What’s an anime about a sport without some over-dramatic confrontations?~
Hi everyone! I’m happy to be paired up with Hoshi for this week’s episode of Free! and I think it’ll make everyone happier to know that I’m not gonna talk about Rin! Well, much. But I think it’s great to rotate this show, and I hope everyone’s enjoying these tag posts!
To think that my Wednesdays will literally be free now hurts, but the show must go on. Lame puns aside though, this was another great episode that I was lucky enough to be able to blog and tag team with Highway for. Now it’s time for some long-awaited feelings from our main characters to be revealed…
Rei Grows Into the Team
I found one of the most interesting aspects of this week’s episode the growth that Rei showed, which I think came to a head here. From the beginning he’s been kind of the outside guy looking in. Of course, Haru and Makoto are best buds, and Nagisa is a childhood friend of theirs, so it’s hard to be “the new guy”. But this episode really shows both that Rei is really invested in the team, and that the rest of the team is now invested in Rei. He’s figured out what his place in the team is, and by doing so, he’s really strengthened both that place and the team.
I was a little worried at the end of last week’s episode when Rei called out Rin to “talk” to him, because while a fight doesn’t really seem his style, I couldn’t discount the possibility. But while their talk wasn’t the friendliest, it did hammer out a lot of the issues between Rin and the rest of the team, and by doing so helped hammer out some of Rei’s issues with the team. I can understand that same feeling he had, that there was already a 4th member of the team, and their ghost is still occupying that space. When all the other guys do is talk about the guy you’re replacing, it doesn’t make you feel the most welcome. And you need the confidence to step in, shoulder the ghost aside, and make it your own spot. And I really think that’s what Rei was doing when he confronted Rin.
And it really pays off, because Rei is able to accept his place in the team when everyone else comes and visits him at home because he’s ‘sick’ (actually just skipping practice to go talk to Rin). By that point, there’s no more ‘junior member’ or ‘weakest member’ status. Just ‘member’ and even ‘friend’. And I even think that has helped the other guys on the team, by filling something that was a bit of a whole in their lives.
Haru spills his ~feelings~
I’m not that big of a Haru fan, but this episode I was actually into him.It was just so refreshing to finally see Haru, our usually indifferent main character, finally become more animated, and make the effort to be more open about his feelings. Even before this episode though, we got to see a bit of those changes in Haru thanks to the events at the first tournament. Those changes built up into him smiling more, getting more involved with the guys, and actually telling three people who have stuck by him for so long what he feels about them, which was just so lovely to see (especially with Makoto; my fangirl heart almost couldn’t take it).
And now for your weekly dose of Shark-kun endorsed fun~ Show ▼
I thought this was a really good episode of Free!, and while Rin’s story was pretty predictable, I thought that he was kind of down the list as far as the focus of the episode. I found Rei and Haru far more compelling this week, and enjoyed the boost to the team dynamics that we got as they get ready for the Regional finals.
I know I said episode six was my favorite, but this episode definitely knocked it out of its place. I mean, I just loved everything about this week. It was a nice episode that pulled everything together before this final showdown, and even though it had the atmosphere of laid-back episode, it made me even more anxious for this final episode. Overall I could feel that it was complete, that this is the climax of the show, especially with the last minute twist of Rin not being able to participate in the relay. Usually the second to last episodes of shows are just run-ons into the last episode, but here I feel that there’s this clear distinction that here we are, we’re done with all this sidestory shenanigans; Haru has changed and the team finally feels as if they’re one. All we have left now is the fate of the Iwatobi swim club at Regionals, and what will become of Rin and Haru’s relationship. Though I’m dreading swimming-anime-less Wednesdays, I’m still excited to see how this series concludes. Hopefully it’ll be the heart-racing finale I’ve imagined it to be.~
Get ready for the millions of fangirl tears pouring in from the comments, tumblr, and more. See you in two more days~