It’s weird for me to sound happier with this ep than with the previous one, but that’s just the sort of anime Tsurune is. I know I have said it before, but I’ll say it again: Tsurune just rides on a wavelength of its own.
This was a spectacular ep in Tsurune’s standard – lots of efforts from its staff that constantly deliver a visual spectacle every week, who somehow managed to up their already high game. And story-wise, it wasn’t bad either, simply deciding to focus on the kyudo aspect of things, how important it is to the characters, and how much of a fascinating sport (I would dare to call it an art form) it is – and both the original material and Kyoto Animation spare no efforts to make that message as clear as hunanly possible.
I don’t really know what else to say as I fear I’ll be circling a lot in this particular review. But okay, I will try it forget that we’ve been robbed of seeing Tsujimine crushing Kirasaki (mostly because I couldn’t handle seeing the Kazemai boys destroyed yet, and the Kirazaki affection is pretty standard low on my end) but I’ll say that it wasn’t a bad match-up, this one. Kazemai and Kirasaki do share a lot of their histories together after all, and either you like it or not, Shu’s and Minato’s relationship will always bind those two schools together.
To portray this moment as strongly as possible, it is beautifully drawn, coregraphed and directed, presenting many twists and turns like we’ve never seen before in this series (which partially makes me wonder again why the heck was Tsujimine so hyped up if the best would be saved for Kirasaki anyway). Our boys do give their all into it, but in the end, it’s Kirasaki who takes the better in the game, managing to swap more hits in the tiebreaker. It’s a frustrating defeat for Kazemai, but one that reminds them of how far they have come and just how much of the kyudo world is still open for them. Kirasaki takes the trophy in the end, but with an experience as strong as this, Kazemai won’t be lowering their heads next time they will meet.
There’s only one ep left, and in a very Tsurune like fashion, there shouldn’t be a lot to worry about. We will have our shooting scene with the boys similar to the one in the first ep of the season (they owe it to Masa, after all) and perhaps we could even get some teases for what’s to come in the future. All I know is that after watching this for 2 seasons, I wouldn’t mind if KyoAni decided to deliver one more in the future.