- Genre: Drama; Sports; School
- Studio: Kyoto Animation
It is not entirely impossible that I spent half the episode trying to come up with some type of archery pun for the title. I failed. I’m sorry. It hurts me considerably more than it hurts you…
And you know, at first I was scolding myself for not paying attention. Figuring the episode must be boring and yet, before I knew it, it was all over. This show is a bit tricky, let me elaborate.
There is a certain stillness to Tsurune. The show is clam and for all it’s pretty trappings it simply doesn’t tend towards artifis. Concerns are manageable and stakes fairly low. Not that much happens and arguably what does happen simply doesn’t matter all that much either, even within the context of the story. I wouldn’t blame you for finding this a little boring. If you’re not in the mood for it, it can definitely drag. In many ways, it reminds me of a slightly more down to earth Yuru Camp, but with archery in place of day camping. The twi have rather similar strengths and weaknesses. Thankfully, I’ve had a heavy week and some quiet unwinding is exactly what I was in the mood for. I’m also finding archery more and more interesting each week.
The entire episode basically boiled down to a mock tournament between the boys and girls of the kyudo club. The girls won! In the closing moments they set up next episode’s training camp. I continue to be impressed by the girls’ involvement in the storyline, They are actually letting them play! School set anime is often very segregated, especially sports themed ones. Not only are they letting the female members of the club continue to have an active part as equal standing athletes (not just managers that do the laundry and bring cookies…) but they even let them participate in the training camp without anyone fainting at the suggestion.
It’s telling that even this fairly superficial showing of both gender representation is enough to impress me!
Another particularity of Tsurune is that it concentrates just as much, if not more, on the pleasure of being a spectator as being a competitor. Archery, as a sport, lends itself much better to this type of treatment than most. We see a celebration of the artistry rather than the victory. Since the very first episode, the characters comment on the awe of watching someone else handle a bow and arrow rather than doing it themselves.
On the one had this makes us a bit closer to the characters. We are all audience. It does however add to the sense of calm and reverence the series favours over excitement and action. Once again, we were privy to all the ritual and gravitas of the sport as the boys went through the motions of a mock tournament. Each step carefully calculated, almost like a dance. So far Tsurune has been a real vocabulary lesson and my word of the episode is “omae”. This is the name of the first archer in a 5 man competition.
I have to admit, even though I couldn’t exactly tell you why or when, at some point this week’s Tsurune simply lulled me into a comfortable feeling of serenity. I watched slightly mindlessly but generally happily and the episode left me feeling just a little blissful. This said, I’m also in no hurry to watch the next one. There’s a rhythm here. A unfettered, casual sense of simply letting it wash over you without the need for too much fuss.
Still, there were a few details that stood out. For one, I really loved the girls’ protective chest plates. I’m not sure why but I thought they looked amazing and now I want to wear one to work… Also, I noticed that Kachan’s text avatar was a picture of his cat. That is the most relatable thing I’ve ever seen. Of course all my avi is a picture of Buddy. In fact I change all my contacts’ pics to ones of Buddy as well so my text app is just a row of little Buddy pics.
It’s great! Wait..yeah, I liked the episode! Here are some reasons why: