Following their win at the regionals, everyone at Iwatobi High congratulates the swim team for making it to nationals. The team itself, however, seems a little scattered and separated because Haru is feeling down, and this causes their relay times to go down. As the episode moves along, we see the perspectives of all the members over this depression, and the episode ends with a blast as Haru snaps at Makoto and then learns that he is about to leave to Tokyo to follow his dream.
The drama is reaching its peak! Somewhat. I think.
In any case, Haru is certainly not feeling fine, as stated by Makoto. He’s reaching the point that many people reach in their lives eventually: the point where suddenly you realize that you need a dream to keep going. What do I like? What do I want to do? Haru’s goal was always to live “Free” and that was pretty simple to do, but after graduation, how can he remain free like he wants to be? This episode showed clearly just how much the problem pressured him, making him snap at everyone who talked to him about it while his swimming becomes more tense, less “free”.
What was interesting about the situation as well, was seeing how everyone around Haru reacted to his downfall. It was expected to see Makoto react that way and care for him the way a lover really close friend would, but for Rei and Nagisa, who see Haru as a role model, were also really put down by the way he was acting, which changed the focus of the episode a lot. Suddenly, this episode wasn’t solely about Haru, but about the whole group. This change of focus allowed for more talk about the relay, and introduced some heavy themes of friendship in a way which truly managed to grab you personally for its reality. What Haru is going through is a completely real issue; we all at least know someone who has been through it, if not having gone through it ourselves.
Overall this episode was interesting… But really slow. The pacing of the episodes leave me kind of bored while I’m watching this; we all know what is about to happen, but we have to wait, and wait, and wait… Despite this episode being really good overall, I still can’t seem to really get into it simply because there is so much time for nothing between the drama that eventually I just don’t feel the drama anymore. Heck, they even cut out the comedy this week almost completely, so I couldn’t even entertain myself with all the stupid Free! Jokes that usually come out.