Welcome to the gender-bent episode…
NOT! But some guys definitely thanked KyoAni for these moe girl shots. It’s another HOT day of Summer and another rightful episode of Free! ~Eternal Summer~ with muscled bishies. As I mentioned in our first impressions, different episodes will be reviewed by different Metanorn writers so look forward to the colourful coverage of this series. Let me also shout-out to our Meme-master, Fosh, who has revived Shark-kun/chan quite successfully yet again. Before I get on with the recent episode, let me just voice the entire Free!dom’s (Free! fandom) plea in one sentence:
Old-school brofist ftw~
Ahem, punctuating that thought is our new challenger, who appears to be everything that we feared. Sousuke Yamazaki means business and he is here to not only spread his angst vibes but ruffle some feathers in the process. Some of us already put 2 and 2 together after witnessing his stalking in the previous episode but just for the sake of backstory, Sousuke is Rin’s Elementary school friend, who was abandoned by Rin. Why? Well, because of those awesome Iwatobi kids as they seemed amazing rivals. Of course, it was the competitive spirit in Rin that made him get transferred in the middle of a term but being such a kid and all, he never thought about Sousuke’s FEELINGS, who even has a secret handshake-brofist with him… I do feel bad for Sousuke for investing on such a shitty friend but he might just punch me for this line due to his never-ending admiration for Rin. Why else do you think he continued training hard as hell and became Japan’s top 10 Butterfly swimmer and already scouted? Something that even Rin doesn’t have yet.
From the looks of things, Sousuke has been training hard in the five years they were apart, while Rin went to Australia and back continuing his obsession with swimming. His motivation for it has always been being a proper friend to Rin (add all the other connotations here as well), along with a world class athlete who could swim side by side him. From how SERIOUS he gets, he’s definitely very obsessed with Rin, which is almost like an aggressive father-figure to Rin compared to Makoto’s mother-hen routine over Haru. It’s funny how similar these two are even after being quite different.
However Sousuke might huff and puff, he had to concede to the fact that Rin always looked up to Haru’s Freestyle because it is a thing of beauty after all with the abandon that he swims. Even after bullying Haru, he did not throw a fit after losing in the relay match as an event for the re-opening of Iwatobi Swimming Club. That pretty much shows his maturity and a nod at Haru’s skill. Though, he has his flaws on how he is focusing all his angst on Haru, when he should actually be punching Rin on why he did not keep in contact after joining Iwatobi or even moving to Australia for a while. Gou’s encounter with him is basically a hint on how Rin hasn’t been keeping tabs on anyone, not even Haru while he was training hard in Australia. Well, that’s how he is but it’s not cool to ditch friends and Rin should realize this sooner than later.
Besides the explosive introduction of Sousuke, we have another contender to complete the four-man relay team at Samezuka: the younger brother of ex-Captain, Momotarou Mikoshiba. He is a backstroke specialist and a loudmouth to boot. His character is so similar to Seijuurou that it’s not even funny. The whole kimi-wa-kawawiii-ne had me rolling on the floor, not to mention the super-fast monologue he ensued after seeing Gou to the part he washes first while taking a bath… Too much information Momotarou but just because he is adorable, I’m letting this go. With his addition, Samezuka successfully competes against Iwatobi in the relay race but fails to keep up with the Iwatobi rhythm. However, they were too close even when it was the first time they were swimming together in a relay, this points to the fact that they will be quite good after practice, a point to be noted by our Iwatobi swie-bu.
Swimming is back-breaking yo!
We are most probably done with the new character introductions, which leaves room to simmer the current angst between Sousuke and Haru. Rin seems oblivious of the whole incident but hopefully not for long even if he’s not that perceptive. I see Haru being victimized in a sense here because he has always been the quiet type to just imbibe things rather than being loud about it. Look at how he loves swimming but even after blatantly being asked about what he wants to do in future by Rin or even at school for career counselling by Amakata, the only response he gives is Free. Yes, we know you love freestyle swimming but you have to think about it seriously and work on it rather than just expecting everyone to understand. Makoto being Makoto does not push him and let’s him decide his pace but with Sousuke in the mix and Rin challenging him on every account, Haru needs to get serious about things and soon.
With Momotarou joining Samezuka, their team is all ready for the next competition and same should be for Iwatobi but they definitely need more members. I know the next episode title is very dodgy as if Rei will leave the club but nope.jpg. It’s not happening. You have to remember that he has worked really hard to become better in Butterfly-stroke and even as a team member, where he had issues of fitting in due to track-record of Rin. Now that he’s literally part of the Iwatobi homies, I have a feeling the next episode will be more on Rei’s discovery of how to level up his skills with their club’s continuous efforts of getting new members.
MEME & GIFFY TIMEU
Rin x Sousuke wiggle already exists….
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Another happening episode with character introductions done well. My only concern was KyoAni using Suzumura Kenichi to voice a random character (the one who asked for an eraser from Makoto), before Momotarou’s introduction. Really now, he has a signature voice and pinning him is quite easy so it was pretty slack of the staff to do this but oh well. I am happy to have two of my favourite seiyuu (Yoshimasa Hosoya and SuzuKen) joining the already brilliant Free! cast.
In terms of events, our Iwatobi boys are still looking for new members without any success but at least they were able to help Gorou for the opening ceremony of Iwatobi Swimming Club. I’m sure the muscle contest was done on Gou’s insistence and not even surprised of Makoto winning it because have you looked at that back?! Anyways, now that the Samezuka four-man relay team is complete with Rin, Ai, Sousuke and Momotarou, things should be heating up fast with the underlying rivalry angst coming to the fore with the next inter-school competition.
Has Gou’s another plan failed in recruiting members? Though, this better not be Rei quitting. Thousands of tables will be flipped!