I had to look it up after the end of the episode but there is one more left this season. This episode really felt like a finale to me. And a good one at that. It gave me all the emotional closure I needed and even a few of the good old competition jitters.
I guess it will come as no surprise that I really enjoyed episode 12 of Tsurune season 2!
They haven’t mentioned it as much this season so some viewers might have forgotten that Minato started Kyoudo in the first place as a way to reconnect with the mother he had just lost. It’s a sweet thought but also painful. As these things often are. Unlike in season 1 though, these scenes were seeped in optimism instead of depression. Little Minato even looked cuter this time around. Is that just me?
I’m glad Tsujimine didn’t just go home after their loss. It’s not unusual for rival teams to just vanish once they are no longer an active part of a competition in Sports! anime. I’ve always found that a little jarring, especially when there is a lot of time spent developing them. I understand that you can’t keep everyone around. After all most teams have a dozen players or more and if the main characters are playing half a dozen items that would make hundreds of characters to juggle.
But since Kyoudo is more restrained and we have really only been concentrating on three teams of five, it’s more realistic to keep up with everyone. I appreciate that they did.
I don’t have that much to say about the competition. It was well done. I think Kyoudo is a sport that lends itself well to animation. You don’t have tons of players running around a court and you can focus your attention on a shooter and their arrow. It’s a more clean experience and I bet it makes it a lot easier for the animators.
So the competition was fun to watch and easy to follow along. At no point did I lose track of who was winning and that made it easier for me to care about it. But it’s also not something I can describe in a blog post. You sort of have to watch it for yourself. One thing I can say is that it was very quintessential Sports! anime territory. If you like all those tournaments and trophy games in shows like Ace of Diamond of Kuroko or even Haikyuu, you’ll like this episode. It’s exactly what it was.
Kazemai and Kirisaki end up tying during the tournament. And we got to see an extended sudden death tiebreaker. To make it a little more exciting for us though, they threw in a bunch of flashbacks subtlely illustrating the history and friendship between Minato and Shuu. It was cute. They also decided to lavish us with lush animation and douse everything in glowing colours. These scenes were just good old eye cocaine! Some of you may get that reference. Let’s just say I must be on some very interesting watchlists by now.
I can’t overstate how pretty the last third of this episode was. I just sat there watching with my jaw all slack. The very picture of grace and sophistication, I’m sure!
Do you care about spoilers at this point? If you do, you should stop reading. You probably should avoid episode reviews before watching them altogether!
Of course, Kazemai lost. I say of course but it was very close. Kazemai is really new and underfunded when compared to Kirisaki. It is a bit of a miracle they ever won against them in the first place. And Kirisaki was in great form this time around! So the loss wasn’t surprising on a story basis. It also wasn’t surprising on a Sports! anime structure basis. The protagonist always lose their first big competition by a hair. It’s how things are done!
What I did appreciate though is how the team took that loss. I always enjoy seeing portrayals of defeat in anime. I think that’s when you learn the most about characters. And I think this was spot on! Frustrated, sad and yet optimistic. That’s how a graceful loser should be. I hope i can get there myself some day!
And that was it. The nationals come to an end. Kirisaki are the winners and Kazemai did a great job but just not quite good enough. Everyone gets to go home and try again next time. And it was fun! What more can you possibly ask for?
No that’s a serious question because we have an entire episode to go before the end of the season…
- 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
- Tsurune 2 Episode 1 – Sports!
- Tsurune 2 Episode 2 – Rivals!
- Tsurune 2 Episode 3 -Shamen uchiokoshi
- Tsurune 2 Episode 4 -Beautiful
- Tsurune 2 Episode 5 -Clean Release
- Tsurune 2 Episode 6 -Be Careful What You Wished For
- Tsurune 2 Episode 7 -Teamwork
- Tsurune 2 Episode 8 -Practice Match
- Tsurune 2 Episode 9 -Coach
- Tsurune 2 Episode 10 -Uncle
- Tsurune 2 Episode 11 -Round 1