Kyudo club? More like Drama club.
The day of the individuals tournament is here, and the team is filled with nerves and excitement. Minato can’t stop thinking about Syu, who is revealed to be his childhood friend with whom he learned kyudo. After a pep talk from Tomi and Masaki, the boys hang out around the other teams, admiring the competition. Senichi and Manji from team Kirisaki come over specifically to heckle the boys — and to remind Minato that many people remember his infamous target panic slip up. Kaito attempts to square up in his defense, but is halted when Syu and Hiroki Motomura come over to dissolve the tension. Ryohei recognizes Hiroki (Kirisaki’s team captain) as the boy who first helped him out when he was researching target panic solutions. Syu makes some intimidating small talk with Seiya and Minato before invading Minato’s personal space, palming dangerously close to his mons pubis, and asking about his unseen scar. It takes 15 agonizing seconds for him to remove his hand, telling Minato that he, “wants to see his shooting again.” No one calls the police.
The tournament begins with Rika, Noa, and Yuna all participating in the matches. Noa keeps missing every shot — something has clearly been upsetting her all day. After everyone finds out that she’s had a fever since the morning, The Suite Life of Sen and Manji use that as ammunition to further their mockery towards the team. Kaito nearly throws hands, but decides to save his strength for his match. However, because he focuses too hard on making the perfect shot (and beating Syu) he mostly misses his target. Meanwhile, Minato is blown away by how good of an archer Syu became.
The team is left with low morale for the group competitions, despite Nanao and Rika moving to the next round for individual matches.
Instantly, good things come with the initial memory sequence: gorgeous colors and backgrounds are nearly pause-worthy — and even better: the child voices of Minato and Syu actually sound like young children, and not like adults attempting to be children. It’s here that anyone can compare the animation/color quality with the first episode: where things were originally flat and bland, more movement and imagery has been added little by little to the series, making it something worth at least staying awake for. Minato has opened up bit by bit as well, making a symbolic match to the animation quality.
Things are heating up with the addition of more character layers — this was yet another great episode that established how close the team has gotten to each other. Watching Kaito nearly fight several people over Minato and Noa was a nice touch to his tough-guy-front. However, while every single boy shined through with their personalities in this episode, Noa, Rika, and Yuna once again fail to entertain. Noa’s initial show of emotion in the episode was promising — almost like there would finally be relevance and depth to her character — but nope! She just had a fever. Her and the other girls seem to solely exist as plot fodder so far, which is disappointing to see.
Now comes the question: is kyudo interesting yet? Sort of, but it’s really only because of the teen drama. It’s a lot like wrestling so far: people watch for the plot and bad blood, not the sport. With all hope, the beauty of the flashback scenes will come to the forefront of the show itself, no matter what happens. Will Minato and Syu reunite as friends? Or will Minato rightfully file a restraining order?
Get the chair, Minato. The WWE crowd is counting on you.