Rin and Sosuke start to catch up, becoming fast friends again despite not having seen eachother since elementary school – Sosuke went to the school Rin attended before he transferred into Haru and co’s school. Just like Rin, Sosuke has done pretty well for himself in terms of swimming – he’s nationally recognized as one of the top ten Butterfly swimmers. He also allegedly swam against Haru during the finals in the last season and definitely recognizes his strength…but he’s also ridiculously possessive of Rin, and doesn’t want Haru making Rin do anything stupid ever again. Rowr, hiss.
Sosuke isn’t the only new Samezuka character for this season though – Mikoshiba may have graduated, but his younger brother Momotarou – also a strong swimmer – has just come in. He has no interest in joining the swim team to begin with but Rin is able to bribe him with the promise of cute girls(he technically wasn’t lying) ; they needed his talents for the relay at the ‘Sprashu Fest’ Iwatobi Swim Club was organizing. (‘You got the english wrong’, Rei thankfully pointed out.)
This episode is our first proper look at Sosuke, and to be honest I’m still not sure what to make of him. He’s pretty huge – his ‘spirit animal’ has been confirmed as a whale shark, after all – and he can look pretty scary, but he also has a relatively gentle smile. At first I thought he was going to be the ‘scary-looking guy who is actually super nice and sweet’, but his instant antagonism of Haruka says otherwise. My main concern is that he’s going to be essentially what Rin was in season one, and I really don’t want to deal with that kind of bs again becauase Rin was an emotionally manipulative little shit in season one. Not to mention that its going to be absolutely ridiculous if Sosuke thinks he has the right to act possessive of Rin to Haru when he clearly didn’t bother to try to see Rin at all after he transferred (or so I’m led to believe). Also, even though Sosuke was clearly meant to be the main focus and one of the ‘big things’ about season 2…..he kind of had the stage completely stolen from him by Momotarou.
Momotarou is, so far, a lot easier to figure out. He’s a pretty simple and happy-go-lucky kid, but so far I’m liking him a lot better as his character is a lot more fun. He’s also very similar to his older brother, which is great because I was going to really, really miss Mikoshiba Senior’s presence otherwise. His ‘spirit animal’ is the sea otter – which is pretty silly, really, but fitting. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of him.
While those two characters getting properly introduced was the main focus, the race at the ‘sprashu fest’ was also quite good. It wasn’t remotely important – it was just a fun thing that the club organized, mostly for young kids (including Makoto’s younger siblings who it was great to see again) – yet the show made it feel important in terms of Sosuke trying to one-up the Iwatobi boys. So it was pretty damn satisfying seeing Rei beat him (he got a head start but you go Rei I believed in you.)
This episode also had a lot more of the contemplative ‘what happens after highschool ends’ hints of drama – especially highlighted with Makoto and Haru having to fill out their Careers Questionnaire in class. It’s still at an acceptable level, but I hope they don’t completely milk the melodrama of this one. Granted, if we’re dealing with teenage angst I’m with Ariana in the camp that I’ll gladly take ‘teenagers angsting over life after highschool’ over ‘teenagers angsting over romance and being idiots about it’ (you hear that, Rin?).