Free! Episode 7 – THIS IS GETTING GOOD

Free iwatobi matsuoka rin hot
INTENSE.

Intense drama.
Free! Episode 7 Review
Iwatobi Swim Club Episode 7 Review
“One Style Final!”
“Kessen no Sutairu Wan!”
(決戦のスタイルワン!)

Wow, KyoAni sure jumped into the competition quickly. I was actually expecting more build-up or other matches before the duel between Haruka and Rin. Nope, they went all out so from this point on, it seems like the relay is going to be the last chance Haru is going to have. Intense? Hell yeah.

Free! Episode 7 Impressions

Free nagisa hazuki

FABULOUS WATER EFFECTS.

Matsuoka Gou aim higher

Yep.

Matsuoka Rin nightmare

O___O

As much as we’ve seen his angry demeanor, Rin’s backstory has until now only consisted of his rivalry with Haru. The reason why he wants to swim is made clear in this episode, but we’ll get to that in a bit and how it differs from Haru’s reason. The nightmare he has shows just how he can’t move on from his past unless he beats Haruka as well as his dad will plays a part in his ultimate ambition. Most of you probably know what happened to his father just from the nightmare itself as we got some hints similar to how Makoto’s past was portrayed.

Tachibana Makoto and Nagisa

LOL. Seriously, those things are kind of scary T_T

Samezuka Academy Nitori

Ryugazaki Rei wants to relay

Don’t worry, you guys will. For sure.

This just confirms that it’s going to be a relay.

Derp.

Nitori Aiichiro crying

Lolwat

Oh. It’s the same as how…

Was that the only reason?

Matsuoka Rin

DAT HAIR BLOWING.

The various antics of the Iwatobi Swim Club aside as they set a softer tone at certain intervals of the story, we move deeper into Rin’s mind to find out exactly what drives him with such an obsession with Haru. Turns out, his father died much like how the old man died in Makoto’s recollection after failing to become an Olympic swimmer and giving birth to him even though he was such a promising swimmer himself. It almost feels like Rin’s saying that it’s his fault for his dad not becoming an Olympic swimmer as the fact that he was born led to his father’s decision to lead a more stable life as a fisherman. Though, my interpretation is stretching his explanation quite a bit. Regardless, it’s clear that his conviction is stronger than Haru’s in the sense of wanting to win. Haruka really just wants to feel the water and swim, but will that feeling change as he’s met with a new challenge?

Ryugazaki Rei

Amakata Miho

Uhm.

Matsuoka Gou fascinated by muscles

I KNOW RIGHT SO FABULOUS OMAIGAWD ADFJASODFPASJF

Free anime muscles

MARVELOUS.

Ooooooo…

Nanase Haruka determined

OH DAMN.

Haru-chan

FREE?!

It doesn’t seem like they’re doing a relay right now, but I’m certain they will. I’ll explain what I think will happen later. For now, admire the FABULOUS MUSCLES AND THE MARVELOUS UPPER BODY PARTS OF THE MALE BODY. It looks like everyone is just as fabulous as… everyone? Seriously, KyoAni should just make a game and call it “FABULOUS MALE BODY SIMULATOR.” I’m sure that’ll sell well. But enough of the admiration of male body parts. It’s time for the competition to begin and time for Haru and Rin to settle their score. Haruka seems more determined than ever and Rin seems more confident than ever. Is something going to go horribly wrong? Or is everything going to work out? How is this all going to end?… LET’S FIND OUT.

OHHHHH YEAAAAAAAHHHHH

Nanase Haruka

O_O

Matsuoka Rin

O SHI-

Swimming anime

We all know who’s going to win though :/

What surprised me was that he didn’t make it to the finals either. Damn. That’s got to suck.

Matsuoka Rin cheering

Agh. This makes it worse…

Damn this arrogant asshole.

Rin being an asshole

WHAT A FAG.

Nanase Haruka shocked

D: Haruuuu

BUT HE USED TO BE YOUR BRO.

Free iwatobi anime

It’s going to get even more real soon.

Wow. The intensity is insane. I’ll get to praising the anime in a bit, but let’s just go over exactly what happened. My guess on who was going to win in this match was clear from the start. Haru would definitely lose and Rin would win. It would be far too typical if it were the other way around and I thought that KyoAni would mix things up and resort back to the relay. To his disdain, Haru doesn’t even make it to the finals to get a re-match which I found to be slightly surprising. However, thinking about it for another moment, I’m certain that the whole team will do a relay and shine that way. I’m not certain if Haru and Rin will get a “re-match,” but I do know that the relay will be the key. I’m still not sure how everything will end up, but man, Rin sure is a huge asshole. Haru will smack some sense into him though. Soon…

Free! Episode 7 Review

This is without a doubt my favorite episode so far. Not only does it have AMAZING MUSCLES, it even has… SWIMMING. Jesus, who knew right? The animations for the swimming sequence is just fantastic and the internal conflict within Rin about his father is nicely foreshadowed with the nightmare itself. What impressed me the most is just the ending portion with Rin’s cocky attitude about him winning. It wasn’t over-dramatized, and it feels… so very real. Rin’s extremely joyous cheer made me feel terrible for Haru especially with the very fitting soundtrack. To add to that, Rin’s disdainful attitude towards Haru really does reflect his character well and made me feel really uncomfortable for the overall situation.

He wanted nothing to do with Makoto and Nagisa, and now he views Haru the same way. Throwing Haruka as if he were nothing and moving on, he sure is an asshole but damn does he make this anime tense as hell. Whoever picked the soundtrack out, props to him or her. Very, very fitting. What can I say? This is drama done right. It’s not filled with exaggerated emotions, and it feels like this could very well happen in real life. Rin makes all of this happen and as a character, he may be an asshole, but the writers did a great job making the conflicts so tense. His last few remarks to Haru really hits hard. Agh, now I’m just repeating myself. Anyways, I was expecting some fabulous swimming, but this went beyond my expectations. Phew, can’t wait to see what more drama will ensue. Fantastic episode.

Fee Iwatobi Swim Club Wallpaper Samezuka Academy

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  • zztop

    Now that’s just cold-blooded on Rin’s part. (︶︹︺)

    Also entrav, just wanted to share a link to an ongoing translation and summary of the High Speed! light novel that Free! is based on.
    http://mangahelpers.com/forum/showthread.php/2992276-High-Speed!-(Free!)-by-K%C5%8Dji-%C5%8Cj

    I’ve looked through it, and like its poster says, the novel’s content can get rather emotional and serious, compared to the lightheartedness and bromance of the anime. Also little to no bromance exists in the novel.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      It is :(

      Yeah, I saw a bit of that. It’s good how it’s emotional and serious since KyoAni can take that and mix it with the FANTABULOUS BROMANCE AWESOMNESS more easily. Haven’t had the time to read through everything though.

  • Gwyn

    I kind of see this episode as a possible role-reversal to that flashback (of Haru beating Rin despite all his training in Australia) in episode 2. Now it’s Rin who beats Haru even after the Iwatobi gang returned from their training from hell (which provided MakoHaru fangirls like myself so much happiness. Ahem.)

    Rin turned from chirpy, genki kid into ultra jerk in just a few years after that race. Now that he has beaten Haru, I sense a possible loss of confidence on Haru’s part, or maybe a strain in the relationship between him and his beloved…water.

    From how the Iwatobi gang are, Nagisa will probably try his usual airheaded way of comforting Haru, Rei might be affected a little since he looks up to Haru, and Makoto will probably fuss over him more than usual. I don’t think he’ll be able to help much though (because Haru so totally friendzones him. T.T). Whatever it is, there will be a change in Haru’s attitude towards swimming, and water.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Totally agree with you. Haru’s outlook on swimming may change as a result of this and be the catalyst for some much needed character development. I’m still not sure as to whether Rin is really going to join them though. When I first started this anime, the answer was obvious; of course Rin would join them again. But now, he seems to be the “antagonist” of the series and there’s no need for him to join them again even though I think it’s going to happen anyways.

  • Quinn

    I think Rin deserved this win, even when he’s being an a-hole. lol. I like Haruka and all, but it would be really cliche and stupid if they let him win despite having such a short training while Rin has been training all his life for this moment. I love how this episode will likely set the story to a new direction. With Haruka beaten by Rin I hope to see more competitiveness in him, and man Haruka will grow so much from this. Nice work on this episode. It’s good to see Rin competing with Haru again and the swimming scenes were superb. :)

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Yep. Out of the two ways they could have gone, KyoAni definitely chose the right one. This way, there’s a lot more conflict on all sides which makes things a lot more interesting than if Haru won. I’m not going into whether he deserves to win as that can get pretty deep. Regardless, Haruka will probably grow as a result now and hopefully his FABULOUSNESS WILL REIGN SUPREME. KyoAni never disappoints with the animations. It’s just… beautiful.

      • zztop

        True that. They say water effects are one of the hardest to animate even in 3D, so it’s good to see Kyoto Animation rise to the challenge using just 2D.
        It’s too bad Kyoani didn’t make Free! a bit closer to last year’s London or even the upcoming Rio 2016 Olympics, otherwise they could have emphasised the tie-in even more.

  • Azusa

    Anyone else notice that in the see you next water time picture, there’s a showering senpai in the background? xD

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Haha, didn’t notice that the first time around. Thanks for pointing that out :)

  • zztop

    My predictions for ep 8 (translated from Japanese):
    Gou: ONIICHAN BAKAAAAAAAAAAAAA———-!!!!!!! ヽ(´□`。)ノ

    Nitori: How could you, Matsuoka-sempai?! (◞‸◟)

    Mikoshiba: You made Gou-kun cry!!! ლ(ಠ益ಠ(sends Rin flying with single punch)

  • a

    wait… i don’t understand… why didn’t haru advance? he came 2nd fast didn’t he?

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      The 8 fastest times advance. It doesn’t matter if you’re first even as there are still other people competing so as long as 8 of them are faster than the time Haru has, he’s not in the finals. Rin even said he lowered his time to be in the same heat as him which means that there are more capable people out there.

  • Miss_Madness

    Actually I want to point out something interesting. Rin only act like a jerk around Haru. For the most part he’s a mellow guy unless he’s annoyed or upset about something. Even with the touch of tsun he shows when confronted with his feelings or helping people. But his personality takes on odd one eighty around Haru. You know when I first saw him in action I thought he’d be a total jerk to his captain and his teammates too, he’s not. He’s pretty mellow around Gou as well. When Nagisa came up to him with Gou at the swim practice, he was being tsun more then anything. It’s oddly fascinating in way. How they setup his character.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Haru was the person who defeated him so badly when he was a kid so it’s no doubt he has a strong antipathy towards him. Besides, they are rivals. Haru thinks they are just friendly rivals for the most part, but Rin is strictly competitive and I think Haru realizes that in this episode. I don’t think it’s odd per se; it’s just what has happened to them that made them like so. It’s almost as if when they are facing off, they’re in a different world from everyone else.

  • BlueMouser7

    Just wanted to say that I love how you review the strengths and weaknesses of this anime while totally appreciating the wonderful fabulousness of it :) . The fabulousness and the muscles are a feature not a bug.

    I like how KyoAni is trying to weave in a bit of drama and the intensity of sports within a light hearted anime about friendship and of course utsukushii muscularity. They are also staying very true to the spirit of the anime as the series progresses. They could throw in gratuitous scenes of the girls (Ama in a swimsuit poster, Gou in a bikini) to try to broaden the audience. But Gou and Ama are always tastefully dressed and very well covered. Gou is such a lady. I like how she gently her tucks in her skirt whenever she goes to sit down. They could have made Rin the main character and the setting the Samezuka academy if they wanted to do a more typical brimming with masculinity sports anime. But the focus remains on the “boys just want to have fun and swim” laid back members of the little rag tag Iwatobi swim team.

    I’m surprised that Haruka was so upset when Rin won and basically told him that now he can totally forget about him. I figured Haruka just wanted to be rid once and for all of the resentment and competitive jealousy that Rin harbored. Maybe the friendship meant more than I thought it did. Woah, total jerkface move Rin. It’s sad that he can throw away Haruka, as he did Nagisa and Makoto, now that he’s beaten him. I hope they keep up the intensity in the next episode as focus remains on the swimming as it’s the rest of the team’s turn. Gambare Mako, Rei, Nagisa!

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Thanks a lot!

      They wanted to stick to the masculine fanservice this time around so sadly, we’re probably not going to see anything on the opposite side. KyoAni did a decent job of weaving in some drama with Chuunibyou as well even though I don’t think its as well crafted as it is in Free!.

      I wasn’t surprised at all when Haruka was so upset as I knew how important the friendship meant for him. I mean, he’s always thinking about him (no homo) and looking at his pictures (no homo). Still, when he threw Haruka aside like that it made me feel really bad for Haru’s situation. I’m not sure if Haru’s water loving attitude will persist or if it will even prevail, but regardless, he’ll pull this through somehow.