The Art of Kyudo and Growing Up
- Episodes : 13
- Genre : Sports, Drama, School
- Airing Date : October 2018 – January 2019
- Studios : Kyoto Animation
Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu Introduction and Story
Ever since he was young, Minato Narumiya has been chasing kyudo. He loved the sport so much that he became one of the best archers in middle school, only to develop target panic and lose all his talent. Now that he is finally in high school, Minato’s friends Seiya Takehaya and Ryouhei Yamanouchi are starting up a kyudo club—and they want him to join! Minato is set against it until he runs into a strange man named Masaki Takigawa. Masaki convinces Minato that he should try to work through his target panic, and just as Minato finally joins the club, they discover that their new coach is none other than the mysterious Masaki himself! Minato, his newfound friends, and his mentor work together to overcome his target panic and help him find a love for the sport of kyudo once again.
1. Beautiful and Detailed Animation and Sound
True to form, Kyoto Animation once again does a brilliant job. The animation for the characters and their movement is realistic and fluid, even while being incredibly detailed. On top of that, the musical themes that play throughout the series add to it immensely, especially the opening and ending themes.
2. A Sport Not Often Represented in Anime
Minato and his friends allow us to see kyudo—many of us for the first time! Although Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu may spend most of its time in the relationships and drama between the characters, we do learn a great deal about how the sport works and all the nuances that go with it. Especially through Minato’s eyes, we get to see the joy that kyudo can bring. Perhaps this anime might even inspire a few viewers to give the unique martial art a try!
3. Character Growth and Relationships
Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu takes its characters seriously, giving them real depth and back story. Minato learns to overcome his target panic, leaning on his comrades to support him, and relearns the joy he had for the sport. His friends also grow up a bit, especially his closest childhood friend Seiya, who struggles with Minato not relying on him as much anymore. Their coach Misaki grows from his own issues as well, becoming a better coach by embracing his conflicting past with his deceased grandfather.
1. Can Be Overly Dramatic
Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu has more than its fair share of drama. At times, it feels as if the story is too focused on the relationships between these angsty teenage boys, rather than on kyudo. This drags the story down moments, causing it to feel a bit stagnant.
2. Some Characters Completely Ignored
Though the story is obviously focused on Minato and his struggles, a few of the characters are pushed to the wayside to give the main characters more room for growth. Though Seiya and Misaki show definite signs of growth and change, other main characters like Kaito Onogi, Nanao Kisaragi and Ryouhei end up sidelined, despite being part of the main story and cast. Additionally, the girls’ kyudo team is mostly ignored, even when one of them makes it further in the individual competition. Other characters like the opposing Kirisaki High team are reduced to a few “rival” tropes and ways to move the plot forward.
Tsurune is a beautifully animated series, bringing viewers into the world of kyudo. Though it focuses exclusively on Minato, leaving many of the characters stagnant, and the drama can be a bit much at times, this anime overall is a relaxing and enjoyable experience that was better than we expected!
Did you watch Tsurune: Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu? What are your thoughts on the anime? Let us know in the comments section below!