Art Essay

Run With The Wind

Run with the wind is one of the best sports anime, as well as tv shows I have ever seen. It follows a group of college kids who get tricked into joining a long-distance track and field club in their college. Their lives have been enriched, my heart was filled. I have gained friends so fast and I felt as if I had to say goodbye to them even faster.

What drew me in initially was the humor mostly organized around the character of Price or Ouji. He is a major manga/literature geek and out of all the characters the one most out of shape. The show makes his grueling attempts at finishing warm-up runs absolutely hilarious. There are no words that could give justice to the animation of Ouji’s running. His running form is a nightmarish confusion of biomechanics. See more in the clip below.

With time I grow fond of all the other characters as well. The serious, night-life-loving lawyer-to-be Yuki. The Sudanese exchange student Musa, a tall, gentle soul. “King” one of the oldest members of the crew, a quiz maniac. He is the character who feels more stuck between college life and the world of the adults than the rest of the team. Nico-san, the oldest member of the group, a former runner and current chain-smoker, slacker student. His design makes him look a lot older than he should be. The age difference between him and the rest of them isn’t that large, but he looks 10-15 years older. Then we have the reliable Suga, and finally the wacky, dying to be popular ex- soccer pair of twins Joji and Jotaro.
There are also two more characters in the mix, whose meeting sets the whole anime into motion. Those two characters are Haiji and Kakeru, in my eyes the protagonists of this anime.

The Cast of Run with the Wind

Haiji is the center of the group. He is one of the first to join the group and also the only one who knows what their dorm really is. The rest of them think it’s just some old, traditional student housing. But no, in reality, it’s the dorm for the long-distance track and field team. Haiji wants them all to work together and run the race called Hakone, where ten runners out of each team run for 20 kilometers. Running that race has been his race and goal for a long time. Naturally, following his injury in high school, Haiji had doubts and a period where he was trying to find himself. The return to running saved him, and now, with a bit of Machivalians shenanigans, he wants to make his dream into a reality.

Kakeru and his chance meeting with Haiji brought about the final puzzle that could turn Haiji’s dream into a reality. Kakeru was a highly touted young long-distance runner in high school. He was one of the best in the nation. But during his sophomore year in high school, he was a part of an incident that made him give up running. It also made him, like many other characters in the shows, made him lose himself. But the meeting with Haiji changed that. He started to return to himself. Through Haiji and his determination, optimism, and relentlessness he was saved. He found people who accepted them, and who helped him deal with the past.

The soundtrack for this show is amazing. You notice these compositions all throughout the series and they really elevate the show to the highest level possible. The animation, especially the running animation looks gorgeous. The highlights are when Kakeru runs as well as when Ouji lumbers after the others in the first part of the series.

Finally, for me, this was a show that makes you want more with each episode. You rush, blaze through it, and then when it all ends you feel sad. You want and need more time with these characters. You have grown fond of them, care for them, want to keep them company for the rest of their journey called life. But no. Luckily, we will always have Hakone.

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