Tatara is rescued one day by a professional dancer and teacher named Sengoku. Ending up back at his dance studio, he meets a school mate that he had secretly come to idolize. From this moment, Tatara is thrust into the world of dance, aiming to improve as a dancer in order to be acknowledged by his peers and rivals while Sengoku nurtures his natural talent.
While Welcome to the Ballroom had some hitches in the beginning, it continued the prove that the weirdest activities often make the best anime series. If you are looking for more anime recommendations in a similar vein as Welcome to the Ballroom, then head on below.
For Fans of Mentors
Growing up in the shadow of her older sister, Chihaya Ayase is strong-willed and a tomboy with no dreams of her own. However, after meeting a young boy with a passion of a card game called karuta, he inspires her to become a karuta master.
Both shows are about a person entering a particular activity (and an obscure one at that) because it was something that someone they immensely respect did. While card games and ballroom dancing are distinctly different, they share a shojo vibe and a distinctly interesting storyline that you would not expect.
Hajime no Ippo
Makunouchi Ippo has been bullied his entire life, but dreams of changing himself. One day, he is saved by Takamura Mamoru, who happens to be a boxer. After Ippo faints from his injuries, Mamoru takes him to his gym where Ippo asks to be trained in the sport of boxing.
Sometimes you never consider a path in life until you meet the right person. In both cases, the main character was living a rather unfulfilling life, but that all changed when the met the person that would be their mentor. Their guidance helped them find something they were good at, and then pushed them to be great at it.
Yuri on Ice
After a crushing defeat at the Grand Prix finale, Yuuri Katsuki returns home no longer as Japan’s most promising figure skater. With his window for skating success closing, he assesses his options. After a video of Yuuri doing a performing a routine by five-time world champion Victor Nikiforov goes viral, he suddenly finds the champion on his doorstep, offering to be Yuuri’s mentor.
In both shows, you find a character that is somewhat in a slump. However, when they meet someone important to them, they get pulled out of it and pushed forward. This concept is a little different in Yuri on Ice because he was already in the sport, however.
For Fans of Passion and Practice
In order to work on his health, honor student Eiichirou Marou decides to spend his free time playing tennis. There he meets Natsu, another student who is determined to become a professional tennis player due to her love for it. Her passion begins to rub off on him, but as he continues to play, the more fascinated by it he becomes.
These shows start off extremely similar. In them, you follow characters that really didn’t have a particular interest in a sport until, of course, they meet a girl. In order to get closer to them, they give it a try and soon find out they are actually good at it. However, being good doesn’t mean you can be the best without practice.
After being inspired by the small, but talented volleyball ace Little Giant, Shouyou Hinata revives the volleyball club at his middle school. However, when he is brutally crushed by King of the Court Tobio Kageyama, his first match ends up being his last. Swearing to surpass him, Shouyou joins the volleyball team in high school only to discover Tobio is now his teammate.
In their own ways, both of these shows are about how far natural ability can get you. In Haikyuu, the main character is at a distinct disadvantage and tries to overcome it with practice. In Welcome to the Ballroom, they are shown to have natural ability, but lack the practice. As sports anime series, you watch the main character struggle to grow in both.
Kids on the Slope
After moving around his entire life, classical pianist Kaoru Nishimi has abandoned all hope of fitting in as he arrives in Kyushu for his final year of high school. However, that all changes when he meets the thuggish drummer, Sentaro Kawabuchi, a man with an immeasurable love for jazz. Over the music they bond together and Kaoru learns that music should be something to bring joy to others, not something dictated by hundreds of years of technique.
Often Welcome to the Ballroom is about impeccable technique, as ballroom dancing dictates, but there is more to dance than just that. In a similar vein, there is more to music than just hundreds of years of technique that has become classical. While Kids on the Slope is more about exploration and revelation, in its own way Welcome to the Ballroom is about the same only with dancing.
For Fans of Obscure Activities
Haruka Nanase has a passion for swimming leading him to compete and win a tournament in elementary school with his friends. Years later, they reunite as high schools students and while Haruka and three friends decide to form a swim club, his fourth friend, Rin, attends another school in order to surpass Haruka in skill and has no interest in being friends again.
Both ballroom dancing and professional swimming are sports you never thought would be animated. However, when they were and came with a compelling story and characters, they made a big splash. While Free has more fangirl service, they both take in-depth looks into the techniques and practices that come with their own realms.
Ever since he was a child, Souma Yukihira helped his father cook in his restaurant, constantly challenging him to cook-offs in anticipation for the day when he would finally win. However, when his father suddenly decides to leave to go on a trip around the world, Souma is sent to the Totsuki Culinary Academy, an elite cooking school where only the top 10 percent graduate. Here, Souma learns that not only are some of his classmates top-tier chefs, but they also engage in intense competitions called ”food wars”.
While not about dancing, or even a sport actually, Food Wars is about a guy following his passion. Whereas Tatara finds out his natural ability for dance then hones it, Yukihira already knows he is good, but is brought low by other, better chefs. Both are about the main characters working hard to improve their craft while spurred on by rivals and friends alike.
Do you have more anime recommendations like Welcome to the Ballroom? Let us know in the comments section below.
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