Wind Breaker episode 4 review: a clash of gangs and a quick glimpse at relationships past

Our Wind Breaker episode 4 review check if Umemiya’s introduction is worth being hyped about.

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The Wind Breaker episode 4 review

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With the previous episode teasing Umemiya being respected for some unknown reason, we now understand why in Wind Breaker episode 4.

Given that the show previously teased his character, he becomes the main focus of this chapter. He’s initially the jovial and upbeat character, before becoming much more serious after Shishitoren leader Choji shows up at the Bofurin school with multiple Bofurin that he defeated. After Umemiya blocks a kick from Choji and their respective gangs elect to get involved, the leaders come to an agreement: multiple one-on-one matches will take place between their gangs. After that, the Bofurin gang has a meal courtesy of Kotoha, and the next day, they meet with the Shishitoren, ready to duke it out with them.

The leaders

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When describing this episode, not much happens, but that’s because we’re here to understand Umemiya’s character. As I’d thought earlier, there’s a reason as to why he’s respected and feared by people. We can see it when the Shishitoren show up: Sakura immediately detects how serious things have gotten when Umemiya stops acting so carefree and jovial and immediately heads off to confront the rival gang.

He becomes much stricter as well, his voice alone ensuring none of the Bofurin walk out of line. There’s plenty of restraint, which is made apparent when he blocks a quick and devastating kick from Choji. There’s also a lot of respect for Umemiya since every Bofurin is seen ready to attack a few moments after Choji tries to start a fight, with the former believing that the latter’s acting this way because of having a rough history. So he’s also decent at guessing the root cause of people’s behavior. Is there anything the Bofurin leader can’t do?

Speaking of leaders, it seems like the Shishitoren’s leader also has a few screws loose, since he desperately wants to fight Umemiya and take control of the Bofurin. The show teases his strength given that we see several Bofurin as his beaten and bruised victims. This episode shows just how rash and impulsive Choji is and that all he seems concerned with is brawling with Umemiya and taking over the Bofurin. He seems childish and only wants to fight with others.

Like Togame, he’s got this unsettling smile on his face that can creep you out. Dialogue also hints that after Choji became the Shishitoren leader, he made things gruesome for the gang. He’s certainly got my curiosity and I’d like to see what he’s capable of as well as how brutal things can get with him and his personal history.

Other developments

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We also get to learn about two interpersonal relationships: Hiragi and Sako (a Shishitoren member) and Kotoha and Umemiya. The episode doesn’t show much information about that first pair, though they seemed to have once been friends who’ve had a falling out, while the other pair is revealed to have grown up in the same group home, explaining why Umemiya is protective of Kotoha as well as why he’ll become enraged if any harm should befall her.

As for leading man Sakura, he’s still figuring out why it feels nice to be praised and accepted by his peers. He also learns how fighting can be like a conversation and that fists are also a language among fighters. He doesn’t do much in this chapter, but I’m sure he’ll put this information to good use in the next episode.

There’s less humor this time since a lot of the runtime is devoted to setting up the conflict between the Bofurin and the Shishitoren as well as showing how calm and collected Umemiya is. Given how easygoing Umemiya is, a lot of the funny moments originate from him, such as when he enters Kotoha’s restaurant and teases the owner, much to her chagrin. There’s also the usual overreaction from someone that’s played for laughs as well. It’s amusing, but not laugh-out-loud stuff.

This time, the best moments are when Sakura detects Umemiya getting serious and the meeting between gang leaders. When Sakura realizes the change in his leader’s personality, a small flame comes to life before it blazes into a fiery avatar of Umemiya as the camera zooms into it and we return to reality. Sakura then registers the personality change. It’s fluid, quick, and easily shows that Umemiya has another side to him despite what you may think.

The other great moment is when Choji tries to land a kick on Umemiya. The former runs towards the latter and swings his foot to the side of his face, with the impact generating wind currents that obscure the Bofurin leader’s face. Instead, he caught the Shishitoren leader’s foot, remarking that Choji was hasty as usual. It’s very quick but effective at showing the patience of this guy as well as presenting a reason as to why you shouldn’t poke this bear.

The sound effect of Choji’s kick helps reinforce how powerful both leaders are. The music that plays from the beginning to the end of the meeting between both gangs also helps to keep the tension high as well as keep your attention on your screen.

Wind Breaker episode 4 shows that even though Umemiya is an easygoing guy, he’s very much the real deal when things get serious. Even though the plot didn’t progress much in this episode, it was still good to learn about a character that everyone in-universe loved so much. With the new lesson Sakura learned this time with the addition of the Hiragi/Sako relationship, I’m looking forward to seeing how things play out in episode 5 regarding what “conversation” Sakura will have soon and especially what happened between Sako and Hiragi.

Final score 7.5/10

Wind Breaker can be streamed through Crunchyroll.

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