Posted by Lenlo on 31 October 2018 with categories: Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Hello and welcome to perhaps the most personal episode of Kaze Fui yet. This week we have the struggles of growing up, the reasons why we run and some great character details. Lets jump in!

Before I get into specifics, I want to talk about what Kaze Fui did this week that I simply loved. Kaze Fui is, quite successfully, spreading the love and attention of the characters. With such a large cast, it would be incredibly easy for some of them to fall by the wayside. For our characters to be nothing more than window dressing for our leads. But Kaze Fui manages to spend just enough time with them to make them all feel like their own people. It let’s them talk to each other, without our leads, giving them independence in the story. They resolve their own issue’s, like Shindo deciding he wants to run on his own. Kaze Fui even gives us consistent, if brief, glimpses into their private lives. Showing us their rooms or the different ways they sleep based on personality. Simply put, I love the characters portrayal.

Speaking of the characters, I want to talk about Nico, because this man is my spirit animal. I relate to him more than other any other character in this series. And all it took was his speech about why he runs. Because it makes him feel clean. While I don’t smoke, I can say that when I run for boxing, it’s the only time I am ever just… not thinking. I’m not worrying about work, or money, or anything. I can just run, and deal with my problems later. It’s purifying in a sense. And while Nico may say he doesn’t expect Haiji’s plan to work out, I think he is lying to himself. Nico is dedicated to this, as shown by how focused he is at quitting smoking. That’s not an easy thing, so if he truly didn’t care he wouldn’t work so hard to quit. Simple as that.

I also like all the small details we got with Nico this week. From the Atom IDE he was using, to how the other dorm mates look up to him. We see Yuri probing Nico for answers, for why they are doing all of this. I am not sure if Yuri actually respects Nico, or if he is just looking for validation from an older student. Either way, it shows the influence he has over some of the younger members of the dorm. Really, Kaze Fui is nailing the nuances so far, with Nico being the clearest example. From actually addressing his smoking withdrawals with the wires, to having him “teach” Yuri. All without Haiji or Kurahara ever really getting involved. It’s a unique dynamic that I think adds to Kaze Fui as a whole.

 

Another great example of Kaze Fui addressing the small details is King, whom this episode sorta focused on. The struggle of finding a job while in/after college is a difficult one. For a business student like King, I am sure it’s even more hassling. What with Haiji pushing all of this running on him, it’s no doubt going to impact his life. Based on the episode title for next week, I suspect this isn’t the last we have heard of this particular issue either. But what I wanted to focus on was how Kaze Fui is paralleling this with Kurahara’s doubts about qualifying for the Ekiden. Really, Haiji’s question of “Are only the chosen allowed to compete?” sums it all up. From King’s struggles of not being chosen for work, to Kurahara’s unintentional elitism in regards to running. I can’t pretend to understand it all, but I love it.

What I hope to see next week, in regards to all this, is some blow-back on Haiji finally. As much as I love Kaze Fui’s characters, Haiji has been very forceful. Ignoring everyone else’s desires and generally not giving them a choice in the matter. Typically he just brushes their problems under the rug, since they aren’t serious issues. With King though that can’t happen. King’s struggle of finding work, of seminar’s, of simply lacking time is not a trivial problem. King is perfectly valid in how he prioritizes his life, while Haiji is making unreasonable demands. They aren’t allowed to work while living in the dorms, so they can run for him? After all the work King is putting in to find a job? I can’t wait to see how this shakes out. I trust Kaze Fui, starting to reach into it’s “coming of age” bag, to handle this.

Finally, I wanna talk about Akane, perhaps the funniest person in Kaze Fui. I don’t know how they are going to keep it up, but Kaze Fui keeps finding new visual gags for him. From the subtle graying out so he looks like a ghost to his soliloquies with the dog. I get that he is the sort of comedic relief for the series, but it just fit’s his character. This witty, smart mouthed manga nerd. Of course he would have poetic or witty retorts to every situation! I still worry about his physical health, and am expecting an arc about it in the future. But for now, Akane is right behind Nico for my favorite character of the series. He is just so… expressive. Really, most of the characters are, but Kaze Fui seems to take special care with Akane.

So all in all, another fantastic week of Kaze Fui. Lot’s of small details and consistent characterization going on. Spreading the attention, so much so that Kurahara and Haiji our leads almost have the same screen-time as the others. My one fear is that with this current “Arc”, Kaze Fui is going to paint Haiji as the “good guy”. I personally think King is completely justified, not in how he is handling the situation, but his priorities. I don’t want Kaze Fui to outright shut him down, but rather acknowledge him and resolve it. Handle it so that the viewers can make up their own mind, or match their own philosophies to it. Because, being frank, Haiji has been pushing boundaries since the series started and he needs a reality check.

But what did you think? Is King just overreacting, or is he justified? Also, I am curious as to your favorite characters in the series so far. Let me know below and I will see you next week!

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Animosh says:

    My favorite characters are largely the same as yours, but I’d switch Nico and Prince and add Yuki. I’m not really a sports person myself (I do exercise, but it isn’t something I find much enjoyment in doing, and I much prefer moderate exercise – walking, cycling – over heavy training), so I can empathize with Prince’s utter exhaustion at anything resembling bodily motion. It also helps that he’s just a lot of fun to watch. The visual gags surrounding him are consistently hilarious, and I love how he keeps changing his sarcastic shirts all the damn time. He’s pretty witty too, and his inspired monologue was a highlight.

    What I like about Yuki is that he offers the only real opposition to Haiji, though he’ll probably join the rest eventually. Most of the cast surrender themselves to his will a bit too easily. And in the case of Prince his resistance is mostly played up for laughs. There’s King too I guess, but in his case his opposition seems to be more driven by stress and frustration than a genuine desire to do something else. So I like that Yuki stands up for himself. It makes him feel like his own person – unlike the happy-go-lucky twins, for example. I like Nico for much the same reasons as you. He’s relatable and down-to-earth, and I like how subtly his hesitation to fully commit himself is highlighted.

    By the way, two other things from the reddit thread that are worth mentioning. First, apparently the times of the characters aren’t very realistic. They don’t mean much to me, but according to the folks there they are times you’d expect of high-level competitors, not amateurs who just started. And someone (https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/9sqo31/kaze_ga_tsuyoku_fuite_iru_episode_5_discussion/e8qzukk/) mentioned that companies are actively scouting the event, which … is pretty handy for a certain quiz master looking for a job. So maybe that’s where they’re going with King’s storyline.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      I can agree with Yuki, he is up there for me. I do enjoy his opposition to Haiji, he is just over shown by Nico for me. All of the characters are good though. As I said though, I am hoping this blows up in Haiji’s face at some point, because he simply cannot keep doing this and getting away with it.

      For the times, no way are they realistic. I run a 5k in ~25 minutes on a good day and I have been training for boxing for 5 months. Ive lost 25lbs so far doing this, and have it as my goal to shave it down to sub-8 min miles by the end of the year. Increasing this time by only a minute is a pain, to the point where its easier for me to add another half mile to my run than it is to shave off 2 minutes.

      The only ones with times that can be justified are Kurahara, of course, and the twins who played soccer. Everyone else is… already in pretty decent shape. Basically, if Prince is pulling a 30 minute 5K, he should not be having that much trouble in the first few minutes.

      For the business aspect, I read that to. I am curious how they will handle it with King, as I still want his concerns justified instead of throwing him under the carpet as a “Your being crazy” sort of thing. Kings concerns are legitimate.

      • Avatar Animosh says:

        That’s very interesting, I love hearing about personal anecdotes like that. It really puts into perspective how crazy difficult what Haiji & friends are trying to do is, which can be hard to judge if you just hear about the numbers with no context.

        I don’t think King’s concerns will be ignored: calling someone who’s worrying about his future crazy doesn’t make much sense. Haiji’s selfish, but he isn’t that unreasonable … probably. King really needs a job after graduating: nothing you can say against that. So I expect the show to look for a solution where running and job hunting don’t conflict but actually support each other. Not sure how it’ll do that though. Even if companies will scout the event, Haiji can hardly promise King that he will be offered a job. And that’s if they even qualify.

        I trust the show though. There would be no point in highlighting King’s troubles if they were just going to sweep them aside.

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