Free! Episode 10 – Conflict of two butterflies

Free anime matsuoka rin fabulous

More conflicts.
Free! Episode 10 Review
Iwatobi Swim Club Episode 10 Review
“Irritated Heart Rate!”

The conflict between Haru and Rin has been the focus since the start of the story so it’s not a surprise that it would carry a lot of the weight of the show. Even so, with the scenario changing gradually with the addition of Rei, a new facet to the conflict begins as the two butterfly swimmers meet face to face.

Free! Episode 10 Impressions

Matsuoka Rin as a kid

No shark teeth O.o

Because he’s a badass.

A badass.

Dis tsundere.


NOT HARU? OH MAN. Freestyle too… Hmm….


Like Rin.

Hazuki Nagisa kid


Nanase Haruka irritated

Are you taking Rin’s role now?


Sooner or later, they had to give a more detailed backstory than the one that was originally given. It also comes at a very suitable time when Rin is remembering his past experiences with the team which carries the flashbacks even further than they would have under different circumstances. As for Rin’s character, you can clearly see that he was the polar opposite of what he is now. Cheerful, smiling… and no shark teeth. I’ll get to why I think he got bitter later on as the past gets clearer, but keep in mind this contrast that resulted in the conflicts that we see now in the anime. As for Haru… he’s fairly similar to how he is now which makes for some intriguing character interactions between him and Rin. Rin’s passion for the relay may have captivated the otherwise very stubborn Haru. It’s also interesting seeing Haru work hard to match up to Rin in the past which shows almost a reversed situation to what’s being portrayed in recent episodes.



Dude. That’s more cameras than some films.

Ryugazaki rei


Ryugazaki rei confused

Haruka, Makoto, and Nagisa were all part of the same swim team from middle-school which makes Rei an “outsider” to the group. The way Goro and the others always mention Rin is undoubtedly getting to his nerves. It has a bit to do with his confusion to the situation, but it may also be the case that he’s envious about how they’re always talking about Rin, someone who has left the team long ago. It’s definitely true that everyone views him as a valuable member and all though it doesn’t mean that Rei feels the same way. He probably feels left out and-


Amakata Miho swimsuit model


Amakata Swimsuit


Imagine if she picked up her own magazine.

Amakata Miho surprised

Don’t be embarrassed. MOAR PLS.

Badass Haru.

Dat distance.

WELL. We all knew this was coming. SWIMSUIT MODEL IT IS. Kind of obvious, but damn they put in some FEMALE FANSERVICE?!?! I know right? FEMALE FANSERVICE. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT. Anyways, back to how Rei is feeling. You can see just from the distance he’s standing that he’s far from the group symbolising how he’s also far away from them in spirit. To make things worse, Rin used to be in the same position he’s in now which makes him feel like he’s being ignored and Rin is being highlighted even though Rin’s not even there. Most importantly, he probably feels like he’s not on the same page as the rest of the team which only elevates the negative emotions he’s feeling.

Nanase Haruka


Taking the same path eh?


What happened in Australia? So serious.

Haruka Nanase child


Matsuoka Rin quitting swimming



Matsuoka Rin frustrated


Ryugazaki Rei glasses





Finally, the whole story is now in the open with some bits that we haven’t seen before. The most important part has to be the part where Rin said he was quitting swimming. We didn’t get that part in the previous conversations or flashbacks (I think) which makes the reason why Haruka quit a lot clearer. With this information, I think that it’s apparent that his loss against Haru is what broke the straw on the camel’s back. We don’t know exactly what happened back in Australia, but I can kind of guess that he may not have been as good as he thought he actually is. Coming back and looking for some kind of reassurance for his endeavors, he ends up failing miserably against Haru as well which prompts him to quit. I don’t really think the loss against Haru by itself would affect Rin to such an extent. Regardless, we can expect an ALLOUT. ARUOUT? ALUOUT? The all out match with Rin and Rei which will be very interesting to witness the swimming, but it’ll be even more interesting to see exactly what their relationship will be. Let the butterfly battle begin.

Free! Episode 10 Review

I was so distracted with how the relationship between Haru and Rin that I forgot about Rei being new to the team and how he took over Rin’s spot which can mean some future rivalry between the two. It’s great that they’re making the show have more dimensions to increase the complexity of the show without being too confusing. That’s especially the case if it’s just a one season anime. Otherwise, it’s a fairly standard build up episode with a bit of spice at the end to mark the beginning of the final competition of this season. Rei has been surprisingly interesting in his introductory episodes and it’s nice to see him take the spotlight to some degree again in an even more interesting confrontation.

Free Wallpaper Iwatobi swim club


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  • zztop

    Hi entrav,
    Sorry bout putting that Free! interview link up on your Danganronpa post a week ago. I wasn’t aware that you had any policies regarding those. I apologise. m(_ _)m
    If you are still interested in that Free! character designer interview I can post the link here on this post if you’d like :) Peace?

    • Entrav

      I didn’t see the comment at all actually. Yes, looking at it now, it got caught by a spam filter probably because of the abundance of links. Personally, I’d like it if comments are mostly related to the anime in discussion so if you have something for Free! please comment in a Free! review as it’d be more relevant. You can post that again for sure though! If I ever delete a comment, I will almost always comment on why so if I don’t, it probably got deleted by spam filter or something. I’ll try to check that more often.

      Edit: I actually saw that interview a week ago too as a result of a comment on RandomC or something like that.

  • Irenesharda

    This was a pretty good episode, and it looks like we’re finally going to get to the bottom of what happened between Rin and the rest of his team. Sometimes it really takes an outsider looking in, and we have that in the form of Rei, who unfortunately has found that he is kind of a place-holder on a team that has a phantom member, and he wants to know who Rin is, why the 4 have this relationship and what happened to them all.

    This is helped through flashbacks and we can see that Rin was a pretty fun, pretty cute kid, fangs and all. (Didn’t you know fangs, grew into a full set of shark teeth as you get older? LOL) He seemed to do his best to make friends and create a swim team. In fact he really admired Haru, and it was really Haru who was kind of being standoffish with his “I only swim free” stance. However, in the end, they became really close and one of the best swim teams ever. Rin had a close relationship with them and even told them his father’s story and his dream and that Rin was trying to share that dream as well. And all the way up until he left, the four ended up being really close.

    However, we notice that it wasn’t until Rin returns from his sojourn in Australia, that we see that he’s changed. He’s become colder, harder, more competitive, and instead of purely admiring Haru, he now wants to beat him, to prove something to himself. However, when we see him lose this time, it’s almost like that was the last straw and it broke something within him that had already been cracked. And we see him declare that he will give up swimming altogether.

    My question is, what happened out there in Australia? For whatever happened there seems to be at the crux of the situation. Something happened there that broke or damaged Rin’s spirit and changed him into the man we see today, shark-teeth and all.But then, what also caused him to go back to swimming again? Hopefully Rei will be able to get the whole story before we have these last two final episodes.

    I doubt we will have any sort of physical fight between Rin and Rei, and if anything it will be a swimming challenge. However, unfortunately I know that if they even go that route, Rei will lose. Rin may act cold and rough around the edges, but he’s no slouch when it comes to sports. He’s been swimming since elementary school and perhaps even before, and he’s an expert at butterfly, even though he can do all 4 strokes pretty well. He’s strong in both his body and spirit and has impeccable drive. Rei on the other hand, has only JUST started swimming this year, the ONLY stroke he can do is butterfly, and even in that he’s still got a long way to go to perfect it. He’s not incredibly good at endurance, even though he has studied forms and stances, he can’t employ them very well. If they do have some sort of swim off, if they do have Rei win, it would be incredibly unbelievable. However, as I said, I really don’t think it will come to that. I think that Rei will simply talk to Rin and try to pry out the other side of the story and find out what truly happened.

    Also, does anyone get the feeling that in the end Rin might transfer from the school he’s at? He doesn’t really seem to enjoy it there, doesn’t really have any relationship or connection with anyone on the swim team. He doesn’t really seem to belong there, and I think everyone around him is beginning to notice. From his roommate to his team captain. I wonder what’s going to happen there.

    This was a pretty good insight episode with some funny moments. Them finally finding out about the swimsuit modeling. Seeing Rin and Nagisa as kids was adorable. And shota Nagisa was one of the cutest things ever seen! I hope that Rin is one day able to go back to being his fun, outgoing self again. It’s obvious that he’s suffering without his friends, since his natural self requires more social interaction than he’s limiting himself to right now.

    I give this episode a 7.8/10.

    • Alex

      What a great review of this episode, excellent analysis of the conflict and characters. Do you do your own Free! episode reviews? This is good enough to be on it’s own blog/website…

    • Entrav

      If we do get a second season, having some backstory on what happened in Australia could definitely happen. Perhaps someone from Australia could come there to compete as well? Or maybe, when they get to some kind of world championship?

      Rei stands absolutely no chance against Rin swimming-wise which is why I’m interested in seeing exactly what will result from this new conflict. It could just be a cliffhanger that serves to actually talk it out between them, but it may be something more than that as well. I’m not sure if Rei pointing out what Rin already knows would affect things all too much. Rin at this point knows the consequences of what he has done. Then again, maybe Rei will break through further to him so he can understand his situation even better.

  • Flaiboy

    First off, that was the best PV I have ever seen! My daughter and I laughed our butts off as we watched it over and over.

    Second, I think that Rin never really made it to Aussie Land; his plane went down in the ocean prior to landfall and he was rescued and raised by a pod of great whites, hence the teeth and his new attitude.

    Third, I was really hoping for something other than “swimsuit model”, the most obvious answer. No surprise and therefore, not entertaining.

    And fourth, so Haru was under the impression that whole time during the intervening years that Rin had quit swimming altogether because Haru had won their race? If true, no wonder he felt bad enough to quit himself.

    • Entrav

      LOL. That would have been the best backstory ever if that were the case. But seriously, DEM TEETH.

      Yeah, swimsuit model is way too obvious, but hey, FEMALE FANSERVICE IN THE FREE! can’t be bad.

      Yep, it seems that Rin literally said he’d quit which makes a lot more sense why Haru decided to actually do so.

  • xAzusax

    My fave part was actually the preview for the next episode.
    “Speedo glasses”
    “ARU OUT.” “ALL OUT”
    “Perfect body”

    • Entrav

      ARU OUT. ALU OUT. Best engrish. The PV is fantabulous.