Wind Breaker, Episode 1 recap and review – Sakura protects a girl and meets Bofurin

Sakura is embarrassed when Kotoha thanks him for helping her

Recap of Wind Breaker, Episode 1

The episode begins with Haruka Sakura walking on a tightrope in darkness, surrounded by mocking voices. These voices — both teachers and fellow students — criticize his appearance and label him a delinquent.

Sakura wakes up from this nightmare, but the haunting visions linger.

We are then introduced to Tonpu, and a lively shopping street as Sakura is walking through it talking about how he prefers strong people to weak. He then intervenes when gang members are harassing a woman named Kotoha.

Sakura reveals himself as a Furin High School student with the uniform he is wearing, and then takes down the gang members, knocking all of them out. Kotoha is grateful and invites him for a meal at the restaurant she works at.

After making him omorice, Kotoha tells him she is surprised he is from out of town. And then explains that, up until recently, the town was plagued by gang wars, so people don’t usually move there.

Sakura then tells her he moved to the town because it is known for its gang fights, and he wants to become the best fighter in town.

As an old man starts to leave the restaurant, Sakura reminds him he’s left a gift bag behind. The old man thanks him, and gives Kotoha candy to give to him, which embarrasses Sakura again.

It then turns out he has always been mistrusted, even when he has done the right thing. That is why he now thinks there is something wrong with the people in the town who, for the most part, are being kind to him.

Kotoha then informs him, while he made a good decision moving there, he won’t ever make it to the top of the fighting heap. The reason being, she says “You’re alone”.

As Sakura angrily leaves the restaurant after telling her he is strong enough to fight alone, she tells him he should meet the other Furin kids first. And then he will understand what she means.

After Sakura leaves the restaurant, the same gang members return, and start to break shop windows and cause general chaos.

Sakura confronts them and begins to fight knocking at least a dozen of them down. But, as he is winning the fight, Kotoha appears and is grabbed by one of the thugs.

Sakura manages to knock the thug away from her, but now he is stuck protecting her instead of being able to fight like he normally does.

As he is about to get bashed in the head with a baseball bat while trying to protect Kotoha, an unknown man in a Furin High School uniform suddenly appears, thanks Sakura for his help, and then starts to beat the thugs up as three other Furin students also appear.

Touma Hiiragi arrives to help as Sakura is protecting Kotoha

Along with the original man — who introduces himself as Touma Hiiragi — they all then defeat the thugs easily, leaving Sakura shocked that people have actually shown up to help him, which is something that has never happened before.

What is even more amazing is all the people in the buildings around them suddenly appear and start screaming support for the Furin High School students.

As the fight is ending, Kotoha explains the town changed two years ago when Furin High School students, tired of the gang wars, decided to protect the people of the town.

So they put up a sign on the edge of the neighborhood warning anyone who plans to start trouble that they will be “purged by Bofurin”.

Bofurin, of course, are the students themselves — the Wind Breakers. In other words, they are different than the delinquents Sakura expected when he moved there.

They protect instead of harm or, as Sakura decides they may just be — Heroes of Justice.

It is then Sakura begins to understand that there’s more to Bofurin, and their role in Tonpu, than meets the eye

The episode ends with a quote: “This story is how a boy at the lowest of the low, hated by all, worth nothing but his fists, becomes the hero of the town.”

Touma Hiiragi

Review of Wind Breaker, Episode 1

What the episode does well

  • Strong art and animation: The art style and character design is beautiful — especially Sakura’s design — and the visuals during action scenes are captivating and incredibly dynamic.
  • Character development: Sakura’s emotional struggles and determination are effectively portrayed right from the beginning of the episode. They are explained even further as the episode continues, with the ending scenes nicely showing how difficult it is for someone to trust anyone when they have always been mistreated.
  • Intriguing twist: The revelation that the Bofurin are the town’s heroes adds depth to the story.

Where it could have been improved

  • World-building: While we get glimpses of Tonpu’s setting, more extensive world-building would enhance the viewer’s understanding of the town and the people who live there. Hopefully, we will get that as the series continues.
  • Secondary characters: Some Bofurin members could benefit from clearer introductions. Especially the three who appeared after Touma Hiiragi, as their names slid by so quickly they just became “three guys who are good at fighting”.

Overall, though, Wind Breaker’s first episode did a wonderful job of pulling the audience into a unique delinquent-themed anime, and then setting us up for an exciting journey.

Wind Breaker is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist who spent a decade covering the anime and manga industries while living in Asia. Now based in Vienna, Austria and currently obsessed with Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, KONOSUBA, The Archdemon's Dilemma, Kaiju No. 8, and the Boys' Love danmei Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation.