Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Ep 7
Damn, so today’s episode really was the Tokyo University Track Meet. As expected only Haiji and Kakeru succeeded qualifying for the time, but the others were completely outpaced, with the twins and Musa leading at seventeen minutes and the time stretches back to thirty minutes where Akane has been approached multiples times to drop out of the race. It was a harsh reality, but the one who seems to be the most aggravated by it is actually Takeru himself.
We saw the competitive spirit within him, the one who longed to take the lead, only to naively learn the hard way the two front runners were on a entirely different level. While he managed to keep up with their pace early on, when it came to the final push he and Manas lost their standing to Kazuma, who took first while Manas fell second, leaving Kakeru lagging behind as third place of the best time.
The Champion, 4th year Fujioka Kazuma is someone who knows Haiji well. He is most likely a former teammate from high school who knows why Haiji needed surgery. Unlike Sakaki and Kakeru who have a rather hostile relationship, he and Haiji and on good terms with each other. In fact Kazuma is as humble as one can get, and unlike Sakaki, he doesn’t even question or mock the unique team Haiji had put together. This is coming from a guy who is the Champion of Hakone, and the Captain and a key member Rikudo University’s Hakone Ekiden team for three years straight. I must say, I am so glad he isn’t obnoxious or a haughty character. But I also feel like it really shows what kind of person Haiji is, and the type of people that he surrounds himself with.
And it blows Kakeru’s mind how Kazuma much faith he has in Haiji to lead the team to Hakone. He just can’t grasp how and why everyone believes so much in Haiji pulling this team of misfits together. In his mind, he just can’t see it. He can’t see the team making it to Hakone. And when he sees how laid-back everyone is about it, he just loses his entire composure. He has told them time and time again, they all need to be take it seriously, running at the highest level they can, or else they won’t stand a chance against the odds they are fighting against. Sure, he and Haiji may have amazing times, but its useless if the rest of the team can’t follow suit.
What upset Kakeru the most the most, was when he learned the race he had just ran would be his only chance to compete against Kazuma. We saw how upset he was when overheard Kazuma will be focusing on intercollegiate races and will be skipping the future meets. He wants to be able to compete with this guy, but unless the team can even qualify for such events, it will be impossible for him to do so, leaving the Hakone Ekiden his only chance to do so. Knowing that, Kakeru doesn’t have the patience for it anymore. Someone is going to pull the trigger and this guy is just gonna lose it all over again.
But I think one of the most important things that Kakeru is overlooking, is why Kazuma asked him to look out for Haiji, and asked him to help lead the team. Kazuma most certainly recognized Kakeru’s abilities, having recalled his name as Sendai’s runner, and sees potential in him to help train the team further. Indeed, Haiji can’t do this alone. It seems the official coach of the team won’t actually step in until Haiji proves the team is worth training properly. Their main test is to pass the preliminary qualifiers. This is definitely where Kakeru can step up to the plate, but his unwillingness to have faith in the team is what is preventing him from even considering to volunteer to do more.
It seems this meet as as I suspected it would probably be. It wasn’t the end of the world the team didn’t meet the time. They will have more opportunities over the course of the summer. For today, the most important thing they can take away from it is facing the reality they are up against, gaining experience and a taste of what it feels like to run in a race. While the team understandably feels embarrassed about their failures, I would say they are definitely take it better than what Kakeru probably imagined. In fact, I would say Akane is a freaking champion for not giving up. Sure, he surely looked foolish in the crowd’s eyes, but I am so proud of Akane for not giving up. He finished in thirty minutes. Wait for this guy to make his breakthrough, and nobody is going to laugh at him anymore!
Overall this was quite a nerve-wracking episode to watch. It’s definitely not one to watch when you’re feeling sick because the anxiety was making me feel even more nauseous. It was exciting, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the team pull themselves together in order to make the cut for Hakone Ekiden! But among their development, another thing I am really excited for is seeing Haiji’s true potential. Kazuma knows Haiji’s true abilities, and so I’m really excited to see what his top condition will look like, and how much he will catch Kakeru off guard, hehe. I am next next week will be a doozy and I am absolutely here for it!
PS: Someone needs to get their license ASAP, do not let Haiji drive.
Note: Quick update in regards to Hugtto Precure and Tsurune. I am currently quite sick at the moment, and while I had hoped to get around to them yesterday I wasn’t in the condition to do it, nor do I have time or energy to do them tonight. Since Kaze ga Tsuyoku came out today, I made it my first priority so I wouldn’t fall further behind. I am not feeling well enough to cover three shows today, so they will be released as a double-post next week unless I decide to drop either one of them. (I haven’t been well enough to watch Tsurune yet!)