Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Episode 4
Kakeru’s backstory was a lot more different than I thought it would be, but I loved it to bits. Kakeru was the high school’s track and field team’s top runner. Even when he was in not in best health, he still outran his peers and opponents. But his coach put him in a terribly awkward position, creating a divide between him and his teammates. He was placed on the pedestal of what should be the team’s standard time, and received favouritism treatment. Kakeru didn’t think it was fair, and wanted to be run be with his team, but in the end, his lack of courage to face get himself more involved with the team, prevented him from forming any friendships with anybody.
So when Sakaki Kousuke appears before him and mocks him about running with a bunch of low-levels, the past comes back to haunt him and he tries to runs away. But the second time Kousuke appears, he isn’t alone, and finds himself being stood up for by none other than Akane and Haiji, revealing light at the end of the lonely dark tunnel he has been trapped in for so long.
But what’s interesting to me about this dynamic between Kousuke and Kakeru, is that while Kousuke may have some form of resentment towards him, I don’t think he actually hates him. When Kakeru finally found the courage in him to tell him ‘they will meet again.’ (IT WAS SO CUTE HOW TIMIDLY HE SAID IT!) And we saw how shocked Kousuke was, probably because he misinterpreted Kousuke’s silence as someone who didn’t want to be involved with the likes of him. I would certainly like to see the rivalry between them not be a bitter one, but one where they can mutually respect each other. They don’t need to be friends, but being on good terms will always be better than being on someone’s bad side. That being said, I am curious to see how Kousuke will treat Haiji’s team at the meet where they will be running for the qualifiers time. Kousuke is a student from Tokyo Sport University, which we can probably expect it to be one of the top favourites to qualify.
It was also hilarious how Haiji just nonchalantly goes up to Kousuke like, ‘LOL! Of course we’ll see you at the track meet, we’re gonna run the Hakone Ekiden.’ and Kousuke was so confused, and stupefied by what he said, before he lashed out at Kakeru you can just see the gears in his head going, “WTF is this guy smoking?”. The confidence this guy has is on another level.
Another aspect of Kakeru’s backstory, was showing how it seems he was sleeping outdoors to begin with. This depiction makes me wonder if he really did lost his apartment deposit in a gamble. If this scene took place of what happened after that, and he actually went back there to try and win big with the remaining cash he had and fail, man he really has made some dumbass decisions…. Not that he’s proud of it. Rather Kakeru reflecting on his actions shows how he is ashamed of himself, and the decisions he has made, especially when he made the decision to steal the bread from the store. He also feels like running is all that he has, revealing more of the loneliness he bears. That’s why I really I am looking forward to seeing Kakeru break out of his shell, especially now that he has realized how lucky he is to be surrounded by such great people. As Haiji told him, even though he runs on his own, he isn’t actually alone.
Also mad props to Haiji for figuring out what makes Akane tick. Seriously, while he’s a total manipulator, he is also an excellent motivator. He knows how to get people pumped up and find that drive they need to succeed.
And speaking of Akane, And can we give a round of applause to Akane? He is not about to be talked down to by a stranger, calling Kousuke out on criticizing people for what they do. Also he is a total sweetheart, and he broke the 35 minutes wall!!!! Akane showed us why he should be nominated as best boy of the season!
Seriously, Akane and Haiji are my two favourites of the show. What would we do without them?
While this episode was kind of sluggish in a way, it was still a good one. I also appreciate how we are able to have a better understanding of why Haiji handpicked these guys, especially Akane, sooner rather than later. Through their efforts and the confrontation between Kakeru and Kousuke, it showed us how Haiji didn’t just select them because of the potential in their physical abilities, but also the integrity of their characters. None of these guys look down at each other, they are all equals and respect one another and their interests. Sure they may butt heads and have disagreements, but at the end of the day, all of these guys are undoubtedly the type of people you want to have on a team. As for what motivated Haiji to take this approach, is something we will have to wait to hear another day.
Now that the team has collectively found their motivation, I am really looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts coming in. Slowly but surely, they are improving, but will it be enough to pass the qualifiers?