Oh look it’s me, back at it writing about another sports anime. I’m a washed athlete, let me be washed in peace. The second season of Tsurune has premiered this current winter, after its 2018 Fall debut. As I’m writing this, the series is in its 8th episode out of 13 – so it’s nearly done! I’m not going to be writing about how this series is under or overrated – I think that this series is appropriately rated and I can explain why. The pacing could be better, it’s an anime about archery – which compared to like a Blue Lock or Haikyuu – it just isn’t going to attract the same large crowd of viewers. It does come off as a bit of a BL series, which again may not be the preference of many anime viewers. But at the same time, the animation is great at times, the music is good, and the characters are above average in writing. What I wanted to write about was that this story is not one about the sports, it’s about life and let me explain why.
In the second season of the anime I found that a huge part of the series revolved around process. Now why is this important? Before you can truly be considered successful, in my opinion you need to become consistent. In order to be consistent, you need to have a process. A process that is tried and true. A process that you have done over and over again, with every rep looking the same as the last. And when you find that process, it’s not enough – you need to fall in love with the process – that way you will seek to refine the process, that way you will continue to not get bored and harvest greater results.
In Tsurune, the main character Minato, is talented and is arguably the best archer at the high school level. In the second season though, he learns that he’s been put off his rhythm. Something happened to him, which gave him the yips, leading to his accuracy to be thrown off. Actually something happened to his entire team, and the main problem that they’re looking to overcome is how can they build back that process which allowed them to have success in the past. What can they each do individually for their process, which can help the process of the team. The term “Ikiai” gets thrown around a lot. To be honest, I tried looking up the word online but couldn’t find anything and in the anime, it’s this vague term that the coach won’t define for his team because he wants his team to figure it out himself. But with context clues, I figure that it means something with reaching flow. Whether that flow is building a process within the team, having a chemical reaction, or being in rhythm – that’s the importance of ikiai. So what does that mean for us?
I think that in life, we are forced to be fast. Oftentimes, in the working world, we value speed over quality. We need to get things done, we don’t always have the time for quality. And because some of us are just putting out so much volume into the world, things can get boring, sluggish, uninspired. I’m sure the bad parts of your job, weren’t always the bad parts but eventually they became the bad parts because you got bored. Same with the gym. If you lift the same damn weights and do the same damn exercises, you would get bored too. So it’s important to have something like ikiai in your process. It’s important to have something that you can embrace in the process of reaching your goals.
To be honest, watching Minato and his team fall into the love of process really struck me. To see these characters written like actual people, struggling to find what works for them and repeating their processes over and over again until they get it right – it’s inspiring! I guess that I’m just finding it hard for myself everyday to believe in the process anymore. I feel like my days are getting more mundane, I feel like I’m losing inspiration. I don’t feel as charismatic or funny anymore in daily life. I think that I need change and I think that I can get that change by reinvesting in my ikiai!