Wind: A Breath of Heart TV

Title:Wind: A Breath of Heart TV
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: KODAMA Satomi
Soon after their mother has been reported missing, a teenage Okano Makoto and his younger sister, Hinata, return to the city of their birth where life appears to be peaceful and everyone possesses some individual supernatural ability without questioning its origin. Their father died when they still were little kids.

Upon arriving they meet two of their childhood friends who are attending the same high school as they will be. They quickly form a friendship with several other high school students, and one of the girls turns their childhood promise into a romantic advance towards her beloved Makoto-chan.

But living in this ideal world comes with a price, and our group of teenagers won't be able to escape the consequences... which actually have hit them a long time ago already.

[TV series, 2004, 16 episodes (of which only 12 plus 1 recap were been aired on TV), 12 min each; CG by SHINKAI Makoto.
There's also a Christmas Special Sequel Wind: A Breath of Heart - Omake OVA plus an alternate version: Wind: A Breath of Heart OVA]

The missing episodes are known as DVD Specials S1-S4. The chronological order of all episodes is: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - S1 - 10 - S2 - S3 - 11 - 12 - S4. TV episode 13 is recap only and therefore obsolete.
1:25min Series Opening - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
Kasu, Hina, Hika, Nozo, Waka, Mina, 12
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 7 5 9 7 8 8 Devil Doll [series:845#752]
[Score: 77% = "Rent". Recommended School/Romance + Mystery/Horror animes: sola, Interlude.]
  • Drama: Med/High (all is not what it seems, I set "Horror" as category for a reason)
  • Comedy: Low (the usual comical relief guy, some mishaps in the cooking department, the S4 special)
  • Action: None/Med (second half of the series only)
  • SciFi: Med (everyone possessing a supernatural ability, plus a lot of story background)
  • Ecchi: None/Low (the seaside/swimsuit episode)
WARNING: The 12 episodes version as aired on TV is seriously flawed, making the story incomprehensible. Watch all 16 episodes in chronological order (see synopsis above) to get an adequate impression of this show and a fair chance to understand what's actually going on.

Uh... those reviews here look awfully spoilerish, and I've completely rewritten the synopsis because of this.
This show looked like the standard neon-haired girls parade and as such has always a chance to be watched by me. Despite the low ratings given here I was hell-bent on wanting to like this show - if it gives me the chance for doing that. And it ended up being a "Rent" albeit this show turned out to be quite different from what I expected.

Art and Animation are a roller coaster: Horrible during most of the show but with several highlights during the final quarter of this series. The faces by themselves are average (another Kaede? Another Kareha?). But never before have I noticed so many 3D camera movements in each and every scene, boasting "look here, we can do it from any possible angle". That's obviously taken from the video game, and it's really annoying - even more so because of the abysmal 2D elements overlaying these 3D backgrounds. All the time you see characters looking in an 90° angle away from you but talking with their mouth pointing right towards the audience! That's just ridiculous, folks. Some of the real-movie ingredients (flowers and meadows) during the final episodes look completely out of place as well. Then again, the action scenes were marvelous.
Music is unimpressive for quite a while, including the happy OP song (no ED) - neither annoying nor memorable. But once the series gets a more serious tone the music keeps up with it and begins to be more striking.

Stereotypical Characters: The male lead, his brown-haired comedy relief buddy who is henpecked by the black-haired neighbor girl classmate; the red-haired younger sister, the blue-haired reunited childhood friend girl, the yellow-haired potential rival girl, her green-haired younger sister, and the grey-haired mysterious miko girl. Which is about all we get to know about them up to episode 6... this show could still turn into Kanon or Shuffle! from here.

The Story appears to be simple: A pseudo-harem group of friends plus some foreshadowing of supernatural events. You get the school festival episode, you get the visit to the ocean episode with the bathing suits - still fooling you into thinking this were the normal school harem anime. Episodes 5+6 introduce the Romance competition and the Supernatural powers element; something is clearly fishy here (too many parents are missing) and it will be interesting to find out what exactly happened in the past and who knows how much about it. Episodes 7+8 bring more development in the Romance department.
But this ideal world in a town where everyone possesses a supernatural ability for no apparent reason comes with a price - and what a price this is! Once the inhabitants' supernatural powers begin to fade, the time has come to pay the rent. The second half of this series (counting all 16 episodes) introduces the horror part of the story - which turned out to be a lot better than I was hoping for (given you aren't denied a full 45 minutes of essential information like in the TV airing...).
The flashbacks to the days of Makoto's parents weren't a real problem by themselves: Those events were hidden from the lead characters as well after all. My only problem with the conclusion is what exactly it was that made Hinata change her mind, and why it actually worked as expected.
Episode S4 was more like a parody add-on but provided a surprising amount of information about the nature of the fundamental issue if you watch it attentively.

All in all this anime is the very paradigm of how a decent story can be ruined by airing only 75% of the episodes. In its complete form it is a good show with certain presentation issues - you just have to take it for what it is and not for a fluffy harem show.
Having said that, sola is very similar to this show and got a "Buy" rating from me, so you shouldn't miss that one if "Wind" is the genre you like: School Romance with a gloomy twist.

Last updated Sunday, July 13 2008. Created Thursday, July 10 2008.
Avoid Forbin [series:845#1573]
All 12 episodes watched.(Plus 1 OAV)
What a MESS! This thing is full of plot holes and time jumps that I am going to downgrade this to Avoid.
The graphics is good, the love story plot is nice. Even the music is acceptable. But then they throw it ALL away into the real plot which is a mystery story about where all the older folk have gone. The bad editing causes time jumps between each episode that you cannot ignore. A very obvious one exists between 11 and 12(The final). So they added a 13, which takes place 3 episodes back (Ala KGNE).
If you like to watch cute girls, go watch Onegai Twins. All the girls have the same look (Especially Hinata(W) vs Mina(OT)) and OT has a more straightforward story.
Sorry let me down.

Last updated Tuesday, September 28 2004. Created Wednesday, September 22 2004.
Watch Jan-Chan [series:845#967]
While starting off as being very romantic and magical, this series takes a very dark (and bloody) turn, and ends up with a real mess of a story line.
Makoto has forgotten a childhood promise that he made to little girl, when he left some ten years earlier, but when he hears Minamo playing his gift harmonica, he is drawn to her and to remembrance. While he might not remember or understand, she stills hold very dear the promise that he made to her, for them to be together forever. But the town they live in now is under a special blessing that requires a price. A price that has taken both of Makoto's parents and Minamo's mother.

Last updated Sunday, February 06 2005. Created Wednesday, September 08 2004.

Other Sites
Kazune City
Official Website for the TV series (Japanese)

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