Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Episode 1 [First Impression]
Eva’s First Impression
Of the four titles I have watched so far, this is the only one so far that really makes me excited for what’s to come. There a number of things that this episode did that reeled me in very early on. A mature set of characters, (gone are the high-school days, I’m all for more stories featuring university students!), and when it comes to recruiting members to their clubs, they are craftier than ever— at least when Haiji does it. He is a cunning one!
Kiyose Haiji, 4th year Literature Student at Kansai University has been secretly recruiting members for the Track and Field Club by getting them to move into the University’s Track and Fields members dormitory, that offers affordable rent, that includes both breakfast and dinner. By signing the rental papers, make them members of the club. He needed ten members in order to fulfill the conditions to finally pursue his destination: Hakone Ekiden. He dropped the bomb on his newest recruits when he finally got ahold of their tenth member, Kurahara Kakeru, after catching him in the middle of running away after stealing food of all things. Even Kakeru couldn’t fathom how or why this guy on a bike is asking him, “DO YOU LIKE RUNNING?” in such a situation! Man I couldn’t stop cracking up at that scene.
Haiji however is definitely a character with a lot more than meets the eye, and we know this when they show us the long scar on Haiji’s knee. I’m actually wondering if Haiji received a knee replacement (I could be completely wrong though). Regardless, it certainly points to he most likely have undergone surgery. It would explain why he is in still in rehab process, and is expecting to be able to match Kakeru’s pace in six months time. Most of the guys who are living at the dorm at the moment are new tenants, so it’s hard to grasp the potential time frame, of when it happened. Regardless, it there is certainly a story behind it, and it’s likely the reason why Haiji is so desperate to compete at Hakone Ekiden, even if it means imposing his selfish wishes on others by tricking them into joining the club without them even realizing it. But while he managed to get them to sign up, he now needs to persuade them in order to properly secure their membership and participate in the Hakone Ekiden. Considering how shrewd of a guy he has proven himself to be, I am certainly looking forward to the antics he is going to pull in next week’s episode ensure he doesn’t lose his new recruits.
They dropped quite a bit of hints that Kakeru has a reputation of a sort given how the Coach (Land Lord) thought the name was familiar, or how Kakeru is a regular runner and was the only one who knew exactly what Haiji was referring to when he brought up the Hakone Ekiden. It’s hard to say whether or not he’s more pissed about Haiji bringing up how he knows he graduated from Sendai Josei High School, or is merely freaked out by how fast this guy got ahold of his background, or both. Needless to say, he has had it rough considering he lost his entire apartment deposit at a mah-jong parlour, and had to resort to stealing food because he’s completely broke. So even though he hasn’t decided yet whether or not he wants to move in or not, (I’m guessing this means he has yet to sign the papers), with no money or place to go, being in Haiji’s debt is ultimately what’s going to keep him tied him down to the club.
I don’t know about you, but I’m loving the set of characters we got so far. They all seem like really fun characters, and then you have Kakeru, who for most of the episode, was completely lost and confused of having been swept up by the whirlwind of events. I am looking forward to learning how Haiji found and recruited the other nine members, and what he saw in them to recruit them as his runners for his relay team.
Overall, I absolutely loved this premiere, the music, the tone,and I am looking forward to exploring the the depths of these characters (especially Haiji), and their stories. That being said, I’m sure I’m not the only one who will be drawn to the show, so we’ll see how it plays out. If nobody else is interested, as usual, I will give this series a minimum of 3 episodes to get a feel of whether or not I will be able to comfortably cover it. Regardless, Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru is certainly in the top contention for one of my one or two picks of the season.
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