I went through a lot of emotions watching this episode of Tsurune. I guess the guys did as well but my set of emotions was completely different. For the first half, I thought that they might be going back to a much more drama-focused series and I was a bit worried. But everything got solved by the end of the episode and it turned out to just be one of those teammate struggles tropes we see a lot in sports anime. Also, the end was really cute. It made me smile.
So I guess, all’s well that ends well?
There has been some tension simmering between Kaito and Nanao for a few weeks now. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but these two are cousins. Not just cousins, well just cousins yes but their families are very close too so they spend a lot of time together “at home”. Functionally, they’re like brothers. And brothers fight. They just do.
So we find out that Kaito has always been a bit of a hothead and quick to throw fists but he’s also always been athletic and good at physical confrontations. On the other hand, Nanao was much more subdued but he was always very talented socially. Which made him popular with girls and a target for boys.
The cousins had a sort of symbiotic relationship going on. Kaito would fight off bullies that would threaten Nanao and in exchange, Nanao would smooth things over with teachers, parents, and even friends when Kaito got in trouble. Both of them thinking that they were the only one looking out for the other. It sounds like they had fun as kids.
When I think about it, not that much happened in this episode. I mean, as much as usual in a way but it was a more visual storytelling sort of episode and if I just sit here and explain it with words, it’s going to sound very redundant.
After his realizations last week, Minato is working hard to master the basics yet again and he’s stopped being all uppity about it so things are looking good on that end.
Meanwhile, the rift between Kaito and Nanao is getting deeper. I didn’t mention it last week because it was such a minor part of the episode and I didn’t realize it was a setup. What started this whole feud off is the fact that Nanao and Kaito have very different views on how to handle the current situation in the Kyoudo club. As I mentioned, last week we all saw that in fact, Minato was the one that had thrown the rhythm off, and that had affected Kaito very negatively. At this point, everyone knows it. Except maybe Ryouhei. Gotta love that guy.
The thing is, Kaito realized it right away but instead of confronting Minato and talking it out, he’s pretending not to know. Nanao thinks this will just make the tea weaker and might lead to Kaito exploding later on. Kaito thinks bringing it up will just be a useless confrontation and so he’s not budging. Moreover, Kaito had a similar incident in his previous Kyoudo club and he almost got thrown out so now he doesn’t want to make any waves. Both of them think they are completely right and the other is being an idiot. Brothers!
For some reason, I was under the impression that Nanao was the one that had dragged Kaito into Kyoudo club. I’m not sure why I thought that to be honest. Turns out though, Kaito is the real Kyoudo otaku of the two. In fact, he’s been practicing for a long time. And it’s Nanao that picked it up later and caught up surprisingly fast. Just not entirely. This really explains why Kaito is so good. He’s arguably the best one on the team. It also explains why he’s being more irritable. Nanao just decided to copy him years later and now they are on the same team. Almost on the same level.
At one point, Ryouhei was walking home with Kaito and Nano and asked a simple question that escalated into a fight between the two. Ryouhei being the adorable dork that he is, spends the rest of the episode feeling guilty for having caused trouble and being incredibly worried about Kaito and Nanao’s friendship. We should all have a Ryouhei on our team!
There are a lot of screencaps of Nanao. He was pretty central to the episode. I also think someone over at Kyoto really loves drawing him. I’ve noticed that Nanao is the one who usually gets the details close-ups and vanity shots.
Nanao and Kaito get to do a bit of thinking and realizing on their own. Well not really on their own. Nanao meets some of Kaito’s old teammates and he finally sees that Kaito doesn’t need him to smooth things over all the time. Sure he’s impulsive and not always easy to get along with, but he does have qualities that others can appreciate as well. As for Kaito, well he realizes that getting things out, as Nanao has been pushing him to do, is not only the better option, but sometimes it’s the only way out. I guess it would have been nice if he realized that Nanao wasn’t so weak anymore but that will come!
So what’s the solution to all this? Seiya gave them the key to the shooting range so they could decide things with Kyoudo. I think team captain Seiya was just tricking them into extra practice! Very Tom Sawyer of him!
So Kaito and Nanao are having a shoot off. The first one to miss, loses. But they really are evenly matched. And maybe subconsciously they both want to keep it going. In any case, dozens of shots later, it’s gotten completely dark outside and no one has won yet. Kaito misses his shot and if Nanao lands one he wins. Exhausted, they each finally tell each other what’s on their minds. Kaito explaining how he always took care of Nanao and that it’s difficult for him to not be needed and even worse, to be told what to do. Nanao for his part finally admits that he’s always been chasing after Kaito and just wants to beat him at something. And then, Nanao breaks his string.
It’s a great moment. All the build-up and tension instantly dissipate. I was grinning even before the boys started laughing. And then we were all smiling. The cousins firmly bury the hatchet. And just for a bit of extra fun, we find out that the rest of the team has been spying on them from the bushes the whole time. It is a particularly silly slapstick moment and really brings up the tone of the entire episode.
- 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