Dance Dance Danseur: Reflecting on the Finale – Captivating Series Review

Movie Bunker Score:

The Complex Feelings Towards the Anime Ending

Let me begin by expressing my conflicting emotions towards the ending of this anime. It’s worth noting that only a truly remarkable series can evoke such strong reactions. Typically, when I find myself as perplexed as I am now after a finale, I take a step back and allow time for reflection before attempting to write about it. However, this time, I feel compelled to forge ahead and engage in a free-flowing stream of consciousness. Please bear with me if my thoughts appear somewhat disjointed.

The Great Divide: A-Part vs. B-Part

To kick off this free association, I must admit that I preferred the B-Part significantly more than the A-Part. In fact, I found the A-Part rather unappealing, despite being completely captivated by the mesmerizing dance sequence it featured. The issue lies in the resolution of the Goudai storyline, which, in my opinion, was a complete disaster. Its negative influence tainted everything it touched. This prompts me to wonder if the mangaka truly comprehends the magnitude of the mess that was created.

A Tangled Web of Dysfunctional Relationships

I have deliberately avoided mentioning until now that Miyako and Luou are cousins. Frankly, there were other disturbing aspects that overshadowed this fact, and I held out hope that the narrative would rectify the situation. Alas, my hopes were dashed, and I am forced to assume that George Asakura believes there is nothing wrong with endorsing such dysfunction. I cannot speak for her other works, having not read them, but I can confidently state that every aspect of this family’s story is a disaster. Though I empathize with those ensnared in the web spun by the despicable old woman, I am sorry to say that this is not the way to break the cycle.

The Plight of Miyako and Luou

Among the characters, I feel the deepest sympathy for Miyako, who deserves to live her own life. As a dancer, she may not possess exceptional talent—an opinion skillfully crafted by her mother. However, she deserves more than being trapped in a co-dependent relationship as her cousin’s caretaker. Luou, on the other hand, is greatly troubled—for valid reasons. Still, what he truly needs is professional help, not a codependent bond with a cousin who now essentially holds him captive. In the heat of the moment, Miyako may have been convinced that her actions were justified. Nevertheless, in the real world, she will undoubtedly look back upon this moment with profound regret.

The Betrayal of Junpei

Adding insult to injury, Chizuru essentially tells Junpei, “Thank you for everything, now go away.” Those ten episodes seemed to culminate in what can only be described as a “family matter.” Both Junpei and I feel betrayed. However, if these characters are indeed molded as Asakura intended, then it’s probably best for Junpei to distance himself from them as much as possible—assuming Luou doesn’t disappear again. Despite my intense dislike for this turn of events, I must acknowledge the brilliance of the beach performance. It was not only exquisitely choreographed and animated but also raw, visceral, and immensely powerful.

The Redemption of Junpei

The redeeming aspect arising from all this chaos lies in Junpei’s part of the episode, which, as I mentioned earlier, fared considerably better—though it still had its share of grating moments. As early as Episode 9, I had expressed that it might be best for Junpei to accept the scholarship and pursue Oikawa. However, the execution left a bitter taste in my mouth. Regardless, if I had to choose whose story to further explore in the manga or a potential second season (though it’s highly unlikely), I would undoubtedly opt for Junpei over the Goudai debacle any day. He is a breath of fresh air compared to what came before.

The Triumph of Junpei at Oikawa

The sequence set at Oikawa was filled with intriguing moments. Junpei remained true to himself throughout, despite initially surrendering too easily. He forcefully brings Ayako back into the studio to witness his performance, even though he is already drenched in sweat and utterly exhausted. Natsuki offers him a towel (and let’s not overlook the significance of Chekov’s towel) to at least wipe the floor, but he chooses to dance instead. Tsumamura-san, whose hopeful gaze out the window reveals her anticipation for Junpei’s arrival, begins playing, and the magic unfolds once more.

The Charisma and Talent of Junpei

Junpei’s greatest asset undeniably lies in his charisma, a quality Nakamura-sensei ardently believes in. He is both a natural athlete and a born actor—someone who adores movies and dancing alike. This combination is undeniably powerful. It allows Junpei to exude an aura of command, even if his technique may be somewhat lacking (as Nakamura points out, the movements have yet to become second nature). Junpei not only feels the emotions of the character and the moment, but it could be said that he is incapable of dancing without immersing himself in those feelings. As Kotobuki-kun rightly remarks, Junpei possesses a quality that cannot be acquired through hard work—a rather unfair advantage for someone like Kotobuki-kun, who relies solely on diligent effort. However, it’s essential to note that Junpei is also an incredibly hard worker, despite lacking the same level of experience as other dancers.

The Poetic Incorporation of Pain into the Performance

The most poetic moment in this finale