice and stay ahead is something that Junpei empathises with since he is doing all he can to catch on others who have been dancing longer than he has.

When they did a second day of pas de deux practice with the SS girls, Natsuki and Junpei clicked in their views of ballet even though the day before they clashed horribly. They have the same thoughts of the type of ballet they want to dance. As the pas de deux session starts to wind down, Junpei and Natsuki try to dance the Flames of Paris pas de deux they saw separately the previous night that were both excited about. Their impromptu performance was in-sync and good enough to draw attention of the other dancers in the class. Their exhilaration over first try made thy decide to go for a second try which was not successful as they crash against the windows due to their inexperience. Junpei and Natsuki have discovered their ideal dance partner in each other.

Misaki has started his machinations by arranging a gathering of the SS class girls with the summer school boys. He used his SS girl partner to arrange for Miyako to meet up with Junpei in the school's salon. With the earlier advice from Misaki, Junpei takes the advice to heart and tells Miyako that he likes her. Miyako was taken aback by the declaration that she shrinks in embarrassment. Miyako must have felt pressured when she saw Junpei clicking with Natsuki. We had a shot of her looking on at the excited pair of Junpei and Natsuki after that impromptu pas de deux dance performance. She eventually reciprocates by telling Junpei that she likes him. That leads to their first kiss.

While waiting for Miyako at the gathering, Luou overhears the girls chatting about Miyako meeting up with Junpei back in the ballet school and that has him making his way back to school, Misaki contrives a reason to join him. They get to spy on Junpei and Miyako kissing which has Luou leaving and returning home alone. Luou has always thought of Miyako as his princess but seeing her and Junpei kiss broke something in him. Misaki's plan to shake Luou worked better than expected. Even he did not expect Junpei and Miyako to go that far so fast.

The episode ends with Luou going home alone on the train. Lost in his thoughts.

Side note: It seems that MAPPA used motion capture of ballet dancers to model the ballet dancing in this series. Kudos to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnumcyclonex View Post
What.Just.Happened???!!!
I saw your same post in Reddit. Answer is given there: "Simple. Dance partner =/= love interest."
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Old 2022-05-28, 01:24   Link #59
BBOvenGuy
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Originally Posted by leongsh View Post
"Simple. Dance partner =/= love interest."
I love that! How refreshing! You never see anyone do it, and it deserves to be done.

It doesn't hurt that Natsuki instantly became my favorite character in the show, too.
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Old 2022-05-28, 08:11   Link #60
larethian
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
I find it utterly depressing that that would be the first question someone asks, but whatever.

Best series of the season, and nothing is really coming that close.
Sorry, I just looked up the series briefly and saw 2 male leads at the front, I guess having seen gunjou no fanfare ep 1 sort of made me suspicious and cautious, since I didn't like it. Not even sure whether it's (GnF) really BL but it felt like one.
I also watched "welcome to the ballroom" and liked it, so another interesting and uncommon dance-related story would be nice.

Well I'm finally caught up. It's really a great show except the initial bullying part was painful to watch. I didn't think Junpei and Miyako will become a thing so quickly. I feel bad for Luou but it's something that he has to overcome. If Luou and Miyako were to end up as a couple in his current state, it won't be really a good thing for him, nor for Miyako.
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