Wind Breaker Volumes 4 and 5 Review

When I last reviewed Wind Breaker the anime had just begun, but now we’re coming to the end of its successful run. Of course with 17 volumes of manga and counting, there’s still plenty of this series to enjoy. Today let’s take a look at Volumes 4 and 5 of this shonen manga.

We kickstart things with Volume 4, where the fights between Bofurin and the rival gang Shishitoren are coming to an end. Now there’s just the final match left between Bofurin leader Umemiya and Shishitoren’s head Tomiyama, but Umemiya has no intention of simply pummeling Tomiyama into the ground.

Much like Umemiya told Haruka to “have a conversation” through his fight with Togame, the Bofurin leader intends to do just that with Tomiyama. The teams have fought before due to a misunderstanding and at the time, Tomiyama was full of love for his team. Now something’s changed. Shishitoren has become a place where only the strong survive and everyone else is kicked to the curb.

Tomiyama is small and quick on his feet; he can do a lot of damage, thanks to his quick strikes, but Umemiya is quick to tell him there’s no weight to his fists. He’s not fighting for fun, for his team or even really himself. His world has lost the light it once held and Umemiya wants to set the younger boy back onto the right path, together with Togame, who feels like he let Shishitoren down by taking on more than he could handle in a bid to keep Tomiyama happy.

This fight proves a heartfelt conclusion to the end of the arc and I was pleased by how much I came to care for Shishitoren as the storyline went along. They’re sure to be returning members of the cast going forward, so spending the time developing their backstories and getting the reader invested at this stage was well worthwhile.

So with that storyline over, Volume 5 brings us to the start of a new one. Now back to their everyday life at school, the first-year students are tasked with picking a class captain. This role involves someone who will look out for the rest of the class and solve problems as they arise. Despite his protests, Haruka finds himself recommended for the job by the rest of the first-years and reluctantly accepts when classmates Hayato and Nirei promise to support him as assistants.

After witnessing Umemiya’s fight with Tomiyama, Haruka is starting to realise what café owner Kotoha meant when she told him you can’t stand at the top of Bofurin if you’re by yourself. Umemiya reaffirmed this when he told Haruka he’s only at the top because he has the support of those around him. Now class captain, Haruka is feeling the weight of responsibility more than ever and wonders if he’s even capable of forming the bonds needed to make his way to the top.

Before he can answer any of these questions, Haruka finds himself solving all kinds of problems, including catching a cat that has run away from home. And then there’s Anzai, a member of his class who seems to be in trouble but refuses to open up to anyone about it. What will our protagonist do when he finds out it involves the infamous team KEEL…?

Like with previous instalments of this series, I enjoy the fast pace of Volumes 4 and 5, combined with their emotional storylines. Mangaka Satoru Nii continues to have a good grasp of how to juggle the action with more narrative-driven moments that connect us with the characters and make us care about them beyond someone being good and the other side being bad. Although there’s no connection between the two, Wind Breaker continues to remind me of Bungo Stray Dogs due to this balance.

And the fact there is so much emphasis on developing the cast means there is truly a character for everyone. Even if you don’t like Haruka, you might become attached to Hayato or Nirei. Or even the extended cast like Umemiya or those on rival teams. Characters rotate enough that you’re always seeing someone different temporarily take the spotlight. And despite the size of the cast compared to the amount of volumes so far, Nii has done a good job of keeping a steady handle on them so it never feels like anyone is generic or underdeveloped.

Wind Breaker Volumes 4 and 5 come to the West thanks to Kodansha and continue to be translated by Jacqueline Fung with lettering by Michael Martin (Andrew Copeland is still credited for the digital version). As always the releases read well with no issues. Sadly no colour pages still, but extras include character profiles and design sheets from Satoru Nii.

Volume 6 of the series has just been released this month with #7 following in August. But if you can’t wait that long the digital releases are up to #15 as of June 18th. At the time of writing the series is currently a part of Kodansha’s latest Humble Bundle; please be aware that the link is affiliated with Anime UK News.

Overall, Wind Breaker continues to be one of my favourite action manga right now. There’s just so much to enjoy from the cast to the dynamic fight scenes. Satoru Nii is doing an excellent job with this one and it only keeps getting better as it goes on. If you’ve been watching the anime and want to continue the story, definitely do pick up the manga as well.

Our review copies from Kodansha were supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK. 

9 / 10


When she's not watching anime, reading manga or reviewing, Demelza can generally be found exploring some kind of fantasy world and chasing her dreams of being a hero.

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