Tsurune Anime Review

Title: Tsurune: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Original Work: Tsurune -Kazemai High School Japanese Archery Club by Kotoko Ayano

Director: Takuya Yamamura

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks

U. S. Release Date: January 28, 2020

Format: Blu-ray /14 Episodes / 350Minutes

Genre: Drama

Age Rating: 14+

Overall Personal Rating: A


Tsurune is the sound of the bow string being released.

Kazemai high school has a new club, it’s the kyudo club. Kyudo is the Japanese martial art of archery. It has a stylized method that encompasses culture, beauty and spiritual components with the athletic skills.

At the same time Minato Narumiya has just started his first year at Kassemai High along with his friend Seiya Takehaya. Both had previous experience with kyudo and Seiya is eager to join the new club, but most importantly for him is that Minato also joins. But an unfortunate event has cause Minato to freeze up, called trigger panic, and he has given up his passion of kyudo. As things unfold, Minato is drawn back into the kyudo world as his life begins to finds its way back to the center of peace and purpose, all with the help of those around him.


I enjoyed watching Tsurune. It all centers around a small group of students at the beginning of the new kyudo club at their high school and focuses on Minato overcoming his challenges. Minato has withdrawn into himself, unable to participate in the things he had passion for before. Coming from a place of inaction, he only does the things expected of him. He doesn’t see the effect this has on the people around him, like his friend Seiya, who is commited to be there to help him through each step of the way and as long as it takes.

There is this basic plot of a person consumed by grief or guilt withdrawing from activities, losing intrest in passions or goals. There are plenty of anime with this running as a theme or element. Tada Nevers Falls in Love is one I recently watched. I find similarity in the two main character’s situations. What the big difference and what most contributed to making Tsurune enjoyable is the archery, specifically kyudo. This anime trys to delve into the sirtiual and deeper meaning of kyudo. The mind/body connection. The trational, cerimonial, cultural aspects. That made it awesome.

There is plenty to enjoy with Tsurune. I had not heard of kyudo before, and enjoyed learing about it. I’m not saying it was like an educational show or documentary but there were little ways the anime was informative, like Haikyu!! is with volleyball.

Visually, it was beautiful. The backgrounds were lush with color and dynamic design. Most notable were the nature images and the simple beauty of the kyudo doujo. The animation had some execellent moments. Special care seems to have been taken to animate the choreography and movement of the archery. I’d watch it again just for that.

The sound support was well done. This was a very important element, afterall, the title Tsurune is a sound itself. The music really help to set the tones and even build up the tension as necessary. Usually it was subtle and only after I was caught up in a moment did I realize how the music engaged me as a viewer.

The characters were all likeable enough, and we had begun to know thier stories. There was just not enough time to really get into all of them and thier motivation. Friendship and connection were really important in this series. Some was the passing of understanding from one generation to the next, and then there is the understanding of peers and friends and last, the understanding of oneself.

Tsurune is a gentle sort of anime. Interesting, yet calming. Natsume’s Book of Friends was like that. I found the anime definitely held my attention and looked forward to watching some more the next day.

Overall Grade: A

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