Hey, you! Do you like running?
Did you know that when you run, you are actually running against the wind, not with the wind? You are literally slicing through the wind with your body, as you try to grasp for breath, second by second. It can be challenging, and it can be fun. But you have to enjoy it.
Among the many, many sports anime out there, the protagonists enjoy doing the sports. But these people at Aotake don’t. In fact, they dreaded it. Hated it. Even shouted out loud that they loathe it, and did their best to ignore this outrageous proposal. The mastermind behind this is Haiji, and he wants to take 9 of them to a total 200+km relay-race that is 10 months away.
It sounds impossible, because it is. The fastest runner of them, Kakeru repeatedly said so. These guys are complete novices. They have no motivation, no skill nor stamina to do it. They can try their hardest and still fail to be the best runners.
But, that’s not what this is about.
It’s not “we will win and become number 1 in the world” but “we will reach the top together”. From the start, Run with the Wind blatantly tells us that it’s not a story about winning alone, it’s about not losing each other. Even if reality hits them hard, and they fall down somewhere along the road, they will still continue it. All 10 of them.
And watching people who try so hard only to fail again and again, leaves me with a bitter taste. I despise this feeling. I just want to go to pat them on their shoulder, and give them a hug. It’s because I’ve tasted this feeling again and again; every shounen protagonists have tasted it time and again.
But these Aotake guys are different.
This is not a shounen anime. They could reject Haiji’s offer anytime they want in the first place. No one has the right to stop them. So, why do they work that hard for? Why won’t they just give up? Is it for those cheap pride, useless friendship or a lousy promise?
Yes. All three of them.
Because they are stupid, sometimes emotionally-driven and do futile things that we know they are not extraordinary being. They are just ordinary. Plain. Average. Because as much as we love our volleyball protagonists who trains hard and improve to win matches, we also love underdogs that train for the sake of pride, friendship and promise.
But it is because they go against the flow, the flow of wind and the flow of expectations that makes Run with the Wind an ironic tittle and a mesmerizing story. No one expected anything from them at the start, not even themselves. But in the end, everything changes for these fools. Why?
Because they don’t know when to quit.
And I think that’s the greatest lesson of it all. When ordinary people achieve the extraordinary: a story of pride, friendship and promise known as Run with the Wind is born. How cool is that?
Thanks for reading. For you who stayed until this finish line, here’s a little gift. Run with the wind!