Free! – 04
「囚われのバタフライ!」 (Toreware no Batafurai!)
After last week’s debacle with Rei’s inability to swim, I was nervously excited for this week’s episode. I mean, there’s always a chance that an episode like this could end up being really boring depending on how it’s produced, right? But after watching Rei’s first prideful belly flop into the pool, it became clear that this was going to be a hilarious episode.
For those of you who’ve already watched the episode, in hindsight doesn’t it make complete sense that out of all the strokes, the butterfly would be the one he’d be capable of doing? Not only is it the most difficult stroke conceptually but the ability to use it effectively completely relies on how “beautiful” your form is. And I’m willing to bet if the words conceptual understanding and beautiful are in the same phrase, Rei will always be the first one to jump on it. That and if you go back through the episode, KyoAni was pretty slick with how they kept dropping little hints about “butterflies” everywhere.
Then again, I enjoyed every moment of watching Rei make a fool of himself in the pool. From the belly flops to watching him flap around like a fish out of water, I thought it really helped with toning down that arrogant side of him that flares up when he’s embarrassed. Because doesn’t it just make you giggle when you hear that confident tone of his followed by complete failure? But the best part of the episode was definitely the shopping section — where else would you get to see Rei (who I thought was pretty stylish) wear an ugly, frilly butterfly styled swimsuit? But in addition to watching the guys change, I loved and will always love how KyoAni takes the time to add in a scene of Gou ogling all the guys. Because without Gou in this show, I’d effectively lose half the reason why I watch it!
All-in-all not too shabby of an episode if I were to say so myself. Not only did things end on a pleasant note with Rei discovering his profound ability to swim using the butterfly stroke but amongst all the antics with trying to teach him how to swim we got a lot character development between Haru and Rin — something I thought wasn’t going to happen until much later. Sure their differences haven’t been settled nor has Rin apologized for being a complete dick to everyone but it finally feels like the anchor that’s been holding down Haru has been raised! Be it in swimming or just how his outlook on how he lives his life, hopefully this means we’ll see something epic come out of Haru the next time he hits the water!
P.S. Is it just me or does it seem like Mikoshiba has the hots for Gou? Which if it is, I don’t like it! And the full-sized screen caps are exactly where you think they are — go check them out!