Posted by Lenlo on 17 October 2018 with categories: Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Hello and welcome to week 3 of Kaze Fui! This time our boys start running, Kurahara meets someone from his past and poor Akane ups and dies. Lets jump in!

So general stuff first, Kaze Fui continues to look just beautiful. The running animation really is nice, and its unique for each runner. From Kurahara’s perfect stride to Akane’s zombie-like walk. Clearly someone at Production I.G. likes walk cycles. Then there was the wind effects, like Kurahara’s hair or clothes as he ran quickly. Our boy looks beautiful! The thin line work also helps the characters fit in on the screen instead of feeling like they were just superimposed onto a background. This week we also learned that they only have 10 months to prepare for the Ekiden and I have to say, that is a bit ridiculous. A 20km run after 10 months of training? For goodness sake, just his goal of a 16 min 5k, which is basically 3 miles, is ridiculous! After 4 months I can barely do 3 8 minute miles. Just seems unrealistic.

Before I lampoon Kaze Fui to much for it’s overarching goals though, there are some things I want to talk about. For instance, Akane killed it this week. His VA speaking with desperation or with hope about the butterflies. The one frame gags of his zombie walk or just lying dead on the river front were unexpected for such a serious character drama. While I think its physically impossible for our poor Prince to run a 5k this decade, I do love what he brings to the show. No doubt our main source of comedy, perhaps with the twins, Akane will be invaluable. Kaze Fui will have to change the gags with him up though, as eventually Haiji’s move-out boxes and zombie run will get old. But for now, I love them.

Speaking of Haiji, I have a lot to say about him this week. First off, he clearly isn’t doing this half-cocked. He came prepared, with an effective cheering gallery and solutions to his promises. I was expecting the promises he made to the others to be one-off gags of the 2nd episode. To see them actually come back, if only for the twins and the promise of women, fills me with hope it will happen for the others to. The most interesting part of it though is that Haiji is right, people perform better with an audience. Just having someone there watching you, judging you or expecting you to give it your all, really pushes you. Whether because you don’t want to embarrass yourself or because you want to impress them, it brings out just a little bit more. It’s a valid tactic that, for once, isn’t underhanded!

That isn’t to say Haiji was an angel this episode, far from it. I found his pursuit of Yuki, the Law Student, to be quiet underhanded. At some point you just have to take no for an answer. Instead he is effectively hunting down his dorm mate and threatening to embarrass him in public and hamstring him socially. I get that it is supposed to be endearing, he refuses to give up on his dream, but I want Kaze Fui to acknowledge that Haiji is behaving like an inconsiderate ass. He clearly cares for them, staying back with Akane to make sure he makes it to the river, or cooking them breakfast and stopping Nico’s smoking. But I want them to acknowledge that Haiji is, whether he believes it or not, ignoring their feelings and imposing his will on them. That they eventually come to like running doesn’t change that.

Now, this week we got introduced to two new characters, one connected to each of our leads, though only one has a name. I am not sure what to make of Katsuta just yet. It appears that she is being setup as the manager of the club of sorts. Yet Haiji is also using her as a source of motivation for some of the guys. Thing is, she is a highschooler and they are all college students. It’s a weird situation I am not super comfortable with, but we will see where it goes. I am curious as to her relationship with Haiji as well. I suspect, based on the store conversation, he is just a friend of family as Haiji appears to know everyone in town. Maybe she has a slight crush on him. Could be some interesting drama, but the age difference ensures nothing comes of it.

The other new character, whom I will refer to as Droopy Eyes until we get a name, is much more… antagonist focused. Just looking at him, his face appears incredibly punchable. Reminds me a lot of Shinji from the Fate series. He appears to have been an old teammate of Kurahara’s, which means we will be getting some more insight into that next week. Kaze Fui laid the groundwork for that a bit this week, demonstrating his Lone-Wolf tendencies and setting up the conflict with Droopy Eyes before he ever appeared. Really, Kaze Fui did a lot of work this week without ever directly info-dumping it on us and I am quiet happy about it. The character interactions continue to be a treat and the use of the world or directions, things like the butterflies, are on point.

So basically, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I loved Kaze Fui this week. I haven’t seen much talk about it lately though, which is a shame. It’s my favorite of the season. Sure Goblin Slayer has good action, SAO looks beautiful and JoJo’s is JoJo’s. But Kaze Fui to me has the right amount of everything and already I look forward to it every Wednesday.

But what about you? Enjoying it so far? Think our characters will actually manage the Ekiden? Or will it pull the rug out from under us and have them fail but enjoy the journey? Let me know below!

4 Responses

  1. Avatar Animosh says:

    My guess is the high school girl will be a love interest for Kurahara. He’s a first year college student, so they’re not that far apart in age, and he was blushing and everything when they met. Besides, he was the first (and only) guy to get a one-on-one meeting with her, which is kind of a staple for romance in anime.

    As for Haiji, although I still think he’s a lovable asshole, wrapping everyone around his finger while never quite crossing the line, I agree the series will have to eventually address his behavior. Hopefully it will, because forcing your friends into things just isn’t okay, no matter how entertaining. Maybe they’ll follow your suggestion: in return for helping him out, Haiji will work very hard to fulfill his friends’ wishes.

    I hadn’t even considered them failing to even qualify to be honest. It’s possible, but it seems unlikely to me. The show just has the feeling of a success story, and there will be no second chances here, not for Haiji anyway. Although I don’t think they’ll win, I expect they’ll at least make it to the race. (I’d be impressed if they do pull the rug though. That’s very rare in this genre.) But God knows how the poor literature student is going to survive that.

    By the way, I think the music is worth a mention too. It’s not super memorable or anything, but it’s been used well and almost always adds to the scenes. It’s not flashy, but it’s quietly doing its job.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Ill keep an ear out for the music. The fact that I havnt felt the need to mention so far is probably a good thing, as that means its never stealing attention away from the scenes. Basically, what musics purpose is.

      I also agree, they probably won’t fail to make it to the race, but its an interesting thought isnt it? I personally hope they don’t win it, because they simply don’t have the training or time to justify it. But them making it to the race just to finish dead last, fulfilling Haiji’s dream of just running in the Ekiden, could make for a nice finish. With a complete message of its about the journey, not the destination.

  2. Avatar Niello says:

    I honestly don’t understand the immediate knee-jerk-reaction “eww” people have at the mention of a romantic relationship between a high school and a university student. If we assume she’s in the last year of high school and pair her up with a 1st year, 2nd year, or even 3rd year, that’s only 1-3 years of difference between them. That’s no different than two high school students in a romantic relationship.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Depending on location, it might be an American thing. There is a general view that those under 18 are still children here, while those above are not, and it weirds people out.

      Its also a matter of emotional maturity as I can say for certain I was a different person in my last year of highschool vs my 2nd or 3rd year of college, living on my own.

      Sure, 2-3 years isnt a big difference, but when your that young, 2-3 years is a good chunk of your life.

      As far as 2 highschool students being the same relationship, yeah, but then they are both still emotionally immature. I think my main concern with it has always been the emotionally and physically more mature college student possibly preying on the emotionally immature highschool student. Age makes less of a difference the older you get, basically. My personal rule is not dating anyone more than 25% younger than me. (Im 24, so that means no dating someone not in their 20’s)

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