Anime Review: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club – 05

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The guys go out of their way to plan a Summer training camp at a nearby island.  But it just might be more eventful than they originally thought.

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RECAP:  With about two months to go until the prefectural tournament, the guys prepare to some stamina-boosting regimens. However, Kou-chan finds the old swim club’s “Hell” Summer Camp training manual in the clubroom.  This sparks the group into wanting to fulfill that instead of swimming at school.  With some trouble, they eventually find a way to do so.  On the island, they find that Rin and the rest of Samezuka’s team are using the facilities nearby; but they carry on and do their own thing.  The inter-island, long-distance swimming turns out to be quite taxing, as Rei feels the need that he must better himself.  But that determination is soon refuted by nature…

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I don’t understand the motives behind why characters in anime are always so excited/are okay with camping out on a deserted island.  Surely there are safety issues to be more concerned about.  Maybe it is a thing about being more adventurous compared to the humble-mannered society that is Japan.  Anyway, 1km swim and 1km run between three islands sounds like hell already.

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What this episode continuously alluded to was the fact that Makoto has some sort of trauma from the past in regards to him and the ocean.  It obviously isn’t the fact that he lost a parent to the raging sea; unless we take into consideration that his mom or dad remarried.  But let us assume that his family is still intact.

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The next thing I can think of is that a beloved grandparent (most likely a fisherman grandfather) is who died out at sea.  Although Makoto says that he has come to terms with it, it is very likely that he hasn’t.  Why do I say that?  Well, the fact that he still honors the death of a goldfish that he had when he was a kid tells it all.  The fact that he still observes the death of a “family member” like a goldfish can allude to the fact that he still feels something in regards to the person he lost back then as well.  It could also be that Makoto honors the goldfish’s death the same as the person who gave him the fish in the first place.

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Rin and Kou-chan have a very realistic sibling relationship.  Rin, while a hardass, is still quite protective of his little sister.  And Kou, while she exerts her independence, still loves being with her dependable brother.  I think that Kou-chan’s presence is meant to be the person we, the audience, are supposed to relate to the most.  She, like us, is an observer.  She sees all the stuff going on between all of the guys and is trying to make sense of the events that transpired, leading up to the current situation.  She says so herself, asking why Rin can’t be enjoying himself with Haru and the others.

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Rei has the right mindset.  He carries a bit of loyalty to the team and his friends.  He doesn’t want to let them down when it counts later on in the prefectural tournament.  But the one thing he didn’t calculate the concept of was Mother Nature.  This will carry in as a lesson for him to take training at a slower pace and making good observation of the environment around him.  But the major lesson to result out of this will be for Makoto, who is the only one that can save Rei right now.  Despite his past trauma, will he be able to save Rei, or will they both need to be saved?

Rating:  4/5

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They must have dated in high school or something.

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