Home Wind Breaker Episode 12 Review - A Spotlight on Sakura's Character Development

Wind Breaker Episode 12 Review - A Spotlight on Sakura's Character Development

Wind Breaker episode 12 aired on Thursday in what was yet another light-hearted episode with laughs, chibi moments, and, most importantly, character development for Sakura as he becomes a Grade Captain. The slow-paced episodes tend to be among my favorites in series that have either a fast-paced story or high-stakes action, sometimes both, and that’s because there lies the spark of character development. Episode 12 of Wind Breaker was no different and that’s probably why I enjoyed it so much.

Sakura’s Development

I said to myself when watching the beginning of this series that it falls on the shoulders of Sakura’s character development. Will he overcome his feelings of abandonment and isolation right away or will it realistically become a slow burn with him? Luckily, it’s the latter.

Even though the most action we saw in this episode was chasing a stubborn cat, Sakura becoming a Grade Captain for the first years was a big deal. I’ve also thought while watching Wind Breaker that it’s such a breath of fresh air that he’s surrounded by nothing but positivity and those who actually want to see him succeed and how, because of that, is how he’ll hit his strides at becoming the leader of Bofurin that he sets out to be.

Rather than being a kind protagonist who goes through trauma that hardens him, Sakura breaks the mold by being the tough-nosed tsundere boy we’ve all grown to love who will become even better through kindness and great friends for the first time in his life. It’s so damn good to see for once in a delinquent anime.

There’s no feeling of someone being the Judas to Sakura’s Jesus in this series. The entire town, and Furin High School specifically, has hammered down its values of being the hands that help, not rule. Suo and Nirei being Sakura’s right-hand men couldn’t be any better. Nirei was the first person to befriend Sakura and Suo has developed that sense of finding someone who he can 100% stand by. Although, I am curious to see what “negotiation” Suo does, hopefully in the near future.

Kaji’s Introduction

We see for ourselves that Kaji, like the others at Bofurin, can be rough around the edges but has a heart of gold deep down. His influence on Sakura towards the end of this episode could hold a lot of weight for Sakura going forward in the story.

Kaji’s motto of not wanting anything in particular and to just simply lift everyone else up and live in accordance to their expectations gave Sakura that nice dose of simplicity. Not everyone needs to have some grand goal. There are those that stay grounded because of the little things and introducing Kaji gave us yet another new dynamic among the Bofurin crew.

Not only was Kaji’s introduction a blow to Sakura’s own ideals but it was another new character fans can be excited for going forward whenever something goes sideways with anyone from the school. And since he’s in the same class as Sakura and the others, I expect to see more of him going forward. That tease of him being a notorious fighter when he was younger, and his loud outbursts, show that he has a wild side much like Sugishita.

The Luring Mystery

Fans could see that these past couple of episodes seem almost filler-like after finishing such a big, violent arc. But it’s already bridging the past to what’s coming. It was subtle but still noticeable. Anzai’s injuries, the gathering of all the Grade Captains and the Four Kings—something happened and in next week’s finale I’m predicting we’re going to be left with a giant cliffhanger that will be the start of its next arc (with hopefully a Wind Breaker Season 2 announcement to follow it).

Sometimes, it’s normal in anime to overwhelmed by a lot of character introductions in such a small time frame. While Wind Breaker has introduced a lot of characters itself, it manages to keep the secondary characters in their place and the more important ones at the forefront. It gives the secondary characters their roles and moments, but also doesn’t take away from who the story is really surrounding.

Wind Breaker Episode 12 Wrap-Up

Wind Breaker episode 12 was nothing in particular on the level of what we’ve been used to practically all season long but it’s still great. It hit home on all the humor, character development, story development, art work, and animation that we’ve grown attached to with this series. Was it top-of-the-chart-worthy? No. But it was still another great episode.

Episode 12 rating: 8/10

If you enjoyed Wind Breaker episode 12 then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! The season finale (episode 13) will air on Thursday, June 27. Crunchyroll is currently streaming the anime with English subtitles.

Screenshots via Crunchyroll
© Satoru Nii, Kodansha / WIND BREAKER Project

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