Free! Is the latest product from Kyoto Animation. How will this “swimming anime” fair during this hot Summer?
RECAP: Haruka is a second year high school student that absolutely loves swimming. He once swam with a group of boys back in Elementary school, even winning a tournament. Now, he goes to school with childhood friend, Makoto, who was also on that swim team years ago. On their second day of school, they meet their old friend, teammate, and transfer student, Nagisa. With 3/4th of their team reunited, they decide to dig up a time capsule they left at the old swimming club they used to go to. There, they unexpectedly meet their 4th member who moved away to Australia, RIn, whose attitude has grown seemingly very arrogant and distant. Eager to find out more, Haruka and friends scope out the school RIn goes to in an attempt to find out more about his current state of affairs. When they sneak in to use the pool, Rin catches them. But Haruka challenges Rin to a race.
Just to give you guys a little back story on this series here are some facts:
– The work is based on a light novel titled “High Speed!” which won an Honorable Mention in Kyoto Animation Award contest back in 2011.
– The real hype for this series draws from a 30-second animated PV that aired right after the end of KyoAni’s previous work, Tamako Market. It garnered a lot of internet popularity, eventually leading to the production of a TV series.
Anyways, back to the actual content of the episode. The early bits of this episode set up a simple history for our characters, especially Haruka. We come to learn a little bit of the personalities from their younger selves and realize how important their friendship will be later on down the line. Additionally, Haruka is very aloof and tends to be alone. However, Makoto and Nagisa change that up by stringing him into taking action. After all, all Haruka wants to do is be one with the water.
…which brings me to the next bit. Haruka only ever wants to swim. He seems to feel most at ease when he is in the water, which explains why he even sinks himself into the bath tub even in the early morning. Because of that, Makoto and Nagisa are able to convince him to do anything so long as it may involve swimming in the end. He has a one-track mind, but somewhere behind that water-muddled head of his, I believe he values his friends just as much.
When their old friend, Rin, returns from Australia, he is like a whole other person. He is no longer like he was as a kid. I suppose he has been tainted by the competitiveness of the sport. On the contrary, Haruka never really cared much for competitive swimming before Rin’s influence. Hell, he doesn’t really care now. But, as if he has something to prove to Rin, Haruka eagerly challenges him to a race.
Not sure if I’m enjoying how well drawn this show is or I’m turning homo for these characters.