Tsugumomo – 11

One of the classic Tsugumomo poses

So it’s what we’ve been leading up to, the showdown, the Duel! Now most of the times battlers like this don’t beat around the bush on the the story, it’s all very immediate. But most of the time the story just….

…it just comes off as pretty obvious, right?

Battler or duel episodes (and this one is a two parter to welcome to the setup) are often very on the nose/to the point. I mean, we just got the lead up in the last one, and that one had all the information and subtext you need, so this is just the natural progress of things. Not much going on in the main half but what you see is what it is. But this one has just a bit more under the belt to make up for the straightforward text of all the battling; with the subtext showing us that Kazuya is ready and willing, but he wants to be the one to set the pace and be in control of his actions. His reactions in dreamtime and in the real world very much spell that out. It looks like Kazuya has flexibility, Sunao? Well….

Needed or not, they’ve been setting their battle plans

When you get right down to it, the duel isn’t even really all that necessary in the grand scheme of things. It’s been there in the background, but Sunao is just barely ready to be a cleaner in her own right, much less take over for another, or even both. She’s to impetuous, to brash, to eager to serve up her cause as the end all be all of motives. Her stance is very autocratic, and she refuses to see that a person comes to their own path, and they come to it in their own way. Her treatment of Kotetsu hasn’t improved at all, and that’s been already mentioned enough; and was lampshaded by Honoka this episode, so you know it has to be going somewhere. The sword tsukigami is feeling the pain above and even beyond Sunao’s treatment of him. From a higher point of view, Sunao’s path looks and feels incomplete. Her success so far has only, I fear, taught her the wrong lessons. Is it for her brother, it’s it for Kanaka, is it for herself?

A giant is touching their butts…dreams are weird…

By contrast, even if his path is the slow one, and one that he is “just kinda on”, it’s the path that Kazuya is choosing for himself. Sure he has pressure, Kiriha is unrelenting in so many ways, but he’s still calling the shots. For him it’s important to make a goal and stick to it, and let little dissuade him. In contrast to Sunao, who treats her Kotetsu as an object, Kazuya takes treating Kiriha as a person to it’s most logical conclusion – protecting her as much as she does him. He also has a ton more mystery to deal with. In his own dream his mother points out that there are gaps in his memory. She knows they are there, and that the gaps serve a very specific purpose. That’s been present since the get go, even if it’s only been in the background. The mysterious force has been pressed on to him, that also contrasts Sunao, who has pushed her way into this responsibility. Say no more, is the explanation he gets from his dream mom on the memory block, and having a duel to wake up to, he has little time to think on such things. But one thing is clear. He kinda likes being at the center of attention, no matter how much he protests, and who can blame him?

Crash boom bang!

So all in all it was a good battler. It had a nice pace to it, and served the story well. I’m not a battle analyzer, so I won’t break it down move by move, other than to say that I will always think that ranged sword combat is a huge cheat, and that I still love the rule of cool that it so obviously works by. When I think about it, it’s also obvious in that it’s a perfect thematic weapons technique for Sunao in this battle. The breakdown with Kazuya needing and wanting to protect Kiriha, just as much as he wants to protect, maintain, and enjoy the status quo in his life with everyone comes out before and during the battle. But he’s able to rally and use it to his advantage, and bring us a nice cliffhanger in the bargain.

Blocky MacBlockhands

He’s almost ready for battle

Now that I think about it, I give her too much grief and I’ll address that in closing thoughts

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So yeah, I do put Sunao down pretty hard this time around. She’s brash, so it’s an easy target to want to hit. But, she does have nerve, bravery, capacity, strength of body and mind, and willpower. That’s not easy stuff to come by, so she gets a tremendous amount of respect just for that. She’s very much in the wrong state of mind however. She has more to give life than this, and I think her brother saw that in her, and he worked hard to make sure that the hard work she always had inside her would go to something that was just as worthwhile, but in his mind, probably better. She’s a hard character to take, but I’ve always felt that she is a necessary one. See you next time…

End of cour!


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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14 Responses to “Tsugumomo – 11”

  1. Highway says:

    It’s a risk, but I have to link this…

    Hey! Hey! Hey Hey Hey!

  2. Highway says:

    Now that that’s out of the way, They really lay it on thick with Sunao, don’t they? No ambiguity there in how she thinks of other people.

    I thought it was a good fight so far, and like that Kazuya uses his imagination in a fight, but it’s not ridiculous. I kind of thought that he was going to do the “Grasp the sword above your head” thing, but like the redirection better, just cause it’s not so cliched.

  3. zztop says:

    How much of the manga has the anime adapted so far? What will future content hold in store?

    • skylion says:

      They’ll get to the end of Chapter 29 most assuredly, and that is out of 98 so far. How much more they pack into the final episode, I don’t know. I mean, the perfume episode was a bonus to this final arc. So….

      Future content is more or less a refinement of what they’ve already done…and a whole lot more ecchi.

  4. Wanderer says:

    It’s a shame that they’re ending with this battle. The series has barely begun, and Sunao’s character grows significantly after it. Hell, the real story of the manga hasn’t even begun to come to light yet. :/

    • skylion says:

      Oh, I agree. But I don’t think that means there series hasn’t been fun for me, or for the non-manga readers. Kiriha’s VA (I can’t look up her name easily right now) is a dream and so well suited for the character, that’s awesome in my book.

    • BlackBriar says:

      In other words, you’re saying this cour has merely been one big prologue. Usually, when one gets that feel, it’s because it turns out that series is actually a split cour. But that feels unlikely with this case.

      • skylion says:

        ..from what I can see the show has been doing fairly well for it’s broadcast, and orders on merch are looking good. Other series have come back with less, I’m sure. Don’t count it out just yet. Beside, I have the feeling that this cour will tell a complete story, and I’d rather have that than some tacky non-ending any time. The manga, as always, is very readable.

        • BlackBriar says:

          That’s why readers watching an adaptation of what they’ve read dread anime original endings so much. And I can’t blame them since I also know what that’s like.

          • skylion says:

            The only thing that could be bad about an anime original ending is that if it poorly put together. The same as any other ending, really.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    There were low expectations but the fight’s doing better than I thought and Kazuya’s holding his own against Sunao well with rewarding improvisation. If one week’s training gave this kind of drastic result, imagine if he had a year. Penultimate episode and I’m already hoping for another season. That goes to show how entertaining this series has been so far.

    Kiriha’s mind must be quite the place to visit if she immediately thought of Kukuri’s water dolls as adult toys.

    I’m still not inclined to show Sunao any leniency. The way she defines things, especially how she defines her sword tsukumogami partner is the behavior of someone in desperate need of a beastly attitude adjustment. Your talk of nerve, bravery, capacity, strength of body and mind and willpower… While I’d agree on those, it all gets poisoned by her toxic personality which makes it all a sad waste to see.

    Here’s something to think about. In Kazuya’s dream sequence with his mother, she gives him the green light to take things further with Kiriha but he turns it down saying he doesn’t want the situation that’s already in play to change because he has everyone else, who are, conveniently, female, on his mind. Wouldn’t that be interpreted as being semi-consciously greedy? One can say there’s good intention from him not wanting to the rest feel rejected picking one but there’s also a sense of ulterior motive that’s difficult to shake. When you think about it, other protagonists in his place from other shows wanted the outcome.

    • skylion says:

      Oh, Kazuya will have a year and then things will get very interesting, but that’s for a, hopefully, later cour.

      Kiriha is a gem, if that’s what you mean…

      I’m inclined to show Sunao leniency, but only in so far as she is a fictional character and I can see what they are doing with her. She’s not a character you can love to hate that is for sure, and that’s on purpose, as such characters are often one note and uninteresting after a while. No, she’s a character you are made to hate because that is what we do as people. That gives her more narrative thrust and makes her more an understandable – for the given value of that – character than a one note throwaway “comic booky” villain. As I’ve said, she’s a possible outcome of who Kazuya could have become, and since he’s our viewpoint character, we understand him if he’s on the wrong, for the most part.

      Oh yeah, that’s the classic anime male lead greed in a nutshell. “We will not resolve the harem cause we get more milage out of not resolving it” But at the same time he’s 14 years old and commitment is not anything he should worry about right now. Not seeing them as commitments, and seeing them as people is important. So…it’s not a typical harem thing after all.

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