anime - March 9, 2023

Episode 10 – Tsurune: The Linking Shot

©2023 Kotoko Ayano, Kyoto Animation/Tsurune 2 Committee

Kyudo could also be a group sport, however its athletes spend lots of time in their very own heads. Maybe that is why we repeatedly uncover that every archer’s worst enemy is definitely himself. Such is the case but once more with Eisuke Nikaido, the sequence’ most compelling antagonist but. Despite the fact that his major aim is crushing our good boy Minato, Eisuke’s survivor spirit and tenacity within the face of adversity (paired with Jun Fukuyama‘s sonorous vocals) make him an underdog to root for.

This week, Eisuke’s simmering anger has boiled over with explosive implications, and for the primary time, change appears potential. Regardless of lots of reused footage in flashbacks and an obvious absence of the game on the middle of the present, this week’s delicate storytelling treats the fragile battle on the core of Eisuke’s trauma with the care it deserves.

For many of the forged of Tsurune: The Linking Shot, it is one other idyllic day of coaching camp. They’re bonding, and a few of them are even falling in love. (Large oof for Kenyuu, as Search engine optimisation clearly had that rejection able to go.) Not so for Eisuke. Even clueless Minato has seen one thing is up together with his already moody former senpai. The drama of Eisuke’s unhealthy temper is so intense, it eclipses the mock apply match, which I initially thought could be a crucial ingredient of the episode’s battle. We’re merely knowledgeable after the truth that Tsujimine received the match. As a substitute, the actual takeaway is that Eisuke was ready to do something to win it—even cheat. If Masa hadn’t come over and seen that Higuchi had unwittingly damaged the foundations by marking his bow, Eisuke wasn’t going to say something, and he wasn’t going to let Fuwa say something both.

For all of Eisuke’s false friendliness, and finally his outright aggressive snapping, that is the one time we have seen him resort to underhanded techniques. It is telling that the storyline locations Eisuke’s worst deed this late within the narrative, after we have already heard his backstory and developed sympathy for him. By now, Eisuke is simply too advanced to hate.

Because the episode progresses, Eisuke’s temper darkens additional, nevertheless it’s laborious to see his more and more hostile interactions as something however the empty phrases of a troubled teen. It is apparent that he is baiting his teammates, the Kazamai members, and particularly Coach Masa, into giving him an enormous response. His infantile conduct is particularly on show when he preemptively confronts Masa within the bathtub about his try at dishonest. Masa does not rise to Eisuke’s immature provocations however stays levelheaded—the plain grownup on this scenario, for all of Eisuke’s self-reliance. That is Eisuke’s second one-on-one encounter with Masa, and since he is the second particular person to enter the baths, it is probably not a coincidence. Although he insists that he hates coaches and all the things Masa stands for, he wants an grownup’s steering this episode—each throughout this transient dialogue about morality, and later, when he wants someone to drive him to the hospital.

As if Eisuke wasn’t already in a foul sufficient temper, his second solo encounter of the day is together with his different least favourite particular person, Minato. Elevator scenes already scream awkwardness, in no small half due to the well-known precedent set by Evangelion. This one is even worse, when the boys get caught between the primary and second flooring. When the sunshine flickered off and Minato fell backward, injuring his wrist, I used to be terrified that it was going to result in an harm affecting his kyudo—as a result of historical past has proven us that no element is simply too small in Tsurune‘s story. Fortunately, the aim of the near-injury appeared to be to immediate Eisuke into motion to catch his falling rival. He could also be this season’s antagonist, however he is not a monster.

Right here, within the liminal area of the elevator, Minato and Eisuke are almost capable of finding frequent floor. Like with Masa within the baths, Eisuke makes an attempt more and more antagonistic technique of baiting Minato to anger. And like Masa, Minato sidesteps this aggression with a flashback to season 1. They every put this earlier footage to good use by explaining their very own traumas to Eisuke, who seemingly believes that he is the one particular person within the kyudo world who has ever skilled hardship. It does him some good to see how the very individuals who he thought led probably the most charmed lives have been by related trials.

On the climax of the episode, Eisuke is at his most weak. Together with his beloved uncle, who appears extra like a father to him than his personal father, abruptly hospitalized, he has to name on the 2 individuals he dislikes probably the most at this coaching camp for support. From aggression to anguish to reduction, his character arc has given Jun Fukuyama lots of materials to work with. (I nearly cannot consider that man is going to be a vending machine subsequent.) The following day, Eisuke is again at camp and even together with his eyes purple from crying, he refuses to take a look at both Masa or Minato. His anger feels greater than ever like that of a kid, and I simply wish to give the poor child a hug. It is a testomony to the way in which Tsurune can create advanced characters outdoors of the binary.

I am unable to finish this evaluation with out alluding to Fuwa’s imaginative stylings of the Heike Monogatari, if solely to advocate the anime of the identical identify. The attractive texture and jewel tones of this flashback lend it the richness of a standard display screen portray and really feel proper at house on this present about an historic conventional sport. Seeing inside Fuwa’s thoughts like this lends one other layer of depth to Tsurune‘s characterization, suggesting that the present might present customized backstories for each considered one of its forged members, if solely it had the time.


Tsurune: The Linking Shot is at the moment streaming on

Lauren writes about mannequin kits at Gunpla 101. She spends her days instructing her two small Newtypes to deliver peace to the area colonies.

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