Free! Episode Eight

free ep 8

The good wife.

Sorry, bros, been too busy watching Shion no Ou and Hikaru no Go this week to have gotten to Free until today – seem to be on a board game kick, and swimming isn’t exactly a board game. Having said that, this week’s episode was pretty damn good.

General:

  • got to love those slow, dramatic pans of Haruka while he showers – nothing conveys the inner turmoil of a guy quite like staring at his pecs in the shower
  • speaking of Haruka in the shower, I was quite amused that when the team is searching Haruka’s house later in the episode, Kou is the one who checks the bath for him
  • Rin is such an asshole – he won’t even watch his team-mates swim their various events, and is petulant when Nitori comes to find him because it isn’t time for their relay yet
  • of course, then there’s Rin’s reactions to his race versus Haruka in the present and the race versus Haruka he swam when they were children – in both cases, Rin is the one who is being loud and immature, in the present because he’s gleefully rubbing Haruka’s face in his loss, and in the past crying on the pool deck because he lost to Haruka
  • in case you can’t tell, I don’t like Rin very much; yeah, yeah, he’s got an inferiority complex, but Rin is a total jerk, and he has been from the get-go, starting with his attitude toward Makoto and Nagisa (whom he clearly views as inferior), right up to now as he kicks dirt in Haruka’s face and can’t trouble himself to support his other team-mates
  • and then we get Rin seething at Rei’s presence on the relay team as he insults Rei’s performance – bro, look, that very easily could’ve been you, but you were the one who threw a hissy fit and ran off to Australia, so you’ve got no one to blame but yourself
  • Rei has the dorkiest pajamas, all covered in butterflies (feel like this is a bit of a stretch of the motif, KyoAni – butterflies are associated with death, after all, so seems weird that they’d have them on pajamas); Kou’s pajamas, on the other hand, are quite cute
  • sure, I thrilled to Makoto’s faithful wife routine, but I sort of wish Haruka had found everyone asleep in his house, waiting for him
  • Haruka’s introspection in this episode was handled very well – he’s clearly crushed by his loss but also totally baffled as to why (eh, I dunno, Haruka, maybe because Rin did his best to make you feel like shit over it), and he’s slowly beginning to feel that team sort of spirit and the old feeling from when he swam as part of relay team as a kid as he watches his team-mates swim their events, and then its all capped off by him finding Makoto asleep in the entry-way and hearing the message left on his phone by Nagisa and the others… it didn’t feel like they just hurried him through working his way through his feelings, and it isn’t all totally resolved since he states that he still doesn’t know why he felt disappointed, but that he doesn’t really care about getting to the bottom of it right away

BL:

  • so, the usual reminders throughout the episode that Rin is totally hung up on Haruka, even after beating him, which runs counter to Rin’s claim that he just needs to beat him so he can be on his merry, swimming way – yeah, you totes don’t care, Rin, of course…. that’s why you sprint out onto the pool deck when Nitori tells you he’s swimming in a relay when you can’t even be bothered to watch your own team-mates swim
  • Makoto waiting for Haruka so late that he fell asleep in the entryway~
  • …ok, so maybe I was sort of hoping Haruka would invite Makoto upstairs, heh
  • …of course, we aren’t shown if Makoto doesn’t sleep at Haruka’s, soooooo…!

Swimming!:

  • meh, guess I can’t really knock Rei’s butterfly form since he is a relative novice, but Rin’s right to think it look awkward – he’s not bringing his arms forward soon enough, and he really should be breathing every other stroke since breathing every stroke uses a lot more energy
  • right before Rin lost his goggles going off the block, I was thinking about how it was odd that the boys weren’t using their swim caps to better secure their goggles; losing one’s goggles off the blocks is a totally miserable experience, since you’ve still got the entire event to swim and you can’t really see where you’re going
  • I forget if I’ve gone over this before, but the medley’s order of strokes differs based on whether it is swum as an individual event or as a relay. For individual, its butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, then free; for relay, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, free, as you saw in the show. The reason for the difference is that it’d be impossible to really have someone start the backstroke leg after one of the other strokes as that would necessitate having two people in the water at once given backstroke’s wall start.
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