©Shion Miura, Shinchosha / Run with the Wind production committee
"I just want to know what running is all about." One chilly night in March, Kansei University senior Haiji Kiyose comes across Kakeru Kurahara along a dark street and is struck by his extraordinary running prowess. Kakeru is practically coerced into living in Chikuseiso, fondly called Aotake, an old apartment building-turned-dormitory.
Haiji is full of dreams and ambitions. An injury during high school forced him onto the sidelines but he never lost the desire to show the world his best running form and compete in the Hakone Ekiden, the pinnacle of relay marathon races. But he only has one year left to turn his dreams and ambitions into a reality.
Now, a formidable driving force stands right in front of him. Chikuseiso is the den of male students overflowing with special talents. Haiji cooks for the dorm residents, one of whom is 25-year-old chain-smoker Nico-chan Sempai (real name is Akihiro Hirata), now on his fifth year of college, Twins Joji (older brother whose real name is Jiro Jo) and Jota (younger brother whose real name is Taro Jo), Musa (real name is Musa Kamara), a student from Tanzania, Shindo (real name is Takashi Sugiyama), who hails from the boondocks and whose nickname means "child prodigy," Yuki (real name is Yukihiko Iwakura), a music freak who has already passed the bar exam, King (real name is Yohei Sakaguchi), an avid quiz show fan, and Oji (real name is Akane Kashiwazaki), who spends all his money and time on manga and whose nickname means "prince," complete the roster of residents.
Chikuseiso houses this eclectic mix of colorful personalities, but little do they know that it is actually the Kansei University Track and Field Training Camp. Haiji uses the carrot and stick approach to encourage them as they, a team of ten, endeavor to conquer Hakone.
With Kakeru's warped perceptions and difficult past, the limits of his teammates' physical and mental strengths, and the various walls and obstacles that impede them, will they succeed in overcoming the mountain?
"Running is all about strength, not speed--the strength that comes from being you and forming a bond with someone else."