Run With The Wind Episode 15 Review
I am very rarely invested in sports anime and in the notion of who wins an event or not. Emotionally I just don’t think it matters though the characters certainly give it their all and try hard to carry me on their journey. Yuri managed it in Yuri on Ice because victory, while certainly a goal, wasn’t what really carried the story. It was more his personal success at finding his confidence on the ice and being able to skate the way he wanted to skate without nerves sabotaging him. That I found to be a truly triumphant journey.
So as I watched the ten boys line up at the start of the qualifier here I had to wonder why I was tense and holding my breath as the count down started? Why every drop of rain made me worry for falls and injuries that might doom their attempt? Why did I even care and when did that start?
For an episode that mostly sat in a holding patter with Haiji reviewing training schedules and fretting that he hadn’t pushed hard enough, and the majority of the boys getting excited over minor achievements and some publicity, it was almost as if Run With The Wind itself was holding its breath and waiting for the moment to release it. We’re reminded once again that none of these boys outside of Haiji and Kakeru are runners and yet what they’ve already accomplished just by being able to participate in the qualifier is astounding (and a little far-fetched in the case of Prince but that personal triumph was television gold and I won’t let reality mess with that).
I can’t remember half their names and individually each character isn’t exactly compelling. But, much like the theme the anime has been hitting us over the head with for some time, these characters aren’t individuals. They are a team. And the team, collectively is a fascinatingly odd bunch of boys that compensate for the weaknesses of the others and collectively they’ve overcome so much. It would feel somewhat cheap for their journey to end here and the thing is, I don’t think it matters if we ever get to the real race. Just having this team ultimately being able to compete in it would be the triumphant finish I need for this story.
So whether or not I want to admit it, I do care. Haiji, the most arrogant manipulator on the planet as I once called him, has persisted and worked hard and brought the team together even if sometimes through under-handed means, but has cared deeply for each individual he dragged into his dream and all of them have gained from the experience.
As the episode drew to a close my heart nearly stopped at the cliff-hanger and while I know exactly what the show is doing and I don’t much like emotional manipulation part of me wants to shake the monitor and scream ‘why’ at it as the closing credits play. Maybe the problem is, I started caring a little too much.
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Run With The Wind Original Soundtrack
- Episode 1 – Another character dragging others along in pursuit of their dreams.
- Episode 2 – The hard sell
- Episode 3 – As the wind blows
- Episode 4 – A wind of change
- Episode 5 – Scattered by the winds
- Episode 6 – No need to be frantic; It will all blow over soon
- Episode 7 – An opportunity to knock the wind clean out of their sails
- Episode 8 – The Downfalls of the Pursuit of Perfection
- Episode 9 – You Really Have To Step Back To See What’s There
- Episode 10 – How Run With The Wind Shows Us To Celebrate Effort Rather Than Achievement
- Episode 11 – Why Run With The Wind is an Oustanding Example of the Use of Sound
- Episode 12 – The Change of Seasons Welcomes a Changing Wind
- Episode 13 – Clearing the Air With The help of Friends
- Episode 14 – Facing Forward is Easier When You Know Someone Has Your Back
- Episode 15 – How Did They Make Me Start Caring?
- Episode 16 – The Moment Of Truth From All That Training
- Episode 17 – Should They Follow The Course Before Them?
- Images from: Run With the Wind. Dir. K Nomura. Production I.G. 2018.