Free! – 09



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*.
It’s okay OC, I was behind about the same amount of episodes. OC and I are back~! So Free! is going to be covered by tag teams now, and I just hope that they aren’t quite as late as we are for this post. xD Anyways, to the episode!


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.

More Free!

freeeeeFun (1)

Shark-kun has been training too, apparently.

freeeeeFun (4)

Shark-kun is just too moe. 

freeeeeFun (2)

Ika’s world invasion plan seems to be going according to keikaku

freeeeeFun (3)


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.


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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35 Responses to “Free! – 09”

  1. skylion says:

    Is Ika-tan going to pull out Nagisa hair? I mean, she has to stamp on it first. Well, she should be eating shrimp crackers first. Then the stamping, then the pulling. I’m sure Nagisa won’t notice….

    • skylion says:



    • Foshizzel says:

      Ika loves everyone! That squid festival is practically dedicated to her <3

      Shana-tan and Index-tan are the best thing JC Staff ever created! I mean can you name another studio that would dare make fun of themselves and what about those index/railgun specials? They always crack me up!

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Pfft, hahaha!! Perfect timing. I just finished watching this episode a few minutes ago and I can’t believe you two fujoshis have been falling behind on this show.

    Gotta hand it to KyoAni’s work. The festival part was awesome with the animation. I had HHNNNGGG vibes seeing Gou in that yukata.

    I’ll admit that it’s good to see the guys still motivated after that series of losses and that they decided to bounce back. You try, you fail. You try, you fail. The only true failure is when you stop trying.

    I assume Rin’s problem has always been jealousy. No matter how hard he tried, he probably felt left out whenever he sees Haru and the rest of the gang.

  3. zztop says:

    I knew you could do it, Iwatobi Judo… errrr I mean Swim Club!

    Now that the IOC has formally announced Tokyo as the host of the 2020 Olympics, this should give Kyoani even more excuse to do an Olympics-themed OVA with the Free! guys…

  4. zztop says:

    A translation of an interview of the director and character designer of Free!, featuring insight on production notes and early character design concepts and discussion:

  5. tatsuya says:

    im not gay not gay .!!! so dont jugde me

    • Foshizzel says:

      lololol well you don’t really have to be “gay” to enjoy Free! I am in it for the swimming, sports and amazing Kyoto Animation xD

      • BlackBriar says:

        I’m in it for Gou being enthusiastic, goofy and hilariously hopeless when she sees the guys and the amazing Kyoto Animation.

  6. Irenesharda says:

    Now, I have always been a Rin advocate, he’s my favorite despite his flaws. In fact, I would say that it’s his flaws that make him my favorite. And that is no more true then in this episode.

    While #7 was about Rin, and then #8 about Haruka, this episode is really about both of them as we see the aftermath of the tournament, as both teams have been able to go on to the next level thanks to Haru and the gang winning the relay. Now this is not to say, that the other 3 boys and 1 girl don’t add some fun a mischief, but they’re not the focus this time.

    After being congratulated by the school, the swim team go to a local squid-themed festival that provides a backdrop for some of the deepest character development yet for both Haru and Rin. Both of these boys are on a journey of discovery about themselves despite both being at opposite ends of the spectrum. Haru has had the most blase attitude about his life thus far, that this one race has made his question everything, and he comes out better for it. He now has drive and a purpose in trying his best, simply because he enjoys trying his best and being with his friends, and doing so because they are counting on him.

    Rin however, stands on the opposite side. He swims only for competition and winning and continuing his goals, that he in a way, has too much drive. In losing his race to Haruka as a child, he drove to make himself better, but in doing so, placed his friendship and his relationships with others in general, on the back burner. And after so many years, that flame has pretty much gone out. Now all he can see is his goal and getting to it by any means necessary, which drove him towards his win against Haru. Now, that’s not to say that his win was justified, Rin won far and square and has honed his body to the point where he can outdo Haru. However, it’s not the win that stands out here, but the spirit in which both boys went into the race with the one Rin left on.

    There’s a lyric from the Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog“, that says:

    “You got what you wanted,
    But you lost what you had!”
    -Shadows, Friends on the Other Side

    This in a way, perfectly sums up what Rin is feeling right now. He’s pushed so hard to get what he wanted: to win against Haru and go on with is goal of going to Olympics. However, in doing this, he lost the friendship and camaraderie that he had once had, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. He can now only look as an outsider looking in, at the new friendship his old friends now hold, and he feels that something is deeply missing in his life.

    The scenes of him going alone through the festival and seeing the flashbacks and recollections of simpler more innocent days, finally culminating into the emotional scene at his old elementary school had one of the most ardent, touching punch for me in this entire series. Unable to deny it anymore, Rin has finally realized what he’s been missing in his life, but is it too late?

    Of course not! This is anime! 🙂 So, of course, now that both boys have grown by leaps and bounds as characters, they are both taking steps to rectify the situation. Haru is going to do his best to practice and win for this next competition along with his friends, and Rin will go back on his declaration to never swim with Haru again, and will practice with his team to be in the relay and will be swimming once again with his old friends. They may not be on the same team, but they will be swimming together in a sense.

    It may not be a perfect solution, but it’s a good start in the right direction. We have 3 more episodes to this series with this next one seeming to be half flashback and half in real time, so we might be getting even more into Haru and Rin’s characters if that’s even possible.

    This was a good episode, I give it a 7.7/10.

    • q says:

      I thought I should mention it in case you didn’t know – for understanding Haru and Rin better the light novel’s really good even if it’s just their younger selves. It’s written from the characters’ POV so you get to see everything they’re thinking. There’s an ongoing translation here, only 2 chapters left!

  7. Japaninspired says:

    Lol, I just.cant.stop.laughing. Free is just amazing in how it blends well so many aspects. It all started with just being a “fanservice for the ladies” kind of show to me. And it became so much more than that. Well nice animation, comedy, fanservice and such emotional parts. It’s so sad it’s coming to an end, slowly.

    And super detective Rei, I think he should have a show on his own, with solving cases and so on, Haha. And Nagisa was just like a secretary or something.

    And Rin is so jellyyy….so “oh my kokoro”. Thought it’s kind of sad that he only now realized how sad he is that he can’t spend the time with the others like when they were kids.

    Oh, and also I guess this is why Rei couldn’t swim: His spirit animal is not compatible with water,XDD. But we still believe in you, Rei!

    • Liza says:

      That picture. XD Everything makes perfect sense now!

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m glad it’s not just fanservice-y slice of life. There’s a lot more to it than that, otherwise guys wouldn’t even touch it. I’m actually really glad so many guys are watching it instead of cringing away instinctively because it’s too “girly.”

      lol Rei…you tried. You really did.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I’m actually really glad so many guys are watching it instead of cringing away instinctively because it’s too “girly.”

        Do we get medals for such an achievement and endurance, OC? 😉

      • Irenesharda says:

        There’s some girls, including myself, who wouldn’t touch it if it were like that either. I usually stay away from SoL, but if I do get into, it better have some deeper meaning then just cute people doing cute things. I like hot guys as much as the next girl, but if the show doesn’t have something more behind it, that “hotness” will get real old, real fast.

  8. Highway says:

    Eh, to me, the stupid drama with Rin drags the whole show down. Watching him be all emo takes time away from fun, but doesn’t do anything to make him sympathetic. Hey Rin, want to not be all upset about how your life is going? Want to have your friends back? Then don’t treat them like crap.

    It even bothers me that a nice guy like Haru beats himself up over Rin. All of them gave Rin a bunch of chances to make up, to be friendly with them, but no, he’s too busy being sad cause he’s not good enough even after tossing away his friendships.

    • Overcooled says:

      I think Free! needs some sort of melodrama to give it some spice…but I also think Rin is just so much of a jerk that if I met him in real life I’d want to shake him. Shake him hard. If he wasn’t mean 24/7 then maybe he’d stop creating his own problems. :/

    • Karakuri says:

      I think Rin keeps the drama to reasonable levels, personally. He could be waaay worse, but he (mostly) keeps it to himself. Other than that kouhai and occasionally Haru.

    • Foshizzel says:

      I say QQ MORE RIN QQ MORE!

  9. Liza says:

    Oh silly Rin and his kokoro. *sigh* Hopefully he will finally realize where he truly belongs! XD

    I was a bit disappointed that there was no scene of the Captain seeing Gou in a yukata. I feel like his reaction to her would have been hilarious.

    • Highway says:

      They definitely should have had those two run into each other. I think that’s a story that’s worth pursuing a bit.

    • Namika says:

      Yeah, that would be so sweet and funny. His reactions to Kou are one of my favorite things about this show.

  10. Namika says:

    Two best things about this episode were the sparkly megane-tantei and Haru’s confession. He looked so darn cute~ at first I didn’t like him, but I regret it now.
    And I find Rei’s relationship with Nagisa really funny and cute too. He may pretend to be a mature, serious person sometimes but seeing him goofing around makes me laugh.

    Although it’s quite obvious and understandable where Rin’s problems and negative emotions come from, he’s kinda irritating me right now. I hope after their next match he won’t offer a speech similar to the previous one.

    And lastly, this episode made me want to get there and try some squid. I’ve never had it before, but always considered it rather gross-looking.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Calamari isn’t bad, it all depends on how it’s prepared. I don’t like it fried, but there is this really spicy way they boil it and stuff at an Asian-fusion restaurant I go to that is really good. If you’ve never had squid or octopus, they taste a bit the same and will give you a chewy, rubbery sensation. However, if you’re game, then I say try it! 🙂

      • Namika says:

        Okay then, I will do so! Whenever I’ll have a chance.
        And then, if you have a Georgian restaurant where you live, go there and try ‘chakapuli’ :3

        • Irenesharda says:

          If I ever come across it, I’ll be sure to give it a try. My city doesn’t really have much in the way of Georgian restaurants as far as I can tell, though their food is sort of mixed in at a few Russian and Turkish places. Yet, I love trying new things and if I find it, I will check it out 😀

        • Overcooled says:

          Squid is one of my favourite things to eat. Mmmm…

          I’ve never had chakapuli but I looked it up and it sounds delicious. I wonder if I can find a restaurant somewhere here…

        • Irenesharda says:

          I didn’t think about it, but if the way squid looks grosses you out, most of the places were I’m at the squid no longer look like “squid” any more. In fact, at most places, especially if they serve it fried or sauteed, calamari looks like miniature onion rings. So, don’t be scared about how it looks. However, octopus on the other hand, most of the time, when I see it, it’s whole, so, if you’re squeamish about that, you might want to avoid it.

      • Liza says:

        I agree that it all depends on how it is cooked. It’s actually pretty bland if they don’t do anything to it(it is cartilage pretty much…) but I like it. 😀

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