Why Run With the Wind is An Outstanding Example of How To Use Sound

Run With The Wind Episode Review Title
Run With The Wind Episode 11 Review

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So it turns out Run With The Wind is going to have a gap between this episode and the next so this is likely my last episode review for the year. Therefore it is kind of fitting that this episode so clearly demonstrated one element of this anime that has been amazing from episode 1, because I really haven’t talked much about it: the sound. Run With The Wind Episode 11 Sakaki Before I get into that though, I want to address the character focus this week Takahashi. Now he has been in all the team scenes and working away in the background since the beginning, but like many of his team mates, I’d kind of overlooked him as a character despite his contribution. Run With The Wind Episode 11 The Team However, this episode really brings his contribution and his strengths to the forefront and I absolutely loved it. As Kakeru points out, Takahashi was the first of the reluctant housemates to embrace running, he’s been to every training without skipping and a tireless worker at recruiting supporters. This is a character who well and truly deserves more time and attention, and yet I’m going to leave him here and get back to the sound design of this episode and why it is the real star (sorry Takshashi). Throughout this whole episode the external scenes are filled with rain. It is a persistent down pour and visually this makes the episode quite dark but it also means that each of these scenes is filled with the background sound of rain. Unlike so many other shows, Run With The Wind finds the perfect balance of sound levels that the rain is pervasive but it doesn’t drown out the dialogue or other sounds. It is all beautifully executed. Run With The Wind Episode 11 Rain What also works is the fantastic contrasts. The episode cuts back and forth between running or training in the rain and that heavy downpour, and interior scenes where the rain is muted or absent and the audience and the characters find relief. In these scenes other incidental noises (the bathhouse sounds or the sound of the treadmill, the clicking of keys on the computer) take centre stage and manage to fill the void while not being over-whelming. All of this leads to the final scene of the episode where the rain has ended and we see the dog playing in the yard with the bird chirping in the background. It is a relief from the sound and carries the audience to the perfect emotion for the ending. However, this episode wasn’t the first where the sound was masterfully done. This is a consistent positive in a series that is just getting better as it goes. Still, I’m glad that I had the chance to focus on this aspect this week as I really do believe it is a reason to watch the anime. Thanks for reading Karandi Jamesavatar Consider supporting the blog by: Patreon2 Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com Or, use one of my product affiliate links. Run with the Wind Kansei University Parka MensRun with the Wind Kansei University Parka Mens
  • 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
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    How Run With The Wind Shows Us To Celebrate Effort Rather Than Victory

    Run With The Wind Episode Review Title

    Run With The Wind Episode 10 Review

    I kind of thought it last week, with my episode review focusing on Kakeru having to take a step back to see things. This week we see the full fruit of his observations as with Haiji out of the picture it falls on Kakeru to keep the team together. Only not really. After a brief moment of panic and some breakfast making hi-jinks (cause of course none of the guys can cook – breathing the cliche right there) the only one Kakeru ends up really working with is Prince.

    Run With The Wind Episode 10 King

    Of course, given the friction between Kakeru and Prince, this is kind of a completely necessary step so you can almost forgive Run With The Wind for the cheesy and overused ‘Haiji collapses from exhaustion’ story-line in order to orchestrate this moment. I’ve said it before, but being trite or generic isn’t a problem provided you do it well and Run With The Wind fully committed to this plot line and made it work.

    Run With The Wind Episode 10 Kakeru

    From the mirroring between Kakeru and Prince in the kitchen to Haiji working with Prince and his manga obsession to improve his form, this episode was full of happy surprise moments that just nailed exactly what they needed to. By the time we see Prince and Kakeru back on the track for real, the audience will feel like they’ve been on this journey with the characters and it is absolutely rewarding. You’ll also want to be apart of the team cheer at the end.

    Run With The Wind Episode 10 Prince toss
    So want to be a part of that celebration.

    Still, while it might be seen as Prince getting better at running, which he is, something else has fundamentally changed that is going to impact the entire dynamic of the anime. And that is, Kakeru is no longer only obsessed with winning or being fast. His slowing down to run alongside Prince and encourage him briefly is an incredible character shift and if it hadn’t had the focus it got it would have felt really unearned. Instead though, it feels like the audience has had plenty of time hoping Kakeru would get his head together and finally we’re seeing some payoff in the form of the most adorable scenes in the anime so far.

    Hopefully this series continues to grow its characters and take full advantage of moments like these because if it can do that it will end up being a very solid anime and one that I’d happily recommend despite being a sports anime.

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    Karandi James
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    Pita! Deformed Run with the Wind Acryl Key Chain Box
    Pita! Deformed Run with the Wind Acryl Key Chain Box

    You Have To Step Back To See What’s Really There

    Run With The Wind Episode Review Title

    Run With The Wind Episode 9 Review

    As much as I hate to admit it, Haiji has a point. Kakeru really can’t see what the point of running is anymore, other than getting a great time and winning, and while I kind of get where Kakeru is coming from, given they are in a competition, I really do get where Haiji is coming from. Besides, Kakeru targeting Prince was a low blow. It isn’t as though Prince didn’t know he wasn’t good at running.

    Run With The Wind Episode 9

    Kakeru being benched this week on Run With The Wind created a chance for the audience to observe the others from a distance as well. While at first most were reluctant to join Haiji in his dream, and many were coerced, the five who competed this week gave it all they had and those who were on the side were moved by their effort and a desire to cheer them on. All and all, the power of the ‘team’ coming together even if none of the runners were successful this time around at getting an official time.

    Run With The Wind Episode 9 - Running

    Of course, Run With The Wind wasn’t really content just to give us a ‘go team’ kind of message and working at bringing Kakeru back in with the others, despite him being a massive jerk last week and at the start of the episode. Instead we layer in signs that Haiji isn’t as ‘recovered’ as he’d like people to believe and that escalates as the episode continues. Given we still don’t know what actually happened, I’m curious as to what is going on, but the eventual collapse of the team leader was a suitably dramatic end point for the episode.

    Run With The Wind Episode 9 Prince

    Where this anime shines is that none of the characters feel neglected at this point. It is quite the feat given the sheer number of characters. And while I don’t necessarily like all of them, they are all feeling very authentic and the group as a whole is becoming more and more interesting to watch.

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    Karandi James
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    Run With The Wind Original Soundtrack
    Run With The Wind Original Soundtrack

    The Downfalls of the Pursuit of Perfection

    Run With The Wind Episode Review Title

    Run With The Wind Episode 8 Review

    Contrary to my expectations that Kakeru would attempt to leave the team or quit running again, Run With The Wind has taken a different path. It seems the track meet has served only to light a fire underneath him and make him incredibly impatient. He wants to train harder, improve sooner,and he’s become even more critical of his less experienced and able team-mates driving tension through the roof.

    Run With The Wind Episode 8 Kakeru

    While Kakeru might be on a path to self-destruction, and it certainly seems that way with an ominous near miss with a cyclist because he’s got tunnel vision, excessively driving his body and not letting his muscles rest, and even the pan down to Haiji’s leg where we know he has an interesting scar that has yet to be fully explained, the writing is more or less on the wall unless somehow Kakeru manages to turn things around I suspect it isn’t going to end well for him. Then again, if Kakeru actually sustains a major injury that more or less ends Haiji’s dream of Hakone so I suspect the power of teamwork, or maybe one of his teammates finally having enough of his dribble and punching him, may solve the problem (or at least I hope so because while Run With The Wind might be 23 episodes, I don’t want to get to the half-way point without this being resolved).

    Run With The Wind Episode 8 Haiji and Kakeru

    But let’s look at those teammates. For once, Haiji didn’t do a single actual obnoxious thing for the whole episode. It isn’t enough to make me forget that he essentially coerced all of these guys into the situation so everything, including Kakeru’s potential crash-and-burn is ultimately his fault. Kakeru had abandoned running and Haiji was the one who talked (and more or less bribed and threatened) him back into competing. So any fallout there is going to be laid on Haiji.

    Run With The Wind Episode 8

    However, the rest of the team are now fully on board. Some to the point where they are also driving themselves too hard and others are just now not resisting Haiji’s drive and training. With no more attempts to escape being a part of the team, the dynamic has shifted into one of concern for key members.

    Run With The Wind Episode 8 Prince

    Still, as always the MVP is Prince. Tired of being asked to run outdoors, particularly when it might rain, he begins to look for a treadmill. In his words, if he has to run, he’d like to be able to read manga while he’s doing it. Prince is golden and every scene he is in is just perfect.If you have no other interest in Run With The Wind (which would be a shame because it is very good), you should definitely check it out for Prince.

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    Karandi James
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    Run with the Wind Visual Bath Towel 2. Haiji Kiyose
    Run with the Wind Visual Bath Towel 2. Haiji Kiyose

    Orange Series Review

    Overview:

    Ten years ago Kakeru committed suicide. Now his friends, feeling regret, send letters to their past selves in an effort to save him.

    I reviewed this week to week so if you are interested in my thoughts on individual episodes click here.

    Review:

    For those following week to week, it is no surprise that there are definitely aspects of this show that annoyed me. That said, it is actually quite a nice drama and if you are into teen romance between emotionally stunted characters with possible mental health issues you will probably find a truly touching story to follow. That said, I’m probably not the intended audience which might be why I became progressively more annoyed with the characters and plot.

    My main issue will always be Naho and Kakeru themselves. You can argue that they are supposed to be flawed characters suffering from various issues (depression, social anxiety, etc) but that doesn’t stop them being irritating to watch. One or the other may have been fine on their own as an exploration into characters with mental health problems but the two together, dominating the screen time, are hard to take and mostly you just want to slam their heads together and tell them to hurry things along. Or maybe that’s just me being callous but the issue is that these two are not engaging to watch (for me at least). Sawako in Kimi ni Todoke has a similar mentality to Naho but I never found her to be quite this frustrating and possibly that was because she was partnered with someone significantly more outgoing (even if he did have his own issues to deal with).

    The second issue that comes between me and actually enjoying Orange is the plot. The time travel explanation is rubbish and I still fail to see why (if you could send a letter to the past) you would openly work to undermine the life you have (especially in Suwa’s case). you could argue they are being selfless or maybe we could argue that the characters don’t believe it will affect them because any changes will occur in a parallel world but they don’t know that. It is a theory and speculation. They gambled the life of their future child on a theory that could not be proven ahead of time. The more they discuss and explain time travel (particularly in the last couple of episodes) the clearer it makes it that they did not know what the consequence would be but decided to do it anyway.

    My final issue will always be the lack of development for any character outside of Naho and Kakeru. The friends exist to be friends. And while they all get to show up smiley and happy in the pictures, the bottom line is it always comes back to Naho and Kakeru while everyone else put everything on hold.

    With those issues on the table I do want to point out some positives.

    The story is complete in and of itself. No looking for answers elsewhere, no wondering about the outcome. They have a goal established in episode 1 and they work towards it until episode 13 and then the situation is resolved (whether you like the resolution or not it is resolved).

    Neither Kakeru nor Naho actually do a complete 180 and are magically cured of their issues by the power of friendship or through sheer determination. You know what, they aren’t just going to get over it. They are going to slowly take steps forward and backward and may or may not eventually move on or maybe they are going to deal with issues their whole life. I actually liked that they treated their issues with this sort of respect. You can’t get over social anxiety just because you want to. And Kakeru isn’t just going to get over his guilt and subsequent depression just because he has friends and a few good times. While these characters may not be good together, individually it was great to see both of these characters and the way they were dealt with by the narrative.

    Visually, Orange is a mixed bag of soft and pretty followed by some occasionally terrible animation. Don’t look too closely at background characters and mostly it won’t bother you. Thematically the story works well and while I’m still annoyed at the time travel treatment there isn’t a lot more you could ask for in thirteen episodes.

    orange11

    Recommendation: For those into drama and romance that aren’t put off by slow moving stories or awkward characters. I’m not the biggest fan of the show but I can see why it appeals to others. And I can see why it would be irritating to some.

     

     

    Orange Episode 13

    Review:

    I’m definitely feeling conflicted about whether I liked the way this ended. The extended episode was nice because it meant we didn’t get an abrupt pace shift in this final episode. The story has progressed slowly and steadily and the extra time allowed them to tell this final part the same way. I still think the way the friends approach some situations borders on creepy and I haven’t quite figured out why Kakeru doesn’t call them on it earlier. Naho spends the first part of the episode being just a little bit too Naho and ultimately, despite her being a central character she really doesn’t do all that much. Suwa remains the most interesting and dynamic of the cast and honestly I am still waiting for him to genuinely realise what all their meddling is going to cost him. Anyway, I’m done because if you want to know any more you are just going to have to watch the episode.

    Orange is available on Crunchyroll.

     

    Orange Episode 12

    Review:

    Okay, that’s seriously going to be their explanation for how the letters got back to the past? Right…

    That was even worse than getting no explanation. However, it does fit the overall tone of the show. Completely irrational. Five different sets of instructions (that clearly weren’t written in consultation given different bits of information have been given to different characters) sent back by wishing and hoping that an insane conspiracy theory might pan out and that some random stranger will be able to read Japanese and will then follow said instructions, giving insufficient detail for the recipient to make an informed choice and not really knowing what the outcome of any of these changes might be… Well, I guess it’s a plot but logic left this particular group of characters a long time ago.

    The only positive that really came out of this was at least we finally got to see Kakeru’s point of view and the process that lead to his decision to die in the original timeline. Given the show has been about saving Kakeru, very little time has been given to allow the audience to actually understand him as a character. Admittedly, this half-episode series of flash backs doesn’t give us much more depth than we got from the other characters’ letters but it feels like he’s actually a person now instead of a goal post.

    Orange is available on Crunchyroll.