Free! Episode 8 – Teamwork

Free Matsuoka Rin
JELLY.

Someone is really jelly.
Free! Episode 8 Review
Iwatobi Swim Club Episode 8 Review
“Revenge in the Medley!”
“Gyakushū no Medorē!”
(逆襲のメドレー!)

After a brutal defeat and being disparaged by someone he sees as a friend and rival, it’s only fitting for the other side to take a bit of a beating emotionally as well. So Rin, are you enjoying the view from the sidelines while Haru and the others compete in the relay?

Free! Episode 8 Impressions

Swimsuit model.

Free nanase Haruka shower

It’s okay, Haru. You got this.

D:

Matsuoka Rin

SHAD UP.

Mikoshiba Seijuurou

RAWR.

Oh damn.

D: PLS STOP.

In the past, as we’ve seen in pictures and a few short clips, Rin was an energetic, always smiling, and non-shark-teeth swimmer. My guess is that he went to Australia to be the best, but that was spurred on partially by his fascination with swimming itself and not just winning. Haru saw the beauty in the way Rin did what he did and was probably inspired himself. Of course, that’s not to say that it only goes one way. Rin was undoubtedly amazed by Haru’s freestyle which had an effect on his view of swimming. However, upon returning to face Haruka again, Rin suffers a terrible defeat that may have desensitized himself for his love for swimming and more for competing for time, and most importantly, competing to win. Even Haruka is suffering a bit from it and he’s the person who cares least about actually winning so you can see what kind of effect such a loss can have on an individual who wants to be the best.

Tachibana Makoto muscles

MUSCLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!!

Nanase Haruka

I WANT TO BE THE VERY BEST. THAT NO ONE EVER WAAAS. Dunno why that came across my mind.

Tachibana Makoto

FABULOUS SWIMMING, MAKOTO.

GO GO GO GO GO GO FABULOUSSSSS!!!

Ryugazaki Rei

Lolok.

Ryugazaki Rei swimming

ROFLMAO.

Iwatobi club

GOOD JOB.

The cheering may be embarrassing, but the MUSCLES and the swimming are wonderful. The energy is contagious and Haru got a bit of that which must have made him see just a bit of why he’s swimming. Still, it’s disappointing that no one made it to the regionals. It goes to show that practicing just for a few months won’t be enough. Still, we know when they are going to shine. Not when they are alone, but when they are together in the relay. You know what’s going to happen from here right? Oh yeah, the fabulousness isn’t going to be cut short and the conflict with Rin isn’t done just yet.

LOL. SHE WANTED TO SEE THE MARVELOUS BATHING OF MUSCULARNESS.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?

Last few times that happened….

Swimming anime makoto

Awww…

DEEPLY TOUCHED.

Tachibana Makoto surprised

:)

Matsuoka Gou

MOE.

“Why do I swim?” Haruka asks himself after facing a barrier he’s never faced. However, he soon realizes that the people who got him into swimming again may be the ones he is swimming for. Not for himself, but for the whole team. For his friends so that they can share the moment of glory once again like when they were young. Perhaps just the act of swimming with his friends is a good enough reason for him for the moment. Whatever it may be, he’s cleared his mind on the uncertainties and found a path he can tread even if not everything is clear in his field of vision.

FABULOUS.

Iwatobi swim club relay

OHHHH YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHH!!!

rin shark teeth

HAH.

WATCH THAT FABULOUSNESS.

Nagisa Hazuki

I’m pretty sure it’s not an illusion. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were an alien.

DERP.

Matsuoka Rin

STILL BETTER THAN SOMEONE WHO’S NOT THERE.

LOL.

JELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

Matsuoka Rin

BE AMAZED.

Free anime dive

FABULOUS. It’s as if he were diving into the ocean.

THAT’S RIGHT RIN. TAKE THAT. ARE YOU JELLY NOW?! TASTE SOME OF THAT MAKOTO BACKSTROKE FABULOUSNESS AND SOME NAGISA ARM-EXTENDING STUFF. What hurt the most was seeing is “replacement” be someone amateur and him commenting on the fact that he could have been so much better. WELL TOO BAD YOU’RE THE ONE WHO DITCHED THEM. TASTE SOME MORE JELLY. MWAHAHAHA. Okay, but we can’t forget the FABULOUS NANASE………………… Fucking KyoAni and their teasing. God dammit. Oh well, the point has been made and Rin now sees what he’s missing by being a complete asshole. TASTE THE BEAUTY, TASTE THE FABULOUSNESS AND TASTE THE FREE!

Free! Episode 8 Review

I have to admit that the ending part where Rin’s face is being zoomed in with that music playing in the background is actually pretty funny. Probably unintentionally so. Okay, to be more serious, this episode deals more with the emotional side pertaining to teamwork, their past, and their beliefs. It’s always hard to pull off moments of friendship and worry without making it too eye-roll-inducing. KyoAni does a decent job with the message on the phone and the flashbacks to the competition. It definitely wasn’t too dramatic and the soundtrack goes along with it just fine. Thank God there’s no overreaction, screaming, or something that would make me say “not this again…”

Most of the pent up tension is released at the end when they all compete in the relay. We knew this was going to happen and it doesn’t disappoint. Seeing Rin recount his friends’ strokes and being totally jealous while making derogatory comments in his mind about Rei are fabulous and funny. When I first watched it, the music made it a bit more dramatic than I would have liked, but fuck that. This is just damn fabulous, and I can’t deny that. The way Rin gets so quickly drawn back into the team and other small things I could nitpick do not take away from the experience as the rest of the parts are done well. Overall, it’s yet another solid episode that makes me like this anime more and more.

Free Wallpaper Swimming Anime

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  • zztop

    Rei’s butterfly pattern pyjamas O__O

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

      Oh gawd I missed that. I wasn’t paying attention when that happened. *Sigh

  • Jack

    I don’t understand why most fans are so hard on Rin. Really. I have to say I identify with Rin the most than anybody else. He’s flawed, yes, but he’s probably the most realistic one of the group. The most ‘human’. Life is hard. Nothing comes easy for you, and Rin understands that the most. Unlike Rin, Haruka got massive talent but never fully utilized it. He swims only just for ‘fun’, and despite that, Haruka still bested him in a race (when they were young) even though Rin’s gone through so much practice. I can see why he’s become bitter and irritated by Haruka, who in Rin’s eyes are just playing around, never take it seriously, and still wins despite all that. While everyone else swims just for fun, Rin has the highest stake among the group, and that makes me feel he deserves to win the most. I enjoy the competitiveness that Rin brings to the anime and wish to see more of him. :)

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

      Personally, I don’t hate him and the only reason I’m hard on him is that I tend to be hard on a few people in various anime just for random fun. Of course, most people understand what he’s going through. Life is, as you describe, hard and many can understand the resentment. However, that doesn’t mean we’re not going to call out his attitude. If he’s a dick, he’s a dick. Though, I can’t deny the fact that he’s one of the most interesting characters and he’ll probably change his attitude when he realizes his faults.

      • Jack

        Haha yea I also feel he’s being a dick, and that his little speech with Haru was uncalled for. But if everyone is well-behaved and nice to each other things would be uninteresting, wouldn’t it? What I don’t understand is why such a strong reaction and bashing from most fans I encountered. I don’t know. I feels that without Rin this anime will be such a pain to watch. I still enjoy the sporty side of this anime the most and feel that the best episodes are the ones that they are competing for some tangible goals (and all of them have a lot of Rin in it). It feels that aside from Rin and the Samezuka team, everyone else is just goofing around for the most part, and can’t provide the anime with some seriousness a sport anime (if we can call this anime that) needs. While everyone else are confided into their respective anime stereotypes, I enjoy seeing Rin who probably has displayed the widest range of emotions yet. Like you said, a change of attitude would be good for his character and his soul, but I feel that won’t come easy. That would be too boring and conflicts are what makes a story great, is it not? :)

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

          Of course, conflicts are what make the story interesting. And I agree that some fans are bashing a bit too much, but hey, people are justified in calling him a dick because he is one. It’s not like we can forgive him for his rudeness with the excuse that the story would be too boring if he weren’t. The fact is that he’s a dick that makes the story interesting so people call him a dick. That’s all. People who overly bash him are probably unjustified to do so and we can safely ignore them. Some people just don’t see the other side of the spectrum.

          • Yun

            Actually reading the novel it’s based on I feel for Rin a lot more.

            I dont necessarily think that he is the one pushing away the group. Its more like he doesnt know how to face them and handle them anymore. From the start, it was him who brought them all together. And as Jack mentioned, he has the highest stakes and is not just in this for fun like the others.

            To me, Haru with his carefree attitude bested him while he spent his time trying his hardest really scarred him. Almost like a “you can never beat his talent” thing. Which must be crushing for a young child who is chasing a big dream, trying to fulfill a legacy left behind.

            (I’m not sure if you read the novel) but from the ending of it when they buried the trophy as kids, there was something mentioned that really tugged at me. That led me to believe that Rin in all his cocky shark-teeth baring manner loves them a lot more than he wants himself to believe. And all this time, he distances himself from them and from the sport because while holding onto his friendship and dreams, he found himself to be in tossed into the shadow of someone dear to him.

            Rin as a person feels more like a kid trying to prove himself while afraid to face up to the daunting mountain that is Haru. So he walks away, afraid that their kindness would end up hurting him.

            Rin is a poor jelly baby. ):

    • Flaiboy

      Outright cheating aside, the person who crosses the finish line first deserves to win. It doesn’t matter who worked harder or who has more talent. Rin cannot reconcile that real life does not match up with his ideas of how life should operate.

      I won’t be hard on Rin . . . he’s human. I feel that for all the angst he’s throwing at everyone, even those on his team, he’s hurting himself the most and that makes him a character to be pitied in my book. He is missing out renewing the friendships of his past because in his immaturity he was unable to deal with a lost race against Haru that I think he felt he DESERVED to win, and his inability to grow past that pain has stifled his maturity. If he had been able to accept that loss and move past it his growth would not have been hindered; instead, he decided that the only way to right the “wrong” and make it “fair” was to beat Haru in a rematch.

      The problem for Rin lies in that all he did was manage to change the outcome without dealing with the core issue: dealing with defeats and trials in your life. Makes me wonder how much of this he picked up growing up with his father – it’s implied that his father had talent and yet didn’t make the Olympic team because he got married and had Rin. I wonder if his father ever struggled with the same thing and then unconsciously modeled this attitude at home before he died at sea. Or even worse maybe mumbled in a stressful time, “Gee, if I hadn’t gotten married and had this kid I could have made the Olympic team.” That kind of guilt will mess you up.

      Interestingly, the relationship Rin has with his underclassman roommate and teammate is a reversed image of Rin and Haru. Rin is entering only the freestyle event though he is capable of much more which upsets his roommate because he can’t even enter his prefered event cuz his times aren’t good enough. He thinks that Rin is underachieving. He thinks it is unfair. Rin can’t even see it.

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

        Huh, for some reason my comment didn’t go through a few days ago. But anyways, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Rin is being immature with how he deals with tough situations. Friendship and dwelling on the unnecessary parts of failure are both things he handled poorly leading to only more struggles and he doesn’t even see that.

        It’s interesting that you mention the reversed relationship of his underclassman as that’s very true. It just goes to show how blind he is to the situation and how a keen reminder of the brighter parts of his past may finally begin to wake him up to what really matters.

        • Flaiboy

          I do hope we get to see him wake up and change and mature, but not at the expense of his dreams. In other words, I would like to see him continue in his goals, continue swimming with is current team, continue striving for a chance at the Olympics. It’s common to see characters lose their direction when a life change happens, and that would be a shame for Rin.

          It would be cool to see him reconcile with Haru et al and be able to cheer them on in their pursuits while at the same time understanding that his road is going in a different direction and it’s OK to move on. I think it would be a mistake if KyoAni were to try to insert Rin back into the mix somehow. I like what they’ve got going with the four friends being together and charged up to compete as a team in the medley. I really liked this episode a lot.

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

            I can already see the character development in the upcoming episodes and I agree that it’ll be strange for Rin to go back to the team. They already have four people which is exactly what they need for the medley and Rei is doing a… nice job of the BUTTARFLY. Since their specialty is the relay, it’ll be weird for them to have five people as one of them would have to be “kicked out.”

            It’ll be very interesting seeing what role Rin has in the future as he’s not part of the group per se but he’s still an essential character. Too bad the season is drawing to a close as there’s still a lot to explore. Man, it would be awesome if we saw them at the Olympics or something. Definitely excited and hopefully it sells well enough for a second season as it deserves that with what I’ve seen so far.

  • Gwyn

    Gwaaaaarrrhhh! When I first watch this episode, I had to resist the strong urge to do a huge amount of Rin-bashing. Oh kami, he’s so immature. You beat me in a race so we’re not friends anymore, yet when you actually do make other friends, I get super emo over it because you are supposed to be still stuck over the fact that I’m not your friend anymore.

    Okay, resist…no more bashing…Zen…

    About this episode, I was a little disappointed because I was kinda hoping to see Makoto get angry over Haru being taunted/bullied. Would have been nice to see him show more emotion than just his super sweet self, but I guess that would have been out of character. Instead, he tries to show some compassion to Rin by explaining why Haru races him.

    On the bright side, Haruka is a lot stronger than he looks. Despite looking so demure, he didn’t actually break emotionally when Rin rubs his loss in his face. Instead he shows pretty good maturity by deciding to join in the relay (which he normally doesn’t go for). Rin finally realises that he’s the one who has been most affected by the duel with Haru, and he’s being left out while Haru joins a relay with new nakama in his team. In other words Haru has moved on, while Rin’s still stuck in the past.

    Perhaps the next episode may show him coming back?

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

      Rin will probably realize his “mistake” or his faults as a character soon enough. It’s not going to end without bitter resentment on his end though and we can hope to see more heated battles between them before this series is over. Everyone will contribute to his realization should that ever come. Looking forward to it for sure.

  • zztop

    I want to see the reveal of Miss Amakata’s past occupation…There’s been so much speculation, but no official clues dropped yet!

  • Mellow

    I’d really like to see more of the past of each person eventually… I mean we’ve already seen a bit of Makoto and Rin’s past but Haruka and Rei and even Ama-chan sensei are still shrouded in mystery. Honestly, I kind of like how there is still a bit to learn about the main character… it sort of makes him seem more dynamic than just a flat board of blah. For instance, how long ago did his parents leave him, how has that affected him, just what was his grandmother like, what will he eventually decide is his purpose of swimming etc. anyway yeah, I loved episode 8 a lot! Seriously a swimming anime should not make me so enthusiastic!!!!

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

      I doubt we’re going to see everyone’s backstories in this season, but given enough time, I think we will. Though, it doesn’t mean that everyone has to have a dramatic past as I’m not sure if that’ll do more good than the current and future conflicts that this anime will have.

      I certainly didn’t expect to like this anime as much as I do and it’s not just the fabulousness either which is impressive.

  • Cait

    omg your reviews always make me laugh my ass off thank you!!!

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

      :) Thank you for reading!

  • mutualAnimosity

    My goggles have fallen off during the dive on a 100 meter butterfly before. I feel ya, Rei. It is really not fun.