[Anime] #TV_Free Episode 7


Haruka ready

If you haven't watched the most recent episode of the Free! and you're reading this - just go ahead and watch it on my recommendation. While the episodes before were light enough, this latest episode joins the previous 'double-episode' in terms of the tension and suspense, even though there was less of a cliffhanger than I thought there would be. Still, well played, KyoAni, well played.

I try not to mention too much of the plot in these posts, but I guess it's somewhat unavoidable this time given that this episode is actually rather plot driven - or so it would seem. The Iwatobi swim team have finished up their vigorous training regime (with the photos to prove it!) and it is almost the day of the big tournament!

Photos from their Training Camp

Any good introduction to a tournament starts with a visit to the shrine to shake the bells and this is no different... Okay, I'm not really greatly versed in the whys of this tradition, but here's an article featuring the coin-giving and bell ringing acts. I suppose anyone can do with some extra luck. In any case, they sure made similar visits in Chihayafuru before their karuta tournaments.

At the shrine

Of course, the only other swim team we know about, Samezuka, will be at the tournament as well as they will be rivals with Iwatobi, even if there's an interesting relationship going on between the two clubs with KGou in the middle of it, and in some ways Haruka as well, if you factor Rin into the equation.

At this point I have to admit that although in some ways it makes sense for us to only know about Iwatobi and Samezuka when this 'feud' between Haruka and Rin are the focus of the story (in reality), yet it would have been nice to get to know other swim clubs in more detail, even though Gou introduces the elite swimmers in other clubs as the Iwatobi swim team take a broad look over all the assembled teams getting ready for their races.

Kirakira eyes

Boy, Gou has done her homework, not only on their closest rivals in Samezuka but also on the aces of other clubs to look out for. She has done her homework and done it well. Much respect. What do you think of sporting club managers now huh, Tomoko?

Then again, Gou's #kirakira eyes upon seeing well muscled bodies do not exactly help her case though, I suppose.

Goldfish

This episode is a lot about freedom to Haruka, who in a way has been continually bound to others over the course of the past few episodes. There are many that rely on him as their motivation to keep swimming and as inspiration to swim, when he simply desires to be free to swim and to love water. He acknowledges this also in a previous episode where he mentioned to Rei he was not actually free, even if he appears so when in the water. Haruka wants to regain this freedom today yet things don't quite go as expected in any way.

There was a lot less humour in this episode as things get more serious, learning of Rin's motivations and past. It is evident at once that Rin seems to be carrying a lot of emotional baggage. He appears to be in a lot of pain and feeling conflicted, yet at the same time extremely angry, elitist and defensive.

Rin looking upsetRin confident

One of the interesting parts of the episode was when Rin and his kouhai visited the drink machine though - oh how I would love to use one of those! But of course, I haven't been to Japan yet. In any case, I thought it actually said 'Pocari Sweat' at one point, but of course it wouldn't have. On pausing the frame, it actually says 'Pocket Sweat'. I can't imagine that would taste very nice...

Pocket Sweat

Enough beating around the bush though. The tournament starts naturally with 'freestyle' being the first style and 100m being the first race, of which Haruka and Rin are a part of. Mokoto is anxious for Haruka's mental state as an unusually determined and focused Haruka walks off to meet his challenger.

The episode ultimately ends on a dark note though as something unexpected for everyone happened - yet at the same time it somehow feels as though it was always going to happen. The question is how will everyone, particularly those two main characters involved, deal with it now?

Iwatobi in shock

Finally a dive over to Samezuka for this week's endcard. While it's great to look at the roommate duo in the foreground, glancing over at the shower reveals something new... Free! 07 Endcard

TVアニメ『Free!』©おおじこうじ・京都アニメーション/岩鳶高校水泳部