Free! Episode 10
DAMN. REI, THAT’S SOME GUTS YOU HAVE. I mean, wow… He has gone up directly to confront Rin himself. Shit is going to go down!!!! Maybe not in the way we’re all imaging it, but regardless what happens- it’s still going to happen!
I’m glad that we got the answers for what had happened during that Winter break Rin had returned, as well seeing the bits we hadn’t seen yet. I especially loved the fact that Haru had chased Rin down, knowing that he wasn’t acting like himself when he asked him to race. To me, it feels like Rin had already lost before he even asked Haru to race him. You can see the noticeable difference in his eyes before he set off to Australia. Before he left, you can see the light and determination in his eyes. When he drops for a visit the winter break, his eyes were dark and gloomy. If anything, I wouldn’t be surprised if he were looking for an excuse to quit after whatever had happened in Australia. I can’t say for sure, but sometimes when you go to another place to train, while you may be the best or ‘one of the strongest’ in one place, you aren’t in another, and so Rin may have ended up discouraged by the results in Australia, along with the fact that he was without a doubt, lonely. And it was because Rin announced that he ‘quits’ that Haru decides to quit the swimming club during middle school.
Speaking of Haru on the more lighter note, I was surprised really to see how guarded Haru appeared to be as a child around Rin when he transfered to their school. Admittedly, it was quite funny to see him give the guy a cold shoulder, glaring at him, constantly rejecting his requests to join the relay team. And as we already knew, in the end, Haru did take part of the relay since it would be the last time swimming with Rin before he moved off to Australia.
I find it really funny and ironic how both Rei and Rin are jealous of each other, but when it comes down to what needs to be done- it’s Rei who has the courage to go up and confront Rin head on. I felt bad for Rei throughout the episode because yes, he was basically the third-wheel, the outsider because he wasn’t part of their past with Rin. So of course it hurts to constantly hear ‘Oh Rin this, oh Rin that, oh Rin was amazing!’ and all that. Another thing I found really interesting, is that Rei noticed a change in Haru’s swimming style. He noticed that it wasn’t the same as what had first inspired him to want to learn how to swim, and it’s beauty. Honestly, it’s really hard to say whether that’s a good thing or not, but I think it’s mainly because Haru is training competitively right now, he isn’t focusing on being free and feeling like home in the water. Instead he wants to become stronger for the team, that’s his priority right now. Once the relay medley is over, I expect him to slip back into his more ‘Free’ style.
The only downside about this episode is that the beginning, or more accurately the first five minutes (excluding the OP) felt extremely rushed, and I was having a bit of difficulty keep up with what was going on. The animation quality also dipped a bit, but since this was mostly a flashback episode and giving us the answers we were waiting for, I don’t particularly mind.
Also confirmed: Amakata was a swimsuit model.