Name: Run With the Wind
MAL Score: 8.53/10
Genres: Sports, Comedy, Drama
There will be minor spoilers for Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteru ahead
When it comes to sports anime, some specific sports are over-saturated. There’s countless numbers of baseball anime and a decent amount of basketball ones too. However, there’s a surprising lack of running or track and field anime out there, despite it being a popular sport. So as a runner myself, I was excited to hear that a running anime was coming in the Fall 2018 season. So did Run With the Wind live up to expectations?
Run With the Wind, or Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru, features a main cast of 10 college students. These 10 students all live together in the same appartment building together, because of the cheap rent and meals provided. The catch? When they agreed to live there, they unknowingly signed up for the Kansei University Track & Field Team. The issue is that besides from the two protagonists, Kakeru Kurahara and Haiji Kiyose, none of the residents really have running experience. What’s more is that Haiji intends for the team to run at an elite event 10 months away. The event being the Hakone Ekiden. The show then covers the team’s struggles and training to reach the Ekiden.
The show has a relatively diverse cast, and they’re the main driving force of the show. Everyone, other than than Haiji, is initially opposed to joining the team, since they see the goal as completely unrealistic. Furthermore, track and field is a demanding sport, and none of them thinks they have the time. As the show progresses, we watch as the team not only grows to love the sport, but become closer friends with each other.
As I previously stated, I am a runner myself, so I was really hoping to like Run With the Wind. Unfortunately there were some things that stuck out to me which hindered my enjoyment. First of all, some of the character’s times progress way too fast, especially Prince. Even towards the end of the show, his running form is still terrible, and it’s kind of hard to ignore. At first I thought it was a lack of research on the author’s part, but I got the feeling later on that she did know what she was talking about. The time constraint of 10 months just was too short.
It also felt like the show dragged in the earlier episodes a bit, but that’s understandable since they had to introduce several characters immediately. Early on, we don’t get as much of the “sports” part of the show because of this.
After watching 5 or 6 episodes, I was skeptical of the quality, but I really felt that the show improved a lot in the later episodes. The running side of the show was brought up more and the character development began. The running aspect isn’t the most accurate, as I previously stated, but it’s still an enjoyable experience. I think the author was really able to capture the community and culture of running, and the characters all felt pretty realistic within the story. The characters not only grew stronger physically, but also socially and emotionally, and it was overall a pretty inspiring watch.
Looking back, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this show, and I can definitely say it was one of the better shows to come out in 2018. If I were to rate it, I’d give it an 8/10 based off the great character growth and entertaining sports side.