Am I the only one who was a huge fan of Tori Amos when they were a kid. I really use to play her music non stop. I should see what she’s done lately. I was always particularly drawn by the way she manage to inject this pretty and delicate sort of pain into her songs. As I watched this week’s Tsurune, they kept coming to my mind. I found myself recalling the lyrics of Pretty Good Year and Little Earthquakes as events unfolded. It had that same sensibility. A sort of quiet ache that nevertheless lets joy bleed through but is always there. I’m not the right person to properly communicate such complicated concepts. All my meager communication skills allow me to do is say: it’s pretty…

Tsurune episode 11 (1)
but first…

This was quite the episode and we will get into it but first, let’s get some nonsense business out of the way. I realize that I’m a bit of a perv, but I cannot be the only one who thinks “The Pain of an Empty Release” (actual episode title) sounds super dirty. Right? It did NOT prepare me properly for what I was about to watch…

With only 3 episodes left to go, Tsurune has decided to give some time to coach Masaki. I’ve mentioned before that I quite liked that they are giving his character an arc. Mentors and coaches often tend be little more than 2 dimensional archetypes. To have one this fleshed out really helps the audience understand the relationship between characters.

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I miss the pony tail a bit

Masaki’s story is a very ordinary one. An age and disposition gap caused a rift between two good people who cared for each other a lot and through bitter fate, the rift was never mended. Masaki’s grandfather and archery mentor was too strict and unyielding for the younger man to comfortably grow into himself and overcome his target panic. At the same time Masaki’s own pride and restlessness pushed him to put aside his grandfather’s teaching and openly rebel rather than find a middle ground. And before either men knew it, one was gone forever.

Now Masaki is left to try to escape the shadow of a man who’s no longer there and make amends with a ghost. It’s sad and it happens all the time. People learn to deal. What else are you going to do? For Masa, dealing means finally facing the past as he decides to go talk to some of his grandfather’s friends to get to know the man he had become in his last days.

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other people’s memories are like a spell

This isn’t the best time for introspective quests. The team does have a pretty important tournament coming up… But sometimes you have to take care of your soul. Having overheard Masaki explain that his motivation for coaching is revenge, Minato cannot help but try to find out more. I personally really like the idea of revenge as a catalyst for what is usually considered a noble activity. I understand revenge. Turning that into a productive drive is awesome!

One of my favourite moments came from the boys discussing what Minato had overheard out of context, and trying to make sense of it. Feeling disappointed that their coach didn’t have it all together. At this time Seiya asked the boys – remember when we were in middle school and high schoolers seemed so grown up and on top of things? … And now that we’re in high school, do we really think we’re grown up? You know, I’ve come to realize that you never really feel grown up and you probably never really figure out what you want. And that’s fine, it’s life. We’re all just kids doing our best and getting a bit older year by year.

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Finally, Masaki decides to take a road trip a few days before the tournament. The idea is to talk to one of his grandfather’s closest friends and finally bury this demon so that he can concentrate on the team fully. It’s not a very responsible plan. As we’ve come to realize through this episode, Masaki is not a very responsible man. Of course this soft, kind and slightly self-centered grown kid could do just that. But it’s ok, he’ll be back.

The boys have just started to get into the groove of things. Minato is slowly finding himself, Seiya is doing better than ever and this positivity is affecting the rest of the boys in the best way possible. They are thinking strategically and looking forward to the tournament. But they need their coach. Minato is still very fragile and the bond he’s formed with Masa is a saving grace. Overall, things are looking up.

I was instantly tense when we saw the boys fret that Masa still hadn’t shown up at the tournament. I just had this bad feeling. When they learned that he had a car accident everything in me sunk. You know that odd feeling you get, as if your tummy is suddenly completely empty and that emptiness is somehow very heavy? I had that feeling and I could tell Minato had it too. Oh these little earthquakes, here we go again. These little earthquakes, doesn’t take much to rip us into pieces.

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Guys – I have screencap problem. It’s getting bad. Send help!

6 thoughts

  1. This anime is certainly worthy of your screen cap problem. It is beautiful and I love your posts on it. I’m about to go watch episode 12 so I’m hopefully going to find out what happens with the whole accident thing and I have to say they’ve managed to make me fret all week about a fictional character. Well done Tsurune.

  2. “Am I the only one who was a huge fan of Tori Amos when they were a kid.”

    Nope! Well, except the “when they were a kid” part. She’s just a little younger than me…

    I can listen to Raspberry Swirl to an endless loop, where endless means when my wife’s patience snaps or I remember to put earphones in.

  3. Actually, I’m still a big fan of Tori Amos; I would likewise recommend Loreena McKennitt and Anais Mitchell. Had the great pleasure of attending a live performance by Loreena here in Memphis a couple of years ago. It was a small and rather intimate venue, and she spent as much time storytelling as singing. An absolutely priceless experience!

    1. I can imagine. I’ve seen Tori live back in the day and she always played smaller venues then where everyone could go up and talk to her. It was amazing

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