Wind Breaker episode 1: Haruka Sakura and Kotoha Tachibana introduced as traditional tropes subverted

Wind Breaker episode 1: Haruka Sakura and Kotoha Tachibana introduced as traditional tropes subverted (Image via CloverWorks)
Wind Breaker episode 1: Haruka Sakura and Kotoha Tachibana introduced as traditional tropes subverted (Image via CloverWorks)

Wind Breaker episode 1 was officially released on Friday, April 5, 2024, with an exciting start to the highly-anticipated shonen delinquent action series. Likewise, the episode primarily introduced protagonist Haruka Sakura, a loner with an alienating physical appearance who searches for self-worth in defeating others in fights.

The episode also does a great job of establishing the series’ setting, mainly via the introduction of the supporting character Kotoha Tachibana. Fans also see Wind Breaker episode 1 subvert some of the most notorious delinquent anime tropes and storylines, making for a fresh experience with plenty of promise.


Wind Breaker episode 1 introduces its intriguingly emotional protagonist, Haruka Sakura

Brief episode recap

Wind Breaker episode 1 opens with an insight into Haruka's mental state (Image via CloverWorks)
Wind Breaker episode 1 opens with an insight into Haruka's mental state (Image via CloverWorks)

Wind Breaker episode 1 begins with a black-and-white, stylized scene of someone walking across a tightrope. This is interspersed with flashbacks of school girls talking about someone getting into fights, saying the person doing so is dangerous and should be avoided. This transitions into general critiques being lobbied at the person, specifically about his hair and eyes.

As these intersperses conclude, the person falls off the tightrope, leading viewers into the bedroom of young protagonist Haruka Sakura. It seems that this was a dream he was having given the scowl he flashes before the scene changes. As Haruka walks around town, he says that he loves the strong and has no respect for the weak.

Wind Breaker episode 1 then cuts to a girl being cornered by several delinquents who are threatening her. Haruka approaches, criticizing them for being weak and thinking they’re strong. He tells them to stop, prompting one of them to throw a punch at him. Haruka dodges and counters with his own punch, and is shortly shown as having taken out the entire gang.

Wind Breaker episode 1 wastes no time in getting Haruka involved in his first fight (Image via CloverWorks)
Wind Breaker episode 1 wastes no time in getting Haruka involved in his first fight (Image via CloverWorks)

He shares his name with them so the weak avoid him and the strong fight him, introducing himself as Haruka Sakura from Furin High School. The girl chases after Haruka, thanking him. However, he’s confused by this and becomes flustered after realizing she is indeed thanking him. She offers to cook for him if he’s hungry, discovering that he’s from out of town and that’s why the two haven’t seen each other before.

Wind Breaker episode 1 sees the girl explain that the town used to be very unsafe due to various fights and turf wars from different gangs. She adds that she’s not from this town originally either, introducing herself as Kotoha Tachibana. Haruka questions why Kotoha is being so chummy with him, but eventually stops and eats the omurice she made for him.

Kotoha comments on how strange Haruka’s appearance is, with the right side of his hair and his right eye being black. However, the left side of his hair is white (including his eyebrows and eyelashes), while his left eye is a golden-ish color. Haruka calls her weird for not getting disgusted with or denying him immediately for his appearance, to which she says she’s used to seeing crazier stuff.

Tachibana is introduced as Haruka's first ally in Wind Breaker episode 1 (Image via CloverWorks)
Tachibana is introduced as Haruka's first ally in Wind Breaker episode 1 (Image via CloverWorks)

She asks if that’s why he fought those street punks, to which he says he came to Furin because how one looks doesn’t matter during a fight. He fantasizes about fighting his way through the town’s combatants, sharing his plan to take the spot as the town’s top fighter.

Kotoha accuses him of wearing his school uniform early because he’s excited for classes to start the next day. Haruka gives a departing customer his bag which he left at his table. Kotoha gives Haruka some candy as thanks from the old man, causing the latter to blush and emphasizing his kindhearted nature.

Kotoha tells Haruka that he’ll never reach the top of Furin as he is now, even if he is an excellent fighter. She says it’s because he’s alone, causing him to have a flashback to his dream. Haruka disputes this by saying he’s strong enough to win on his own, to which she says he should meet the other Furin kids to understand what she means.

Haruka shows his strength in Wind Breaker episode 1 (Image via CloverWorks)
Haruka shows his strength in Wind Breaker episode 1 (Image via CloverWorks)

The episode cuts to the group of delinquents Haruka took out earlier, now ransacking the town with backup before running into him. The leader begins teasing Haruka for his appearance before realizing it’s his real hair and eye color, calling it sickening. Haruka revels in getting his expected response from someone, saying he at least wants to find value in himself by beating the guy in front of him and proving himself better than his enemy.

Wind Breaker episode 1 sees Haruka remember Kotoha’s words before punching the delinquent leader and saying he’s the one being left by everyone else. He says he’s aware of his appearance, but asks what he ever did to anyone otherwise, saying this is who he is. Haruka goes on a rampage while ranting about his loneliness, defeating every one of the delinquents.

Kotoha goes outside to see the commotion but is taken hostage by one of the delinquents. Haruka saves her and begins taking out the others while making her safety a priority. However, this also limits his ability to fight, giving him problems with clearing out the rest of the delinquents. One of the knocked-out delinquents cuts Haruka’s heel with a knife, resulting in him getting hit with a baseball bat.

Haruka is forced to prioritize Kotoha's safety in Wind Breaker episode 1 (Image via CloverWorks)
Haruka is forced to prioritize Kotoha's safety in Wind Breaker episode 1 (Image via CloverWorks)

However, Wind Breaker episode 1 sees someone else in a Furin uniform appear at the last second, asking Kotoha to not tell “you-know-who” she was in danger before thanking Haruka. Three other Furin students approach them, as the one who helped Haruka bends the bat in half. The protagonist asks why Furin is helping him, with them being introduced as Hiragi, Matsumoto, Kaji, and Yanagida.

The four of them spring into action, fighting the rest of the delinquents and even protecting Haruka from another attack. He tries arguing with Hiragi who tells him to retreat if he’s injured, but Haruka eventually listens. He realizes that the townsfolk are cheering from their homes for the Furin High School students, asking what’s going on there.

Kotoha explains that the Furin High students made the town safe two years ago as she was telling him earlier. She shares that the locals call them the Bofurin, also known as the Wind Breaker, the guardians of the neighborhood. The townsfolk then come out to thank the Bofurin forces for their efforts, causing Haruka to seemingly become angry at first about the townspeople accepting them.

However, some of them begin praising him, even offering to treat his injuries. This causes Haruka to freak out and tell them to stop, prompting Kotoha to step in and explain. She tells Sakura that while he is alone, she can tell he didn’t willingly end up that way. Likewise, the townspeople will come to depend on him, which causes him to say he doesn’t need anyone and wants nothing to do with anyone.

Kotoha counters that his giving Grandpa Yama the bag he forgot earlier and protecting her during the fight proves otherwise. She tells him to at least look their way and be open to them, saying she’s sure he’ll become what he wants to if he does just that. Haruka jumps, seemingly preparing to attack the Furin students while insulting their role before saying it’s cool.

It’s then revealed he was attacking one of the delinquents sneaking up behind the other students, with Kotoha smiling at his acceptance of his new role. She comments on how this is the story of how Haruka, who started with nothing, became the hero of the town, as Wind Breaker episode 1 ends.


In review

Despite starting relatively slow and in typical delinquent shonen fashion, Wind Breaker episode 1 eventually separates itself from other hallmarks of the genre with Haruka’s character specifically. While other delinquent anime series are about those shunned by society finding a family in other delinquents, Haruka and his Furin classmates are widely accepted by the townsfolk.

It’s also clear that this is what Haruka desires more so than finding camaraderie with others in similar situations. Kotoha’s character and the appearance of the other Furin High School students in the third act of Wind Breaker episode 1 help to distinguish this.


In summation

Overall, Wind Breaker episode 1 serves as an exciting and promising introduction to the highly-anticipated Spring 2024 anime series. While difficult to pass any sort of overall judgment at this time, there’s plenty to be excited about assuming the rest of the anime’s first season is as exciting as its pilot episode.


Related links

Wind Breaker episode 1: Release date and time, where to watch, and more

Crunchyroll brings Kaiju No.8, Wind Breaker, and more Spring 2024 anime to India

Crunchyroll reveals Spring 2024 anime line-up and release schedule

Crunchyroll brings KonoSuba season 3, My Hero Academia season 7, and more Spring 2024 anime to India

10 most highly anticipated Spring 2024 anime (so far)

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Edited by Meenakshi Ajith
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