Last season when Minato had to take a step back from Kyoudo, it was always this big drama. He does get banned from using bows a lot… I figured we would be for another really emotional run of Minato pinning for archery. But now, everyone else is treating it like it’s really no big deal and although Minato isn’t happy about it, it’s coming off more comedic and casual. Like he’s just being a big baby.
This is yet further convincing me that Tsurune has shifted from drama to sports! anime. I approve.
The episode starts off basically reminding us that Minato is a Kyoudo otaku. I have never met an archery otaku in real life. It seems pretty endearing but I bet it gets annoying at times.
Just because he hasn’t been allowed to shoot in a couple of days, he’s daydreaming about it, doing air archery in the middle of class and just completely spacing out in general. And in case you’re wondering why he isn’t allowed to shoot. He sort of screwed up during the last competition and his coach wants him to figure out what happened before he starts practicing again. It’s a strategy-building exercise. Since Minato is such a fanboy, if they let him shoot, he’ll immediately forget about the competition and just blindly shoot as many arrows as he can. He might even psych himself out again.
It’s a simple solution for a very simple guy!
Am I the only one really hoping we get to see the girls compete independently? The three girls have been in the Kyoudo club since last season but since the competition team is all boys, and I think the sport is divided by gender, we don’t really get to see the girls a lot. In fact, if we go by what we see, they have been sorely overlooked and ignored! But we did get told that they are actually pretty good at it.
So when Yuuna brought up the possibility of them participating in an open competition just the three of them, I got very excited. I really want to see that. I think it will bring a bit of variety and freshness to the show. I also don’t really remember any truly co-ed sports anime.
As for the boys, they are all still trying to figure out what happened during the last competition. I said in the previous paragraphs that Minato had screwed up. The show hints at it pretty openly. But the team doesn’t quite know that yet. As far as they’re concerned, everyone screwed up and they don’t know why. That’s a pretty frustrating position to be in just before nationals!
So everyone is trying to work it out in their own way. Kaito is taking it personally. He’s one of the best archers on the team and he’s the lead. So he figures he should just practice until he’s perfect. Nanao and Ryouhei are naturally way more relaxed. Nanao is softly counseling everyone and Ryouhei just decided that he needs to learn to focus! As for Seiya, well he’s team captain and he figures he should come up with both a solution and a strategy for everyone. All episode, they have been letting us know that Seiya is slowly warming up to Masaki. In a situation like this, it makes sense that the captain seeks advice and relies on the coach a bit more.
There’s a reason I made gifs of Eisuke for my headers two weeks in a row. I think it will encourage clicks. I approve of his character design!
Shuu was the only real rival we’ve had in the show. By extension his school, Kirisaki is the only other team we’ve gotten to know at all. And we did get a bit of a look at how the other members and how they think. But in general, our understanding of Kirisaki is very focused on Shuu specifically. And our understanding of Shuu is heavily influenced by his past with Minato. It’s more of a childhood friends reunited story than anything else.
There is a risk that the same thing happens with Tsujimine. Eisuke is already the standout character of the team and the one we know the most about. And he also has a personal history with both Minato and Shuu. But it’s a bit different. After only a few episodes, I feel like I know the Tsujimine team better than I have ever known Kirisaki. They are really going out of their way to make them distinctive.
It’s not just the unusual shooting style. Tsujimine are the ultimate underdogs of Kyoudo. And Sports! anime has conditioned us to root for the underdogs, right? Tsujimine are a complete ragtag team of students. All of them are eccentric and a little rebellious but they seem very good-natured. Their Kyoudo club isn’t even official. They have to set up makeshift practice areas and don’t have a coach. I’m not sure if the equipment is theirs or not but it doesn’t seem like the school has much interest in archery at all.
But that just makes things more fun for them. They just want to win their way! And it’s kind of difficult not to cheer them on!
Meanwhile, Kazemai are getting their act together slowly but surely. I’m impressed at how efficient and no non-sense they’re all being about it.
Is it just me or did anyone else mistake Seiya for a mysterious fourth girl in that screencap up there?
The team is finally deciding to go about things a bit more methodically. And they start off by recording their practice. And it does help a little. But it can only do so much. After all, they’re not having that many issues now. A bit of hesitance and maybe they are overthinking things a little more but in general, they’re all shooting pretty well. They can’t just look at their current form to figure out what went wrong a week ago.
This said everyone was pretty aghast at their current form too. You know how you imagine yourself in your head and you look a certain way and sound a certain way. You see yourself in the mirror and you’re pretty happy with what’s there. And then you take a selfie or someone snaps a picture of you and it’s horrifying. Well, it was the same with the guys. Not that they didn’t look good personally but their form was far from beautiful. I don’t know that many competitive sports that put such emphasis on grace and beauty.
Minato figured it out though. Well maybe not really. Since Minato can’t shoot right now, he wasn’t on the tape. But he remembered that Yuuna films all their competitions. So naturally, he decided to get the tape from the last competition just to find out that Seiya had had the same idea. And this revealed a lot.
We know it, we hear both Kaito and Minato’s thoughts on this. I’m not sure how much the guys have figured out though. Minato wrecked the rhythm. He either got nervous or over-excited and he started shooting very fast, not taking the time to properly set up and aim, which put pressure on Kaito to speed up as well. Only to then have Minato slow all the way down throwing off Kaito completely. This in turn set up the rest of the team to be off balance and they just couldn’t get their footing again. It’s quite interesting how Kyoudo works as a team sport.
And part of the reason for all this was Tsujimine. Since they’ve never had a coach to keep them in line and they all have strong independent personalities, they’re practices have always been erratic. They never even learned to coordinate with their teammates properly. So they all shoot at their own rhythm. Even having members occasionally shoot at the same time. This works well for Tsujimine and it’s impressive to watch since no other team does it. But it did not work well at all for Kazemai. And I’m pretty sure Minato was subconsciously trying to imitate the style.
As the episode wound down, we got a look at the coaches for two very different teams and it turns out they seem to be rather similar men. I’m not quite sure what the deal is with the man Eisuke was talking to. We know that he’s “sick”. He’s been coaching Tsujimine but really only giving Eisuke advice and answering his questions over the phone. I’m not sure he’s ever even seen the team shoot in person. I’m very curious to find out more. Eisuke seems to have some personal reason that’s pushing him to prove his team can succeed under unusual circumstances, and this man seems to be an important part of that.
As for Masaki, he’s also always been a fairly hands-off sort of coach. His advice can be frustratingly cryptic and he really encourages the team to come to their own conclusions and figure out solutions for themselves rather than spell it out for them. I respect that idea. And I do think that it’s a better way of teaching most of the time. But sometimes, you need to tell kinds the answer. The do have to learn some things before they can figure out the rest for themselves. And as someone who is woefully unathletic, I would hate a coach like this. Just tell me to be careful with my timing and move on! I’m never going to figure it out by myself…
- Tsurune Episodes 1 & 2 – Slings and Arrows
- Tsurune Episode 3 – A Shot in the Arm
- Tsurune Episode 4 – Good Form
- Tsurune Episode 5 – Yawatashi
- Tsurune Episode 6 – The restrained beauty of propriety
- Tsurune Episode 7 – Adding a string to your bow
- Tsurune Episode 8 – Straight as an Arrow
- Tsurune Episode 9 – On A Dark and Stormy Day
- Tsurune Episode 10 – Giving it Another Shot
- Tsurune Episode 11 – Little Earthquakes
- Tsurune Episode 12 – The Importance of Being Ochi
- Tsurune Episode 13 – Bullseye