man this was some horror movie fever dream-level creepiness at the start. Also woah sorry for the delay here.

Everyone’s madly preparing for the prefectural swimming tournament…including Rin. His feelings are a complete mess of wanting to beat Haruka and memories of his angsty past. It turns out that the Makoto’s friend wasnt the only victim in that typhoon many years ago – Rin (and by extension Gou) also lost their father, who dreamed of being an Olympic swimmer before settling as a fisherman. All this angsting is worrying his clingy little kouhai Nitori, who thinks Rin spends too much time worrying about Haruka and not enough being serious about swimming.
The tournament finally comes, and the boys have all signed up for the swimming styles that suit them best. Haruka faces Rin in the very first Freestyle round, and the tension between them bursts out in the fabulously intense race.

aaaaaw Rin’s actually probably the cutest as a kid.

Rei…

Nitori is pretty damn cute too.

STOP THE PRESS RIN’S DOING THINGS! It really was about some time the guy got a bit of focus. It was good to get some background information on him – even if I can’t remember if his father was even mentioned up until this point. And yet, there’s still not a word about what the hell happened to him in Australia that turned him into such a prick. Because…yeah, he’s still a prick. Giving him more focus just kind of showed even more that he’s a prick who seems to only care about winning – even rubbing it in Haruka’s face afterwards. (Although it wouldn’t surprise me if that was just show. But still, way to be a bad winner, Rin.)
Who I was actually more glad to get more focus on was Nitori, who I’ve really taken a shine to. I kind of just assumed he’d be some background character the whole time so¬† it was great to see him get more than that. (The kid even had his own chapter in the drama CD). His obsession (infatuation?) with Rin is pretty damn adorable, and who knows, maybe he’ll be able to get Rin to look inside his sharky little heart and stop being such a jackass to Haru.
Anyway, about that race – definitely the highlight of the episode because KyoAni really went all out with that gorgeous water animation. According to numerous people in the know about swimming, they’ve animated the swimming form with amazing accuracy and there’s just such wonderful attention to detail in the movements and the way the water reacts to these movements that it’s gorgeous to watch.
The other Iwatobi boys races are still coming up, so I’m looking forward to them – as well as how Haru is going to deal with Rin’s crushing dismissal of him, in the next episode.

KyoAni really can do gorgeous scenery.

but maybe they could have tried a bit harder with those spectators.

Someone’s a happy sharky.

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