They hit us with a bit of last-minute drama last week that could spell disaster for the boys of the Kazemai Kyudo Club. Without Masa’s guidance they’re left struggling! It’ll take everything they have to pull it together in this week’s heart pounding episode of Tsurune!
After finding out about Masa’s accident, the boys are noticeably shaken, throwing them off their game for the big tournament. Will they be able to pull it together in time to qualify, or will they have to try again next year?
Pep Talk from the Girls: The boys are reasonably upset about Masa’s accident, spending the better part of the episode’s first half worrying and moping around. They are completely thrown off their game, but… the girls come to the rescue and kick the boys in to gear, delivering a powerful speech about getting their shit together.
Masa’s Lessons: Just before the second half of the group shoot, the boys remember the lessons Masa taught them over the course of their training. It’s a really heartwarming scene, because we get to see just how much of an impact Masa has had on them not so much as a group, but as individuals.
Kyudo Facts and Terms
Themes & Trivia
Don’t Have to be the Best: Unlike with most sports anime, in Tsurune the Kazemai boy’s team doesn’t have to be the best; they just have to be in the top eight to qualify for the next stage. They just have to squeeze by… but, given Masa’s accident that might be easier said than done.
First names: There’s a moment in the episode where Minato calls everyone by their first names without the use of honorifics, suggesting a level of familiarity that hasn’t been present in the previous 11 episodes. This shows their growth over the course of the series, from strangers to friends through their shared training and it is definitely a big step for them as a team.
I mentioned this before in previous reviews, and I’m going to say it again; the girls in the Kazemai Kyudo club are continually put on the back burner in favor of the boys and their drama… I wouldn’t keep bringing it up if the show didn’t take the time to show the girls all practicing alongside the boys and also show that Seo managed to qualify for the tournament as well. Hell, she competed in the individual qualifiers and yet we don’t actually see her shoot at all. Her results are just kind of given to us in a passing bit of dialogue between her and Tommy, while the boys continue to worry about Masa’s accident (don’t worry, I’ll get to that soon). The boys aren’t even the focus of the scene and yet they are given the most attention… So when they all snapped at the boys for being Negative Nancys I did a bit of a cheer.
I’m still not thrilled with Masa’s convenient ‘accident’. It seems contrived and really, the series didn’t need it. The boys were already out of their league to begin with… But, I am glad that they resolved that plot point by the end of the episode, because there is literally no time to drag it out.
Despite my gripes, there were some great moments from the boys, especially Minato who has finally gotten his shit together and is making strides to work through his insecurities. When he confronted Kaito in the final act, it was a real turning point for him as a character. Before, he would have just silently watched while the others came up with a plan of action, or at the very least he’d have given one of his weak suggestions… But, he is finally taking a more active role in the team and I absolutely love it! Oh, and can we talk about that beautiful final shot?! The animation on Minato’s final shot was a thing of beauty!
On to the finals…
They did it! The boys are moving on to the next round and it’s all thanks to their collective efforts as a team! They’ve finally found their groove and they’re ready to finally give Kirisaki a run for their money!
I’ll be back next week with another Tsurune review, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Fall 2018 reviews!!
NEXT TIME: Irreplaceable
Fall 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast