Haru’s belated realization: It’s my liiiiiiiiiife
I hope you have been enjoying the multi-coloured aniblogging for Free! this season on Metanorn with most of the team members pitching in for the reviews. Next week, we’ll shift to tags for sharing the love with few episodes left but for this week, you’ll be in my care with some selected music. ^__~ We have been slowly inching towards character development with plot thickening around the tournament but who could have believed that Rin and Haru would never swim together again? I’m sure someone screamed BOLLOCKS after watching previous episode? Well, worry not, we have some progress!
Iwatobi Team Spirit
Whatever the outcome of Haru’s match, it was nice to see the Iwatobi team not losing their ground and continuing on with their own races. Most of them did their individual best, which proves that they pushed not only each other but themselves to reach the final. Of course, Gorou’s loudspeaker helped too. I’m also glad there was no miracle winning from any of them because honestly they just started practicing for a few months before the match. However, like most of us suspected with the relay race hints being dropped since a few episodes, Kou-chan had been busy pulling a big surprise on the boys. So, when none of them made it to the finals with Haru already sulking in the shadows, we finally find the next bread crumb of the plot: relay race competition the next day.
In a way even when the team hasn’t practiced enough, everyone watching Free! wants them to win it, just to see the look on Rin’s face or for the fangirls, more man-service and bishie expressions. Whatever your reasoning maybe, the team spirit is at FABULOUS MAX in Iwatobi Sweibu and there should be no looking back for them with Haru joining their relay fray. Rin can keep grinding his shark teeth all he wants but I see only good things coming out of the relay race. They should win this thang and get on with the story!
Haru’s slow conversion to yolo
Haru not winning was quite a shock with him freestyling every chance he got but then again, unlike him, Rin had been working his ass off since he moved out of Japan. This defeat finally woke something in him that was lying dormant since their elementary school tournament: he doesn’t want to lose while competing. This is a very normal emotion but for Haru, I’m sure it’s going to come with multi-layered reasoning. Since episode one, we have seen Haru as a noncommittal, moody guy, whose eyes only shine seeing a swimming pool. He’s close to Makoto and knows the concept of friendship but still doesn’t really show any feeling as if nothing can crack that deadpan expression on his face. I can blame it on living alone and feeling alienated to some degree but he should strive to do something, like any normal person? This is where the clue lies because sure, he’ll only do freestyle swimming but why he swims? Why he has a good time with his team? Why Rin’s challenge affects him so much? There are a lot of questions but the good thing is that we are finally seeing him react rather than being a dead mackerel. The answer will be something around team motivation plus swimming together for fun but let’s discover this with Haru as he plunges deep for self-discovery.
Extra Free! Gif Service
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Extra Free! Fun
Personally, I loved the interaction between the guys when they waited around at Haru’s place for him to give the big news. The voice message to Haru was erratic but adorable. Which brings me to Kou-chan, who’s playing a very vital role rather than being just a girl in this bishie-fest. Who can dislike her? She’s a ray of sunshine with her surprises and strategic plotting. Now, I like Makoto as the strong pillar of the team but he’s not really very good captain material. I mean, if it weren’t for Kou, they would have just skulked back home nursing their defeat rather than looking forward to the upcoming relay challenge. He’s too much of a flow with the moment but as he’s such a good guy overall, I’ll look over this instance. Coming to Nagisa and Rei, they provided the right combination of comedy and reaction as usual. Andlast but not the least, I have a feeling Gorou has seen some of Amataka-sensei’s old modeling pictures (I’m pretty sure, she was a swimsuit model), as they are almost of the same age? I hope we have a concrete answer to this by series-end because damn, kininarimasu!
However much Nitori annoys me, at least he was there to poke Rin out of his sulk-mode to watch Haru compete. In the end, the story is heavily intertwined between resolving whatever issues these two have. From some previous foreshadowing, I was glad to find it was not just a dick-measuring contest rather Rin has some a displaced attachment to Haru, almost treating him as a hero-symbol. So, hopefully with them coming face-to-face in the finals, we’ll see progress in not only their relationship but some resolution so that Rin’s not such a jerk anymore. Seriously, he’s Kou’s brother, he can’t be all that bad, can he? I can almost see him doing good with the rest of the Iwatobi guys.
Preview: With that kind of a cliffhanger, you at least wished for some hints for the tournament result, but NOPE.JPG! KyoAni will keep us guessing till the next week with the predictable festival episode. But seriously, I’m sure they’ll win the race because hell, someone needs to teach Rin a lesson and the boys need some enthusiasm injections!