Building a team takes a lot of hard work, something the boys of the Kazemai Kyudo Club know all too well. They still have a long way to go before they’re considered a true team, but, they make some great strides in this week’s episode!
Day 2 of the Kazemai Kyudo training camp is off to a rocky start, with the boys just as distant as they were at the start of the series. But, when faced with a common ‘enemy’, the boys learn to pull it together and work together as a team.
Two bros sittin’ in a hot tub…: There’s an obligatory hot tub scene in this week’s episode between Kaito and Minato. It serves as bonding moment between the two who have been at each other’s throats since day one. It’s actually not as fanservice-y as you’d imagine a hot tub scene in a sports anime would be.
Club Jackets: This is a sports anime, so of course there are team jackets!! After a grueling two days of bonding the boys are rewarded for their efforts with matching blue and green team jackets!
Kyudo Facts and Terms
I realize now that there will most likely be a lot of Kyudo specific terms and phrases that will crop up throughout the series, so I figured it’d be best to give them their own section moving forward.
Yamichi: The yamichi is an expanse of lawn or sand that separates the target bank from the Kyudojo (the open front building where the archery is performed).
Nosha: Last week we saw the yawatashi (the shooting of the first arrow), this week the nosha, or closing ceremony shooting is mentioned.
Themes & Trivia
Method to the Madness: Masa straight up Miyagi’s the Kyudo boys, by making them perform seemingly menial tasks in order to teach them an important lesson about Kyudo.
Zucchini: Despite their cucumber-like appearance, Kaito is correct: zucchini are members of the squash family and have more in common with pumpkins than cucumbers.
Climax Series: Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball annual playoffs, that determines which two teams (one each from the Central and Pacific Leagues) will compete in the Japan Series for the national championship.
Kappa: The Kyudo boys pose for a picture in front of a Kappa statue. In Japanese mythology, a kappa is a humanoid water demon with a shell like a tortoise and a bowl-shaped depression on the top of its head filled with water. If the bowl is damaged or emptied of water, the kappa will be weakened. Kappas are obsessed with politeness, so in order to defeat one, you must bow to it and the kappa will return the gesture, spilling the water from its bowl and rendering it immobile. Their favorite food is cucumber.
I love that this series doesn’t just fast forward through all the nitty gritty team building squabbles and conflicts and rather it takes its time working through each one. Even though the boys manage to pull it together by the end of the episode and are at the very least on friendlier terms with one another, they haven’t completely worked through all their issues just yet. There were some great bonding moments in this week’s episode, but my favorite has to be the hot tub scene (and not for the reasons you’d think).
This scene serves as the first time all the boys are holding a conversation that doesn’t devolve into an argument. It’s a short scene and the boys are just sharing their reasons for attending Kazemai High, but that’s what makes it so great! They aren’t trying to one up each other or point out each other’s flaws or shortcomings, they’re just talking. Friendships aren’t built overnight, they take time and this week’s episode marks a turning point in their relationships moving forward.
Coming Together Nicely
Masa’s master plan worked. The boys are sacking up and starting to look more like a team as the days go by! Episode 5 does a great job of showing the subtle changes in the boys’ relationships with one another without being overly preachy or dramatic. Rather letting the natural chemistry between each member of the club shine through and it makes for a much more organic episode. They still have a ways to go, but, I can see all the carefully laid framework from the previous episodes coming together nicely!
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: The Reason for Shooting