Home Wind Breaker Episode 9 Review - Happy to Be Wrong Again and Here's Why

Wind Breaker Episode 9 Review - Happy to Be Wrong Again and Here's Why

Wind Breaker episode 9 aired on Thursday reaching what some would say is the climax of the 12-episode season. Umemiya and Choji continuing to exchange blows was what all of us were waiting for. However, I think the approach to this part of the story was more so of a shock to me than anything. Still, it was different in a lot of good ways than bad—proving me wrong yet again that I should sit back and trust the series that I think is personally deserving of the Anime of the Season award to deliver at the highest level.

Umemiya vs Choji Finale

It was already telegraphed that the fight between Umemiya and Choji would last a little longer than the others. That being said, where the fight ended up going was something from deep left field. Rather than simply beating each other unconscious until one of them wins, the brutal brawl turns into a bloody therapy session for Choji who ends up biting Umemiya’s neck like he’s a vampire before being headbutted into an epiphany that left me tilting my head saying, “…Okay. That’s something.”

Sure, I would’ve loved to see the two captains—and strongest characters in the series (so far)—go toe-to-toe with a goosebump-inducing soundtrack and wonderful animation that builds anticipation to see who wins. But am I upset with Choji’s emotional breakdown and “eureka!” moment? Absolutely not.

I originally stated that I wanted Choji to be the main antagonist of this season after what we received with Togame and his backstory. The series needed a bad guy to root against. Two weeks ago I said the same about Togame and admitted I was wrong in the sense that what the series did with his character was utterly fantastic. Yet again, I find myself admitting I was wrong with how I wanted the series to handle Choji.

I should’ve been patient with Umemiya. He clearly had a plan in place to help Choji come to his senses and, as a viewer, I didn’t see it coming. A reverse dramatic irony, if you will —this kind of writing I loved—since a deeper backstory between the two was already there but we didn’t know that yet.

I’m usually in the storytelling fandom group that believes sometimes bad people are just bad people in a narrative and that’s that. A story needs someone for the main protagonist to fight against to make the plot engaging. Yet, Wind Breaker keeps breaking the mold for now and it’s working. The story presents antagonists (Togame, Choji) in a red neon light covered in blood then immediately makes you feel for them within the span of just a couple of fights thanks to wonderful writing.

I honestly thought Umemiya was going to be in the driver’s seat and a nice chunk of the focus would be on him in this episode. The argument can even be said he was the driver the entire time and that Choji didn’t notice until the very end. So if that’s the case, then he let Choji have control of the aux chord at some point in episode 9.

Choji and Togame

I always tend to have a love/hate relationship with series that want to paint antagonists in a better light at the end of their stories or at some point in a breakthrough. Some are very well done and others aren’t. Luckily, Wind Breaker falls under the former. I was wrong about wanting Togame to be the main antagonist, until his backstory. Now I’m wrong again wanting Choji to be the main antagonist of the story…until his backstory.

The relationship dynamic between Choji and Togame felt unique. Watching countless anime a year, it felt like something I’ve rarely seen, especially from side characters that end up playing significant roles. Even more so, the symbolism and visual storytelling that came with it in episode 9 impressed me just as much as last week’s episode. The bloodied hands of Togame trying to put together the broken pieces Choji created hit a lot harder after what we learned last week, even catapulting Togame to be one of my favorite characters.

It’s refreshing to see two teenage gang members in a delinquent anime have approaches to life that are realistic for their age. Togame dirtied his hands to keep his best friend smiling while Choji became warped in his bizarre vision of being free, which ultimately led him to feel like the complete opposite. All this is backed with symbolism, a soft piano soundtrack, and exquisite voice acting work for Choji by Kikunosuke Toya (Denji – Chainsaw Man).

The chills Toya-san let out when Choji finally hit that breaking point sent me to another dimension. There are many iconic screams throughout anime history a lot of us are familiar with. So it sucks to know that in a few years, this is going to be a moment many overlooked or simply don’t know about. It encaptured everything Choji was feeling at the time and the shots were brilliant.

Wind Breaker Episode 9 Shocking End

I think this episode made me love Umemiya more than I already did at the time. Having this brutal 1v1 tournament where Bofurin completely sweeps just to end it on “Okay, everyone! Thanks for coming! Time to go home now!” was the most Umemiya-thing I could’ve pictured.

I loved Choji’s moment of humbleness at the end. It leads me to believe that both Choji and Togame are going to run Shishitoren the correct way, possibly teaming up with Bofurin at some point when a bigger problem arises in their area. The fact that Umemiya wanted nothing to do with expanding Bofurin just goes to show this is going down a different route in the delinquent genre.

Wind Breaker Episode 9 Wrap-Up

I’m done saying I would like to see this or that happen in Wind Breaker because, at this point, I don’t recall loving to be so wrong about where a story should head with its characters. Series creator Satoru Nii clearly has a great vision for the story at this point and Hiroshi Seko, who handles the anime series composition and script, is helping to bring its greatness to life.

Episode 9: 10/10

If you enjoyed Wind Breaker episode 9 then be sure to vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 10 will air on Thursday, June 6. Crunchyroll is currently streaming the anime with English subtitles.

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

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