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Wind Breaker
Episode 13

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 13 of
Wind Breaker ?
Community score: 4.1


Calling this a finale is a bit generous, if I'm being honest. Yes, it's the last episode of this season before a sizable break until the next episode, but the “finale” imparts a sense of conclusion that is absent from this episode. That's probably an unavoidable consequence of Wind Breaker's odd approach to season-long storytelling that left us with three full episodes of denouement after Shishitoren, but it's such a non-conclusion that if you told me it was coming back next month rather than next year, I'd believe you. In any case, it's probably better to call this a teaser for season two, because there's a lot of setup for the next story arc, but no payoff to speak of.

Well, alright, we do get a little bit of character work for Sakura's arc. Now that he's warming up to his role as a leader for his class, we get to see him well and truly stick his neck out for another member of Furin. As always, it's funny and precious how he blushes through what would otherwise be a big hero moment, avoiding eye contact even as he promises to help Anzai and his friends. It's a very endearing moment and works as a marker post for how much Sakura has grown since this story started. He's transitioned from a haughty loner with a chip on his shoulder to a guy who will butt into situations without being asked. That's a solid little capstone for the story so far.

Otherwise, there's not much to go on. Anzai and Nagato's whole deal is unclear at the moment, and so far we know nothing about KEEL besides the super cool hoodies they pay for through purse snatching and teen extortion rackets. We get a brief introduction to the main leaders within Bofurin but don't spend time with any of them or learn anything about their personalities. It's all a setup for whatever will come next cour, eventually. It's not an altogether bad episode, but it's about the least impactful way they could have ended this season. This could just as easily have been the opener to next season and nothing would have been lost by cutting things off where last week ended.

In a way, that sums up a lot of this season. Wind Breaker has some undeniably great moments, and at least a couple of excellent episodes, but as an entire package it feels a little too slight to stick with you. It's straightforward and to the point with its character arcs, bare bones with its stories, and bolstered by a slick production that moves just a little too casually to keep your fists pumping as long as you'd want. While the show has weaker moments and occasionally misses the mark in marrying its melodrama with the right tone, nothing is actively bad about anything it's putting down. With faster pacing or more meat to its characters, Wind Breaker could have been a real contender, but for now, it's a solid midcard fighter who can pop with the audience in the right conditions. Here's hoping it can make a real run for the belt when it returns.


Wind Breaker is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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