Dance Dance Danseur premiering in April 2022: New Studio MAPPA anime

Promotional imagery for Dance Dance Danseur featuring Murao Junpei, Godai Miyako, and Mori Ruou
A sports anime full of introspection and navigating societal pressure while in pursuit of one’s goals — Dance Dance Danseur is something different to check out this Spring.

Studio MAPPA has been typically known for its action-packed shounen series such as Attack on Titan and Vinland Saga. But the studio is switching gears and adapting George Asakura’s manga Dance Dance Danseur — a slice of life tale that follows a ballet dancer and his struggle between the sport he loves and societal expectations of how men ought to act. 

Part of the Spring 2022 anime season, Dance Dance Danseur may be one of many sports and slice of life series, but what sets it apart from others is the protagonist’s internal struggle with masculinity — something not typically addressed overtly or in non-shounen ai stories.

Going off of the trailer, the anime will closely follow the manga, but it’s on clear what changes — if any — may be made. Those excited for the release, however, can enter to win an autographed script! From March 14th to March 21st, fans can follow the official Dance Dance Danseur Twitter and retweet this post to be entered to win!  

What is the plot of Dance Dance Danseur?

Following Murao Junpei from a young age, Dance Dance Danseur manages to show how societal pressures often dictate what goals are acceptable for people — particularly young men — to pursue. Junpei is fascinated with ballet after watching a male performer, and despite the subtle suggestions from his family to pick a ‘manlier’ hobby, he’s determined to improve his craft.

With the innate talent and dedication typical of sports anime heroes, Junpei excels at dance. He’s confronted, however, with what his ballet teacher warns is the reason boys typically quit ballet. No matter how much he stands up for himself, to his peers, he’s a ‘dude in tights.’

Junpei is able, for some time, to brush off the dissenters. But after the death of his martial art enthusiast father, he reevaluates what being a man means to him — even if it means shedding the things he loves.

Once in high school, however, everything changes when a crush on the beautiful Godai Miyako leads him back to the sport he thought he left behind. A ballet dancer herself, Miyako is convinced Junpei has what it takes to join her family’s dance studio and perform a duet with her in an upcoming recital. Will Junpei be able to bridge the gap between what he wants and what he feels is expected of him? Find out on April 9th! 

How did director Munehisa Sakai utilize motion capture in the production of Dance Dance Danseur?

Not only does Dance Dance Danseur have a phenomenal voice cast with Daiki Yamashita (Izuku Midoriya), Kaede Hondo (Minamoto Sakura), and Kouki Uchiyama (Inumaki Toge) playing Junpei, Miyako, and Mori Ruou respectively, but ease character has a motion-capture counterpart from the Tokyo Ballet.

Utilizing motion capture has allowed MAPPA’s animation team to do justice to the sport. As ballet soloist Shuntaro Ifuku, motion-capture actor of Junpei Murao, has said, it allows dancers and few fans alike to get invested in the high-energy performance segments.   

Dedicated to bringing ballet scenes and mangaka George Asakura’s shoujo-inspired art to life, studio MAPPA was a perfect choice for this adaptation. And given previous projects the studio has worked on, Dance Dance Danseur is certainly in the running for one of the best Spring 2022 anime.

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