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Japanese Title: 風が強く吹いている
It is a youthful story revolving around a running event called Hakone Ekiden. The series follows the protagonist Kakeru Kurahara and his friend Haiji Kiyose.
Sports anime are usually very similar. There are a few people who absolutely love the sport and an insurmountable obstacle they’ll have to cross before the end of the season. Run with the Wind is a bit different in that aspect. The two main protagonists are both in love with running and each has his own reasons for following his dream. Yet, we are introduced to a whole bunch of characters who all live under the same roof and who have no idea that they were scammed in joining a track and field club. An otaku, a trivia nerd, a smoker lifelong student, an exchange student from Tanzania, they are all studying at Kansei University and were tricked by the protagonist into living in a dorm-like place owned by a former Japanese champion. His goal was to create a track and field club in order to compete in a nearby relay race (for reasons we still don’t know).
It was a refreshing first episode. There is always a sense of realism in this show that makes everything that happens (even if you’re not Japanese) relatable. The humor is light-hearted and sometimes funny and we had enough unanswered questions to make us wait for the second episode. If you like sports anime, this is one to check out.
From the staff behind the highly-acclaimed anime adaption of Haikyu comes Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (Run Like the Wind). Although based on a popular novel and having already been adapted into a live-action movie and stage play, this is a completely new work for me. I’m sure there are many people who are pulled into this series by the seemingly strong similarities to Haikyu. As well as the obvious visual similarities, it seems that this will also be a series that focuses on the human drama aspect of the story. What I love about Haikyu is that there are no inhuman attacks like in many other sports anime, but Production I.G gave us insanely dynamic action sequences that made us really feel like we were on the court with the team. I’m sure we will feel like we will be running along with the characters of this series (I’m feeling out of breath already) as they aim to take part in the famous long-distance relay, the Hakone Ekiden.
I’ll admit the reason I tried this anime out in the first place is because of the casting of Hideaki Kabumoto as Tanzanian exchange student Musa. Not only does Musa seem a bit of a breath of fresh air when it comes to foreign characters, I’m looking forward to seeing what Kabu-chan can do. The cast in general is also one of the biggest selling points, most especially the fact that the double-main characters are played by a newbie (Takeo Otsuka as Kakeru) backed up by the very experienced Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Haiji.
I’m sure the dynamic in the cast is going to reflect strongly on the characters, so I have a feeling I might be watching this one to the end. Maybe I’ll even take up running. (probably not)
Oh, and just in case you didn’t already know, Kakeru’s name literally means ‘running’. So there you know.