Free! Eternal Summer – 12

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This was definitely a very happening weekend for Metanorn with an early Fall Preview and me just getting out of the partying mood from yet another birthday. Oh yes, hitting some real numbers in RL but damn it, 18 till I die! Though, who knew that this episode of Free will bring in MOAR nostalgia because incidentally last year I was in Sydney this time of year. I loved the city for its simplicity yet modernism. Not to mention, sprawling options of multiple beaches. I’d be a beach bum if I got the chance so even when it was cold, most of my weekends were spend on Bondi or Coogie during my trip among other things. But you are not here to read my travelogue so let’s switch to our swimming bros.

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Even homestay parents of Rin are hawt

When those tickets were overshadowed in previous episode, I was thinking Rin would go back to Australia for good but never thought he would be taking Haru in tow for his pre-visit. It was a good decision because it not only shed light on Rin’s missing past that we were never aware of but gave Haru a fresh perspective to weigh his options and self-discovery. Mamo’s Engrish wasn’t so bad and even when mate was dropped in conversation too much; at least proper Australian accented VAs were hired unlike some of fake-American we have heard in Zankyou no Terror recently.

This episode was definitely a big change from the usual pace of Iwatobi and Samezuka but it was needed as we were really going nowhere with everyone pestering Haru to get a grip. Previous episode was really painful to watch as everyone simply struggled to understand him and give him some piece of guidance. I knew he was a tough cookie to crack but really, as Kara pretty much described, Free end mainly results in angst release. This time around, it wasn’t Rin or even Sousuke but Haru instead. A surprising yet much needed development. What I liked most was Rin standing up to egg on Haru in the right direction similar to what Haru did for Rin at the end of last season.

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One awkward situation to another

And what better way but to walk on his own footsteps, which gave him inspiration when he was at his lowest. I totally understand his plight when he was shipped off to Sydney to his homestay parents and learn swimming. I’ve moved around a lot during my school days so I understand the awkwardness to join yet another school and trying to make friends is never easy. However, don’t you think the child-version Rin was more approachable than the adult Rin? Sure, he has grown up now and is more patience but the newly-returned-Rin-from-Australia last season wasn’t pretty with his edginess and angst. Good thing, we are past that so this enlightened Rin was a sight for sore eyes.

I’m sure the shippers went crazy on Rin’s confession of admiration but hey, this anime is still about swimming so let’s stick to that for a closure even if the boys shared a bed due to hotel booking mishap. Oh, KyoAni, I so know what you did there, giving even MOAR fodder to the doujin artists but I’m a happy fangirl so it’s fine. We can all go, ‘NOW KISS’, and such with proper photoshopping and tumblr scrolling later. This was definitely the highest amount of bonding these two have shared, with Rin walking through his childhood from favourite beach, homestay parents to the actual Aquatic Center, which was pretty sweet. You can see him open up and I think Sousuke had some contribution here as well, making Rin believe in his friends.

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I believe I can fly

I have said this before, I just didn’t get why Haru would not want to go pro even after his blatant love for swimming. Sure, his true potential shows when he’s swimming with his friends but he swims even in his free time and have been doing so since childhood so why leave it? How can he after all? Was Rin really wrong in idolizing him? If you think about it, Rei, Makoto and Nagisa, all have been in their own way admiring Haru’s swimming because it is a thing of beauty, the way he just flies across water in his freestyle. It is unique to him and it is time for him to acknowledge the fact. With Haru swimming in Aquatic Center and getting his confidence back like old times, I hope we see him freestyle into future as well. He should definitely go pro but anything near to it should be fine too.

Fun with Free!

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Group hug time!

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This was a beautiful episode, not only because of Australia scenery porn though. Sure, I’m biased due to lots of Sydney shots, from the Central line to even Harbour Bridge and Aquatic center. But really, have to give it to KyoAni for keeping authentication of location. Besides this, Haru’s development was really well done. Of course, a swimming baka like him has to see the light while swimming, how else can he anyway? There’s also the strong competitive bond between Rin and him, as it’s already been said before, Haru performs better while swimming Rin and vice versa. They literally do compliment each other; though, I’m not sure if this translates to Haru wanting to join Rin in Australia. He still seems quite attached to his hometown but with Makoto leaving for Tokyo, would he think of following Rin’s footsteps? However things turn out, we all know that the Nationals are going to be epic with Iwatobi team back on its full form now that Haru has found his direction. Let’s hope for a nice end, shall we?

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Next week, the tag team would be back to share its last Free fun!


The Boss lady of Metanorn, who makes it all happen. An animanga enthusiast, who watches/reads almost anything that strikes her fancy. Just beware of her Death Perception and always keep her happy. Regularly found at @KyokaiTM & #[email protected].
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19 Responses to “Free! Eternal Summer – 12”

  1. Irenesharda says:

    Wow, I’m sooo happy for Haru.

    Well, this episode was a nice look at the two in Australia and some really nice interaction with Rin and Haru. Haru’s been off kilter lately and he really needed some intervention. All his friends tried to help, but it just wasn’t working. However, interestingly enough, his fear of going pro, was not so much the professional swimming itself, but the fact that it would take him out of his comfort zone and out of the only place and position he ever knew. However, Rin did a good job of taking Haru to a new world, showing him that it’s not so bad, and that there is a life out there that he could live.

    It was nice seeing more of Rin’s life there as a kid and his homestay parents were nice. First Zankyou no Terror and now this! We actually get some real English-speakers for once! Somebody on staff had the brains to hire some actual Aussies to do voices [EDIT:Or were they Aussie Americans? Or just Californians? ]. Though Rin’s Engrish wasn’t too bad either, and seeing Haru so confused was cute, especially when he thought Rin had left him.

    And that scene at the pool, the final realization that his fears were for naught and that he can be free here, Haru crying at the fact that he’s finally found a dream for himself and now he can take off like a hawk was really awesome. Rin also announces that he’s going to stay in Australia after graduation was unexpected but great for him. The two birds flying together was a great symbolism about Haru finally joining Rin on their journey to become great swimmers. Haru finally wanting to move forward. Even though our boys are separating, they are following their dreams, and they will always be friends. It’s all part of growing up.

    • Kyokai says:

      Same here, about time he got a direction because I was really getting worried there! This episode was brilliant in execution, tying all loose ends for Rin and even Haru. Sure, we don’t know what the heck he has decided yet but it seems promising in the least.

      The last few minutes were definitely brilliant. The pool scene and Haru flying was both symbolic and beautiful. We have come a long way and alas, growing up means parting ways but they will always have this eternal summer to remember and come back to. :3

  2. Foshizzel says:

    Fantastic episode and ENGRISH was on point at least to me it felt like Kyoani actually brought in some real Australian talent to do some of the lines or just great acting on the casts part? Either way that was some impressive stuff and reminded me of the K-ON movie for their British acting xD

    One episode to go! How will it end? I smell a FREE movie in the works cause that seems to be the thing that KyoAni is all about lately do two successful seasons of a series and then wrap it up with a movie.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Or they can generate enough money and go for a third season instead. KyoAni has never had a third season of any of its shows. Unlikely but still a possibility. That aside, I definitely feel the last episode will be an open-ended finale.

    • belatkuro says:

      The credits showed English names next to the characters’ names instead of the usual kanji. So yes, they hired actual Australians there.

    • zztop says:

      They could do something Olympic themed, where everyone meets again in Rio 2016 or Tokyo 2020.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    It must have been hell spending the night in the hotel room like. But I can tell the fujoshi were roaring louder than ever before.

    A great penultimate episode. The attempts at the English language wasn’t bad at all. Especially with Mamoru Miyano tries. I’m curious about one thing. Funimaton will be the studio dubbing this, so how are the script writers going to explain certain parts? Like Haru trying to engage in the conversation with Rin’s homestay parents, clearly pointing out there’s a language barrier in the way.

    It’s not every day you have friends willing to pay a ticket for to fly to another country. Haru had to have been nothing but grateful. Rin’s plan worked so all that’s left is to figure out what Haru has resolved himself to do.

    • Kyokai says:

      I think once they went to sleep, nothing bothered them but man, fangirls are so happy and I can already see many doujins coming out of this situation.

      I really liked how things went in this episode. As zztop referenced below, the recording was done in the US studios and getting Aussie accent was good enough. For the dub, I think they would leave the Engrish part aside because you shouldn’t really dub over what’s been said? But I can see Mamo’s voice getting dubbed over by whoever will voice his role.

      Tickets to Australia are quite expensive so Rin should be given a pat on the back for doing that for Haru. An ultimate friend, who not only gives nice vacation idea but shows you the way to future. This just shows how far Rin has come from being an angry young man.

    • Foshizzel says:

      @BB&Kyo: Yeah Funimation recently got the rights to Free, but I rewatched the K-ON movie dub and there is a scene in that movie with Yui and Azunyan going over some English phrases because they are going to London and they kept that scene in so yeahhhh I don’t think they will edit or cut that from this episode! I guess Funimation wouldn’t have the rights to “edit” the original footage or would they? I dunno…

      • Kyokai says:

        They definitely have no right to edit out any series content. Though, this reminds me that Space Dandy dub version didn’t have theme songs, because they couldn’t produce English version for it or may not have digital rights to it?

        But I guess minus music, they should definitely not be able to change anything else.

        • Foshizzel says:

          Yeah Funimation doesn’t do a lot of English translated OP/ED work and usually if they do it comes out terrible or the fans of the original think that way, but they do have some English versions for DBZ Kai and some later One Piece openings so they do experiment some.

          Music is always hard to get the rights for! Always and agreed as far as editing goes they should only be allowed to alter music tracks not actual scenes from anime and Funimation has addressed that issue around Tokyo Ghoul streaming after getting backlash about the heavy censorship which they stated they really have no control over which is an obvious DURRR for me but some people don’t get it.

  4. zztop says:

    Apparently the English voicework was done in the US branch of a Japanese voice acting company. So we may be listening to US people putting on Australian accents.

    Free’s Australian fanbase has also praised how well Kyoani illustrated the various sights and landmarks of Sydney, down to the famous meat pie shop that Rin and Haru are eating at in the endcard.

    (Note: Telstra is an Australian telecoms company. ANZ is the Bank of Australia and New Zealand.)

    Special praise is given to how faithfully Kyoani illustrated Sydney’s Olympic Park and Aquatic Centre(home of Sydney’s 2000 Olympics), down to the minute details.

    • Kyokai says:

      I won’t be surprised by that news as the Engrish was pretty good, even of the actual seiyuu’s.

      And as I showcased above, KyoAni did a brilliant job in animating Sydney (not an easy feat as there are a lot of landmarks), but I literally felt I was back in the city. Haven’t tried the meat-pie joint showcased in the end-card but one of the surprises for me was how accurate they were with the bus, train interiors, even the Central line that runs in the city. An awesomely nice touch.

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