Posted by Lenlo on 20 February 2019 with categories: Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Welcome to the big one, the start, the opening moments of Kaze Fui’s Hakone Ekiden! This week Fujioka drops some wisdom, the team learns their sections and Yuki gets some time with Kurahara. Lets jump in!

This week was Kaze Fui’s big setup, along with some drops on Haiji’s background. Before we get to either of those though, how did Kaze Fui do on the production department? Like always, the backgrounds were beautiful. The shot near the end of Mt.Fuji was simply stunning, similarly with Haiji and Fujioka’s walking rice fields. We didn’t get to see much animation this week sadly, but with the Ekiden starting next week, hopefully it will show up in full force. That isn’t to say it was non-existent though. During Fujioka’s flashback there was some great running/shoe animation near the end, and I quite enjoyed the character acting we got during the sections explanation. However, unlike Mob Psycho, animation isn’t one of Kaze Fui’s focal point’s. That dubious honor goes to the story and characters, and my goodness, is what good as always.

Story wise, let’s start with Fujioka. I love this man, and in my opinion, he is criminally underused. He kickstarted Kurahara’s self-reflection and now he is acting as his goal line. Yet the man has barely appeared in the series at all. He is effective in spite of his short air time though, not because of it. The man has a presence when on screen, no doubt helped by his VA Satoshi Hino. I’m not qualified to really explain it, but suffice to say, I can’t not be attentive when he is on screen. As far as his actual role this episode, his speech was probably just what Musa and Kurahara needed to hear. I am sure for some it doesn’t resonate, the need to win is strong in a lot of people. But for me, and my fencing career? Sometimes just a single point was a personal victory.

Content wise, Fujioka also gave us a hint into Haiji’s backstory. We already knew some of it, that something had happened to his leg, but Fujioka gives us a look into his mental state. In a very similar manner to Kurahara, Haiji had given up on running after highschool. He defeated himself, gave up on his athletic career even though everyone around him was saying to be patient. Leave it to Fujioka to stand behind him, tell him to be strong. It makes me think that the two might get to run together. That Fujioka and Haiji will end up in the same section of the race, running side by side, getting to finally fulfill that joint desire of theirs. It could make for a really powerful moment. And seeing how the sections are setup, and the hints dropped, this is looking very likely to me.

Now let’s get onto the sections, and Haiji’s speech. This whole thing was incredibly hype, I loved it all the way through. Hearing Haiji’s reasons for each person getting their section, and their reactions to the whole thing. For instance, placing Prince first because he is good at dealing with pressure and simply doesn’t care about the public makes sense. As does Musa taking the 2nd section because he is, as was previously established, good on flat straightaways. I like that each of these are built on aspects of their personality or running ability that was established in previous episodes. It was a really effective build up for Kaze Fui’s upcoming finale, though it does leave me concerned in that we have 5 episodes left.

You see, what concerns me about the 5 episodes is, just how far can we stretch a single race? Way I see it, the next 2 episodes will probably handle the first 4 sections. Episode 20 will do another 4, and then 21 can focus entirely on Kurahara and Haiji’s backstory. Episode 23 can be a sort of epilogue, for “what happens to the club after, does King get his job”. But that leaves episode 22 up in the air. Short of Kaze Fui stretching this out unnecessarily, I really don’t know what it’s going to fill all of this content in. It’s rather weird, because I didn’t expect to get to the Ekiden for another week. However, as I have maintained through some of Kaze Fui’s rougher episodes, I have faith in Shiwon Miura. I am sure it will work out.

For specifics, there were 2 characters especially I wanted to look at. Those being Yuki and Shindo. Shindo is the cliffhanger for this week, so let’s start with Yuki and his relationship with Kurahara. I was hoping he would get some development, his own little arc. And while we didn’t get it just yet, we do get him and Kurahara connecting over a shared experience. That of hating their parents. Looking back, it makes sense for Kurahara’s relationship with his parents to be rocky. He brought a lot of negative attention to them, and now it is coming back because of his renewed interest in running. So Kurahara’s is very clear cut. What I hope Kaze Fui tells us soon though is what is up with Yuki’s parents. Maybe have them show up at the race. Regardless, it’s another connection the team has to Kurahara, and I like it.

The big one though is Shindo, and oh boy, Kaze Fui can’t go a week without a cliffhanger. On one hand, it made for some interesting cutaways during Haiji’s speech. It adds some tension to the whole ending. On the other hand, its unnecessary for the story as a whole. The tension of the race already exists, having Shindo get sick the night before and barely make the race, barely be able to run it? Depending on how that is handled, it could invalidate a lot of the work he has put in up to this point. Yes, Kaze Fui has alluded to Shindo overworking himself with handling the fan club and all the paperwork multiple times until now. But there really hasn’t been any hint of deteriorating health, aside from maybe his getting drunk one night. I suppose I will have to just continue to have faith in Miura.

So all in all, did Kaze Fui work this week? In my opinion, yes. It set up the Ekiden very well and has just enough spinning plates in the air to maybe fill 5 episodes. Hopefully with minimal stretching of content. The characters continue to be engaging, dragging the viewer in and making me care about this lovable bunch of knuckleheads. Kaze Fui also skipped right over the possible romance arc, which I was very thankful for, opting instead to use it to bring the team back together. Overall, Kaze Fui did a great job and I can’t wait to binge it when I get back from Japan.

But what did you think? Kaze Fui do its job well, or am I in to deep to properly evaluate this? Let me know below! And as I said, I will be leaving for Japan on Friday and be gone for a week. That means no posts next week, and a double up the week after! See you in two weeks. Now I need to go and rewatch that speech a few more times.

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

8 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 12 [The Boar Bares Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps]

Welcome all to what is, for me, a very conflicted episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Filled with fantastic animation, some well thought out fights and a character I loathe no matter how great his scenes look. Let’s dive in! Starting off, Yaiba looked great this week. I don’t think that’s really up for contention. I have […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 8 [Rumors] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another episode of Acid Trip Weekly, also known as, Serial Experiments Lain! This week is one of the most confusing, yet simultaneously coherent episodes of anime I have ever watched. It’s impossible to summarize, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, like I said, this episode was an acid trip, both visually and […]

One Punch Man Season 2 – 10 [The Encirciling Net of Justice] Welcome one and all to a rather surprising week of One Punch Man Season 2! This week the animation was mostly fine, and interesting things happened, so let’s just jump right in! Starting off, I rail against the series a lot, but credit where it’s due. The sections of the Garou fight done by […]

Dororo – 23 [The Story of the Demons]

Welcome one and all to the penultimate episode of Dororo. We have brutality, we have drama, and we have a boatload of philosophy. Its everyone Game of Thrones Season 8 said it would be, but wasn’t. Is it too late to make that joke? Regardless, this was a good week for Dororo, so let’s jump […]

Mix – 11 [Try Pitching]

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 11 [Tsuzumi Mansion]

Welcome to another episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba! This week we finally meet the rest of our leading group, find a new Demon and deal with some… odd tonal issues. Lets dive in! Starting off, Zenitsu. I have to say, whatever Yaiba is planning with him, so far I am not impressed. The man was […]

Fruits Basket (2019) – 11 [A Really Wonderful Hot Spring]

Fruits Basket gets a bit better this week, though not by a wide margin. This week is a return of Momiji, the most childish character we’ve seen so far in this show (until we learn that he’ll reach high school next year). The White Valentine approaches, and he wants to bring Tohru to the onsen […]

Sarazanmai – 10 [I Want to Connect, but I Can’t]

The body count keeps rising up in the final stretch of Sarazanmai. With this episode we get to the end of Reo and Mabu’s pair, and it’s certainly a bittersweet experience. As it turns out, we eventually learn that Mabu sacrifices his “desire” to Reo in order to physically stays behind him. So it’s Reo […]

Carole & Tuesday – 10 [River Deep, Mountain High]

“Do the gravity bounce?” Once again it’s GGK’s performance becomes my favorite of this week, and Angela’s style still is too mainstream for my taste. With the pacing of this episode I am more certain that this Brightest Mars competition is gonna take up the first half of the series. Things don’t look good for […]

Latest Reviews

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]

A quick and dirty review of Garo: Vanishing Line

What it claims to be about: A secret order of knights and alchemists, the Makai Knights and Alchemists, fight horrifying creatures called Hollows who prey on human weakness .Part of the media franchise spanning anime and live action shows, this iteration is set in modern metropolis and concerns the attempts of Sword, the strongest Makai […]