Hearing about Gou from a distance and instantly appearing in the room is Momotarou’s super power.

We open with a teary farewell from Nitori to Rin…it’s not the end, of course, everyone’s just changing dorm rooms and Rin is moving in with Sosuke. Instead of his beloved senpai, Nitori will now have to contend with the hyperactive Momotarou for a room-mate.

Back at Iwatobi, the swimming club’s mission to find new members continues fruitlessly as they try to raise awareness by participating in a club running relay. Due to Rei’s track-and-field prowess, the swimming club does win, although instead of any new members all that happens is that Rei’s old  club-mates notice him and let him know that his running talents will always be welcome in his ex-club. This only serves to make Rei even more self-conscious about his failure to swim anything other than the Butterfly stroke, even as the other boys announce their plans to try their best at swimming strokes that aren’t their signature styles. Rei falls into a funk and begins to act strangely, suddenly having no time to hang out with his swimming friends and always seeming to have ‘errands’ to attend to. The swim-boys initially believe that Rei’s strange behaviour is due to him being in love…but then start to fear that he wants to leave the swimming club.

Lookin’ good, kids.

I love Nagisa’s portrait of Rei there.

Gou you precious girl.

Okay wow, I genuinely loved this episode. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed the previous two, but I did feel like they weren’t up there with the best of the first season and so after seeing what the show is actually capable of it was hard to not feel a little let down by the overall matter-of-factness of those episodes.

This episode can be contrasted with the third episode of season 1 – it’s mostly all about Rei, again – and at first, it almost seemed a little too similar, particularly with how there was another whole part purely to demonstrate how much he utterly fails at anything that isn’t Butterfly. But then it became more obvious that not only was this episode meant to demonstrate how far Rei had come since then, it also showed very well how far everyone else had come. A huge pet peeve of mine – and actually, many fans of the series – is how it ended with Rei giving up his place in the relay for Rin. Given that almost all of season one had been about him feeling like an outsider to the others and trying his best – more than any of the others – to be accepted by them (even nearly drowning in one part), I’ll admit to the series leaving a slightly uncomfortable taste in my mouth when the other boys accepted his offer to drop out purely for the sake of Rin, who was being a gigantic immature baby throughout nearly all of the season. One of my main hopes for season 2 was that this problem would be addressed again and that Rin would make up for the trouble he caused.

It’s hard not to spoil what happened in this episode with these reviews, so I’ll just do it anyway: it’s obvious, of course, that Rei wasnt planning on quitting the club. Every time a group of people convince themselves that someone is doing suchandsuch in an anime, you can be just about guaranteed that it’s a misunderstanding. What was important was how upset the other boys got over the prospect of Rei actually leaving, and how much they genuinely wanted him to stay. That on its own probably wouldn’t be quite enough for me to forgive what happened before…but then Rin comes in. What Rei had actually been doing was taking private swimming lessons from Rin, who was more than happy to do it. Not only was Rin a patient and understanding teacher, there was his off-hand comment ‘I owed you’. I’m glad that – not only was this previous issue addressed, but Rin has grown a lot, and it’s great to see him taking responsibility for his immaturity.  The two have become quite good friends, and their relationship is something I’m hoping to see more of in-depth in this season.

What seemed at first like a simple filler style episode about ‘haha, look at Rei still not swimming properly!’ soon became one of the most important episodes to the plot so far, and I just think it was really well done. Plus, Momotarou is quickly climbing the ranks to be one of my favourite characters and he was particularly endearing in this one. Sosuke’s really going to have to try harder to keep my attention, although it seems like the next episode will be about him judging from the preview.


I have something in my eye.

And so does Rei!

Out of 5,