Title: Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru
Original Title: 風が強く吹いている
Studio: Production I.G
Directed by: Kazuya Nomura
Former ace runner of Sendai Josei High School, Kakeru Kurahara is chased away from a convenience store for shoplifting. Shaking off his pursuer, he runs into Haiji Kiyose, another student from his university. Haiji is impressed by Kakeru’s agility and persuades him to live in Chikusei-sou, the run-down apartment where Haiji resides along with eight other students. Having lost his entire apartment deposit at a mahjong parlor, Kakeru accepts the offer reluctantly.
However, Haiji reveals a secret during Kakeru’s welcoming party: the apartment is actually the dormitory of the Kansei University Track Club. He unveils his ultimate goal of participating in the Hakone Ekiden—one of the most prominent university marathon relay races in Japan. Unfortunately, all the residents apart from Haiji and Kakeru are complete running novices. Worse still, none of the inhabitants are even remotely interested in being involved with Haiji’s ridiculous plan! With only months before the deadline, will the fourth-year student be able to convince them otherwise and realize his elusive dream of running in the Hakone Ekiden?
The beginning is pretty singular for a sports anime… almost bizarre I would say. It’s totally different from what we are accustomed to see in this type of anime but it isn’t a bad thing.
The characters seem a lot more realistic than the usual for this type of anime and some of the themes, aside from the marathon thing, are pretty mature.
A Lot of sports anime are more carefree than this one so it could be hard to watch for someone looking for something lighter to watch. Here we can find some of the more realistic struggles of university guys that could be from quitting to smoke and having to cope with the abstinence, to having to find a good job to make the parents proud.
Rarely I found a black character having such a huge role in anime like Masa has here… even if I think it is a bit stereotyped? I’m not sure but the only thing we can see in his room are some traditional African masks.
I was really moved and/or excited by different parts of this anime.
I think that more than a sport anime we can see this as a story of growth where ten guys find a way to face themselves and their problems thanks to sport and the relationships created thanks to it.