Tsurune Episode 12 Review
Tsurune as a sports anime has remained a bit of an oddity. Sure the boys do spend a lot of time drawing their bows and practising but realistically whether they win or lose in this tournament has been made utterly irrelevant by their character journeys and their own desire for self-improvement. Seo, as the only female character getting any kind of time with archery, says herself after getting knocked out that she’s satisfied that the result reflects her current level of ability and leaves it at that.
Last week the episode left us with the bomb-shell that Masaki had been in a car accident and after a tense week of waiting and hand wringing to find out if he was okay, the start of this episode leaves us with a big, we don’t know. It’s a realistic answer but it means that stomach squirmy feeling that we’ve had all week while waiting to find out what has happened continues and it colours every sequence of the tournament until the end when they finally tip their hand (note to every other anime ever, this is how you use an emotional cliff-hanger).
That makes the reasonably mundane events of this episode all take on a certain urgency and whether it is Minato’s initial plunge into self-blame immediately cut off by Seiya (who after his own brief bout of self-pity a few episodes ago has come back even stronger as best boy). But it is the girls, whose names I don’t even remember because they’ve had so little to do in this series and so little development, that actually really step up to the plate when the boys are all staring at their phones and panicking. It is a fantastic scene and one that was definitely needed. It also really makes me wish the female characters got to be more than emotional support or commentators more often in this series even though I know the focus is the male team.
Kaito then tries to rally them and reminds them to use what Masaki has taught them in the tournament. This gets them motivated but they still struggle through the early rounds. Ultimately it is an insight by Minato that turns it all around but as usual his poor communication skills almost blow the team apart (fortunately he holds his ground and makes himself heard).
The final round of shooting this episode is a sight to behold and it is one of those moments in anime where you can cry an cheer simultaneously with the episode ending out on the team and audience finally finding out what is up with Masaki before the episode ends. With one episode left to go, I’m just kind of hoping this gets a follow up series though all things considered I don’t know that it will. I do know that I’ve loved following this anime this season and I love this team.
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TSURUNE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
- Episode 1 – On Target
- Episode 2 – Finding Your Target
- Episode 3 – It Isn’t Easy To Overcome Trauma
- Episode 4 – What Happens When Individuals Become A Team
- Episode 5 – How To Build Strong Camaraderie By Facing Adversity
- Episode 6 – The Best Revenge; Go Forth and Succeed Your Own Way
- Episode 7 – Why Strong Competition Caused the Need For Contemplation
- Episode 8 – Reaching the Target With Some Help From Your Friends
- Episode 9 – Shots Fired: Seiya Being Jealous and Lashing Out
- Episode 10 – Emotions Run High This Week and Are Handled Beautifully
- Episode 11 – You Have One Shot: Seize the Moment
- Episode 12 – Is It Time For The Team to Get It Together?
- Episode 13 – The Final Draw of The Match But Not The End
- Images from: Tsurune. Dir. T Yamamura. Kyoto Animation. 2019.