Man, they sure are going all out in developing the Tsujimine team. I am not complaining…at least not yet. It’s going to be very difficult to root for any one school at nationals though. I wonder if they’ll do that cop-out that Sports! anime sometimes resort to and have a completely different school we’ve never even heard of win the whole thing. After all, we’re following 3 teams from the same region, and there are going to be tons of schools we haven’t seen at nationals.
Oh no, did I just guess how the season ends?
Mikado and the team are off to a beachside training camp, a classic of any self-respecting Sports! anime. I’m not sure why it has to be at the beach. We don’t actually see the beach at any time. Nevertheless, here we are. The actual training takes place at this specialty hotel I guess, where they have a Kyoudo range. However, it seems that Tsujimine’s team has reserved the range for the exact same dates. OMG! What an amazing coincidence! Since it’s large enough they agree to share and split the costs as well. Win-win! Especially for us!
I still have a though time wrapping my mind around Eisuke’s character. he’s often quite nice, polite, sweet even. He obviously deeply cares about Kyoudo but didn’t go to a school for it and doesn’t want to be the best or anything like that. And there’s an edge to him. Something under the surface that’s sharp. You could see it just poke through as the episode started. Nikaido was in a bad mood. And that got worse when his team started noticing how nice it would be to have a coach.
Oh yeah, they managed to get an advisor but only by promising that he could spend the time fishing instead of advising. I guess that’s why they had to be at the beach. Ok, it all checks out!
While Eisuke is trying to work through whatever is bothering him and the rest of the Tsujimine team are all doing their own thing as usual, Kazemai are doing… really good. Honestly you guys, I don’t know what happened between seasons but our boys got their stuff together. No drama, no anger, the cousins had that little fit but otherwise, everyone’s been acting all mature and calm. I can really get used to this.
It should be said though that about 3 seconds after this last screenshot Onogi is going to accidentally break Seiya’s glasses and Seiya will make him pay extremely dearly for it! Fun times!
This was my favourite part. OK, so since the beginning of the episode, Tsujimine’s big guy who’s called Ootaguro has been commenting on how nice it was that they had girls there. Not in a creepy way, at least not to me. In a sort of goofy happy way. And they made it pretty obvious that he has a particular interest in Seo (who doesn’t!).
So it’s the evening and it seems that at the place they are staying, they need to prepare their own dinner. At first, I was a little annoyed because it looked like the three girls were doing the cooking for everyone even though they are actual participating members of the club but it turns out the guys were just late because of the glasses shenanigans.
In the meantime, the Tsujimine advisor comes back with freshly caught fish but no one from Kazemai knows how to prepare them. Enter Ootaguro whose family owns a sushi shop and he offers to teach everyone how to fillet fresh fish. It’s adorable to see him get completely flustered as soon as Seo pays the least bit of attention to him and genuinely the entire sequence was just a little bit of heartfelt sweetness that I enjoyed thoroughly. My takeaway is, the more consistently the girls are involved in Tsurune, the more fun it is!
And then we got Eisuke’s deal. I was being coy in the first paragraph, I do know what Eisuke is all about… I was building tension!
It’s a pretty standard story but the execution was nice. We don’t know the details at all, just a few little lines let us suppose that Eisuke did not have a very good relationship with his father. However, his uncle who also happened to be a professional archer was always there to take care of him and sort of fill that role. Understandably, Eisuke got very attached and came to really admire his uncle s an athlete as well as his uncle’s unique shooting style. A style he now emulates.
And yes, as we all guessed by now, Eisuke’s uncle is the one who has been giving them some light coaching over the phone. He has been ill for a few years now and his career has declined if not completely been obliterated. Eisuke is trying to prove something to himself and the world by carrying on his uncle’s style. That’s why he needs to show that he can accomplish something, no matter how small, even under the worst of circumstances. And that’s why he refuses help.
As I said, it’s a fairly standard Tragic BackstoryTM but it was told with a pretty light touch entirely through flashback with very little exposition which made it go down smoothly. I felt for little Eisuke and I get him. I also like his team with their big goofy guy and that dud that looks and sounds super shady and yet has been nothing but extremely considerate and attentive. It’s a wacky team, Ryouhei called them samurais, but they definitely have a charm. If this season keeps going the way it is, it’s going to completely blow s1 out of the waters!
- 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