Ballroom e Youkoso
By Takeuchi, Tomo
Genres: Shounen, Sports, Slice of Life
To start off the weekly manga recommendations, I decided to go with a modern sports manga. Welcome to the Ballroom is currently outclassing everything else in the Sports genre by miles.
Takeuchi Tomo goes where no mangaka has gone before: As the name implies, this is a manga about ballroom dancing. While this might sound boring at first, her dynamic artwork and interesting characters synergize with the typical shounen sports manga tropes perfectly. In fact, after reading it, competitive ballroom dancing seems like such an obvious sport to draw a manga for. It’s so hype!
As you can see, the art is absolutely gorgeous. It’s comparable to the likes of Eyeshield 21, drawn by Murata, one of the most skilled contemporary manga artists.
Tatara Fujita is a third-year middle schooler who feels completely average at life. He has no peculiar talents and has never truly felt good at something, but he wants to change. Life presents him with an opportunity when a ballroom dance instructor saves him from a group of delinquents and takes him to his studio. They’re desperate for clients, so they’ll basically take in anyone.
Although reluctant at first, Fujita falls in love with the sport, and begins to dedicate himself to it fully. He develops into a good dancer from absolute scratch. This “Weak-to-Strong” trope, combined with the stunning art and just the hype it generates, earned Ballroom e Youkoso a spot in my Top 10 Best Sports Manga of All Time list.
This manga is shaping up to be one of the absolute best released in the 2010’s, and is one of my go-to sports manga recommendations. Mark my words: In a few decades, it’ll be considered a classic paired up with monster works such as Slam Dunk.
This is one of those manga that is impossible to put down once you’ve started reading it. It will reel you in with fantastic art and lovable characters. And you can’t forget the beautiful dance routines: Even though the images are static, this manga flows so nicely that it almost feels like you’re watching a video.