There’s that late arrival. By KyoAni too which considering that not too long ago, they had two full episodes of Violet Evergarden ready for screenings six months in advance. Not sure why exactly Tsurune was delayed by a week but no matter, it’s here now. Truth be told though, I don’t really have a whole lot to say about this premiere. Under normal circumstances, I’d save this for a Lightning Round but what else is premiering right now? My point exactly.
Tsurune is what it is. It’s advertised as a bunch of pretty boys in an archery club and well, I see the pretty boys and I see the archery. I suppose it’s following the same formula as Free! though barely anyone in this show takes off their shirt so commercial viability isn’t completely guaranteed here. Joking aside, there isn’t a whole lot to say about the characters. If you’ve seen any other sports series, you’ll recognize some of the archetypes. The stoic main character who starts off disillusioned with his sport. The mentor. The down to earth, middle man best friend. The happy go lucky, energetic best friend. You even have that easily pissed off guy (of course he’s nicknamed Kacchan). Barring the archery background, I’m hard pressed to find something distinctive about this show.
The production values are admittedly lavish but then again, this is KyoAni we’re talking about. What else is new with them? They could do that cheap CG walk cycle in the background and still make it look good (which they in fact do here in Tsurune). This series hardly looks up to par with Violet Evergarden, let alone Hyouka, but very few shows in general do so that’s hardly saying much. Even so, this studio does a great job conveying the art of archery in animation. The graceful tug on the bowstring. The speed of the arrow as it flies through the air. I can’t deny that it looks sublime. Now, we just need a strong story to back it up.
Given my own affinity towards KyoAni, I’m willing to give Tsurune the benefit of the doubt for a little longer. That said, this does feel a bit too back to basics for the studio, especially after Violet Evergarden.
OP: “Naru” by Luck Life
ED: “Orange Iro” by ChouCho
Thanks for reading!