The Final Draw of The Match But Not The End

Tsurune Episode Reviews

Tsurune Episode 13 Review

If I was to have one complaint about this final episode of Tsurune, other than the fact that my weekly bliss and chill session has finished, it would be that this final episode seemed so incredibly dense with character moments. For something with such a languid pace and calm nature, there was so much to walk away from in this final episode and yet nothing felt rushed or forced but it makes processing the episode complicated.

Tsurune Episode 13 Minato and Shu draw the final arrow.

It isn’t just Minato or Shu who have their moment, we have the twins finally getting some development outside of being twerps as one of them begins to buckle under pressure and we with have a continuation of the Seiya and Shu conversation from earlier in the season where we see clearly the impact of Seiya’s growth. There’s the general team dynamic including how each of the boys deals with the pressure of the finals, and there’s the support from the girls. Tommy Sensei reflects on his role as their teacher and in making Minato shoot during the briefing to Masaki paralleling Masaki’s earlier worries that he’d made a mistake with Seiya. And lastly the anime comes back to Minato and Masaki and also returns us to the first scene where Minato first fell in love with archery and we see the Masaki was there during that scene as well connecting all the threads of this story beautifully.

That’s a lot going on in one episode. And to handle each of those characters and moments without feeling rushed or forced, and to give each moment the consideration it deserves, is a narrative feat well worth applauding even if the tone and subject matter isn’t to your taste. Everything in this anime has come together superbly in this final episode even though it felt like they’d reached that point last week when the team got their act together. For an anime that isn’t really about sensationalism in sports but rather quiet contemplation, they managed to up the ante with this final competition without compromising on tone, and again that was an impressive feat to behold.

Tsurune Episode 13 The Girls

Yet despite the sense that things have all come together what I don’t get a sense of is that these character journeys are at their end. For each of these boys their journey is ongoing but it doesn’t matter if we see that or not (though for the record I’d love a second season). What it means is that over thirteen episodes all of these characters became real to me and they feel like they have a life before and after this story and that again is something of an achievement.

Tsurune Episode 13 Minato lines up his shot.

I’ll do a full series review of this but if you didn’t give it a shot this Autumn season I’d strongly recommend it.

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4 thoughts on “The Final Draw of The Match But Not The End

  1. I enjoyed the hell out of it, but I’m also conflicted.

    I loved this ep… But it felt a little rushed. I loved the series, but there’s too much material for one cour, but not enough for two.

    Tommy-sensei’s comment particularly bothered me. It’s good that echoes the background theme of growth (and that adults grow too)… But it kinda felt out of place, as it had no context and he’s barely been much more than a side character.

    1. I felt a lot of the moments this episode could have been given more time or their own episode. Like the twins having a bit of a falling out and one of them clearly choking. At the same time, I felt the story resolved the main elements while giving the other characters enough to feel real so I’m pretty happy with this. I’d love another season. Not sure if they have enough material or not but they did an excellent job with this.

  2. I swear I watched that final match four times before finally telling myself that I’d seen it enough. It was so beautiful, and the colors were amazing, and the monologue that Minato had really got to me. Perhaps I’m just a sucker for that sort of thing, but I truly loved it…

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