What’s a sports anime without a tournament arc? This week’s episode of Tsurune brings us the start of the Prefectural Tournament, Kazemai High’s big debut. With tensions high, each member of the team is pushed to their limits.
Day one of the Prefectural Tournament is here. Both Kazemai and Kirisaki are ready to give it their all. Kirisaki is the school to beat, but when a face from Seiya and Minato’s past appears, the boy’s of Kazemai start to feel the heat.
Flashback/Dream: The episode starts off with Minato having a flashback dream about the first time he and Shu met in middle school. It’s short, but, you can clearly see how enamored Minato is with Kyudo as he happily asks Shu and his grandmother (?) for a chance to shoot.
The Reunion: The reunion between Shu and Minato is finally here and… it’s much more tame than I had expected. Unlike some other sports anime *cough* Free *cough* Shu and Minato are surprisingly still on good terms with one another, with the former even expressing his relief at seeing Minato competing in Kyudo again.
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.
Kaichu: When you hit all of your arrows on the target.
Themes & Trivia
Sports Anime Tropes: Despite Kyudo being a much more stoic affair, Tsurune is not without its fair share of sports anime tropes. There are the rivals (ie. Kirisaki); cheering for your teammates, albeit in a much more subdued manner; wins and losses; and, of course, internal monologues from our heroes…. It’s all here!
‘Tomorrow, a new wind will blow’: Tommy-sensei is known for expositing a lot of Japanese proverbs and sayings, this week he uses the saying, 明日は明日の風が吹く (ashita wa ashita no kaze ga fuku), which literally translates to ‘The winds of tomorrow, will blow tomorrow’ or more plainly, ‘Tomorrow is another day’.
This episode went a lot differently than I expected. I’m used to sports anime where the ‘rivals’ are much more antagonistic. But, Kirisaki as a whole, the Twins notwithstanding, are a much more friendly than I anticipated. Especially Shu, I was fully expecting him to be a jerkface McGee like Rin from Free! or Oikawa from Haikyuu (early on), but nope, he’s a sweetie pie. Maybe this will change after next week’s episode, but, I don’t know, I just don’t get that vibe from him. He seems to genuinely care about Minato, even asking about his injury… but, then again, that could have been a thinly veiled threat or something that went completely over my head.
The tournament itself is much more subdued, but, kyudo isn’t really a high action sport, so I expected the actual competition to be a rather quiet affair. But, that doesn’t mean it was any less intense. You could really feel the tension, especially from Kaito and Shiragiku who both did poorly during their individual events. Unfortunately, like always the girls tend to get swept under the rug in favor of the boys, so we spend more time focused on Kaito one man pity party. I like that the series includes a co-ed cast, however, we never actually spend all that much time with the girls to really get to know them or feel invested when they fail or succeed. Seo managed to move on to the second round of the tournament, but, no one really acknowledges how awesome that is, instead we spend more time watching Kaito punching a tree and getting subtly shaded/scolded by Masa…
It’s how you play the game
The first day of the Prefectural Tournament is off to a rocky start for the Kazemai team, with some wins and losses on both sides. We finally had the reunion between Shu and Minato and it was pretty tame to say the least. Tsurune proves once again that you don’t need to shout to be heard, bringing a much quieter and subdued start to their tournament arc. I’m curious to see how the boys do in the group event in next week’s episode.
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: Taking Aim
Fall 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast