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- mangaca : ni satoru
- publisher : Kodansha
- Type : Action, Comedy, School Life, Shounen
- published : April 2022 – Present
It’s a surreal experience to read and review the manga, flipping every page, knowing that you’re witnessing the birth of something wonderful. Knowing that every gorgeously illustrated palette will likely be adapted to screen one day soon – and mark our words, WIND BREAKER by Nii Satoru definitely has the makings of the next big shounen anime. New series can be tricky at times, but WIND BREAKER literally comes in a swing, with a story about fighting, belonging, and what it really means to be a hero. With the main punk character, a colorful group of high school students, and excellent action battles, we are really happy with this new action packed shounen. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. First, we need to step back a bit and explain exactly what makes WIND BREAKER so special. Join us today on Anime’s Anime as we review WIND BREAKER by Nii Satoru!
Mangaka Nii Satoru is not flabby – this is their second manga series, after their sex sport shonen Danshi Bado-bu ni Joshi ga Magireteru (Secret Badminton Club). WIND BREAKER is their first work translated into English, and it stars Haruka Sakura, a delinquent first-year high school student who moves to a new town to attend Furin High School. This school is notorious for thugs and brawlers, and Sakura intends to make his way to the top to prove his inner strength. But Sakura’s desires and worldview are challenged early on, when he realizes that the students of Furin – nicknamed “Bofurin” (we’ll get into that in a minute) – are not seen as villains, but as protectors of the city. In these rugged and dangerous streets, it is the teens of Furin High School who are keeping other gangs off their lands. Brawling is not the only thing they do – Furin students also help the elderly, clean the drawings on the walls, and otherwise act like real guardians of the city. This all comes as a complete shock to Sakura, especially when he gets involved in a brawl and is hailed as a hero, rather than being criticized as a debaucher. His distinctive half-white hair and heterochromia (eyes of different colors) have always caused problems, and he can’t imagine being praised or truly loved. There’s undoubtedly a huge character going off in the first volume, but we’re off to a great start with Sakura’s motives and personality. The name WIND BREAKER is made up of several layers cleverly. Buforin in Japanese means “windbreak,” and usually refers to the forest that protects the city from high winds. However, there’s more here, as “Furin” itself means “wind ring” – the perfect Japanese chimes often hung on balconies, and used in temples to ward off evil spirits. In English, of course, a windbreaker is also a type of jacket – the same type that Sakura himself wears. Linguistic beauty! And speaking of beauty, this is an impressively drawn manga, with clean action lines and character designs, but detailed grunge backgrounds. The “shattered dreams” of this town are tangible, with graffiti and closed business. WIND BREAKER Don’t shy away from portraying a town on the verge of collapse that is held together by the perseverance of high school kids.
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1. The next big thing?
Like we said earlier, we think this series is going to be a big thing. From the main character tsundere/punk, to the expressive and colorful background cast, to the warm story about finding love and acceptance where you least expect it; WIND BREAKER has the makings of an excellent shounen. But we’re not the only ones expecting an anime adaptation! In AnimeJapan, a 2022 poll showed that WIND BREAKER ranked 9th on the list of manga people want to watch animated. And with 1.2 million copies sold as of March 2022, WIND BREAKER has also been a commercial success.
We hope we don’t sell too much WIND BREAKER, but read it for yourself and you’ll understand the immediate appeal. With clean artwork, excellent characterization, and room to grow in both the action and Sakura background, WIND BREAKER is a dark horse we’d like to bet on. If you haven’t read this already, pick up a copy today! And as always, thanks for reading!
[author author_id=”123″ author=”” translator_id=””]
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