Impression – Free!, Episode 07

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Episode 07 – “One Style Final”

The tournament swiftly approaches, and it actually seems like the Iwatobi swimming club is making progress towards being quite prepared for the competition! Haru, who previously had no interest in competitive swimming, has been gradually improving his times. Even Rei seems to be getting the hang of swimming, finally! All signs point to good things for the outcome of this most important swim meet, but what about Rin?

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What I’m liking about this series is that we’re gradually learning about each of the characters and what motivates them to swim and what obstacles they have to overcome as well. For Rei, it was simply learning the sport in the first place, which required him to change his entire outlook on life. Makoto swims because he enjoys being alongside Haru, even if it means facing his greatest fear everyday. At the moment, we don’t really know much about what drives Nagisa, but I really hope we get to see a different side to him in the near future.

This episode, we get a peek into Rin’s mind and his past, with a fantastically composed dream sequence (good job KyoAni) which kind of showcases his insecurities and where they stem from. Apparently, his father aspired to be an Olympic swimmer, but his dream was cut short due to having Rin, forcing him to retire and make a living as a fisherman. Unfortunately, he happened to be on the same boat as that old man from the last episode and drowned in the same typhoon. Because of this, Rin aims to fulfill his father’s dream and in his memory.

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However, there’s only one real roadblock for him, which is Haru, the person who doesn’t take swimming seriously and can still beat him in a race. I can only imagine how frustrating that is for Rin, who essentially dedicated his life to bettering his swimming times and still couldn’t beat Haru in a race. That, however, all changes in the very first round of the tournament, where Rin knocks Haru out in the 100m free. The question now is, can the rest of the team make up for the loss, and how will Haru handle this defeat?

B.W.

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