Maybe my next Free! episode review wont be so ridiculously late.


It’s time for day two of the tournament – the long-awaited medley relay. The Samezuka team are having a little bit of trouble with deciding who to use for the relay team – Rin’s original plan besides himself was Sosuke,  a kid we don’t even know yet called Toru and a guy with an awful hair-cut called Uozumi.  The problem is that Uozumi didn’t do as well as he could have in the prelims, so Rin decides to replace him with Momotarou – partly because Momo did better, partly because Momo’s passion for the relay is more evident, but mostly because Momotarou is a more prominent character than Stupid-Haircut-Guy Uozumi. Which makes Nitori losing his place in the relay to a character so minor I don’t even think I’ve seen him before (as well as losing to an underclassman) all the more tragic, especially given the effort he put into training, so he ends up taking this just a little personally.
At the medley itself, both Samezuka and Iwatobi make it through to the nationals – although Iwatobi still did very poorly against Samezuka overall and actually only barely scraped by. The team take this as a grave reminder of how much more training they need…. but it still doesn’t stop Haruka from being noticed by several university teams who begin calling the school to attempt at scouting him – with the same happening to Rin.

Aw, Nitori :c


…who are those other girls?

What’s interesting about this season of Free! to me is that last time, the tournament relay was the climactic part. Neither team made it to the nationals because they ended up disqualified after their weird little switch-a-roo game, but now, one year later, everyone has finally made it. The nationals part of the story should prove to be interesting and will most certainly feature some new characters – actually, one was confirmed already in the next episode preview, one who I’m particularly excited about for reasons I’ll go into in my episode eight review I guess.
I felt like the Iwatobi boys were doing awfully well last episode – perhaps a little too well, as there was very little suspense in any race. This time, however, Samezuka step their game right up and man did it show. (Also, right when I was congratulating Rin for not being immature after losing to Haru, he goes on to say to his face in this episode that he ‘let him win’. Whether its true or not, what the hell, Rin.) It was a disappointment for Iwatobi – but it did lead to Haruka being perhaps more vocal than I’ve ever seen him in the entire show so far as he gives a mini inspirational speech to the others towards the end of the episode about how much he wants to treasure the feeling of swimming with them.

What I had been waiting for was for Sosuke to finally do something again, so this episode delivered there. He’s having a lot of conflicting ~feelings~ about his committment to the relay team – which angers Rin, who took that to mean that he wasn’t taking it seriously. The whole solo-swimming vs team-swimming debate is an interesting angle, yet Kyoani are making the whole thing as melodramaticly homoerotic as possible, which has the (intentional? unintentional? it’s honestly hard to tell now.) effect of being more funny than serious to me. I still can’t say I like Sosuke very much, but one thing in this episode really made me like him a lot more: There’s a scene where he walks past Nitori, who is moping on the stairs due to not being good enough to participate in the relay. Nitori explains how upset he is, and how much it meant to him to be able to swim with his beloved Rin-senpai one more time before he graduates, as this would be Rin’s last tournament. Just when I was simultaneously feeling sorry for Nitori and inwardly groaning ‘what is it with anime teenagers and thinking that highschool is the extent of all life’, Sosuke asks him why he can’t swim with Rin after he graduates, and tells him that if he really wants to, he can…because after all, people do not cease to exist after graduating high school. Good on you, Sosuke! Please pass on this message to every school romantic-comedy anime character ever.

More like what’s ‘~eternal summer~’ supposed to mean.

Dang I really liked the lighting in this part.

…yeah I gotta include the end-card pic again. Just look at this.

Out of 5,