With a smattering of commentary.
Left the timer in the screenshots so that you, too, can enjoy each of these moments in all their animated glory.
So, let’s hit up the pluses:
- less aimless school faffing about, more on the swimming itself – not that there was much swimming, but that we got a better feel of the dedication these boys have to swimming, with even Haru helping fix up the pool so that they could use it
- I think the rivalry betwixt Haru and in got more depth, too, with some of the background information
- Haru as a total weirdo is great, honestly; him disrobing to try to hop into a fish tank was funny… more generally, I feel like I can relate to Haru in a way that I pretty much have never been able to relate to an anime character – I know that feeling about water, that boundless desire to fling myself into any body of water, however appropriate or not, that wish to just be in the water. I am, quite honestly, more comfortable in the water than on land. Haru getting in the pool even though it wasn’t warm enough at the end reminded me of when I pressed on with a couple of swim practices even though the heater for both the pool and the building were broken back when I was sixteen or so and it was mid-November. My skin was so numb at the end that when I accidentally gouged myself and was bleeding, I didn’t even notice. But I just had to swim, I didn’t care how cold it was.
- Gou is my favorite; she’s the best character, really. I love watching her gush over the physiques of the guys, because its refreshing for once to see a female character doing that in an anime. I also like her because she’s getting some depth, which is not typical of shows like this. And while she is an imouto, she isn’t some fetishized version, and she’s actually her own character.
And now how about some minuses?
- Makoto got a teensy bit more characterization, but he’s still largely an archetype and nothing more. Nagisa is absolutely still just a trope – the genki, young-looking boy. These two need to get some more to them, or they’re just going the drag the rest down.
- Oh, hey, a teacher who isn’t old who thinks that she is? That’s something novel right there, KyoAni.
- not nearly enough butts this week, totally disappointed
And, finally, some thoughts on the swimming itself:
- In the first minute, one of the characters comments that Rin has a fast kick, but that Haru has a stronger stroke. First off, a fast kick isn’t the same as a good kick – a fast kick can indicate that the leg is coming out of the water too much, and you’re not going to go anywhere if you’re kicking air. A fast kick can also be indicative of having ones feet turned too much, which means no push from the feet. Secondly, having the stroke advantage is better because kicking only accounts for 15-20% of forward push in swimming.
- Yeah, I get it, its KyoAni… but, shit, folks, I’m still totally impressed at how good the swimming looks, and the flip-turns just totally blow me away.
- The swimsuits most of the boys wear are called “jammers”. I’m sure most of you know what speedos are, so no need to explain that. Jammers are a fairly recent trend; when I was swimming competitively, they didn’t really start showing up a lot until I was about three-quarters through my participation in the sport. There was also definitely an age element involved, as the younger boys more commonly wore them whereas the ones my age and older stuck with speedos for the most part, likely since it was what they were used to.
Anyway, enjoy the rest: