An Opportunity To Knock The Wind Clean Out Of Their Sails

Run With The Wind Episode Review Title

Run With The Wind Episode 7 Review

The boys finally participate in an actual track meet and this early in the season there are no surprises, except perhaps that Prince finished at all. Seriously, Prince is still my absolutely favourite character in this series and his calm manner before running as he reads manga is just absolutely priceless. I think what I particularly appreciate is that he isn’t kicking and wailing about not wanting to run. He has just kind of resigned himself to doing it and just wants it all to be as painless as possible.

Run With The Wind Episode 7 Prince

However, for Kakeru this isn’t a laughing matter nor one he can take lightly. While we’ve seen a bit about what happened before there’s still plenty we don’t know about him and while he is definitely more in support of the team, he’s still pretty much emotionally unable to deal with how they end up performing and even his own performance. Still, despite starting like a fairly blandish protagonist, Kakeru is turning out to be surprisingly interesting even if the path he’s on seems pretty predictable.

Run With The Wind Episode 7 Kakeru

I’d turn my attention to Haiji, and I would like to at some point look at the personal strength he must have to come back from an injury like he has and to drag everyone along in his wake, even if I do find him obnoxious, but I’m kind of hoping for a little more about the information about his injury so I’ll hold off on that.

Run With The Wind Episode 7 Hiaji

Instead, I’ll focus on the sound in this week’s episode (well it was that or how many buckets of sweat the characters had rolling off them). Realistically it makes sense that these guys would be breathing hard, and even harder than the other runners who had been training more diligently for longer, and yet the gasping sounds as we progressed through the race were more than a little off-putting. This is perhaps one of those cases where striving for realism is great and all but did we really need it? I think all it really did was minimise the impact of some of the other sounds that came through the race and that is a shame because Run With The Wind is an anime that kind of gets the importance of using sound as emphasis of critical moments and doesn’t feel the need to just get louder but actually makes individual sounds stand out from the crowd and draw the listeners in.

Anyway, another week of Run With The Wind is done and I will say this one has more or less settled into the middle of the pack of shows I am watching. I enjoy it well enough and some of the early episodes were very solid, but we’ve definitely kind of settled into fairly standard territory and while as a whole this anime is still pretty well made, I’m just not interested enough in running to have this one as a must watch.

Linked Reviews:

  1. Episode 1: Another Character Dragging Others Along in Pursuit of Their Dream
  2. Episode 2: The Hard Sell
  3. Episode 3: As The Wind Blows
  4. Episode 4: A Wind of Change
  5. Episode 5: Scattered by the Winds
  6. Episode 6: No Need to Be Frantic. It’ll absolutely blow over soon

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Karandi James

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“Run with the Wind” Original Soundtrack

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Run With The Wind Episode 6: No Need to Be Frantic. It’ll absolutely blow over soon

Run With the Wind Episode 6

This week’s episode of Run With The Wind focuses almost exclusively on King, as the last hold out really on the track team. Even those other members who aren’t wholly committed or convinced that they will run in Hakone are now more or less diligently turning up to training and seem to be enjoying it, whether they admit it or not.

Run With The Wind Episode 6

This would all be fine if King were a more interesting character. However, his job search is really not particularly compelling as a piece of drama (while understandable that he would be stressed it isn’t as though he can search every minute of every day) and his visit to a mahjong parlour just seemed empty. I get they are trying to show him being a little bit lost and directionless but it all just makes his refusal to run seem more like stubborn and pointless pride (for the first time in six episodes, Haiji was not the most annoying character in the show).

Run With The Wind Episode 6

Despite the King focus, they didn’t forget the other characters with the twins having some great lines, Kakeru having another one on one with Haiji (though these are starting to get repetitive as it seems we are hearing variations on the same conversation), and Prince certainly gets another fairly solid moment here (still my favourite character). Basically, individual characters in this show might grate on me or not really be as nuanced as I’d like for what they seem to be striving for, but the ensemble as a whole is pretty great and the show is at its best when it lets the characters interact in a way that flows naturally from one conversation from the next.

Wind6d

Still, the team are all in now and it looks like next week we’re heading to a race so I guess we will see what happens. The idea of Prince competing right at the moment is pretty golden given everything so I’ll look forward to that.

Linked Reviews:

  1. Episode 1: Another Character Dragging Others Along in Pursuit of Their Dream
  2. Episode 2: The Hard Sell
  3. Episode 3: As The Wind Blows
  4. Episode 4: A Wind of Change
  5. Episode 5: Scattered by the Winds

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Run With The Wind Episode 5: Scattered by the Winds

Run With The Wind Episode 5

Haiji’s persuasion has apparently been more effective than I first thought with drunken college boys now making speeches about wanting to run. Or maybe it was the jerk by the river insulting them, but either way a fire was lit under some of the previously in name only track club. However, that may not matter if they can’t all get on board.

Run With The Wind Episode 5

Realistically the only one not really trying at this point is King, though Yukihiro is still verbally protesting despite actually training seriously. King however is apparently in that wonderful time of life where he’s job hunting and starting to prepare for what comes after college, so amazingly enough he isn’t all that interested in picking up a hobby that’s going to distract from that. Haiji is clearly not oblivious but he also makes no effort to try to meet King half-way and his speech at the dining table toward the end was more or less the last straw for King.

Now, the anime could go two ways here. We could take the predictable and less satisfying path of someone on the team reaching out to King and he suddenly gains some passion or at least reluctant acceptance for running despite his very valid reasons for not wanting to do it. Or, the anime could do something that would be highly credible for realism but is fairly unlikely to happen. King could leave the dorm, meaning the team would then have to recruit someone else if their ultimate goal is to be achieved.

Yeah, I don’t think they’ll do that. I think we’ll see King’s arc tied up in a neat bow and he’ll be out there running, but I’d like to be wrong just for the sheer novelty of seeing the story go a different direction.

Wind5d

Prince is still my favourite character here. His dead pan delivery as he repeats that he never agreed to run, his ‘attempt’ at becoming incorporeal, and his genuine expression of betrayal when the dog joins the runners are all pretty solid moments.

Overall, I am continuing to enjoy this but episode 5 is perhaps the weakest offering yet in terms of characterisation and plot development. While it certainly does its job, there’s not really a stand out moment to hold onto. Still, this remains a fairly solid entry into the Autumn season.

Run With The Wind Episode 5

Linked Reviews:

  1. Episode 1: Another Character Dragging Others Along in Pursuit of Their Dream
  2. Episode 2: The Hard Sell
  3. Episode 3: As The Wind Blows
  4. Episode 4: A Wind of Change

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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PERSONA 5 THE ANIMATION: QUEEN

Run With The Wind Episode 4: A Wind of Change

Run With The Wind Episode 4

I know I said I wanted them to get Kakeru’s angsty back story out there and over with, but this episode took that very literally with the majority of the episode focusing on Kakeru still being torn about running and his emotional state. We finally see the events that lead up to him ending up stealing the bread and his side of that story, though there are still a few key points missing as to how it got to that point in the first place. However, we also see more about Kakeru running in high school and why he has some issues around the idea of teams.

Run With The Wind Episode 4

Now, Haiji comes through in this episode for both Kakeru and Prince giving just the right words of encouragement. This would be great except it kind of smacks of insincerity when he tells Kakeru to do what he wants to do after essentially coercing the entire dorm into running in the first place. Still, it was the right word at the right time so  I guess Haiji maintains his status as a fairly solid manipulator.

Run With The Wind Episode 4

Of course, the MVP of this episode is Prince. Both in his interactions with Kakeru at the university and his outrage at the end before fainting where just kind of great moments. Of all the characters so far, Prince is the one who I really have enjoyed getting to know, though I still feel a bit sorry for him getting dragged out running all the time. Still, most of the characters don’t seem to be complaining as much or seem to be being dragged so much anymore. In fact, there’s a definite sweeping mood change that even the characters note that almost half of them are actually fully on-board with this whole running thing now.

Run With The Wind Episode 4

So basically, things continue to play out as expected in terms of character and plot. Visually this anime remains really beautifully done and the pacing of the episode is great. I’m still really enjoying how this story is executed and I’m looking forward to more of this show.

Linked Reviews:


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Karandi James

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NENDOROID NO. 1021 A PLACE FURTHER THAN THE UNIVERSE: HINATA MIYAKE

Run With The Wind Episode 3: As The Wind Blows

Run With The Wind Episode 3

The story progresses and our intrepid potential marathon runners are now being coerced into training. Okay, that’s a lie. Some of them are coerced and others are now actually on board with the idea though their enthusiasm waxes and wanes with the promise of girls and how long ago they finished running. That said, Haiji is still a character I can’t stand and while I get he is a necessary plot driving force, if he happened to get side-swiped by a car while running I probably wouldn’t shed many tears.

Run With The Wind Episode 3

Fortunately, the very solid execution of this show continues with some really solid animation and some really great incremental character development for the rest of the cast. They are becoming more and more likeable and interesting (with the exception of Haiji) and I genuinely enjoyed spending time with them as this episode essentially rinsed and repeated waking up for morning running training with a few diversions as characters tried to get out of it or took a trip to the bath house.

Run With The Wind Episode 3

I’m kind of hoping next episode just gets Kakeru’s dark/tragic back story over with though because like some of the other characters I’m at the point where his attitude doesn’t make sense. If you don’t want to run move out. More importantly, if the whole point is that the team isn’t good enough to qualify, doesn’t that work out better for him because it means the farce will be over long before the main event.

Run With The Wind Episode 3

Still, despite my nitpicking and personal dislike of a main character, this is a very solid anime and one that from these early episodes is a contender for one of the better anime of the season. That said, it probably won’t top my list because it will extend into next season and because while I really do appreciate what this anime is doing so far, I’m having more fun with some other titles that may not be quite as polished but for me at least are a little more light and entertaining.

Honestly, if you were waiting to see which shows were worth picking up this season, I’d have to say this one is so far pretty solid.

Linked Reviews:


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Karandi James

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CODE GEASS LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION: LELOUCH LAMPEROUGE

Run With The Wind Episode 2: The Hard Sell

Run With The Wind Episode 2

There is something really great about an anime that manages to make me sit through the episode in more or less total silence, watching intently and listening carefully, forgetting even about the whole taking screen capture thing… Even more amazing is when a story focusing on a bunch of guys being coerced by the single most manipulative jerk of a character in history into running a marathon event manages to do it. Okay, Haiji may not be the single most manipulative character ever, but he really, really has managed to annoy me in two episodes with his goal of forcing the rest of the housemates into a corner.

Run With The Wind Episode 2

What probably makes it worse from a narrative point of view is I know that all nine of his housemates will fall. The OP makes it clear that all our unhappy campers are going to run in the sunset together and won’t it be great? Won’t that make us forget that tactics the leader used to get them there? It will be all go team and yay for sure. Except that I really, really hate Haiji right now. If he was someone I knew in real life I would most definitely avoid when possible and when forced to speak with him use as few words as humanly possible. Regardless of what reason they give for him being so incredibly desperate to compete, I’m not going to warm up to this character.

So, why have I not dropped this show?

Run With The Wind Episode 2

Because the nine other characters are actually entertaining if a little cliche in the niche they are hitting. The banter between them is pretty solid and they are slowly getting fleshed out beyond their initial introductory label and becoming something resembling a real humanised character and it is being done with some deft handling that has actually been pretty impressive. Even Haiji, who is a character type I am loathing, is fulfilling his role well and growing into a more complete character and we’re only two episodes in.

This is also an undeniably pretty show. It isn’t just the wind and the running sequences that look nicely polished. Every sequence just seems like some thoughts and attention went into it. And while the bath sequence can’t be described as pretty as Haiji and Kakeru sweat buckets and turn red, it was extremely affective at portraying the tone of the scene.

Run With The Wind Episode 2

While I might regret this, given it is two cours long, at this stage I’m giving this anime a spot on my watch list because there is a competency on display here that I wish I came across more often. A story that I inherently am not interested in being executed in such a way that I cannot look away.

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Karandi James

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KINGDOM HEARTS: RIKU

Run With The Wind Episode 1: Another Character Dragging Others Along in Pursuit of Their Dream

Run With the Wind Episode 1 - Haiji

I haven’t exactly hidden my dislike of shouting protagonists, but there’s another type of character I find equally off-putting regardless of how good the story might be. And Run With The Wind delivers us Haiji, the guy who has some personal goal or dream of running a marathon and is willing to drag whoever he needs to into it. He might be described as passionate or driven, but I generally find imposing your own wish on other people to be a fairly repugnant character trait. If he wants to run a marathon he’s welcome to; leave everyone else alone.

Run With The Wind Episode 1

Which meant this first episode didn’t exactly scream at me that this is a must watch. A sport focused story with a bunch of guys brought together through whatever means necessary to train to run a marathon it isn’t exactly shouting pick me. Despite that, it also isn’t an instant drop and I’m going to give it another episode or two to try and convince me these characters are worth investing my time in. And there’s a couple of reasons for that.

The first is the visuals. While for the most part they are pretty ordinary (neither good or bad), there is one sequence where Haiji sees Kakeru running and it just grabbed me (as it was clearly intended to). I actually saw this sequence on Twitter before I watched the episode and while I liked it on Twitter, it actually just worked beautifully in the episode and it was the moment I really started paying attention.

The second reason I’m not instant dropping this, is the rest of the cast seem interesting enough. They each have their particular personality trait but they don’t seem as exaggerated or caricature like as some ensemble casts and I’d like to give them a chance to grow on me.

Run with the Wind Episode 1

Still, I will be quite surprised if this one stays on my watch list.


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Karandi James

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UYuri Katsuki Casual Version