“The true answer can be found in pointlessness.” – Tatsuru Miyazumi
One thing this anime sure does well is it gives us one-word episode titles that accurately reflect what it’s all about. In this case, “synergy” is used to perfectly describe how the events of the episode play out as we see Mikoto and Tatsuru tackling the day’s tasks by complementing each other’s skills and making up for each other’s shortcomings. Tatsuru quite literally has Mikoto’s back in badminton, assuring him that he will cover for Mikoto’s mistakes and incorrect judgments. Likewise, as far as salaryman life goes, Tatsuru was able to cover Mikoto during his own misadventures, such as apologizing to the supermarket manager for Mikoto scratching his car and then tackling the armed thief to protect Mikoto from getting assaulted by the armed thief. In my view, there is a far deeper meaning in Tatsuru Miyazumi’s actions that goes beyond just “having Mikoto’s back” and for the following reasons, I would say he is a truly incredible mentor and partner for Mikoto.
Tatsuru Miyazumi is the perfect mentor
It takes an awesome mentor to do more than scold your underlings when they mess up, especially when said underling is a gifted and talented individual like Mikoto who more often than not has perfect logic behind his actions. With the gift of foresight, Mikoto often acts out of line and can easily become distracted in certain scenarios due to his unique impulsive actions that come with his unique perception and understanding of human subconscious behavior. Rather than blame Mikoto for scratching the client’s car or almost getting himself killed by the armed robber, Tatsuru chooses to remain observant and tries to guide Mikoto rather than change him. Tatsuru lacks the foresight and judgment present in Mikoto while Mikoto lacks the strength and stability of Tatsuru. Individually, they are flawed, but together, they are an unstoppable force in the making, and I believe that is what synergy is all about.
Every anime has that character who is not the main protagonist but steals the show, whether it’s Levi from Attack on Titan or Mikey from Tokyo Revengers, there are plenty of examples out there and I have a suspicion that Tatsuru Miyazumi is that guy for Ryman’s Club. Strong, charming, and an awesome work partner, the Badaryman himself is at the ripe age of 32, a time in life where one can harness all of their life experiences and execute effectively as the peak of their physical strength starts to take its form. As such, Tatsuru is more than just a mentor for Mikoto, but also a partner who fights side-by-side with him. This aspect of their relationship brings so much more depth well as a new dynamic that we don’t often see with other sports anime. In some ways, their relationship is something of an Obi-Wan x Anakin Skywalker type of bond, though in this case, Tatsuru is definitely a lot more carefree and comical than his Jedi counterpart.
There are certainly a lot of strong opponents lined up for our dynamic duo in the world of badminton, and already we’ve seen the world no.2 doubles player in action. I suspect this series will feature plenty more moments of synergy, cohesion, and teamwork as Sunlight Beverage corporation looks to make its name known in the world of corporate badminton.