Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Ep 9
NONONONONONONONONONONONONOOOOO! WHAT HAPPENED TO HAIJI, WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM!? IS HE SICK?! PLEASE DON’T BE SICK WITH A TERMINAL ILLNESS OR SOMETHING, MY HEART WON’T BE ABLE TO HANDLE THIS!
I seriously freaked out when we first saw Haiji’s vision blur and he himself even looked alarmed. But whatever caused it seemed to have pass, until later that evening while he was cooking, Haiji finally collapsed. Unfortunately we are going ot have to wait till next week to find out just how serious this is, because the preview didn’t tell us anything (which is a good thing, since it solidifies the cliffhanger). They did however, deliver a brief flashback of Haiji in rehab when he was recalling the struggle of building up the strength to walk again. It is actually one of the main contributing factors of why he is so patient with Akane, and has faith he will be able to make the cut.
What Kakeru had said to Akane had quickly spread around the group after Haiji had spoken to the twins about it, and then they (of course) accidentally spilled the beans which is how the rest of the team found out about it. Surprisingly they all handled it better than I thought they would. While they all agree that was a dick move, they didn’t exactly confront him about it until King made the slip. At the very least, Kakeru is remorseful lashing out in the heat of the moment, but he admits he still believe Akane should drop out from the team if he can’t make the cut. The team and Akane don’t seem to pay much mind to it though.
But forcing Kakeru to be spectator was the best thing Haiji could do. He knew Kakeru needed get his head out of the sand. His selfishness and arrogant attitude towards the others were blinding him. And it because he was a spectator, he finally got to experience what it’s like to earnestly support the team. Unfortunately, he still still remains skeptical about their odds of making it to Hakone, but he certainly got a startling wake up call with Haiji suddenly collapsing like that to change his mindset. This event may end up serving as a catalyst for Kakeru to have to step up to the plate in a way he hasn’t done so before, and take the lessons he had just learned and apply it properly.
I must say I really do like the realistic approach where no one qualified for the time during this second meet. The only ones who were allowed to participate this time were Yuki, Shindo, Musa and the twins. Although they didn’t qualify, we saw just how much they have improved, holding up a lot better than they had the first time. Many of them were close to succeeding, but with their failure, they gained something even more important, more insight on why they didn’t do well. It takes experience to get a feel of your strengths and weaknesses as a runner, and these meets are doing exactly that. I am excited to see who will succeed during their third try, and who else will be ready to run for the next one.
Another benefit of only choosing those who had the best chance of qualifying for the time this meet was to raise the team’s morale. It is also fair to say it helps them see things they don’t when they are on the track. Such as learning to keep close tabs on the time of when the runners start to spread out, and knowing how to pace yourself, and know when to make the final push without exhausting all of your energy.
My favourite part of the episode had to be when they were cheering during the last lap. Kakeru looked so lost, standing in the middle when Nico and King were all fired up, shouting at the top of their lungs. Haiji was super extra, swinging his arms wildly, it was so hilarious! I do love with Kakeru awkwardly joins in, not really knowing what to do. And to add icing to the cake, it was so adorable to see Akane cheering quietly in the background. It really did wonders of raising the team’s spirit.
Overall this was another excellent episode. I am really liking the pace they have set for the series. It never feels like it’s being rushed too much, except for maybe how quickly they dealt with the issue of Nico not eating properly, (the lunch Haiji made for him was too cute!). It was kind of glossed over with Haiji revealing as the one who prepares their meals, he has been taking their diet in careful consideration since the moment he moved into the dorm four years ago.
With that said:
Is it next Tuesday yet?