Free! – 10


In a flashback, Rin transfers to the same school as Haru, Makoto and Nagisa, and convinces them to swim with him. Back in the present Sasabe Goro starts coaching the team, and whenever they reminice about the past with Rin, Rei gets more upset. He confronts the others about what caused them to drift apart from him. Haru tells him about how he raced and beat Rin. Afterwards Rin said he’d quit swimming, which led to Haru quitting out of guilt. Rei confronts Rin outside the practice facility.

This week we see some sustained flashbacks in which the guys with the girly names have girly voices as well, but they’re very much the same people, just younger, smaller, and higher-pitched. The series finally dives in the past that formed the lads we’ve followed thus far, but also presents the perspective of someone who had nothing to do with that past, namely Rei. He’s not delighted to be constantly reminded that he hasn’t always been around, nor does he like what the past is doing to Haru.

Once Rei learns what actually happened between Haru and Rin, he’s even more upset with the one he essentially replaced on the Iwatobi Swim Club. Returning from Australia, a cocky Rin challenged Haru and lost, but then made such a meal of his loss that he manipulated Haru into quitting altogether. What’s worse, Rin was lying – he returned to swimming, gaining a head-start on Haru. Sure, no one told Haru to nail himself to the cross by quitting, but the fact Rin has such a strong power over him irks Rei to no end, and he can’t abide standing by and letting him get away with it again.

Rating: 8 

Stray Observations:

  • The multi-angle film sequence was pretty cool, though we kinda wonder how Sasabe has the time to coach these guys gratis. Who delivers the pizza…ITSELF?
  • Hot pot on a hot summer day with no A/C…kinda sweat-lodgy. Sounds healthy, in any case.
  • We finally learn about Amakata Miho’s past too: she was a swimsuit model, not merely and Coach Sasabe recognizes her because he has a stash of her mags lying around his flat. Sweet, gross, or both?
  • Rin is strangely absent from all the flashback scenes.

2 thoughts on “Free! – 10”

  1. Well, I think you’re being harsh on Rin (unfortunately, you’re not the first). Firstly, you forgot to mention how different Rin is now from how he was before. He was once a very fun, very outgoing kid. He was good friend with Haru and the gang, even as he left to Australia. However, when he came back, you can see what a change there was in him and “cocky” isn’t what I’d choose to describe him. In all actuality, he looks worn, broken, and sad, like a shadow of his former self. He’s colder, harsher, and more competitive. I think challenging Haru was a last attempt on his part to prove something to himself, and losing the race broke him so completely that he decided to give up swimming all together. (It had nothing to do with “manipulating” Haru.) Something happened in Australia, and I think Rei is going to do what Haru and friends should have done long ago, and that was to confront Rin and find out what happened that changed him. It’s really about time we got the whole story this time around.

    1. Thank you kindly for your perspective, you make some very good points. A few things:

      We know Rin wasn’t trying to “manipulate” Haru, but Rin’s actions DID nevertheless influence Haru’s. Haru only quit because he felt bad about making Rin quit…only Rin didn’t quit. We’ll say he “unwittingly influenced” him.

      – Suddenly running into someone for the first time in who knows how long and immediately challenging them to a race requires a certain arrogance, but perhaps “cocky” was a bit strong, since on a second viewing there was definitely a trace of desperation in Rin’s request.

      Though that begs the question: why did it take a chance encounter? Why didn’t Rin call him to say he was home? That suggests that had Haru and Rin not bumped into each other then, that race and its fallout wouldn’t have occured.

      – We’re willing to give Rin a fair shake, but so far he’s kept mum about what his problem is (and what exactly happened in Australia), and moreover is putting up a brave front (in the present).

      Until we learn more, we’re like Rei: we have limited information with which to form an opinion on the guy. Even though this episode showed the change in him from elementary school to the present, gaps remain.

      Rei is focusing on all of the negative aspects of Rin’s influence on Haru because, like us, he doesn’t know the whole story. Like you, and Rei we’re eager to hear Rin’s side of this!

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