I have mentioned many times that one of my favourite anime of all time is Run With The Wind (Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru). It truly is a beautiful story about growth and friendship revolving around a university long distance running team. I want to reiterate that second point. Friendship, especially male friendships are written incredibly well in this series. Now hear me out, I know a thing or two about being friends with dudes. Shit, I would say that I’m an expert at it considering that I have been making friends with dudes my entire life. In whatever social setting I am in, chances are – it’s going to be a sausage party. Don’t worry guys, I bring the meats. If you want dudes, I got dudes. You want big dudes, little dudes, nerdy dudes, athletic dudes, white dudes, Asian dudes – yeah that’s about it for me unfortunately. But anyway, this article is not about my bromosexuality – it’s about Run With The Wind and how well the series portrays male friendships.
To preface, I know that not all men act one way and not all women act another way. But with sOcIeTy being the way it is, there are typically certain trends that certain groups of people pickup. For instance, typically most men are not ones to air their grievances to the world. Not every man is Thoughtful Bear and is willing to overshare and be a creep. But typically men don’t like talking about their problems. Men would much rather shoulder their burdens and deal with it internally – I can be the same sometimes. In Run With The Wind, we have 10 male protagonists all with their own unique challenges in life as they grow into being men. Some of them have a hard time letting go of their past, some are worried about their future, and some don’t feel like they are living their life the way they should be. All the characters are struggling with their own unique problems but never outwardly say that they are. The story does a good job of revealing the issues of the characters, rather than having the characters vocalize them.
These men have issues but are not willing to talk about them, even though their issues are clear to everyone around them. However, when good friends detect these issues, they will act on it. When good guy friends know that you’re struggling, they will be men of action. They will help you with your day to day tasks, they will call in favours, and they will be there for you physically. Time and time again in this series, you will notice that these friends will do everything that they can do to help their friends through their issues without having to verbalize anything. And maybe it’s because I have good male friends in my life but every time that I watch this series, I think about the friendships that I have made by playing sports and in life in general. Every time I see an act of service, I relate it to my personal close group of friends. And isn’t that wonderful? A work of fiction, a work of art really – that makes you feel warm inside because it reminds you of your friends, it reminds you of home.
Run With The Wind, is one of my all time favourite anime. It’s themes of sports and friendship go hand in hand. And it does it so well that I cannot do anything but cry every time I get to the end. If you like watching strong friendships, bonds being created, and the growth of a team over time and struggle – you will love Run With The Wind. Even if you hate friendship, like the Grinch, after watching Run With The Wind, I think your heart will grow a little.