Run with the Wind – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Kurahara Kakeru seems in a tough spot. But when he’s out stealing from a convenience store one night his life changes forever. On the run from the angry shop owner, Kurahara finds himself approached by the excitable Kiyose Haiki, whose only concern is if Kurahara likes to run.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Run with the Wind looks an awful lot like Haikyu, largely due to the same talent behind both series. It’s this great animation, and visual design that sells Run with the Wind right out of the gate, even when certain narrative choices make things a little shaky. We meet our two leads, Kiyose Haiki and Kurahara Kakeru, right away. From there we actually skip ahead chronologically, learning that Kiyose is recruiting a variety of characters to live in a communal dorm and Kurahara is just the latest and last to fill the dorm up. We’re thrust into a wealth of characters, the smoking Hirata, the twins Jirou and Tarou, the manga nerd Akane, the foreign student Musa, and more. We meet a lot of characters, too many to get a full handle on, even if most have immediately memorable quirks or designs. It’s only later, after introductions are out of the way that we go back to fill in the gaps of Kiyose and Kurahara’s first meeting. It’s a weird choice, likely done to push fun characters audiences can latch onto to the forefront, but doesn’t work nearly as well as intended.
Linny: Run with the Wind opens with a dynamic scene that immediately grabs your attention and sets the playful tone for the rest of the episode. Kurahara is being pursued as a convenience store thief when an excited Kiyose comes biking after him, desperate to know if Kurahara loves running (as pictured above.) Almost every character introduced after adds to the playful and quirky nature. From (somewhat cliche) boisterous twins to a manga obsessed fellow college mate, every member is given a rough and singular characteristic to help you distinguish between them, even if they do not all necessarily remain memorable. Even one of our two leads, energetic and eager Haiji Kiyose himself is a bit mischievous and plotting, as we come to learn how his friendly nature actually has been helping him pull off a long term con, on every single person living in the building with him, in order to achieve a certain dream of his.
Tom: While we maybe cram a few too many faces into the first half of the episode, what we do get gives me hope. Most of the characters are quirky enough to stick out in my mind and, should they be fleshed out, seem poised to become a memorable cast. What I also love about the set up is the reveal Linny mentions from the second half of the episode. We learn that Kiyose hasn’t been entirely honest with everyone, making for a surprise reveal that should produce lots of fun drama over the next few episodes.
Linny: Episode 1 is peppered with little chuckle worthy moments that may not have everyone laughing but definitely help to keep the episode feeling lively and entertaining. As mentioned before, the cast consists of different quirky personalities and as tired as they may feel to some audiences, the characters work well to deliver amusing one liners and gags.
Tom: Run with the Wind doesn’t have the tightest first episode, but there’s a lot of promise here. The animation and visual style helps to gloss over the lesser bits and keep things engaging. Assuming the series maintains its current attitude, explores its characters, and peppers in a bit of interpersonal drama, I think Run with the Wind will be a winner for the Fall season.
Linny: What’s shown in Episode 1 is promising thanks to the constant sprinkling of humour and a cast that could potentially make for a really amusing tale as they are forced to join and participate in a sport that most of them likely have little interest in and maybe even less talent for. The all male cast is likely going to set many a ship-a-sailing and while the show may not necessary make revolutionary waves, it seems poised to be at least one of the more well liked recent sports themed anime.
Run with the Wind is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.