Wind Breaker – Episode 8 “Succeeding the Past” Recap & Review

Succeeding the Past

Episode 8 of Wind Breaker picks up with Togame and Sakura’s fight from the last episode. Togame seems to Sakura an anomaly amongst the power-thirsty Shishitoren as Togame emphasizes that Shishitoren has “no place for scumbags,” explaining his actions to punish the members involved in harassing the middle school student.

From Togame’s monologues, it’s clear that he did not support Choji’s empire of terror yet remained silent. As Togame is lost in thought, Sakura attacks him. With flashy and forceful kicks, Sakura exclaims, “For me, no matter how strong my opponent, even if that guy saved my life, I don’t avert my eyes nor distort who I am.” These lines hit a spot, for Togame did avert his eyes and compromised his ethics when Choji transformed into a maniacal tyrant.

Inspired by Sakura’s TED talk, Togame and Sakura begin their real “conversation.” For the audience, they appear as two mad guys engaged in a passionate fist-to-fist, enjoying every bit of their terrifying tango. Eventually, the two end up on the floor, bloody and brimming with life. Here, Togame confesses, “I didn’t know fights felt this good.” As a tiebreaker, they prepare for a last punch, and Togame relives his flashback where he feels that he should’ve challenged Choji instead of accepting his will. Togame voluntarily takes the hit, falls to the floor, and cheerfully says, “I give up.”

Sakura obviously gets worked up over this anti-climax. Amidst his angry outburst, Choji interrupts and insists on his duel with Umemiya. Togame approaches Choji, saying that he was in the wrong and that they need to stop the battle, but Choji mercilessly kicks him, saying, “You lost, so you stay quiet.” Sakura almost hits Choji for his behaviour, but Umemiya interferes and stops Sakura’s advances.

Meanwhile, Choji ends up revealing his true self to everybody present, exposing how he thinks that everyone in Shishitoren is weak. His plan is to take over Bofurin and become “free.” Saying this, he attacks Umemiya. Watching his fighting style, Suo comments, “I’ve never seen such reckless movements. He’s a natural-born monster.” As for Nirei, he’s frozen solid; it seems like his soul is on a momentary break from reality.

Amidst the ongoing fight, Sakura vows to become a better fighter as Choji is as narcissistic as ever and oblivious to any remorse or understanding. After giving Choji multiple chances to redeem himself, Umemiya finally resolves to win.

The Episode Review

Staying true to the theme of “Succeeding the Past,” we follow Togame’s character growth in this episode. Sakura inspires Togame to reclaim his identity and agency, where he realizes that he should’ve confronted Choji about his autocratic regime. Simultaneously, the events of this episode humble Sakura, making him realize that there’s a long way for him to travel in becoming one of the best fighters. Not only that, through his tête-à-tête with Togame, he’s able to respect Togame enough to defend him when Choji brutally attacks Togame.

At the same time, although all the battles between Shishitoren and Bofurin highlight Umemiya’s concept of conversation through combat, it only comes to life during Sakura and Togame’s movements. In one of the scenes, Togame exclaims, “I didn’t know fights felt this good,” highlighting how a true conversation between fighters feels like combat, not for the suppression of the weak but as a form of conversation between equals.

Amidst these glorious scenes, Choji is the only person whose narcissism prevents him from caring about anything or anybody other than defeating Umemiya and taking over Bofurin for his own selfish reasons. His fighting style is typical of his reckless personality, which screams a lack of a myriad of skills needed to be a true leader. And so, we cannot wait for him to have a taste of Umemiya’s wrath in the next episode!

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