Free! Episode 11 – Getting ready

Free rin swimming
More struggling.

Rin needs to get a break.
Free! Episode 11 Review
Iwatobi Swim Club Episode 11 Review
“Furious All-out!”
“Gekijō no Ōru Auto!”

As Free! approaches its final few episodes, it gears up the original conflicts and adds even more to the originally one dimensional conflict between Rin and Haru. Just as one event is resolved, another pops up to continue the cycle of struggle. It may not be completely surprising how things have turned out and will turn out, but they are well executed to say the least.

Free! Episode 11 Impressions

Tough question right off the bat.

Yep. Dem feels.

Matsuoka Rin shark

He really is the descendant of a shark.



And he didn’t even know…


Free rei and rin


Looks like the butterfly does.

In the previous episode, there are hints as to Rei’s displeasure with how his relationship with the team seem to be in his perspective. Always talking about Rin, the others appear to be pushing him to the side even though that’s not necessarily the case. Here, we see the ventilation of Rei’s pent up frustration which creates even more unrest in Rin’s mind. Unlike Rin who has left his team behind, Rei understands where he belongs and wishes to stick with it. This is something that Rin himself did not do, and it must pain him to see a reflection of himself on what he should have done. However, Rin’s role as Haru’s team member has passed and will probably never be regained. The question is, now with regrets clouding his mind, can he make the right decision from now on to not regret in the future?

Nanase Haruka senpai

Dat Haruka.

Hazuki Nagisa wave

Ryugazaki Rei


Ryugazaki Rei surprised


What a tragedy.

Rin as a child

mikoshiba seijuurou

When has the past not mattered?

Of course, Rei only feels like he’s being excluded when in actuality his team cares for him greatly. He may be singling out the parts where they talk about Rin instead of taking in the time he has with them. The other important part is that, again, Rei makes the decision that Rin could not; he moves on from being worried about Rin to understanding the need to drop that so he can be at his best for his team. We also see some emphasis on the parallelism between how Rin used to be and how Rei is now which portrays how contrasting the two paths Rin and Rei walk even though they have similar mindsets. It’s unsettling to remember the wrong decisions one has made, but to see another walk the same path successfully and unburdened by regret must be truly disheartening.

Is he looking up some BUTTERFLY SWIMSUITS AGAIN?

Nanase Haruka fabulous

Even while washing his face. Haruka too stronk.


HUGE. That’s impressive for just the regionals.

Nanase Haruka on bed

Dat embarrassed Haru.

Dat embarrassed Haru.

Tachibana Makoto laughing


Free Haruka and Nagisa

Dat pairing.

Matsuoka Rin child

D: Shark teeth growing…

Getting a bit more taste of the easygoing moments before the competition is nice and serves to pace the episode well so it’s not overwhelmingly filled with serious events. Regardless, the topic of interest is Rin’s stay in Australia. As many have expected, something did happen in Australia that is not too atypical. Rin finds himself in trouble after not being competitive enough to be an Olympic swimmer abroad partially due to the loss of enthusiasm and the environment itself. Having Haru abroad with him would have helped considerably in both his confidence and his abilities. His goal to become an Olympic swimmer is a part of his motivation, but his main drive that makes him want to swim are the moments he shared with his team in the relay. Looking to further his skills based on time alone, he lost sight of the fun in swimming, and ended up losing himself in the sea of uncertainty.

Matsuoka Rin fabulous


Oh gawd. Should have expected this.


Matsuoka Rin shocked

Man, Rin needs to seriously get a break.

Rin wants to capture the feeling of swimming in a relay again even if it’s with a different team. He’s finally accepting the fact that he’s not part of the team anymore and that he made the wrong choice. Now, he’s saying that he’ll show them a sight they’ve never seen before, or at least something along those lines, like before. Finally, he’s regaining his composure and finding a path. Well, until he gets shut out by the captain which is to be expected with how he’s been acting. He’s not being a team player. He’s swimming for himself so he can face Haru and ignoring those on his side. While that’s understandable, that’s still a crushing revelation for Rin. Man, he needs to get a break and finally get past his past. Honestly, anything can happen at this point. Maybe Haru will talk to Rin so he’ll do his best in the freestyle competition. Then again, I doubt they can move on without swimming together so something dramatic is going to happen that will make room for it to happen. Hopefully it won’t be too convenient and uncalled for.

Free! Episode 11 Review

It’s great how they’re building up the momentum one episode after the next. Free! never seems to stop with the developments and the drama has always been building upon what has happened in the previous few episodes. The exchange between Rin and Rei really highlights the inner conflict within Rin very well by using Rei as the character that goes the way Rin could have but didn’t. It’s quite something for an anime to keep up with the character conflicts consistently throughout the season and have it build up to be more and more significant.

I didn’t really touch upon how Haru and the others appreciate each other and so on because to me, it’s just really typical. At the very least the anime doesn’t focus just on that as that’d get stale quick. It’s more of an aside to the major drama concerning Rin. I’ve seen this kind of friendship and all that in plenty of other anime so I certainly don’t need more shows to do this same old procedure. With that said, it’s not cringe-worthy like it is with some other shows because it doesn’t have extremely exaggerated reactions and stays mostly realistic. Friendship, teamwork, and themes surrounding those ideas are hard to execute without being cliche especially since a lot of shows have used similar ideas in the past. Perhaps, Little Busters! Refrain will show how it’s supposed to be done. Regardless, overall, this episode has some well executed drama and character developments.

Iwatobi Swim Club Anime Wallpaper



Did you like this? Share it:
Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel - .
How does this post make you feel?
  • Excited
  • Fascinated
  • Amused
  • Bored
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • zztop

    For a smaller guy, Nagisa can put away 4 big bowls of udon and a katsudon in 1 day!
    The writers definitely got the whole personal struggles + friendship themes down pat throughout the show, which I greatly appreciate.
    Sigh…to think the fabulousness ends next week…(+_+)

    Have you checked out the Free! Specials that came with the Free! DVD? The 1st ones already up on the usual video-sharing websites, with 2 more to come in November and January.

    Also, what’s your pick for the fall season lineup of anime? Other than Valvrave, that is. (^_-)
    Beyond the Boundary(Kyokai no Kanata)by Kyoani looks promising, though I’m still undecided on the rest…
    PS. Valvrave season 2 starts Oct 10th!

    • Irenesharda

      Valvrave! The new VVV1 looks awesome, and so do the new outfits for our cast. I can’t wait!!!

    • Entrav

      I have been doing the Fall 2013 Preview for a few days now. I’ll try to get it up, but I still need to finish some other modifications. Hopefully it’ll be up in the next 4-5 days. It’ll have all my thoughts on the season.


      • zztop

        Preserved Roses, now that was a good pop song! Heard it was top 10 on the Japanese charts for quite a few weeks when it came out.
        Here’s hoping ‘Kakumei Dualism’, the new song, performs even better than the 1st!

        • Entrav

          Yes, it sold a damn lot of copies. TM never disappoints. I love how he’s into anime too and tries to make the songs fit the mood. His songs in Gundam Seed and Destiny are fantastic as well.

  • Irenesharda

    This was a very interesting episode. I really felt for Rin. He showed quite a bit of maturity here, both during the confrontation with Rei and later when we got to part 2 of it in the wind farm field. I really like how he kind of gave his blessing to Rei and passed the torch to him and told him to take care of the guys as he goes on his own path. However, where that path leads, I don’t know.

    I was right in that others were beginning to notice how Rin really doesn’t “belong” at the school he’s at. He has made no attempt to get to know his other classmates, and forget about his teammates. Though to be fair, other than his captain and his roommate, no one has actually made the effort to talk to our adorable redhead shark either, so it’s a fault lying with both sides. I feel like the captain made the right decision, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about what this does to poor Rin-chan. I actually think that it might put Haru’s team off their game if they were expecting to swim against/with him this time, and he’s not there.

    I can’t imagine a finale where Rin is not actually swimming. It would be too much sadness to put on his character to have him having to watch his old team again, and for him to be stuck on the sidelines. I know he’s made mistakes, but do you have to keep grinding his face into the dirt like this? Let him have SOME happiness in the end of this!

    • Entrav

      Finally seeing him understand his faults and then seeing him being shut out like that is quite sad. It’s partially his fault, but he is going through a tough phase of his life and no one really understands that in Samezuka. I think Nitori tries to reach out to him and Rin just shuts him out right away every time. It’s fairly common for people to try and handle things themselves only to end it poorly and then going back to rely on the help that some have offered in the past. Regardless, I think Rin is still going to make an impression on Haru one way or another. He has to swim. He just has to. I don’t know if just freestyle will do it though so I’m not sure where this will go.

  • Flaiboy

    Neat episode. Good to see growth taking place in Rin and a more mature character emerge. It seems that his motivation for being in the relay has now shifted to one of wanting to be able to swim again with his friends.

    Now we’ll see if that change sticks as we watch him work through more adversity. I am not of the opinion that he “needs” to be in the relay in order for him to find closure, in fact I hope there isn’t some fantastic asspull that puts either Rin back on the relay or Haru into the 100m free. I hope that he is able to cheer on his friends and they are able to do the same for him no matter which race they are in.

    I’m also just a bit foggy on just how much swimming Rin has done until this point in the story. If I understand correctly he quit swimming after losing to Haru as a kid, and didn’t pick it up again until he and Haru swam against each other after returning from Aussieland? That doesn’t sound right but I re-watched his explanation to Rei several times trying to figure it out. If he didn’t swim that whole time then why is he so good now? Shouldn’t he still be losing to Haru? I’d appreciate any clarification anyone could give me.

    • Entrav

      It was probably a fairly long time since Rin faced Haru, lost and then came back to compete in Samezuka. Perhaps he quit initially after losing, and picked up again but not with that much passion. Though, that’s weird because the way they explain his past, it seems like he didn’t feel like swimming at all until his match with Haru when they are in high-school. Maybe he thought he’d come back and try to beat Haru so he began to swim again because he had nothing else left? It is a bit unclear though.