Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Episode 2
I have to say, Haiji’s character really does take securing members to a whole different level. His antics are a combination of, domestication with fancy food, craftily putting them into his debt, persuasion, manipulation, and baiting them into agreeing to be part of the team, and it was absolutely hysterical to watch. I was in tears from laughing so hard. I completely lost it when he had successfully herded them all into the public baths (after BREAKING their own bath). He has earned the nicknamed an “Ogre” for his cunning ways. He is a force to be reckoned with, successfully securing the recruitment from everyone but Nico, Kakeru and Yuki. In fact it seems the three of them are going to agree on their own terms, at least for Yuki it will probably be through Nico as the two of them seem to be closer than the rest. What Kakeru will do is still up in the air, perhaps Haiji will still have to work to recruit him since neither one of them won the bath challenge! (Both of them ended up passing out, ahaha!)
And I find it rather interesting how they were the only ones who couldn’t, or rather wouldn’t be manipulated by Haiji. Nico especially, is an unique case when he actually seems to enjoy running, but would rather keep it a secret from the others, and be given an ‘excuse’ to not to have to participate, as he describes himself as not cut out for it. But his actions seem to contradicts his words, as it certainly feels like Nico actually wants to run in the Hakone Ekiden, not only because he understands how hard Haiji had worked to form this team in order to fulfill his dream, but because it’s something he would like to do as well.
This week we learned a little bit about why Haiji recruited the members. Starting with Nico, who has experience in Track and Field, Yuki who has made it with his team to prefectural kendo tournaments, the twins and Youhei (King) played soccer for three years in high-school, Shindo walked 10km through the mountains to get to school and back everyday, Musa’s hidden talent lies in his good muscles, and Kakeru as we already know, is an experienced runner. Strangely enough, Haiji didn’t reveal anything special about Akane. In fact he skipped him altogether. It is as though he is just a fodder to fill in the 10th slot. But is he really just a fodder for the sake of it? As I was watching the Opening again this week, along with the preview, it seems Akane has 0 athleticism and will likely to be the weakest link of the team. That being said, besides for the sake of fulfilling the ten members requirement, they still need to be able to qualify to run the event, and if Akane is unable to keep up with the rest of them, it would be difficult for them to do so, unless Haiji is counting on the members to be able to make up for Akane’s lost time. So I am very curious to see what will become of Akane’s role, and how he will affect the way the team will function.
We were also given a glimpse into Kakeru’s backstory. The details are still vague, but at least we got the gist that Kakeru would rather run alone than in a team. The track and field team he was a part of in high school left a scar on him, and he wasn’t happy seeing the coach criticizing an injured player, who was on his knees, bowing at his feet. Whatever happened, it left Kakeru feeling upset about it. I am going to guess the member was either being kicked from the team due to the injury, or because of his injury, he cost them the race. Either way, whatever experience Kakeru gone through in high school, seems to have been a bitter one. I suppose what’s the most interesting thing to consider out of this, is why Kakeru is so adamantly against attempting to qualify for Hakone Ekiden. Haiji struck him where it hurts when he savagely commented how Kakeru runs the fastest when he’s running away. So it begs the question, what exactly is Kakeru running away from? That’s what I am currently the most curious about, and I’m excited to learn more about it.
Next week it seems the team will finally be formed, or at least slapped together to some extent. It looks like they will also be recruiting a manager, a new character whom we have seen in the opening but have yet to meet! I wonder what kind of character she will be!