It’s flashback time! Time for us to learn more about Rin and Sousuke’s relationship, which dates from way back when.
While Rin discusses with Sousuke their arguments from the past and their motive behind their dreams, over at Iwatobi Swim Club Gou decides to train the members into eating a proper meal every day. After many attempts, however, it seems as though pretty much everything fails, although everyone admits to eating a little bit better. Meanwhile, Rin and Sousuke settle their argument over the relay competition, and Rin finally makes a decision as to who will be joining the relay for the competition.
This episode was fun!
I enjoyed learning more about Sousuke’s and Rin’s friendship; considering we hadn’t even heard about Sousuke’s existence before this season despite him being childhood friends with Rin for a long time, it’s good that we got an episode to fluff his background story and make us understand exactly how he interacted with Rin. This week’s episode was a little bit more serious than what we’ve had so far, but it was refreshing to see, and surprisingly informative…
We got some good information about Sousuke, namely the idea that this guy just doesn’t like doing relays because he is too competitive. If the producers wanted to portray him as one hell of a badass, they sure did their job right, considering that he is pretty much the manliest guy there ever could be in the Free! series. His close relationship with Rin does make him interesting, but what really makes him even more awesome is his serious need for competition and the idea that he could be a catalyst for everyone to take swimming more seriously; he will definitely help to make the plot move forward, and I like that.
Moving on to the more comedic part of the episode, where we learned that Iwatobi sells some really crazy breads at their cafeteria (to be honest, they kind of scare me), I almost felt as though this part was forced, and not as entertaining as I would have wanted it to be. Seeing the whole team try something new in order to be even more ready for the festival was interesting, but the jokes attached to every character are all ones we’ve heard more than enough already, and there wasn’t really any novelty attached to it. This caused some lines to feel overused, and overall got me a little less entertained than when Rin and Sousuke were getting serious and having some new male bonding experiences.
Overall, this episode was good, but not great. I like when Free gets a little bit more serious, but I tend to like Rin a little bit less, and seeing two males bond together over a swim race bores me a little; the comic relief was also pretty half-assed this episode, and the amount of muscle we got was clearly not enough to satisfy me. Fortunately, we will have more next week, so be sure to stay tuned!