REVIEW: ‘Dance Dance Danseur,’ Episode 2 – “I Can’t Be Friends With A Guy Like Him!”

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Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2 - But Why Tho

Dance Dance Danseur is a seinen anime produced by MAPPA.  Having secretly joined a ballet school, Murao takes his first steps toward becoming a dancer. But his interest in ballet is also caught up in his interest in Miyako. And when another student shows Murao up in front of her, he will once again find himself questioning what ballet really means to him in Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2.

Where the show’s pilot episode focused on Murao’s struggles with reconciling his interest in ballet with his conceptions of manliness and what his father would want him to be, this week’s story splits its focus into two relatable things. The first is his feelings toward Miyako. It is no secret that part of his desire to join the school was that she had asked him. The thought that this pretty and talented girl wanted to spend time with him was quite flattering to Murao. Unfortunately, Miyako’s motivations for asking him to join her at the school were not what he had dreamed them to be.

The moment where this situation comes to a head in Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2 is executed with wonderful care and subtly. Murao’s feelings are hurt, but he doesn’t take it out on Miyako. After all, he knows she did nothing wrong. Rather, the moment is handled in a way that shows both parties as sympathetic as the pieces click into place. It is always a painful moment when nobody does anything wrong, yet everyone seems to end up hurt. I feel like many of us can relate to Murao here. We have all had a moment where we read into a situation completely wrong due to our wants from a situation. While Murao may not handle the situation perfectly, he probably does better than many of us did.

The other major narrative focus in Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2 is its look at the struggles of learning a skill as complex and intricate as ballet. Murao has all the passion of someone who has just discovered a new love. He sees someone do something he finds amazing and instantly wants to replicate it. However, no amount of passion or talent can allow someone to skip years of training and body conditioning.

The realization that ballet isn’t something Murao will just be able to do, but is something he will have to learn is a hard shock to him. And I think this is a far more relatable experience than most of us would care to admit. While we all know that at the outset of our pursuits of such skills as ballet, art, or writing, there will be a long period of growth that could take years or even longer, we all have that small fantasy that we will simply make that first attempt and it will just happen. Alas, it never comes true.

It is this point of realization that is often the hardest struggle. Accepting that the instant gratification we all crave isn’t coming can break a person. Murao’s struggle with this realization feels authentic and well handled. The visuals also continue to display a great understanding of camera placement. The back and forth between long-shots and close-ups greatly enhances the impact of the show’s moments. Coupled with the smooth animation, the visuals can take the viewer’s breath away.

When all is said and done, Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2 continues to build out its story and protagonist in a way that is equal parts charming and authentic.

Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2 is streaming now on Crunchyroll.


Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2 - "I Can't Be Friends With A Guy Like Him!"
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Dance Dance Danseur Episode 2 continues to build out its story and protagonist in a way that is equal parts charming and authentic.