After 5 years since the first game debuted, Tsurune is back and more impressive than ever introducing new opponents to Minato and his club.
The following contains spoilers for Episode 1 of Tsurune: The Linking Shot, currently streaming on HIDIVE.
After 5 years since the first part premiered, Kyoto Animation’s Tsurune is back and bigger than ever. For those unfamiliar, Tsurune is a sports anime focusing on kyudo, a Japanese style of archery. The first season premiered in Fall 2018, and all episodes are available to stream on HIDIVE and Crunchyroll.
There is also a movie titled Tsurune – The First Shot that takes place before the events of this season, but is unfortunately not available to stream on any English-speaking services, even though HIDIVE has confirmed that they plan to release the film in theaters at some point. . Thankfully, the premiere of this episode is welcoming even viewers who haven’t seen the series yet.
What makes the premiere of Tsurune: The Linking Shot so relaxing?
The premiere of Tsurune: The Linking Shot takes viewers back to Kazemai High as the students prepare for the upcoming sports festival. The film makes good use of the “show, not tell” concept by re-acquainting the audience with the main cast through common movements, dialogue, and general atmosphere. It’s a quiet and relaxing premiere, and the plot moves at its own pace, giving each guy a shining moment as the sports carnival kicks off.
The boys place bets on who will be ranked MVP during the sports festival, but there aren’t any real stakes involved and the characters (mostly) still behave with each other throughout the competition. After school, the winner is treated to a meal, and all club members, including the girls, take time to eat and chat a bit. However, in the end, the boys became restless after not participating in club activities for too long.
They decide to look for their mentor, Masaki is always patient, and are allowed to shoot at the school provided they don’t stay too late. It is in the moments when the boys are filming that viewers really feel how much love and passion they have for this sport. They don’t have to say it out loud — their actions speak for themselves. However, as with most sports cartoons, there is one clear goal: towards the Nationals.
Despite winning against their rival school, Kirisaki, last season, it is revealed that a revenge match between the schools is still possible. However, Kirisaki isn’t the only opposing team that Minato and his friends have to worry about this season. At the end of the credits episode in Episode 1, a new potential opponent is revealed, and he seems to have some grudges about Kirsaki’s loss to Minato’s club. Still, even with this potential threat lurking, the film doesn’t lose its more relaxed tone as the camera snaps to Minato happily laughing with his friends, happily knowing nothing. going to happen.
Kyoto Animation’s stunning visuals and outstanding sound design
As expected by Kyoto Animation, Tsurune: The Linking Shot is beautiful to watch. The movement of each character is very well taken care of and as the characters themselves mentioned in the episode, everyone pulls the bow in different ways. This is a level of detail uncommon in most anime, and it’s something that fans, especially those who practice real-life kyudo, are sure to appreciate. The opening theme also features some stunning footage and a vibrant use of color throughout.
Another commendable aspect of the series is its sound design, specifically the sound the arrows make when they are drawn and hit on target. The episode opens with Minato making a mark and the sound it makes reaches the ears of his club friends. It has a satisfying sound — a sound that makes one believe that such a sound will appeal to so many characters in the film itself. It is also quite appropriate that the sound design of the program is given a lot of attention, since the title of the chapter roughly translates to “sound of the chord” in English.
Tsurune: The Linking Shot blends sports and casual very well, and this premiere is a reminder of how effective that combination can be. Combined with the art of Kyoto Animation, Tsurune: The Linking Shot is off to a solid start. For those looking for something slower-paced this winter, both seasons of Tsurune are definitely worth a look, with Tsurune: The Linking Shot currently streaming on HIDIVE.
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