Free! Eternal Summer Episode 11
Well wasn’t that just a heartbreaking episode? Haruka absolutely had it with everyone bringing up the subject about dreams and being pressured into entering the world stage. It is sad because, while everyone (now Rei and Nagisa included) is doing this because they care about him, want the best for him, and want more people to see him and be inspired by the way he swims, but Haruka doesn’t see it that way (and I don’t blame him because I can relate to these circumstances). It certainly didn’t help when they were already in a sticky situation of a fury of emotions when Makoto drops the bomb that he had found a dream and will be goign to University in Tokyo, and of course that just ripped Haruka’s heart out and crushed it on the spot. He made Haruka face the cold reality that he is the only one left who doesn’t have a dream, and is falling behind. And lets face it, that is just a tragic. Haruka has this remarkable talent as a swimmer, but he hasn’t been open to the idea of going pro mainly because so many people are forcing it down his throat. For Haruka, deep within his heart he wants to find that dream, that ambitious goal for the future, but the problem is he doesn’t know what it is or how to find it. This is a struggle many of us go through when it time to graduate from high school. Some already know what they want to do, others don’t and are aimlessly walking around trying to see what fits. I’ve been through that. Dreams don’t always pop up when you need it the most, for some it can take years. But often cases, the key to finding a dream is to be inspired. Inspiration is the first step, the drive to follow through on that is the second. However, as always, it is easier said than done.
Then there are also times when you lose sight of a dream that have been under your nose the entire time. Sometimes it can takes years before your vision clears and come to realize, “Yes, this is what I always wanted to do.”. That being said, since the beginning of the series, I have always been on the fence about Haruka’s true feelings about being a Professional Swimming Athlete, but today (despite the fact Haruka said: I don’t swim to win) I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps Haruka did at one point have that dream but lost sight of it despite the fact it’s right there in front of him. Admittedly, while I can’t entirely see Haruka as a professional athlete due to his life moto of living ‘Free’, I can see the possibly of how the pressure could have made him lose direction. Every time the subject comes up, Haruka had increasingly become more revolted and antsy about it. His patience worn thin and lost it.
I will confess though that one of the few things I have found very irritating about this whole ordeal is the way certain characters have approached Haruka about the subject. Like Rin, took a fit at Haruka when he got himself disqualified from the Freestyle finals. Rin was angry at him blowing it in front of the scouts because it is part of his dream to swim beside Haruka as either a team-mate or a rival in the professional world. Then we had Sousuke today, (god this one in particular really ticked me off him) going on about how Haruka draws out Rin’s potential and needs him to go forward so he needs to get his shit together. Listening to this, I was flabbergast and thought to myself, “Um? Dude, Haruka isn’t OBLIGED to do that! And I am sure Rin is more than capable of reaching his potential without Haruka’s help.” Like seriously, Sousuke was basically saying, “DO IT FOR RIN!” um, selfish much? Whether he decided to say it in this manner because he can’t pursue that dream any longer or merely because he is sick of seeing Haruka not embracing his talent- it was not the right way to go. And these characters wonder why Haruka is so upset!
Rin had received a letter from Australia and showed up the next morning to Haruka’s door saying, “Pack your stuff, we’re going to Australia!”. It will be nice if this trip can help put Haruka to ease and clear his mind. I think we can all agree that Haruka needed a get away- and if Rin is smart about it, he will bring up the subject gently as possible.