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Pony Canyon Announces Anime Expo 2017 World Premiere of Welcome to the Ballroom with Creative Team

TOKYO, JAPAN – June 9, 2017 Audio visual entertainment company PONY CANYON is pleased to announce our Anime Expo 2017 World Premiere of Welcome to the Ballroom.

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 a Q&A session with 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 thus far, 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 secretly idolizes. This is the 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. With 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.


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 character designer and lead animator in a feature film in Keiichi Hara's Annecy-winning Miss Hokusai (2015). That very 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, is his first TV series as a director.


Born in 1976, the animator 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; Haikyū!! series (2014-2016) as Chief Animation Director.


Kinoshita joined Production I.G in 2001, where he served as production manager for the animated sequence 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 Titan, Yuki Yuna Is a Hero, From the New World, THE ROLLING GIRLS, ETOTAMA, and more. His latest work Welcome to the Ballroom will begin airing from July.

These guests will 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.

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/

PONY CANYON INC. celebrating its 50th anniversary and has been dedicating itself to the development and nurture of varied types of entertainment software including production, manufacture, and distribution of diverse packaged software, as well as digital distribution services focusing on entertainment. One of the biggest producers/distributors of Blu rays and DVDs in Japan, PONY CANYON has been involved in the production of many hit anime titles including Attack on Titan , Fairy Tail , K-ON, and Free !

Visit www.ponycan.us for additional information.

PONYCAN US official Twitter account: @PONYCANUSA

PONYCAN US official Facebook page: Facebook.com/PonycanUSA

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