The entirety of this episode takes place during the prefectural swim tournament. If the Iwatobi Swim Club can set good times, they can qualify for the regional tournament. However, with Haru’s shocking loss against Rin in their first race, the team morale has been slightly shaken up. In this episode, we get a lot of Haru’s self examination with his reasons for swimming and racing Rin, he’s a little confused with himself…
Luckily Gou, Amakata-sensei and Coach Sasabe are there to keep spirits high and cheer on Makoto, Nagisa and Rei as they enter in their own individual races. Still, at the end of the day, the team hasn’t scored high enough to continue competing in the regionals. Haru’s already left the stadium and Gou suddenly confesses that she’s secretly entered the club into the medley relay the day after.
Gou and the boys search for Haru but are unable to find him. In the middle of the night when Haru returns home, he finds Mako sitting by the door waiting on him. (AWW) and after hearing the voice message that Nagisa, Rei and Gou leave on his cell phone, he’s determined to swim in the relay.
The next day, Rin is shocked to find out that the Iwatobi Swim Club will be participating in the relay. As he watches his old friends swim, he’s filled with a sense of nostalgia and also a bit of jealousy towards Rei, who’s replaced him in the butterfly stroke section. The episode ends right before Haru dives into the water! Talk about your major cliffhanger!!
Losing the race to Rin has made Haru question his reasons for swimming. He thought he’d be “free” after the race but it looks like it wasn’t as satisfying as he thought. What’s missing? There’s a really interesting contrast between Rin and Haru that I’ve been noticing. What Rin says in this dialogue is what distinguishes him and Haru. “What else matters in swimming other than winning?” Rin is competitive and proud. He cares about winning title and setting times. Haru really just loves the water and I get the feeling that deep down, Haru, though somewhat quiet and seemingly passive really cares deeply for his friends. It’s swimming that bonds them together; the trials, the hardships and the success, it’s these things that they all share. It’s these things that matter.
I love the background instrumentals for Free! I can’t wait to get my hands on the soundtrack! Hope you guys are enjoying Free! as much as I am! Thank you for reading and I will talk to you guys soon!
What are you pondering today?
- Free! Episode 7 Review (littlecloudcuriosity.com)