Free! – 03

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I imagine that this is the exact position the fangirls sit and watch Free! in. 

Through some strange twist of fate, I get the episode with the megane-kun that I’ve been waiting for. Kyo, you’re the best. Seriously. …Anyways, before we get started, were you aware that this is apparently based off of a novel? Or at least, the concept of this show is based off a novel called High☆Speed! that features the characters when they were in elementary school. Well, I thought that was interesting at least.

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Here I was denying that this had any bromance at all in it episode 1, I still thought so in episode 2, and then I see this episode. …Okay, fine. Maybe this is kind of a gay swimming anime. I can’t even deny that it didn’t have hints in it after Nagisa getting really close to Rei all episode. You can’t just have a guy call another guy pretty and not expect me to raise an eyebrow. Though then again, this was all coming from the adorable shota character, so maybe this can be overlooked. What I can’t deny though was that Nagisa pestering Rei all episode was cute (in both a BLish way and an awww, Nagisa is trying hard way). Maybe having Rei join because he also has a really feminine name is a terrible reason, but you can’t say that Nagisa didn’t put effort in. Running to school with him and following him around actually paid off too! Though it was mostly due to Haru, but still. So yeah, long story short, I guess there ARE BL vibes in here a bit. I was wrong. My bad.

Well, even with that though, I’m still here for the same reasons Gou is.

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Me too, Gou. Me too.

And speaking of Gou, she’s still awesome! As a bonus too, she seems to be doing a pretty good job as a manager by trying to find a good place for them to practice while it’s still cold out and getting them a practice with Rin’s school. There wasn’t so much focus with her character this episode, but it’s nice to see that her admiration of well muscled guys hasn’t been toned down at all. As for Rin… well, he’s still around, I guess. He joined the swimming team too! …Well, there wouldn’t be much of a plot if he didn’t, but still. I’m glad that the plot isn’t forgetting the main conflict here with all of the moe guys going moe things that’s going on. I’m sure they’ll get back to Rin and Haru soon enough, but I’d say that trying to get the Iwatobi swim club together is slightly more important at the moment.

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“Perfect form” indeed.

So then we get to the megane-kun, Rei, and things don’t go as calculated for anyone involved. Well, we all knew from the OP that Rei was going to be the 4th member, but it was a question of how or why. In the end, it wasn’t quite the “you’re not good enough for the track team” reason for Rei to join in the swim club, but more that Haru showed Rei a style that couldn’t be taught in books or calculations. Yay for Haru! …I figured that Haru’s amazing swimming style would be the end reason as soon as Rei started talking about how ungraceful swimming looked, and I’m glad that’s the case. It’s nice to see that Haru’s obsession with swimming is contagious.

I was looking forward to this character to get a proper introduction SO MUCH and Rei’s character did not disappoint at all! I was expecting a super serious guy based on what I saw in the previews and that’s exactly what we got. …Only with the added bonus of him being so serious, it adds humour occasionally. It’s a nice combination. I was kind wondering how he’d fit in with the others since they’re all childhood friends and he’s the newcomer, but I don’t think Rei’s personality will drag down the team at all. He seems eager enough to join, and they definitely need him in order to do competitions. …Whether his actual skills (or lack thereof) will drag the team down or not is a different story though.

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At least Shark-kun can swim.

Is… is the swimming team going to be okay with this? Rei can’t even swim. The rest of the guys have been doing this ever since childhood. I can’t imagine that his inability is going to be much of a help to the team at the moment, let alone in a competition. Though with his obsessive personality, I imagine that Rei will be able to swim with no problems in the near future (because fictional characters can do that). Actually, I’m impressed at how Free! is managing to get in a good balance of the characters interacting and actual swimming related activities. I was expecting either one or the other, but unlike the K-On! girls, the swim club is actual capable of doing both. It helps vary up the episodes a bit at least and actually, now that I think about it, I doubt Haru’s character would ever let them forget about the swimming aspect of the show. Yay for Haru! Again!

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Well, other bloggers have definitely said this before, but Haru is extremely eccentric. I thought he was going to strip to his swimsuit again when they were all talking about trying to find a 4th member in the staff room, but unfortunately, he didn’t. So I guess the end question is still, when will Rin and Haru compete again? Since that’s what a huge portion of the plot is about now. I liked Haru’s line about it all being in the past and it being enough that Rin’s started swimming again. Hopefully he won’t be too worried about beating Rin when it comes down to it again. …But yeah. The important thing at the moment is making sure that all 4 swim club members can actually swim.

Preview: Rei may or may not drown in the near future, but hopefully the next blogger enjoys his… stretching.

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About

University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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82 Responses to “Free! – 03”

  1. JapanInspired says:

    “I cant look good while going that!”, lol, this weeks episode was so hilarious, Rei must be the funniest character in free!.
    And that jump in the water made me laugh so hard, as well as the second jump.
    Free! is actually quite nice, plot wise.
    And I feel so bad for Haruka quiting something that he likes so much because of how he hurt Rin in the past.
    Oh, Next episode is called “Captive butterfly”, since in the op Rei swims in the Butterfly style.

    • Karakuri says:

      Ahaha normally showing the same scene from different angles can get redundant, but showing Rei falling here was hilarious. I have to agree, he’s the funniest character at the moment.

      So maybe more Rin next time? Yay~

      • JapanInspired says:

        My guess is that next episode Rei will be learning how to swim. Who knows what can happen.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Doesn’t look like it’s going to be a 5 minute training session. I can already tell he’s going to suffer.

      • Ceyrai says:

        I find it great that the most “serious” character is actually the most hilarious.

        • BlackBriar says:

          It’s his misplaced pride and calculations that make him funny.

    • Highway says:

      Hehe, “Let’s make the new guy swim ‘fly because noone else wants to.” 😉

      • BlackBriar says:

        Hey, why do it yourself when you can get someone else to do it for you? 😉

      • Ceyrai says:

        What makes me a bit apprehensive is that it’s the most difficult out of the 4 styles (at least for me). It’s like giving the CEO job to the mailroom guy. Well, it’s anime so… suspension of belief?

        • skylion says:

          Rei doing the breast stroke? That style is about brute force. I don’t think that matches up to Rei, but some sort of turn a round might be in the cards. Like he gives up on the intellectual side and just dives in and attacks.

          • Irenesharda says:

            Well, I don’t know, the breast stroke is actually the one that I’m best at, but I wouldn’t say it really all brute force or anything. I actually find it the easiest for me.

            The butterfly though is just murder on me. My muscles aren’t strong enough to maintain that yet.

            • skylion says:

              Now we know why people prefer various styles. It really is about shoving water aside for me. I did well in butterfly, but, like Haru, preferred FREE! Well, I rather enjoyed fooling around….

            • Ceyrai says:

              YES. THIS. I can only ever finish the 50m without stopping, via breast stroke. Butterfly… hah. Wish me luck even getting to 10. forced to swim to graduate from college

            • Highway says:

              About all I can do reliably is Breaststroke. I can do that for laps and laps, but I can’t do more than a lap of freestyle or half a lap of butterfly.

              I think Rei’s a perfect chump… er, candidate for butterfly. He’s strong, it’s technical but powerful, and he doesn’t know what he’s in for.

            • Irenesharda says:

              Rei actually looks like an expert at it in the OP, and since this is only a 1 cour series, I’m thinking he’ll master ‘fly either next episode or the one after.

              Consequently Makoto looks really good doing the backstroke and Nagisa likewise with the breast stroke.

              While of course, Haruka and Rin will viciously compete with the titular freestyle.

  2. JapanInspired says:

    Karakuri-san, why so much sharks? Even though I will say it, GOOD JOB to the one making these pictures. His/Her use of sharks is like a piece of art. Who ever you are, You are quite skillful in [shark] collage.

    • Karakuri says:

      That’s allllll Fosh~~ glad you enjoy shark-kun xD

      • JapanInspired says:

        Yeah, I think Shark-kun might become popular. Make him Metanorn’s summer mascot. 😉 It is swimming season.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Hehehe, not a bad idea. A domestic shark sounds interesting. But if Metanorn is going to have a shark as a mascot for Summer, then what are they going to have as a mascot for the other seasons?

          • Irenesharda says:

            Well, next season perhaps we could have Bat-chan for the vampire series that come out then? 😀

            • BlackBriar says:

              I know there are three series in that genre next season but please don’t get my hopes up. I could die happy if it turned out that way but I’d be severely bummed if it didn’t. :)

            • Irenesharda says:

              Well, I’ll only be watching two of the three, but three shows in a season isn’t bad.
              Incidentally, this Fall season looks awesome. I already have 9 shows on my list, which is the most I’ve ever had before. Now whether I keep them all, is another thing entirely…

            • Foshizzel says:

              Bat-chan next time? I could make that work on Valvrave s2 LOL

            • skylion says:

              May I suggest A Certain Mythological Sky Beast?

          • Foshizzel says:

            Ooooh I like that idea! Shark-kun as the Metanorn summer mascot xD

            • BlackBriar says:

              I bet you’re going to highlight it somewhere on the site.

      • JapanInspired says:

        Oh, and also my bow to Foshizzel-san. Shark-kun is almost part of Free! now.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Almost doesn’t cut it. He’s been there since the first episode. It was his debut.

          • JapanInspired says:

            Shark-kun’s Debut, hahaha. It really was, it really was.

            • BlackBriar says:

              And he’s going to make his career at the end of the series. 😛

      • BlackBriar says:

        Captions and sharks? More respect to the Precure Mastah!

      • skylion says:

        Shark-kun x Fosh FTW!

    • Foshizzel says:

      Shark-kun for the win! He loves pools as much as Haruka and thank you Japaninspired <3

      • BlackBriar says:

        This shark must be a special breed. Regular ones survive in salt water, bull sharks can tolerate fresh water but this one con survive in pool water.

        • Karakuri says:

          Obviously you’ve never seen Sharknado. According to that movie, not only can they survive any type of water, but also 480317428940 foot falls and flying through the air in tornadoes.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Say what now? That sounds too wacky.

          • Irenesharda says:

            Lol, I watched that the other day. I’m like Rei in that I think logically and analytically and it takes a really good sci-fi movie to get me to turn that part of brain off. Suffice it to say, Sharknado isn’t one of those, it’s a syfy movie so I know what to expect.

            So instead, my brother and I just sit and watch it and poke holes in the logic to each other all the way through. It’s really fun. 😛

      • JapanInspired says:

        You’re welcome.
        Can’t wait to see what kind of adventure will Shark-kun have in the next episode.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    Nice episode, they finally got Rei to join the team.

    They were pretty pushy on that, the guy told them “no” several times. And it was pretty easily seen that it was because he’s embarrassed that he can’t swim. However, you must admit that the guy is pretty dedicated to his craft. He must be amazing in math and science being able to do all those formulas in his head and be able to apply them. However, they are right in the fact that though he can do a lot of theory, he has yet to truly just experience the sport. However, even at the end we see that when he lets it all go, he falls apart. Rei really needs to find his balance. If theory is his strength, he needs to keep it but be able to apply it to his craft so that he can hone himself to the point where the calculations become unnecessary and his body will know what to do naturally.

    Haruka doesn’t need this because he’s a natural born swimmer (and a secret merman) and he forms his body in other ways. Rei needs to find his true fit and then he will be unstoppable. I know by personal experience that a person who thinks in the way Rei thinks, will not be able to “turn his brain off” and just stop being analytical. It will be almost impossible because of how his brain is now wired. However, instead of trying to simply NOT think analytically, he should employ it but not let it get in the way of his enjoyment of the sport.

    It is said that his specialty will be the butterfly stroke, which is said to be the most difficult of the 4 main ones. I’m going to bet that with his already toned muscles from track and the fact that he’s a genius when it comes to instantaneous calculation and application (and a touch of fictional plot convenience), it will take him little to no time for Rei to master his personal form of swimming.

    Nagisa, Makoto, and Gou are cool, however, Gou’s previous admiration of the male form is beginning to go towards the irritating side. She was just perfect last episode, I don’t know why they now what to take her to the extreme. Can’t an anime have ONE normal teenage girl?!
    Now ALL Gou talks about is the boys’ bodies and I’m saying the same as Makato: “Is that all you can think about?!” They had better fix that girl back to what she was before, or else…

    Nagisa was funny and cute in his excitableness, I still ship him and Gou, but Nagisa and Rei are a good back-up, even though to me they seem more like soon-to-be best friends than anything else. Nagisa will be to Rei, what Makoto is to Haruka.

    Other than that, Rin had a small role, but nothing really revealed, and we get an official introduction to some side characters in Rin’s swimming team captain and one of his teammates. And it looks like next week Haru-chan-san and friends will be formally teaching their new member how to swim.

    I give this episode a 7.8/10. A good episode not as good as the previous one, but good. And Haruka is so cute when he’s sick!

    • Ceyrai says:

      I have the same qualms as you about the ‘fly being given to the new guy. I dunno if Rei really does have the right muscle training for it. (I may ask my swimmer friend, who specializes on the ‘fly, about this.)

      As for Gou… I dunno, I love how she really lives up to her responsibility as the team manager and I feel like her seriousness in helping her team balances out the fangirling (not that the fangirling is bad, to me, but it helps my liking of her that she’s more than just a viewer avatar).

      Gou and Nagisa and Rei can be an OT3, I think. Haha. I’ve seen these three in all possible configurations (and only 3 eps in) that I think OT3 is the best route shippingwise.

      • Irenesharda says:

        My cousin used to do it competitively and she says that the strongest muscles required for the butterfly are the abdominal and arms. She agrees that it is the hardest of the main 4 stroke styles.

        However, Rei’s abdominal, leg, and arm muscles must be pretty toned from running track and vaulting. I also bet that they’ll just have Rei be naturally gifted in that style, where that’s where his theory as well as his love of beauty within a sport all come together.

        • Ceyrai says:

          Not sure about the abs and legs, but you’re right, I think the arm work of pole vaulting may come in handy.

          Also, wow. I feel like you summed up Rei’s character development in the whole series in one sentence, without having seen all of it yet. My respect.

          • Irenesharda says:

            Well, having strong leg muscles in track is practically a given. Especially since he was devoted to running the last miles to school on foot everyday. I’m guessing that to get his body over the pole at the correct angle he had to be able to have his torso at the right angle, so that could have built up his abs.

            And thank you. 😀

            • Karakuri says:

              …And like that, this anime became an educational experience for me. Thanks for the swimming info, Irenesharda~~

            • Ceyrai says:

              I was thinking, how would the leg muscles work in butterfly though? The arms part is obvious, the abs you just explained to me the correlation. Teach me sempai~

            • Irenesharda says:

              Well, the legs would probably not be as important as the arms and torso, but legs are still a pretty important part of all swimming, so having good leg muscles is probably still a plus for him.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Through some strange twist of fate, I get the episode with the megane-kun that I’ve been waiting for.

    It was simply fate, Kara. Accept it and do not taint your good fortune. This episode was predetermined for you to blog. 😀

    There’s that metaphor again, the one Haru mentioned. The metaphor that if you sneeze, it’s when someone else is talking about you. Just where did that myth originate?

    Haru is something else. All he cares about is swimming and doesn’t care by what means to do it. By hook or crook. I think he’d even recruit a shark if it meant getting some in the pool. The guy is hopeless. He said what happened between him and Rin was in the past but you can see that he, himself, is clinging to it out of guilt otherwise he wouldn’t be ignoring a face to face encounter with him.

    Rei’s secret getting revealed the way it did suited him. Pride is all well and fine but to have so much that you can’t admit something like that and ask for help? You’re only going to make things worse for yourself when you’re eventually boxed into a corner.

    I was scratching my head when Gou was embarrassed and denied that she used her sex appeal to bring in the chance for a joint practice as if it was something she wasn’t supposed to do. For a girl, I thought she’d fall in love with the idea that others find her sexy. Self esteem issues have revealed themselves.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Well, I don’t know, I would actually probably act like Gou. I confess that if I’ve ever used feminine appeal to get anything, it certainly wasn’t on purpose, and I definitely would have been too embarrassed to do so in high school when I was feeling pretty awkward. So I can understand how she reacted when such a thing was suggested.

      In some ways Gou really does act like a normal teen girl so that is really refreshing. Now all they have to do is tone down the fangirling a little bit, and she’d be perfect! :)

  5. skylion says:

    Yes. Three episodes in, and this is still in the keeper bin. It’s official, it’s “cute boys doing cute things”.

    Kara, one should never underestimate the shota…He will get the job done. I’m already shipping Nagisa x Rei, as Nagisa is a cutie.

    Rei is a blast. I enjoy his blusters, and his commitment to making athletics an intellectual pursuit, even thou most of his ramblings are just that. And as soon as he gets taught to swim, he can earn those Speedos.

    • Karakuri says:

      And yet, I can live with cute boys doing cute things as a premise.

      I’ll take your words to heart, skylion. …I don’t know if I even want to ship anyone at this point. There are too many possibilities. OTL

      Rei is my favourite character, hands down.

      • skylion says:

        Cute boys doing cute things. I demand it. In as much as I demand girl bands and cake. Equality is so choice…

  6. Soliia says:

    Another fantastic episode! It’s no doubt my favorite of the season so far and I’m hoping it stays that way.

    Rei is a good character. I almost died when he hit the water. Seriously, what a cutie! And dat speedo. I’m totally shipping Nagisa and Rei now.

    God, I love these boys and all their little quirks. It’s so fun to watch every week.

  7. zztop says:

    The gushing nosebleeds of a 1000 and over fangirls could be heard the moment Rei appeared in his swimming briefs.

    From the preview with Rei, looks like we can expect another fangirl bloodtorrent next week! Stay safe, girls!

    • BlackBriar says:

      I’ll alert the paramedics and have them on standby with all their equipment. There’s going to be a huge epidemic of anemia among fangirls here.

      • skylion says:

        …and me…Thou the only one that grabs me so far is Nagisa.

      • Ceyrai says:

        Makoto still ranks one for me, he’s such house-husbando material, I LOVE IT. I’m sorry. I just have a thing for easygoing guys. Also, his pecs and deltoids just STARE AT ME.

        And then Haru, Rei, Nagisa, and Rin in that order. Though Rin ranked higher in his grade school self.

      • d-LaN says:

        I am all over Gou and Sensei. :bloodfountainfrmnose:

    • Irenesharda says:

      I have to say, Rei is my second favorite of the 5 boys since he reminds me of myself. Rin’s still my favorite, while the 3rd, 4th, and 5th place go to Haruka, Nagisa, and Makoto respectively.

    • Karakuri says:

      KYOANI IS DANGEROUS. I almost died there. xD

  8. Ceyrai says:

    Congratulations on getting your megane, Kara! May you have more Rei-themed episodes on your portfolio. 😀

    I loved everyone in this episode (well, maybe except Rin, he’s still so standoffish). Nagisa trying so hard was fun to see, and I feel like he’s putting his shota charm into good use. His interaction with Rei was nice, but omg the BL vibes between them. I can’t count how many times I’ve said “This is so gay” out loud, my roommate kept shooting me funny looks. But yeah. I like how they’re both goofy in both sides of the spectrum (i.e. fluffy vs hardass), and how that plays off between them. One thing I have to ask though is, why must Rei wear tiny trunks all the damn time? Besides fanservice fodder, of course. It makes me feel such secondhand embarrassment every time I see him in it.

    As for Gou, the gag about her name continues with Nagisa and while the way they did it in this ep was hilarious, I sense this’ll be a tired joke one day. One thing I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of is how she continues to be the best viewer avatar EVER. She knows her muscular anatomy, that girl. I honestly wish I had the Iwatobi boys when I was in first year med learning muscle anatomy, it would’ve motivated me more. Haa. Anyway. Still my favorite character.

    Even Mikoshiba and Ama-chan were fun this episode. Putting together her name and “swimsuit” in one sentence just seems to be the magic words to summon her or something. So funny. Also, I hope they flesh out Mikoshiba a bit more, he seems like such a nice guy even if he looks like a delinquent.

    (As for Haru, for some reason I’m beginning to see him as some kind of high-functioning autistic. But maybe it’s all those Psych lectures getting to me…)

    Can’t wait for the next one! Guess they’ll have to start training Rei from scratch… Considering how very tied he is to analysis, it could be very interesting.

  9. zztop says:

    Shark-kun is way better than iwatobi-chan. All iwatobi does is stare at you creepily *shudder*

  10. berrish17 says:

    Yesss, we definitely needed a megane-kun <3

    Gou resembles as us fan-girls.lol

    • Irenesharda says:

      Strangely enough, next season we’re getting a show with another set of 5 cute guys, but this time they are ALL megane-kun!

      So Rei may be the start of greater things to come!;)

  11. belatkuro says:

    Still watching for the sparkling imouto.
    And what kind of workout did these guys do to get so buff? mfw I still won’t be able to get that kind of body OTL

  12. MikADo says:

    i honestly thought this anime was going to be too much for me, but as it turns out, aside from few scenes, this is just a normal comedy 😛

    • BlackBriar says:

      You’re not alone. I was skeptical about this show because of all the “hype” it was getting but despite certain scenes, it’s not all that bad.

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