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WIND BREAKER is the Whirlwind Hit of Spring 2024

WIND BREAKER Series Review

Delinquency is like a universal constant in the course of human history. It doesn’t matter what day, age, or society you look at. There are always going to be young people who go against the grain and do things like skip school, wear edgy clothes, and pick fights with others. Maybe that rebellious attitude makes them so popular in Japanese pop culture, and I can see the appeal. And while some of my favorite anime characters take inspiration from them, I’ve never been into a full-on delinquent anime before. Until I came across one of the best anime of the Spring 2024 season, WIND BREAKER, on Crunchyroll. It has all the hallmarks of a good anime: great sub and sub, good animation, nice music, and some good themes if you look hard enough.

And yes, the fistfights are cool. Think JoJo without the supernatural elements.

The Delinquent’s Paradise that is Furin High

All his life, Haruka Sakura’s been an outcast. He’s got little social skills, and his eyes and hair are both heterochromatic, making everyone think he looks like a freak. Eventually, Sakura gave up on being friendly with everyone and decided to become the delinquent everyone thought he was. Training himself to become strong, he has no time for the weak and for weaklings who think they’re strong. And once he’s old enough to go to high school, he decides to go to Furin High. Its the school with the lowest marks in the country, but the strongest fighters. A paradise for delinquents like him where he can rule!

Or so he thinks.

Once he gets to Furin High, Sakura discovers its not quite what he thought it is. While everyone there is as crazy strong as people say, they dont act like your typical delinquents. They go around protecting the town from anyone seeking to cause trouble, protecting the weak from the strong. That’s why they’re known as “Bofurin,” the Wind Breakers. And for the first time in his life, people don’t reject Sakura. Even though he’s confused by this, Sakura still aims to become the strongest at Furin while learning what it means to be accepted by others.

A Male Tsundere with a Heart of Gold! What’s Not to Like?

I know I’ve said I’ve never been into delinquent anime before, but that’s not quite true. While I’ve never been into the genre itself, I’ve seen plenty of Shonen Series that have characters with varying degrees of delinquency. Naruto Uzumaki started out as a prankster and troublemaker. Bakugo acts like a hot-headed delinquent despite wanting to be a hero. And even though he doesn’t regularly cause fights, Jotaro Kujo acts like a delinquent and doesn’t put up with people’s nonsense.

The bottom line, I’ve been exposed to plenty of misfits and delinquents in anime before. And one thing I’ve noticed about some of the best of them is that, despite their attitudes, they’ve got hearts of gold. Now imagine an entire high school of people like them, and you get Bofurin of WIND BREAKER. They’re delinquents, to be sure, but besides using their fists for justice, they are pretty friendly people.

That’s why, during the first episode, Sakura has no clue how to react to them, and he’s a big reason why I like the series.

Sakura is a tsundere. He acts like he’s tough and doesn’t care about anyone or anything, but as the first episode demonstrates, its the opposite; he does care about others. The problem is that hes been scorned and spat on for so long, the idea of people being nice to him is practically a foreign concept. Thus, he acts like any tsundere would: with hostility. Yet despite everything, he never says no to others kindness and never pushes them away. As a result, seeing Sakura begrudgingly start to open up to the other Bofurin is pretty endearing.

Its not just Sakura, though. The anime’s only eleven episodes long so far, but a good deal of that time is spent fleshing out the side characters in the coolest way possible: fighting.

There’s More to Fighting Than just Fists in WIND BREAKER

conversation#ウィンブレ #WINDBREAKER

— zetch | comms open (@drzetch) June 15, 2024

I know it sounds cliche, but there are some things that can’t be communicated through words alone. Sometimes, the best way for people to truly understand each other is by trading blows from their fists. In that regard, the fights between the members of Bofurin and those they fight can become whole philosophical discussions. I’d explain better, but its best to watch for yourself. And the animation used for the fights is also pretty incredible. It’s just normal people trading punches and kicks, but the way the anime does it feels as good as any shonen battle.

WIND BREAKER is one of the best anime to come out of the Spring 2024 season, and I think that it’s a must-watch for fans of delinquent characters. The fighting is awesome, the characters are great, and the emotions it tries to convey can make a grown man tear up a little. I really love it!

I say WIND BREAKER is a must-watch anime for 2024

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