Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season

I Love Ballroom Dancing

When I found that there was going to be an anime about one of my favorite activities, ballroom dancing, I was super excited! Unlike last year’s Yuri!!! on Ice, there is a layer of relatability that Welcome to the Ballroom, or Ballroom e Youkoso, has for me. Now that we are a decent way into the Summer 2017 anime season, why am I so disappointed with a show that should have me jumping (or should I say dancing?) with joy?

The answer is pretty simple. You probably won’t be surprised to find out that my disappointment is due to the fact that I can’t watch the show. I have no idea if it is even good. No clue if it represents the culture of ballroom dancing, especially the competitive circuit. I would love to, but because of my lack of access, I may never be able to find these things out first-hand unless I want to resort to piracy (which I don’t). So why is that?

For those outside of the anime community, or just unaware for whatever reason, Welcome to the Ballroom is exclusively licensed to Amazon. This might not seem like a big deal, after all, Crunchyroll and other streaming companies like Netflix get exclusive rights to shows all the time. That’s 100% true, but there is on major difference. For Amazon, I have to not only have a Prime account (which I admittedly have), but I have to buy into their Anime Strike program for an additional fee.

You may be thinking, “No big deal. Just get the subscription to Anime Strike.” It just isn’t that simple. Amazon has a fairly lacking library when it comes to anime, and the stuff I do want to see that they have isn’t a lot. On top of this, subscription costs stack up. Between Crunchyroll, now subbing to VRV (consider taking a look at my article about that service here), Netflix, Hulu, and whatever else I may want access to that the costs add up quickly.

Now, I’m sure that many of you have seen several videos about Amazon and Netflix recently related to this issue, and I don’t really have a whole lot to add to the conversation, but it is disappointing as a fan to have to pass on something that has me genuinely excited. I’d probably suck it up and buy into the service, since I do have Prime, but I’m currently unemployed so that just isn’t realistic. My friends don’t have the service, which is how I have access to many of the streaming sites I do use, so it just isn’t in the cards for me. It really is the one thing that I’m truly disappointed about this anime season.

What do you think? Are you able to watch Welcome to the Ballroom, and if so, how is it? Are there any shows that you can’t watch this season for a similar reason? Let me know in the comments below. As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you back around here soon!

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