- Genre: Drama; Sports; School
- Studio: Kyoto Animation
I realize that most of my readers don’t watch Tsurune. This isn’t very surprising and I fully expected it when I started reviewing the show. However, this means that I have the added responsibility to covey the series in the most accurate and objective way to my audience as they have no alternative info on it.
I am deeply honoured by the trust you have in me and I am not taking this responsibility lightly, I assure you. Now if I could just stop trying to come up with silly puns for my post titles and actually pay attention to the first five minutes of the episodes, we would be all set.
After having lost to the girls’ team last week, Minato, Seiya, Ryōhei, Nanao and Onogi ar stuck playing servant during the training camp. In practice this meant that they were in fact doing all those tasks we usually see relegated to the team managers and it was a fun change for once.
We saw the boys scrambling around cleaning the range, doing laundry, shopping for ingredients and getting diner ready. And once again, there was a strong emphasis and the vicarious pleasure of watching someone else perform. The boys are frustrated at being stuck as observers but also can’t stop themselves from marveling at the scene. It does help that kyudo is simply spectacular to look at. I’ve been watching youtube videos of live tournaments and there’s really no two ways about it. It’s quite simply a beautiful sport.
The core of this episode was dedicated to enforcing the boys’ relationships and getting to know them in a different light. Aside from early morning shenanigans and bath time fun time, the shopping trip gave the boys a chance to bond a little. Particularly Minato, Nanao and Onogi. Just like with everything else, the show is taking it’s time. Relationships are maturing slowly and layers of trusts are just beginning to be laid down.
I believe I watched this episode on American Thanksgiving. It seemed fitting. I was listening to Nanao explain how he got his baseball cap for his birthday from Onogi. Not exactly an extravagant gift but Onogi doesn’t know anything about baseball and isn’t interested yet still went out of his way to learn enough to get his friend a thoughtful gift. It was a sweet story. It reminded me that friends are great!
And then I saw the light….
The boys were walking home soaked and getting ready to go to bed. They had spent the day picking out ingredients and arguing over the best cut of meat. As usual a lot of time had been dedicated to stunning shots of rural panorama that had me itching to book a flight right then and there.
Nothing much happened. The entire episode was really just an afternoon grocery run and the opening ceremony of a training session. Or the yawatashi to us kyudo experts. cough cough… Sure it was peppered with light comedic scenes and some more touching moments. But everything is delivered lightly. Minato simply mentions that he sets he family food budget. That’s all, no expanding on his family situation or emotional outburst. But we’ve seen the previous episodes and we know what that means. We can understand the burden that could represent for a teenage boy.
And the whole show is kind of like that. Quiet, introspective and relaxing. It doesn’t rush the viewer or push them towards anything. It simply gently lulls you into discovering a little story on your own terms while seducing you with travel photography pron…
That’s when I finally realized what this show reminded me of most: The Flying Witch. In tone, pacing atmosphere, visuals and even characterisation, these two series are remarkably similar. Switch out magic for kyudo (I mean they’re already pretty much the same thing) and cute girls for cute boys and TADA! Same show!
I haven’t seen anyone else make the comparaison so far but I’m sure they will once the full season reviews start rolling in. If we just made this episode take place at someone’s house instead of training camp, it could easily have been an episode of the Flying Witch without changing anything else.
Now when you see everyone jump of the Tsurune is the Flying Witch bandwagon, you can tell them you knew about first!
I bet you want to see more screen caps. It’s ok, you can admit it. It’s just the two of us…