Wind Breaker – Episode 12 “The Dependable One” Recap & Review

The Dependable One

Episode 12 of Wind Breaker continues from where Suo nominates Sakura as the Grade Captain, with the rest of his friends and classmates agreeing with Suo. Sakura is understandably flustered and conflicted since he doesn’t have a specific goal to accomplish, which he believes is the definition of leadership, an idea he’s recently been exposed to through Umemiya.

In an effort to counter the nomination, feeling inadequate, it’s revealed that Kaji, who’s mostly quiet, is actually the Grade Captain of the second years from the Tamon team. After Kaji acknowledges Sakura as the Grade Captain for the first years, the debate is finally settled with the class extending their support to Sakura. Nirei and Suo become secondary captains to support Sakura.

Kaji and Sakura’s team, while on their first patrol together, come across an old lady who had lost her “girl.” Kaji and Sakura begin the search to find her, only to realize that what they’re looking for is not a human but a cat! Sakura spots her on the roof and chases after her. After an exhausting chase, the cat jumps into the river, with Kaji swiftly following her into the water. As a result, they successfully return her to her owner.

While everyone enjoys treats from the lady to express her gratitude, Sakura questions the hot-tempered Kaji about his path as the Grade Captain. Does he have anything he wants to achieve in this leadership position? Kaji replies that he was also chosen, just like Sakura, and explains that although he’s not good at various kinds of tasks, he depends on his secondary captains. He adds, “So, to live up to them, I do what I can,” explaining that he doesn’t really have a specific reason for being a Grade Captain. Sakura consequently realizes, “So, it’s okay not to have anything I want to do?” understanding that his classmates and friends nominated him because they count on him, not because he has any mission to complete.

The next day, Sakura finds himself sleep-deprived in Kotoha’s café since he’d spent the night thinking about his new responsibility. While conversing with Kotoha, she tells him that he never addresses people by their names and suggests that perhaps that’s what he should do first as the Grade Captain.

Back at the school, Nirei attempts to give Sakura a crash course on the names and faces of their classmates. While this is happening, all Grade Captains and Secondary Captains are summoned to the rooftop by Umemiya. On the rooftop, Nirei expresses his wish to support Sakura and Suo by doing what he does best, as he cannot really fight – remembering the names of people in the school. Sakura also realizes his insincerity and, for the first time, addresses Nirei and Suo by their names. This is when the Four Kings of Furin High appear with their Secondaries like a royal fleet!

The Episode Review

In this episode, we witness the nuances that make Wind Breaker such a standout anime this season. Even though the episodes are short, with less room for the story to evolve in a single episode, the anime does an impeccable job with the depth it paints each character. Even the minor characters and extras have a presence in the plot.

Moreover, Wind Breaker does not stop there. In every episode, we see Sakura growing as a person, which makes his character very personal and relatable. The show also features profound debates and themes rich with diverse perspectives.

For instance, in this episode, we see Sakura pondering the meaning of leadership and encountering two different versions of it: one by Umemiya, who has a clear mission that all his teammates share, and the other by Kaji, who realizes he lacks many qualities but wants to keep going for the sake of his team and to return the faith they’ve put in him. What’s even better is that the anime never portrays one side as the ideal answer but is always open to the perspectives and circumstances that shape a character’s personality.

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You can read our full season review for Wind Breaker here!

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