WHO SAID THAT WAS OKAY TO PLAY WITH MY FEELINGS LIKE THAT!!!! Oh my god, I seriously thought Misaki was dead, especially after he said made that cryptic statement, “I’m not someone who exists in your real life”. Now I understand what he meant then, but when you have that, combined with Minato being told the guy died a year ago, it is understandable how Minato (and myself included) was duped into thinking the guy was a Ghost! I sincerely thought when he fires the 10,000th arrow he would finally pass on. I can’t tell you how relieved he is very much alive about I didn’t want the guy to be dead, nor did I want Minato to have to go through the heart-break of losing someone all over again (once the two become friends). Just at the idea of him disappearing just after they met already scared Minato to the point he tried to stop him! And I gotta tell you, I found myself crying then. Legit tears, and I wasn’t ready for it. I’m glad those tears quickly became the result of laughing so hard when the truth came out.
This week we learned a bit more about the handsome archer. Masaki claims to have started the challenge of firing ten thousand arrows on the whim. He fires a hundred arrows a day. The night Minato encountered him was his 97th day. He had planned to ‘quit’ after he fires the 10,00th arrow, but it seems the plans of ‘quitting’ has be put on hold since he has met Minato. It turns out Misaki also suffers from Target Panic, and has had it since his third year of high school. Although he was still able to hit the target, his form was a total mess. But he is much better than how he previously was, he still doesn’t consider himself fully recovered. Regardless, the amount of progress he has made is the much needed light of hope Minato needs to make the effort towards his recovery.
This precisely why Misaki is exactly the kind of person Minato needs in his life right now. Even though Misaki is still considered a stranger to Minato, he still finds himself comfortable enough to open up and be honest about his feelings. He has already become a brotherly figure and is someone that can understand his struggle with Target Panic. It is perhaps the only reason why Minato agreed to fire his 10,000th arrow in his stead. This arrow represented the beginning and the end, and even though Minato missed his shot, he was given the confidence that working in a team is the best place for him to work towards his recovery. There is no miracle cure, Misaki doesn’t even consider himself fully recovered, but the progress he has made is enough for him to cleanly shoot 9999 arrows. But the important part is how both of them have agreed to continue, opening the door to the next stage of their respective journey with Kyudo.
On the subject of Target Practice, I am glad we were quickly given more insight of the circumstances it had happened. It was only 10 months ago when it first happened. At the time, Minato was a rising star. His form and shots were clean and phenomenal. His peers had nothing but praises for him and everyone expected him to go far. But during the last round of the middle school prefectural tournament, Minato thought he was in a good place, but all the sudden he lost his ability to shoot properly. None of his shots hit the target, and the meltdown ensued and have plagued him ever since. Misaki describes the effect of Target Panic makes you feel as though you don’t know yourself, or how your form feels anymore. I suppose the worse of it varies from person to person, for Minato, as for Minato, he has the opposite effect, where he can maintain the form, but he can’t hit the target.
We also learned that Seiya feels responsible for it. It remains relatively unclear as to why he feels like he needs to atone himself for what happened during that fateful tournament. Perhaps we’ll get some insight on that next week. However with that said, I must say, the little time Seiya had this episode, really didn’t do anything to make his character grow on me. His selfish desire of forming a team for the tournament as a means to ‘atone’ for what he has done leaves me a lot of question marks on exactly how I feel about him. He is determined to get Minato to join the team, but because he doesn’t seem to really understand why Minato is struggling so much with Target Panic, especially since Minato probably hasn’t and doesn’t feel comfortable enough to open up to him about it as he did with Misaki. I also really don’t like how he instigated Minato, when Minato lashed out at him for only showing his compassion this late. We still don’t know what exactly transcended between then back then, but the way I interpreted Minato’s complaint about how Seiya didn’t say anything in middle school and how he didn’t want his compassion, had more to do with that than wanting him to blame him for it. When Seiya took it as the later, and said all the terrible things he thought Minato wanted to hear, Minato was hurt and frustrated by it. Needless to say, it certainly looks like these two really need to figure out how to communicate between each other better.
And with that in mind, I am curious to see how Seiya will react to Minato choosing to return on his own terms.
I am going to give this one more episode to see how I feel about writing about it. This episode was definitely a lot stronger and impactful than the first. I love how the meaning of ‘tsurune’ is a lot more important than just the sound itself. For Minato, that’s why he does Kyudo, because he loves the sound and it’s something that connects him with his mother. However he can’t hear it because the arrow leaves his hand and takes the sound with it. It will undoubtedly be an emotional breakthrough for Minato when that moment finally comes, and it’s safe to say I am probably going to cry when it does.