|Next up on the cycling list of Free! bloggers are Karakuri and I! I love Free!, but I somehow fell 5 episodes behind and had to marathon everything immediately before writing this. Yes…this is what Karakuri has to put up with lol. On the bright side, now everything in the story is so fresh! I can still vividly remember that one time Haruka almost kissed (CPR style) Makoto *sighs dreamily*.|
Kara// Rin’s still having issues, I see. But at least there were festivities to be had. Maybe this is just bias from me, but the in-between swimming stuff (even the events before this episode) still feels like it’s relevant to the overall storyline, which is nice. And even if it didn’t, seeing the guys all interact here was really fun. After 9 episodes, its seems like they’re officially dividing the team to Makoto and Haru, and Nagisa and Rei, (BL vibes or otherwise). Or at least, those are the characters who seem to talk to each other the most. It’s fun to watch these guys be friends just as much as they are teammates. Back to the events at hand, Rei stalking Rin was nothing short of hilarious. He’s just so… so… fabulous. Of course, that event ended on a more serious note than it started, but again, it was nice to see the guys look out for one another. Or at least, having the rest of the guys worry about Haru meeting Rin. Now if only Rin would realize what he really wants to do, deep down in his ~kokoro~. It was also nice to see that the plot didn’t totally ignore Gou this episode. It might have been fun to see her hand out with the rest of the team, but the fact that she has a social life outside of worrying for her brother and managing the pool kind of rounds her out a bit more.
Cool // I’m so glad they won the relay after the disappointing series of loses in the individual races. Finally! You would think that adding 4 losing times together would result in a pretty crappy time, but sometimes the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts. Racing together is what they love, and that was enough to push them to their limits. It took Haruka and awful long time to realize that he loved that aspect of swimming, but thank God he did. It’s a wonder he never twigged in earlier considering how much Nagisa, Makoto and Rei talk about how happy they are swimming together. Haruka has always been a bit of an odd one when it comes to emotions though. He stubbornly “asks the water for answers” instead of, uh, his friends. It’s no wonder he gets confused about his feelings so easily, because his go-to person for advice is a small body of water. I’m surprised he didn’t have his revelation while standing in a kiddie pool trying to catch goldfish at the festival – he’s just that weird. Anyways, enough ripping on Haruka. He finally got the message and has sorted out his feelings. It will become complicated once again when he meets Rin, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Shark-kun has been training too, apparently.
Shark-kun is just too moe.
Ika’s world invasion plan seems to be going according to keikaku
Ahhh, what a cute episode~ I love how they spent some downtime having fun at a festival after the race too. It’s a perfect way to further show off just how close these guys have gotten as friends. For example, Rei and Nagisa are so worried about Haruka that they undergo an elaborate spy mission to keep him separated from Rin. Makoto knows Nagisa so well that a few winks sent his way are enough for him to get the hint and start masterfully lying (Makoto, you could be such a devious person if you wanted to…). Even Haruka starts to show some affection once he snaps out of his gloomy mood, confessing his love for swimming with his homies and then buying Makoto some goldfish. They’re all just wonderful characters and I love watching them do frivolous things – in and out of the pool.
All of this contrasts nicely with Rin, who is boiling over with rage. Just when he thought he had moved on, Haruka has got him so fixated that he can barely concentrate on anything else. I don’t think beating Haruka isn’t really what Rin wants anymore. He wants to swim with him again. Unfortunately, Rin is just as thick as Haruka when it comes to emotions and therefore he doesn’t realize this until he’s already told his ex-friend he never wants to swim with him again. The irony is that Rin causes pretty much all of his own problems. If he didn’t constantly challenge Haruka, ignore his own loving teammates, and tell Haruka he wouldn’t swim with him then he might be a bit better off. His self-destructive behaviour has made him absolutely miserable to the point where he just angrily walks to his old elementary school and glares at things. That’s…not healthy. It was really easy to see the difference between the love and care Haruka gets in his team compared to Rin who gets love and attention…but shies away from it so aggressively that he has no choice but to let his wounds fester on his own. Now that Haruka has found his purpose, how long will it take for Rin? Hopefully not too long, because there are only a few episodes left. Until next time~
Haruka seems to have recovered quite nicely from the last episode, and now it’s Rin’s turn to have an angst-ridden time to reflect. Though like OC said above me, he doesn’t quite have the same support that Haru does (or more like, he’s ignoring it). So he might take longer to recover and figure out what he wants to do. On that note though, I’m glad that Haru didn’t take forever to bounce back from losing his way. I don’t think I could have stood him moping around for multiple episodes quite like Rin does. Rin doing that is enough. On the plus side though, Rin’s angst didn’t ruin the whole episode (plus he keeps it to himself, mostly), since there were enough distractions with the festival and the rest of the characters all doing their own thing.
Oh, I guess I should mention the relay too. I think we all knew that they were going to win that one, since they lost all of the singles, but it was still extremely satisfying to see. They all had awesome teamwork, and I’m just going to assume that their motivation and support of each other is what pushed them into winning, even though they all lost before. I’ve never swam competitively before, but… is that a thing? Are some people better at swimming in teams? I guess the thing I can compare it to is that I used to do ballet competitively (a looooooooong time ago) , and a few people I knew used to dance better in team performances as opposed to solo ones due to there being slightly less pressure in a group. …Not that ballet and swimming are alike.
Anyways, look forward to the next episode and the new tag team~
…Maybe the next episode will answer why no character has changed their hairstyle since childhood.