High school boyflesh never looked so good.
Ok, ok, pretend I never said that, because I can already feel my skin crawling over it. I apologize a thousand times – I misspoke! Its just… I mean, look at that screencap! Its so ridiculous! You’d think the young man was naked, not clad in a speedo at all!
Opted out of screencapping every instance of butts and naked torsos, etc. this week since it didn’t seem like it was that big of a splash (ohoho~!) last week anyway, and it is very time-consuming to do so, too. Also, as amusing as it is to me on some level, I also skeeve myself out doing so. I am not watching Free! for the naked boyflesh (whether you’ll believe me on that is another matter), so making an effort to notice all the naked boyflesh makes me feel all creepy given that these guys are sixteen and seventeen years old, and I am most certainly not sixteen or seventeen years old.
Ahem. Anyway. Going to take a bullet approach to these blog posts since I’m not really interested in doing the usual running narrative-type approach. This also let’s me easily break up general commentary I have for the episodes from commentary specifically pertaining to the swimming bits.
So, let’s talk general stuff:
- the running gag about Gou and her name needs to go die; it was mildly amusing initially, and only very very mildly so, but by now it is just irritating as all hell
- that being said, Gou remains one of my favorite characters – I would love to slap some of those otome adaptations across the face and shout, “HEY, SEE THIS GIRL? THAT IS HOW YOU DO A SELF-INSERT CHARACTER RIGHT!”; she reminds me slightly of Renge from Ouran High Host Club (but less creepy and not deluded), or of Wako from Star Driver… all we really need now are some nutty BL fantasies out of her! but, in all seriousness, I adore Gou because she is a rare teenaged female character in an anime who expresses enjoyment of men from a physical perspective, and it is utterly thrilling to have a high school girl in a show fuwa fuwa over naked boyflesh for once instead of just shrieking about a guy smiling at them
- as for the remainder of characters, happy to see Nagisa get some more screentime, and I love that Rei, too, is a total freaking weirdo, much like Haruka is… sadly, Makoto is still pretty much a nonentity – I mean, sure, I get it, his character is the “caring” one, but, well, that’s pretty bland when let stand on its own…
- on the other hand, with Makoto, he may just be the childhood friend character; he’s the one who gets Haruka for school, after all, and while he may not wake him up by crawling into his bed, he does fetch him by going into the bathroom. He also is the one handing Haruka tissues when Haruka is sick and pretty much seems to be his keeper, nagging him when he hangs around in his swimsuit instead of putting on clothes or when he just keeps cooking the same thing again and again. So, really, Makoto is basically Haruka’s would-be-housewife… which is the childhood friend in a nutshell!
- speaking of Haruka, apparently KyoAni boys, too, can develop ailments from mere exposure to water! progress?!
- I really like the background art in this; I think KyoAni sometimes overdoes the “look at how perfect this is!” thing, so I enjoy how the backgrounds are sometimes a bit softer, especially in late-afternoon scenes
- hnnngh Rei is so freaking moe hnnnnnngh
Y’know, let’s just talk the BL crap in a separate section, too:
- soooo Nagisa and Rei are basically shipping themselves, huh? I feel like the best way to argue about this is to point to the fact that Nagisa and Gou have the same reaction to Rei when he is pole vaulting around the midpoint of the episode
- and, like I said, Makoto is the childhood friend to Haruka… which would make Rin the interloper, even though he knew Haruka as a child, too – he’s not the one waking him up, after all! but this configuration of course would mean Makoto for the loss, which is sad given that I am a loser rooter-for-the-childhood-friend sort (usually) (ITS NOT LIKE I’M BITTER ABOUT TOMOYO DAIDOUJI OR ANYTHING, BROS)
- but ohh waitttt Rei is also all “kyaa~” over Haruka’s swimming CONFLICT, BROS (BROS, CONFLICT?) (BROCON???)
- yeah, just try to tell me this show doesn’t have a preferred ship, bros:
- have seen a couple people stating that swimmers don’t wear their goggles around their necks when they’re just moving around on land, but that wasn’t the case in my experience – a lot of people did just leave them around their neck since leaving them on your head is a great way to develop a head-ache; I myself either kept mine around my neck or tucked into my swimsuit so it was dangling on my leg
- well, even if the goggles are accurate, I will say that the hair sticking out of swim caps thing is silly since that would just create more drag; I know it seems like the difference would be negligible, but consider that competitive swimmers usually shave RIGHT before competition
- when Rei stated that swimming isn’t beautiful, I went into indignant mode! I remember that we had one boy on my swim team who went on to swim in Division I in the NCAA at a top-tier school, and when he swam backstroke, it was just beautiful. Even now I wish I had a recording of one of his races… he just made it look so graceful and effortless.
- will say that time trials as the initial joint-practice activity just struck me as odd, although I get the narrative reasons for why they had it
- the entire thing about how they can’t do relays since Haruka will only swim freestyle was pretty stupid, as that would leave various lengths of free relays or medley relays completely on the table so long as they have a fourth participant… but, hey, Haruka refusing to swim anything else, period, strikes me as pretty stupid to begin with
- my preferred stroke is butterfly! nothing to do with the show, but felt like making note~