Posted by Lenlo on 23 January 2019 with categories: Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Welcome all to another episode of Kaze Fui, Best Boy Simulator 2019. This week we have some more qualified times, lots of wholesome bonding and a hint mystery. Lets dive in!

Starting of light and happy, I loved Kaze Fui’s attention to detail this week. All of our boys, aside from Yuki and Prince, tanning from all their running in the sun. Makes it clear time has passed, to go along with the running montage they had. We also get to see how this has started to effect some of our boys, such as Kings short interview segment. He seemed to sit up straighter, with more confidence, and the Ekiden line is a real conversation starter for an interview. While I am sure Haiji didn’t intend for this to happen, not entirely, it is not to see King’s job search getting addressed. Seeing him move forward on that front. Lastly, I am pretty sure Kurahara was smiling throughout this entire episode, and I loved it. Our boy deserves a little happiness after all his emotional struggles.

Now with specifics. I thought that every member finding their specialty was a nice touch this week. It really highlights how each is unique, and has their own strengths. Such as Shindo, having grown up in the mountains, is much better running on slopes than the others. Or Musa being good at straightaways, being able to run fast when he doesn’t have to turn on the track. It adds a degree of tactics to the upcoming Ekiden that wasn’t there before, and once they all get their qualified times, allows them to diversify their training. Yuri, the Law student and resident smart one of the dorm, figures this out immediately to. His contribution to the team being his brain. Figuring out everyone’s best segment of the race, breaking wind for someone by running in front, etc. Shows that no one is useless, that they are a team.

Going with that, Kaze Fui also shows that not everyone has to have great physical abilities to contribute. Musa’s pictures and Shindo’s website, while on top of their running, also helps the team. Yuki also managing to sell Nico’s wire dolls, making the team some money. I love that the small detail that resulted from Nico trying to quit smoking is able to make a come back. To be relevant in the story once again. It’s this kind of layered writing that makes me love Shiwon Miura as an author. She adds these tiny, world building or realism building details, and then incorporates them again and again into the story. Readdressing them, and Yuki’s intelligence, adds an internal consistency to the story. That nothing is ever really left behind or forgotten at the wayside.

We also see this with the return of Prince’s running, and his lack of time. One by one everyone else gets qualified times before him, until there is only one track event left. I am not a fan of how these just got skipped by, I was hoping for more Sakaki at the Tokyo University meet. But the final result for Prince’s character worked well enough that I am willing to forgive it. Just means Kaze Fui had different priorities than I did, that being its focus on the team. As for Prince’s own time, I mentioned it a bit earlier, but the team focus even in the episode title is so strong this episode. Everyone pushing him on, how he isn’t alone on the track anymore. The double meaning there, of catching up with other competitors and his team cheering him on, were beautifully done.

The ending as well, with him just barely making the 16:30 time, almost had me tearing up. It did have Haiji tearing up, though I will get to him in a bit. I suppose my only real complaint with it all is that Prince managed a 5k in 16:30, with that form. Seriously, Haiji could help them so much if he just fixed their form. The fact that they got those qualified times in spite of, not because of, those forms shows they could be doing so much more. King hunches to much and Prince never fully extends his legs. With his long legs, its like he is running at half stride and it hurts to watch. I was fully expecting him to break out into a sprint at the end, like he was trying to copy Kurahara’s stride, but I will take what we got.

Onto Musa and his mystery. While the blackface joke with the dark room surprised me for a second, ultimately I am going to take it at face value as a simple transition joke. Either way, I am happy that Kurahara got some alone time with Musa. He is one of the few who have not gotten some kind of singular focus, so its nice. He is much more… I don’t want to say philosophical, but collected when alone. Like he adjusts to those around him a bit. There are hints of this around the others, but with the twins and such he is much more jokey. With the ever serious Kurahara though, he is much more focused with his self-reflection. For instance his “mystery” that Kurahara can’t see because he is always in the front, something he can’t see from so far away. It shows he pays attention to people.

As for what that mystery could be, I have some ideas. The first is Prince. Either that he is catching up to or is inspired by Kurahara. Of the two, the latter seems more likely. Kurahara can see from the sidelines that Prince is catching up. But inspiration, how Prince is always staring him, is much more difficult to see. It is what made me think Prince’s form would start to mimic Kurahara’s at the end of the episode. The second idea I have though, and one I am not sure how I feel about, is Hana. Kaze Fui doesn’t seem like it needs a romance in my opinion, and if it happened I would want it to be minor. I enjoy her being there as more than just a romance interest. But it could lead to some fun conflict with the twins and I doubt it would be invasive.

The last thing I want to talk about is, as I mentioned earlier, Haiji. Oh boy, for just a simple 10 second clip, there were so many emotions there. His trembling lip, the switch to his view as the screen blurs in tears. I thought that was much more effective than just showing his tear stricken face. Not only does it show you how much this means to him, how everyone is running and his dream is reachable, but where his focus is. The bright colors making it obvious how happy he is, and how much he cares for the rest of the team. The music swelling as it goes. It was a simple shot, but one I love. And thats the thing with Kaze Fui, it’s animation is lackluster often, but the direction, design and sound all meld together that you barely even notice the CGI models. Love it.

So all in all, how do I feel about Kaze Fui this week. Simply put I love it. Kaze Fui is probably my favorite series I am watching right now. Mob Psycho is visually beautiful, and Dororo is bleak. But nothing has the same depth of character and interactions as Kaze Fui. And it is this story, this narrative, that I love so much. I rarely cry, whether it be books or movies, anything. I have a fundamental disconnect between media and my life, that stops most stories from reaching me deep down inside. So when it happens, it hits me hard. And Kaze Fui has brushed that multiple times so far. So much so that I am confident that it will manage it before this second cour is over.

But what do you think? Am I overreacting? Am I only talking to people who love this series still because everyone else would have dropped it by now? Let me know down below and I will see you next week!

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