Free! – 11

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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

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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~

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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.~

Preview: 

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Get ready for the millions of fangirl tears pouring in from the comments, tumblr, and more. See you in two more days~

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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15 Responses to “Free! – 11”

  1. Irenesharda says:

    This was a very interesting episode. I really felt for Rin. He showed quite a bit of maturity here, both during the confrontation with Rei and later when we got to part 2 of it in the wind farm field. I really like how he kind of gave his blessing to Rei and passed the torch to him and told him to take care of the guys as he goes on his own path. However, where that path leads, I don’t know.

    We do get a look into Rin’s past and what happened in Australia and then later why he went back to swimming. While I’m not an athlete, I can understand what he felt and was going through. Also, I can see why he though the relay training kind of crippled him, since in the Olympic training it’s more about individual swimming and strength rather than a group or team. And his feelings of inadequacy and feeling trapped since he wasn’t able to swim how he wanted, ended up getting worse and worse and eventually affecting his whole personality and outlook. It was interest though, that it was Haru that caused him to get back into swimming, just as in Haru’s case, it was his interaction with Rin that caused him want to be on a swim team again.

    Haru and the other boys scene were okay, but really nothing not seen and established before. Rei is feeling more welcome in the group also, so that’s a good thing as well. Yet, I also think he’s developed a connection to Rin as well, and seems to understand where he’s coming from.

    I was right in that others were beginning to notice how Rin really doesn’t “belong” at the school he’s at. He has made no attempt to get to know his other classmates, and forget about his teammates. Though to be fair, other than his captain and his roommate, no one has actually made the effort to talk to our adorable redhead shark either, so it’s a fault lying with both sides. I feel like the captain made the right decision, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about what this does to poor Rin-chan. I actually think that it might put Haru’s team off their game if they were expecting to swim against/with him this time, and he’s not there.

    I can’t imagine a finale where Rin is not actually swimming. It would be too much sadness to put on his character to have him having to watch his old team again, and for him to be stuck on the sidelines. I know he’s made mistakes, but do you have to keep grinding his face into the dirt like this? Let him have SOME happiness in the end of this!

    I thought this was a good episode and give it a 7.8/10. We’ll see what happens next.

    • Highway says:

      Because it’s an anime, and Rin probably has some plot armor, he’ll probably get the opportunity to swim in the relay. If this was the real world, he’d get exactly what he deserved for his flakiness: watching other guys who are better teammates and more dedicated to actually swimming compete. On top of that, we didn’t see whether Rin was actually the fastest 100m Freestyle or Butterfly swimmer from Sametsuka, and if he’s not, then it’s iffy whether he should be in the relay in that slot. If he is, then the Captain is trying to send him a message which he really should heed.

  2. zztop says:

    Along with the fanservice, the writing is undoubtedly a strong point of Free!The writers definitely got the whole personal struggles, growth and friendship themes right throughout the course of the series.

    Sigh…to think the fabulousness ends soon…(+_+)

    At least there’ll be the DVD-included, 5-min Free!specials,Fr!Fr!. 1st one’s already up on the usual video-sharing websites, with 2 more to come in November and January.
    http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=661609

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I’d have to say this was the best episode yet. There was a lot of depth in the storytelling and it highlighted the real tension that comes with going into something as nerve wracking as a competition, one where you’re watched by countless people.

    Rei gave Rin an earful but I still find it odd that he lets the history between the others affect him so much so it’s good to see that he’s moved on from that. However, calling himself a victim from something which doesn’t directly involve him was over the top.

    I didn’t really give much thought into why Rin has been doing what he did. For the longest time, to me, it was simply jealousy that Haru was carefree and could easily achieve things while Rin had to work for what he wanted. His reveal on what happened in Australia gave a new perspective. Seeing yourself fall behind others would surely put you into depression. How much of it depends on far you’re allowing yourself to go. Though, even with that new line up, it’s a safe bet Haru and Rin will still race each other again.

  4. Namika says:

    I loved this episode. Sure, the scene with Rei and Rin arguing was a little too dramatic, but regardless, I loved it.

    OMG. When Haru thanked Makoto I thought I would squeal. That scene was so heartwarming, and sleepy Makoto was freaking adorable, too!
    I wasn’t that big at Haru at first, but he certainly grew on me. That smile, and the tiny blush… he became such an adorable character! Rei is my favorite one, though. And Makoto is a runner-up.
    I feel so uneasy now :( All shows that I watch end this week! Free! Danganronpa and Titans. TT^TT That will be too much for my fragile little soul, it’s just too cruel. And I think, I’ll miss Free almost as much as I’ll miss the Titans. It’s such a unique, splendid anime… I wish it was longer TT^TT I’m gonna miss that happy bunch! TT^TT

    • Irenesharda says:

      I would be nice if Free! got a second season, but that all depends on how this one ends. If they make up with Rin by the end of this, they’ll have to write in new conflicts to push the new plot along.

      And you won’t be missing Titans long, it’s pretty much a sure thing that that’s going to get multiple seasons. The amount of money that show’s made, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the second season by next year.

      • Namika says:

        Well, it IS pretty much a fact that there will be another seawson for Titans, but the problem is how long will we have to wait for it? I know it’s not in the Fall releases list, and if the release won’t be announced for the winter season… it will be bad TT^TT

        • Irenesharda says:

          I’d say it will be announced soon but probably won’t come out until the Spring 2014 season. From what I’ve heard there’s enough manga material to do a second season but not enough yet to do a third. So it depends on how they want to play the waiting game.

          • Namika says:

            Yup. Either way, the wait will probably kill me, if I won’t temporarily forget about it’s existence. The only thing I’m certain about is that I’m not gonna touch the manga. Though I’m not sure I’ll have the willpower to do that

    • Irenesharda says:

      Well you can breath a sigh of relief now. From what I’ve heard the season finale of Free! indicates that there WILL be a second season and it will come out next summer. So fear not! We haven’t seen the last of Haru, Rin and the gang!

      • Namika says:

        Oh heck yes. Another season~!
        。(⌒∇⌒。)(。⌒∇⌒)。
        〜( ̄▽ ̄〜) (〜 ̄▽ ̄)〜
        〜( ̄△ ̄〜) (〜 ̄△ ̄)〜
        (ノ ̄ー ̄)ノヘ( ̄ー ̄ヘ)
        ヘ( ̄ω ̄ヘ) (ノ ̄ω ̄)ノ

  5. Namika says:

    Spammyy~!!! >3<" quit deleting my comments! *^*

    • BlackBriar says:

      Your comment count is in the thousands now. This is just Spammy’s way of breaking you in. ;)

  6. Highway says:

    You can get your own Iwatobi Swim Club Beach Towel for 20 bucks. 15 bucks if you have a Crunchyroll membership.

  7. d-LaN says:

    All I can think frm the out of context SS at the top is: “Crack ship coming soon?” XD

    Lololol @ Schrodinger Shark XD

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