©Tomo Takeuchi, KODANSHA/Ogasawara Dance Studio Production Commitee

From the team behind Attack on Titan, Pony Canyon, Kodansha, and Production I.G, present the world premiere of the most anticipated anime of 2017, Welcome to the Ballroom at Anime Expo! Plus, there will be in-person greetings by Director Yoshimi Itazu, Animation Director Takahiro Chiba, and Producer Tetsuya Kinoshita, as well as exclusive giveaways! 

Based on the blockbuster manga by Tomo Takeuchi which has sold over 1.5 million copies, Welcome to the Ballroom follows a middle school boy entering the exciting and emotional world of ballroom dancing, competing to reach the top.

  • Date: Sunday, July 2
  • Time: 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
  • Room: Main Events (LACC Hall B)
  • For information about lining up and room entry for this event, please see the Program Room Policies.


A professional dancer named Sengoku rescues Tatara, an introverted third-year middle school student who is being harassed by delinquents. Tatara ends up at Sengoku’s dance studio where he meets Shizuku Hanaoka, a schoolmate he comes to secretly idolize. From this defining moment when Tatara enters the world of dance. Sengoku is a free-spirited, dynamic international dancer who recognizes Tatara’s potential and begins to coach him. Through dance, Tatara meets another schoolmate, a dance prodigy named Kiyoharu. Through these new friendships, Tatara develops a passionate desire to improve as a dancer and be accepted by his peers and rivals, which nurtures his own native talent. And through interaction with Tatara, other dance members are encouraged to take steps to overcome their own challenges and issues.

Yoshimi Itazu

Born in 1980, Yoshimi Itazu began his career in animation at 18. He worked with directors such as Satoshi Kon (Paprika) and Hayao Miyazaki (The Wind Rises). One of Japan’s up-and-coming artists, he made his debut as a feature film character designer and lead animator in Keiichi Hara’s Annecy-winning Miss Hokusai (2015). That same year saw his directorial debut with the Tohoku quake-themed short film, Pigtails that won 20 international awards. Welcome to the Ballroom, slated in Japan for July 2017 release, is his first TV series as a director.

Takahiro Chiba

Born in 1976, Takahiro Chiba graduated from the Animator course in Tokyo Animator College. He was the Chief Animation Director for Welcome to the Ballroom. His renowned works include Kamichu! (2005) as Character Design and Animation director; Occult Academy (2010) as Character Design, Chief Animation Director and Animation Director; Psycho-Pass series (2012) as Sub Character Design and Chief Animation Director; and Haikyū!! series (2014-2016) as Chief Animation Director.

Tetsuya Kinoshita

Kinoshita joined Production I.G. in 2001, where he served as production manager for the animated sequence in the film Kill Bill: Volume 1 and for the animated television series Otogi Zoshi. Kinoshita then joined Pony Canyon Inc. in 2005, where he began his work as a producer for Shinreigari GHOST HOUND. His work Sengoku Basara was made into an animated feature film, becoming one of the most popular animated television series in Japan. Working as a producer for Musashi: The Dream of the Last Samurai (2009), which was created and written by Mamoru Oshii, led him to serve as a producer for the animated feature film 28 1/2 Mousou no kyojin directed by Oshii. Kinoshita has worked as a producer on many popular series including Attack on TitanYuki Yuna is a HeroFrom the New World, THE ROLLING GIRLS, ETOTAMA, and more. His latest work Welcome to the Ballroom will begin airing from July.


These guests will also attend the Welcome to the Ballroom Panel & Live Drawing on Saturday, July 1, 5:00pm -6:00pm at LP3/LACC 408 AB for a discussion and Q&A with attendees. Winners of a jan-ken-pon (rock-paper-scissors) game will receive autographed original drawings created by GoH at the live drawing panel!

Anime Expo will run from July 1 through July 4, 2017 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with Pre-Show Night on June 30, 2017. To purchase passes for Anime Expo, please visit http://www.anime-expo.org/registration/

For more information about attending, please visit http://www.anime-expo.org/registration-help/