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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    Reaching The Target With The Help From Friends

    Tsurune Episode Reviews

    Tsurune Episode 8 Review

    Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say.

    I don’t think I’m ever going to get tired of the animation they use in this for when Minato fires a beautiful shot. Admittedly, we haven’t seen much of it due to his target panic, but this episode really did convey perfectly just how beautiful his shots can be. I was right with the spectators sitting in awe after watching that arrow fly through the air, the feathers spinning, before it struck in the centre of the target. 

    Tsurune Episode 8 - Minato

    To say that Tsurune maintains its status as an incredibly beautiful anime is an understatement even if most of the time it isn’t rubbing your face in it. It’s the small details that keep this one pretty even as we see some fairly mundane sequences of characters sitting and talking.

    Tsurune Episode 8 Masaki

    Though, it would be a mistake to believe that prettiness is all this anime has going for it. In eight episodes Tsurune has managed to really make me care about these characters, and this week even Nanao, who has been by far the one I’ve known least about or cared least for, managed to make me pay attention to him as he played his role within the team. The fact that Nanao is aware he’s playing a role makes him an even more interesting character and I have to wonder why he is so fixated on Onogi and what happens when Onogi doesn’t need him anymore to help balance himself. Of course, the same questions can be, and should be, aimed at Seiya in regards to Minato.

    Tsurune Episode 8 Nanao

    Despite this episode focusing largely on the team shoot at the tournament, which the boys first did fairly poorly in and then, through some team bonding and self-reflection improved for the second half, really the story here is about the characters.  We get excellent moments for Ryouhei, between Onogi and Nanao, Nanao and Minato, Minato and Onogi, and finally Seiya and Shu. Each one slightly revealing and each on interesting on their own.

    Tsurune Episode 8 Shu

    The boys did qualify for the next round but it was nearly beside the point by the time that was revealed. The progress they individually made and made as a team made everything worth it and honestly I don’t think I’d have minded if they just had to start again next time. Still, looking forward to what they do next because I’m really enjoying getting swept away by these characters.

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    Tsurune – Kazemai Koko Kyudo-Bu – (Anime) Original Soundtrack

    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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    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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    Run With The Wind Original Soundtrack
    Run With The Wind Original Soundtrack

    Why Does Teamwork Serve as an Excellent Story Cornerstone?

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    We’ve all heard the groans, and probably groaned ourselves when an anime pulls out the power or friendship/teamwork finale and characters overcome all obstacles just by working together and recognising each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It is a little twee and a lot overdone and when done poorly, groaning is the appropriate response to a trite conclusion. 

    However, and this is a big however, many fantastic and emotionally moving stories continue to embed teamwork as the central concept around which the characters and narrative develop. These are stories that move the audience and inspire. They offer little new in an already saturated field and yet they take the idea of teamwork and manage to fill the audience with a sense that what they are watching is worth it and rewarding.

    So how does this work?

    Haikyuu Kurusu Team

    Firstly, through having a team, the anime instantly creates a cast of usually diverse characters to focus on within a confined context. If it is a sport anime like Haikyuu or the more recent Tsurune, we have a set number of participants with their own strengths and weaknesses, different levels of experience, and different attitudes. This inherently means the story gets to work on bringing these characters together to better understand one another, and conveniently help the audience get to know them as well, and it also comes with built in conflicts that make sense within the context before any external threat or problem is introduced allowing the story to feel like progress is being made even when not very much is going on in the wider narrative.

    For some, this won’t appeal. They’ll feel they’ve seen these basic relationships play out before and they’ll be right. But what it does mean is that if a particular group or team happens to contain personalities and character types that appeal to the individual, the anime as a whole is instantly going to seem a whole lot more attractive.

    Tsurune Episode 4 - Onogi

    This is where Tsurune is edging out Run With the Wind as far as I am concerned (and it is a personal opinion). While Onogi in Tsurune is a bit of a downer, I kind of see where he’s coming from and he isn’t so over the top in his spitefulness or annoyance with the other characters that he’s irredeemable. It is quite clear that in not so many episodes the boys on the team will come together even if they’ll later have a falling out. And each of the other boys in the team I quite enjoy. They aren’t larger than life characters so for some viewers they might find them too subdued or dull, but I am enjoying the calm they bring even while they each have enough individual personality and drama to bring something to the table.

    Run With The Wind Episode 3

    Run With The Wind on the other hand has at its centre Haiji and Kakeru who are both problematic characters in their own way and while I’m pretty sure they’ll both mellow out before we get to the end, they are fairly hard to take (or at least I find them quite grating – particularly Haiji who I’ve previously called a ‘master manipulator’ among other things, and that wasn’t meant as a compliment – though having watched episode 8 I’m now very much hating Kakeru a lot). However, due to the large cast in Run With The Wind, ten members of the team as opposed to the five in Tsurune, despite finding the central two characters a little hard to swallow, other supporting characters are fantastic and are certainly keeping me entertained and wanting more. 

    Run With The Wind Episode 5

    Prince for best character of the season, please?

    However, neither of these shows can really stand up when compared to previous sporting anime just in terms of the team dynamic. I’ll admit, I don’t watch a lot of sports anime, but when I finally gave in and watched Haikyuu I was blown away. They managed to bring in fairly flawed characters who individually would have been quite painful to endure and yet balanced the dynamic between the different cast members fairly beautifully to create a team that really made you want to get behind them.

    Haikyuu

    That isn’t to say that Tsurune and Run With The Wind won’t get there, nor is it saying that they aren’t good to watch given both are in the top half of my picks for the season so far. However it does explain why some team anime get more traction than others just on the cast of characters alone and how the narrative deals with those characters.

    Secondly, where there is a team there is some common purpose, goal, direction. There’s something driving these people to come together and even if they don’t seem that driven in the beginning it is easy to give them an obstacle to work together to overcome. It might be simple story telling, but it works. In sports anime the goal is usually make it to some final or win some competition. Endlessly we get the ‘this is our last year’ routine, which somehow Run With The Wind managed to shove in their even though the characters are all different ages at university (thanks for that Haiji, we just needed time pressure). But outside of sports anime, we are seeing this a lot in some of our cute girls doing spy things offerings.

    Izetta

    I say that like it is a common genre, and it isn’t… yet. Watch this space, once anime realises it is on to a good thing we’ll see the plethora of shows following along and while that isn’t a problem, it does mean the quality of said anime will vary wildly and if the isekai genre is anything to go by, it means that those that dismiss anything that is popular or common as trash by default will definitely steer clear. Still, with Princess Principal and now Release the Spyce, cute girls doing spy things is a genre with a lot of potential and we could even throw something like Izetta into the mix, though technically they weren’t really doing spy things.

    Now I would be the first to admit I am not the biggest fan of cute girls doing cute things. But cute girls doing spy things is a different story and Princess Principal showed us beyond any doubt that the idea can work. Outside of the context, the group of girls could have been any group from any high school anime ever, and yet with the context they were given, it allowed for the plot to have some drive and a sense of urgency even as the girls went about their ‘daily’ lives (you know, infiltrating, gathering evidence, running for their lives). And while that might miss the more relaxed motifs of the general cute girls genre, for those of us who don’t actually mind the relationship dynamics but kind of feel sleepy while watching something without a clear plot, it is an excellent path to take.

    Princess Principal Episode 10

    Once again, the core of this is the team. Cute girl stories live or die by how the personalities bounce off one another and how relationships are formed and maintained throughout the series. While Princess Principal had the overall narrative with the Princess and the wall and lots to pay attention to, each episode was ultimately driven by the girls themselves and individually, while interesting enough, they couldn’t have carried the story. But together they were fantastic and together they could overcome obstacles in the plot that individually were insurmountable.

    Release the Spyce Episode 4 Mei and Fu

    Release the Spyce is more problematic because the overall plot is a lot weaker and the team dynamic is less interesting or engaging (at least that’s how I’m finding it) so while all the elements are there the execution has been a little lacking. Shame, because this bright pink spy story could have been really fun and instead I’m just kind of hoping they would focus on one aspect or another because at the moment they are juggling too many things and not really succeeding.

    Lastly though, I’ll bring teamwork back to relatability. Even though many of us aren’t exactly team players by choice, in life we have to deal with others and work with them at times. We’ll butt heads, have misunderstandings, dislike someone on first meeting for some arbitrary reason, feel like someone is holding us back, or even just be the person who is holding people back just because. However, teamwork is a vital skill and it is a situation we’ve been in over and over again throughout our lives. So seeing characters forced into a situation where they need to get on with someone or work together or just play their part, all of that is something that on some level we can understand and empathise with.

    Tsurune Episode 5 Minato and Onogi

    So while I’ll probably not stop rolling my eyes at power of friendship/teamwork conclusions that feel unearned, I did feel it was time for me to express why teamwork isn’t a concept that should be dismissed out of hand. When used appropriately it can form the cornerstone of something well worth watching and something that can have a real impact on the viewer.

    However, I’d love to know your thoughts on teamwork in anime and who some of your favourite anime teams are and why so please leave me a comment below.

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    AZUR LANE FIRST ANNIVERSARY ART COLLECTION BOOK

    How To Build Strong Camaraderie By Facing Adversity

    Tsurune Episode Reviews

    Tsurune Episode 5 Review

    The training camp is on but the boys are fairly annoyed to discover that their ‘servant’ duties, having lost the match last week, pretty much exclude them from actually training. That’s okay. Because like with most sport based anime, they aren’t just getting better at sport, we’re making better people, or in this case a better team.

    Tsurune Episode 5 Nanao
    This is fairly sensible advice.

    I was actually a little put out in the second half of the episode where Masaki’s brother pointed out how ‘close’ the boys had gotten and used his photos from the camp so far to demonstrate the point. It seemed really unnecessary given the visuals throughout the episode had already driven that point home as the space between characters visibly shrank and they began actually looking at each other when they spoke. It just seemed a little heavy handed to then have a side-character draw attention to something that had served its purpose well on its own and felt a bit like they were worried that maybe the audience would miss the point (which seems really unlikely).

    Tsurune Episode 5 Team barbecue

    Though if I’m going to start nit-picking at this show for being heavy handed that’s probably going to be the kiss-of-death because Tsurune is unashamed of what it is and makes no attempts to break the mould. It focuses instead on giving us a well paced and visually stunning sports focused slice of life with characters who are slowly revealing themselves to the audience. In this it succeeds admirably but there’s nothing much subtle about what it is doing.

    Tsurune Episode 5 Masaki

    Still, there’s a genuine delight when you see the boys coming together. From their united displeasure at realising they won’t going to have time to train, to their argument over pork or beef at the supermarket, to the amusing hat rescue sequence, and then traditional bath sequence and barbecue, every scene builds up a sense of camaraderie between these previously fairly detached characters.

    Tsurune Episode 5 Minato and Onogi

    And of course, there are clearly some further details about Minato that have yet to be revealed. Any anime character with a scar that large has some angsty story. We kind of already know that Minato has an angsty backstory but the details are still pretty vague.

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    Karandi James
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    KUROKO’S BASKETBALL: RYOTA KISE SPECIAL BOXNENDOROID NO. 1032 KUROKO'S BASKETBALL: RYOTA KISE SPECIAL BOX

    Fastest Finger First Episode 10: No Time For Distractions Like Backstory

    Review:

    They finally kind of got into the team leaders past this week on Fastest Finger First and then they decided that was too distracting from answering questions and we moved on. Or rather, Fukami does as she puts aside the question of whether their captain actually knows her brother or not and focusses on answering the questions in the third round as she fights it out for a place in the final.

    Fastest10d

    So if you are desperate for back story or anything really other than the quiz itself, you probably aren’t getting it this episode, but the quiz is really fun so that isn’t really too much of an issue. Plus, with so many religious themed questions this one didn’t really require specialised knowledge of Japan and made it much easier to play along at home, presuming of course that your knoweldge of Christianity is better than your knowledge of Japanese classic literature.

    Fastest10b

    All and all another fun episode and one that leaves us on a cliff-hanger as Koshiyama prepares for his own go at round 3.


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