Dance Dance Danseur is a seinen anime produced by MAPPA. After finding a place for themselves with their peers at the new school, Luou and Murao continue to make progress in their ballet studies. But when the boys are paired up with one of the girls’ classes for some duets, Murao learns some things he didn’t expect to in Dance Dance Danseur Episode 8.
If you’ve been reading my weekly reviews for this series, you’ll know one of my biggest struggles is the unabashed smothering of Murao’s individualistic approach to ballet. The cold, often sterile approach to art that is getting drilled into the young man’s passionate love of his craft has frustrated me. So when Murao’s dancing partner in Dance Dance Danseur Episode 8, a highly accomplished young lady named Natsuki, showed disappointment with how restrained he behaved while training with her, it made me very happy.
Natsuki was in the crowd at the ballet contest and did not share the opinion of most of the accomplished individuals there. I was happy to see the show give Natsuki this opinion. Not only because it coincides with my feelings, but it is nice to see a show portray nuance in a group. Ballet dancers, even highly trained and experienced ones, can value different aspects of performance. It is a pleasant reminder that no group is ever a monolith.
The coed training soon leads the boys and girls to group up to hang out. As is often the case with young people, these interactions lead to a mix of awkwardness, friendly chatter, some revelations, and a bit of heartbreak. And it handles all of these elements surprisingly well.
While I can often appreciate the over-the-top nature of anime, when it comes to the awkward first steps of young people and romance, I feel like the medium tends to go overboard. Both with how awkward it makes it and how long it drags out the process of admitting feelings. Dance Dance Danseur Episode 8 delivers the more delicate moments of this episode with a level of authenticity that is often lacking where such elements are concerned.
The visuals once again shine through every element of this episode. During the training sequences, the animation captures Murao’s thrill as he finds himself discovering new things about ballet with his partner Natsuki. Even though the dancing sparkles in the front half of the episode, the visual’s delivery of the back half of the episode’s heartfelt moments, both good and bad, are just as captivating.
Altogether, I’d have to say Dance Dance Danseur Episode 8 is my favorite of the series yet. It continues to explore the many aspects of ballet and its leading character with an appreciation of both’s many nuances. I hope that future episodes build upon what has been put in motion here and can continue to deliver authenticity.
Dance Dance Danseur Episode 8 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.
Dance Dance Danseur Episode 8 -"Oh, I Want To Do It Again!"
I’d have to say Dance Dance Danseur Episode 8 is my favorite of the series yet. It continues to explore the many aspects of ballet and its leading character with an appreciation of both’s many nuances.