Welcome to another round of “you should be watching,” where I spotlight two anime shows that I am currently watching through some of my many streaming services. This week, I will be showcasing a newbie and an oldie.
Welcome to the Ballroom:
Tatara Fujita has no idea what direction he wants to go with his life. He really starts to question it hard when he turns in his high school application and career form blank. After a chance encounter at a dance studio and later watching a competitive ballroom dancing DVD that was snuck into his school bag, he makes a life altering decision: He wants to become a pro-ballroom dancer.
Based on the manga by Tomo Takeuchi, Welcome to the Ballroom brings to the forefront competitive ballroom dancing like what Yuri on Ice did for mens competitive ice skating. While the most popular sports in Japan are Baseball and Soccer, shows like these bring lesser known sports out into the limelight.
While only one episode has aired so far, I can guarantee you’ll be hooked by the first one. Rumor has it that the show will run 24 episodes. Welcome to the Ballroom is currently streaming at the same time Japanese episodes air on Amazon’s Anime Strike channel. An Amazon Prime account is needed to view.
Galaxy Express 999:
Tetsuro Hoshino and his mother make their way to the city of Megalopolis, it hopes of boarding the legendary train, 999 (pronounced three nine). The train takes its passengers to the Andromeda Galaxy, where one can procure a mechanical body free of charge and gain immortality. Only catch is that the train only lands on Earth once a year. Along the way, Tetsuro’s mother is killed by humans who have already made this transformation. He is rescued by the enigmatic Maetel, who offers him a ticket to take the Three Nine to Andromeda. Tetsuro vows to get revenge for his mothers death, and get a mechanical body to live the life his parents never had a chance to have.
Galaxy Express 999 was created by the legendary manga artist Leiji Matsumoto. You may find his name familiar as he also created such series as Captain Harlock, and Queen Esmereldas. More recently, he was responsible for the story and character designs for the film made to coincide with Daft Punk’s album Discovery, and providing design influence on the Cartoon Network TV show Steven Universe.
The series is three seasons long with over 100 episodes. I am currently at the beginning of season three. Most episodes like with many other series are filler, but all bring forth the same message on what it means to be human.