Nardio Manga Review
IS WELCOME TO THE BALLROOM VOL. 2 WORTH YOUR TIME?
WHAT DID I THINK WITHOUT SPOILING IT?
Welcome to the Ballroom Vol. 2 follows up the first manga volume in a sensational manner that has me very excited for the series.
When I first started Welcome to the Ballroom Vol. 1 I had no idea what to expect. Volume 2 had me going into the experience wondering about the dozens of possible paths the story could end up taking. Volume one was so fresh, and the ending was so great that I had no idea where the story could go, and I was genuinely excited. This series reminds me of so many other mangas I’ve read over the years but manages to feel fresh all the same. Volume 2 starts off running with our hero thrown into the figurative lion’s den.
Heavy praise ahead.
I loved Tatara’s reaction to being put on the spot. His nervousness was understandable. His dance was surprising, and the way it ended was just right considering the way the story has been playing out. Right when it seems that the story is going to play out as per all usual sports manga, the writer comes in with a fresh dose of reality that again makes sense and had me engaged. I loved it.
The story slows down a little bit, but it works. Nothing plays out at all how I’d expected, and the last two chapters just throw a monkey wrench into it all and changed my expectations hopes for the series. Welcome to the Ballroom Volume 2 continues to wow and impress me at every turn. New characters, new problems, new dances to learn, this is not a lazy follow-up volume, but an epic continuation up to an amazing debut.
Yes, I am once again vague, but this is a very hard manga to review without spoiling it. The story just grows and moves in just such a way that I found myself sitting back and holding on for the ride. There are no real tropes besides our protagonist’s seeming freak ability to pick up a dance just by watching it. Even then he isn’t perfect. He still needs to practice it nonstop. He is a fast learner in his own clumsy way. Even then with that classic trope and pen in hand, the author manages to make it seem like he is still the underdog.
The other characters feel interesting and well developed. Yet, they have been barely developed. They are just written in just such a way, that their reactions make sense. Right when I think a new character is going to act one way, they do something entirely different. The only character that is starting to grate on my nerves is Sengoku. He went from an unorthodox jerk teacher in the first volume, to a wild card jerk that doesn’t explain his actions. Even he seems surprised at what he is doing. Sure part of it is Tatara constant ability to surprise him, but it’s coming off in a off-putting way.
Was it worth the money?
Yes. OMG yes! The story was really enjoyable, and like I said before, it kept me guessing. Of course, I have to gush about the phenomenal art. Once again I found myself enthralled in the details. Going back after I read the manga to reread it not just because of the great story, but so I could take my time with and appreciate the art. Pinch zooming the manga on my iPad to enjoy it all, and I love that my Kindle app lets me do that. I honestly can’t imagine going back to print manga again even if I do get a bigger apartment or house.
Agree? Disagree? Write your comments below.
- Amazon: Kindle for $9.42
- Amazon: Paperback $9.92
- Barnes & Noble: Paperback $10.07
- Barnes & Noble: Nook $10.99
- Author: Tomo Takeuchi
- Genre: Sports Manga/Slice of Life
- Kodansha Comics Twitter