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Free! – 04

「囚われのバタフライ!」 (Toreware no Batafurai!)
“Captive Butterfly!”

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!



End Card

July 24, 2013 at 4:01 pm
  • July 24, 2013 at 4:04 pmCybersteel

    Beating down on his confidence. Totally sounds like …..

  • July 24, 2013 at 4:23 pmana

    Their preferred swimming stroke was always implied in the ED in their disco dance under the Taj Mahal. Nagi with his breast stroke his little hand gesture mimics the stroke kinda, Makoto backstroke with his swooshy arms, Rei and butterfly also with the arms actually doing the butterfly stroke and Haru swishes his head from side to side in the manner that a Freestyle swimmer takes air.

    • July 24, 2013 at 10:08 pmrandom viewer

      My guess is that you watched the ending without the English lyrics. And IMO Rei looked like he was doing the breaststroke with how his arms push out from the midline.
      Anyways, to see Rei swimming the butterfly stroke in that butterfly pattern swimsuit would be one way to distract the other swimmers in the tournament. This episode brought out good laughs. Also, to be able to swim within a week is a good accomplishment.

    • July 26, 2013 at 7:03 pmHenDarou

      It was also implied in the OP, in the very intense swimming part.

  • July 24, 2013 at 4:40 pmSakana-chan

    the epic hotness, cuteness and dumbness is over 9000 >.<


  • July 24, 2013 at 4:42 pmahomine

    love the end card

  • July 24, 2013 at 4:59 pmKitsu

    “Nor has Rei apologized for being a complete dick to everyone” you mean Rin?

  • July 24, 2013 at 5:04 pmAnanas

    This show keeps improving every episode.

    Glad to see that Kyoani did notice that some jokes were getting old after a while.


    Next week is the desert crossing.

    • July 25, 2013 at 9:05 amKah

      Yep! Even Gou running out of sparkles during the swimsuit parade was totally hilarious!

      • July 28, 2013 at 2:57 pmpetitorenji

        And that’s what I love about KyoAni: they acknowledge their weaknesses with style and are not afraid to utilize it. Her reaction to the four is the highlight of the series so far.

  • July 24, 2013 at 5:07 pmElle

    Rin: “You can tell by looking at their bodies. They haven’t been working out.”

    WELL I BEG TO DIFFER. And I’m sure so would Gou. I look at those bodies and see nothing but biceps and abs of the finest quality.

    • July 24, 2013 at 5:20 pmbillng

      Zyzz would be sad, its the revolution brah

    • July 25, 2013 at 8:06 amAni_BEE

      Nay! Their tone but they lost muscle density compared to a lot of swimmers. ;)

  • July 24, 2013 at 5:07 pmTakaii

    Yeah, thanks! Fixed.

  • July 24, 2013 at 5:27 pmstarss

    “See you next water time”?? …. grammar, much???

    • July 24, 2013 at 5:34 pmana

      Eh, that’s deliberate. Free! airs on Wednesday which is suiyoubi in Japanese which roughly translates to water day.

  • July 24, 2013 at 5:28 pmMgMaster

    How fitting for the Free! post to be right above DxD.

  • July 24, 2013 at 5:30 pmzztop

    I heard on a forum that Japan isn’t showing the next ep of Free! until Aug 7th. Is this true, and if so, what’s the reason?

    • July 24, 2013 at 8:04 pmCherrie

      Not sure of the reason, but it’s true that the next episode isn’t going to air until 2 weeks from now (Aug. 7th). I usually source from Syoboi: http://cal.syoboi.jp/tid/3031/time

      • July 24, 2013 at 8:44 pmstarss

        Why not???

    • July 24, 2013 at 10:23 pmmegalith

      Yep it’s true. Apparently 3D Swimming competition is gonna take place.

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:25 amMomogoldfish

      Ironically, its because they are airing the World Swimming Championship

      • July 25, 2013 at 6:19 amstarss

        …. I witnessed crazier coincidences in this world.

  • July 24, 2013 at 6:14 pmDrift

    LOOOL good to finally see male swimsuit fashion show for once in an anime since it’s always the girls that gets scene like that XDDDD

    • July 24, 2013 at 7:16 pmzztop

      This is glorious payback for every countless anime with girls changing into ero bikinis, swimsuits, and the like! You may rejoice, all ye fangirls!

    • July 25, 2013 at 5:39 pmblux

      Though some of the swimsuits were less than fanservice… *coughbutterflysuitcough*

  • July 24, 2013 at 6:16 pmstarss

    The crash course on swimming tricks was educational. …. but the way Rei develops his own swimming moves sounds totally illogical. I never heard of anyone who learned swimming like that, or even sank to the bottom every time he tried. Again, human bodies float.

    Okay. What male would willing try on anything in a clothing store for that long?? You know, guys, it’s getting very hard to defend my opinion that this show isn’t gay!

    Next week is the SWIMMING FANSERVICE episode! …… wait….

    • July 24, 2013 at 9:55 pmmegalith

      Whilst it is kinda farfetched, some people can’t really float on their backs constantly without kicking or paddling their arms.. Some can do it seawater but not on regular pool water.

    • July 25, 2013 at 12:39 amKurama

      Yes, because we all know that if a man enjoys shopping or clothes than he *must* also love being anally penetrated, there’s simply no other explanation.

    • July 25, 2013 at 11:38 amPringlesXD

      I think this was a spoof on how there’s always a scene with girls buying swimsuits in most girl-centered animes. Don’t take it seriously, take it for what it is.

  • July 24, 2013 at 6:19 pmSailor Enlil

    For a moment I thought I saw Papillion (from Busou Renkin) XD

  • July 24, 2013 at 8:05 pmzztop

    The facial expressions of Free!:

    Haruka : Usually (-_-) , when water/pool mentioned becomes ─=≡Σ((( つ•̀ω•́)つ

    Makoto : (^_^)

    Nagisa : (^ω^) with a hint of (`ω´)

    Rei: Usually -o-o- but can also become (╯°□°)╯なぜ ━━━━━━!!!!!

    Rin: (▼へ▼)

    Gou: キタ━━━(゜∀゜)━━━!!!!! when muscles are displayed

  • July 24, 2013 at 8:08 pmCherrie

    When Haru and Rin were talking outside the mall and getting all serious… then Haru walks away and Rin runs up to him and pins him against the fence… omg, I think I just got turned on *fans herself X_X *breatheee….

    Gotta say that the intense stare from Rin was pretty captivating – looked sad but very determined at the same time. I would’ve kissed that face ;)

    • July 25, 2013 at 12:35 amKurama

      You sound like you’re wetter than anyone in this episode…

    • July 25, 2013 at 3:18 amVaans


      I imagine Cherrie fangirling like Gou now. XD

    • July 25, 2013 at 8:12 amAni_BEE

      Fujoshi bait…. total fujoshi bait!

      I actually like that scene because it the first almost normal conversation those two have had. ;)

  • July 24, 2013 at 8:16 pmKurama

    I love being bisexual.

  • July 24, 2013 at 9:12 pmKinji

    Dunno why Im here for the boys but Im more exited when its Gou’s screntime

  • July 24, 2013 at 9:14 pmberrish17

    Omg…Rei makes me laugh.lol

    The pic of Makoto’s lil brother clinging onto Haruka is sooooooooo CUTE <3 <3

  • July 24, 2013 at 10:22 pmrandom viewer

    My guess to look ahead and remind myself…always learning something new ;P
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 25, 2013 at 12:58 amMeldoy

    Makoto with glasses….. <3

  • July 25, 2013 at 2:03 amflCer


    It’s Kou not Gou

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:46 pmTakaii

      Like I said last week, my goal for this entire series is to call her Gou. Gou-chuan~

  • July 25, 2013 at 2:41 ammistress_kisara

    God this was hilarious!

  • July 25, 2013 at 2:54 amanon

    stupid question : will we ever see kou in a swimsuit?

    • July 25, 2013 at 5:44 amKitsu

      This is becoming one of the biggest mysteries of the series. Until now she wears only casual clothes or baggy costume by the pool, making us more excited to see her unveiled ^^

  • July 25, 2013 at 2:57 amechykr

    Because without Gou in this show, I’d effectively lose half the reason why I watch it!

    This man speaks the truth.

    If you are wondering why the comedy was so spot on, the screenwriter for the past few eps is a certain Yokotani Masahiko, who just came out fresh from writing the surprise comedy hit Hataraku Maou-sama.

    I think Kyo-Ani knew people (both their old fanbase and usual haters) will be taking the piss out of them doing a supposedly “gay” show, so they thought “what the heck, we might as well play along with such ridicule and have fun with it”. So far, hiring Yokotani to do the script has paid off as long as you don’t treat the show too seriously.

    • July 25, 2013 at 7:32 am7godeohs

      ^Seconded. Another part that keeps me watching is the possibility that we’ll see Miho “I’m never going to put on a swimsuit” Amakata actually put on a swimsuit. Don’t get me wrong, the show is good overall, I’m just sayin’.

  • July 25, 2013 at 3:33 amKen-chan

    Nagi-chan stuffing Pizza is the cutest thing ever!!!

    • July 25, 2013 at 6:21 amstarss

      You know that you can’t swim after eating until a half-hour later! Plus, Rin DID say they’re out of shape! ….

      • July 25, 2013 at 4:01 pmVaans

        Gou-chan doesn’t agree with you.

    • July 25, 2013 at 7:39 amzztop

      Wonder if Nagisa could beat Attack on Titan’s Sasha in a pizza-eating contest…

  • July 25, 2013 at 3:36 amKF

    This episode is quite educational. I’m starting to see some real value here. Maybe they are on to something.


  • July 25, 2013 at 5:26 amP Ko

    I’m not gay but…

  • July 25, 2013 at 5:53 amlune

    Really a funny episode!^^ I already though Rei will the butterfly stroke, I always question his t-shirt if you guys notice Haru-dolphine, Makoto-whale, Nagisa-penguin & Rei-butterfly also Rin-shark…

    I like what Haru told Rin not to give up or cry if he loses but think there another reason why Rin is like that aside from lossing to Haru. Still I like the episode!^^

  • July 25, 2013 at 7:38 amzztop

    If you look carefully at the swimsuits Haruka picks out and models, the purple stripe patterns/curves on each swimsuit are slightly different from each other.

    Other than that, there is absolutely no difference at all between them. -ω-”

    Nagisa really likes the flashy, flamboyant swimsuits, doesn’t he?

  • July 25, 2013 at 8:27 amMisk

    I found it funny when Gou Kou said it was getting warm enough for swimming when she was dressed like it was about to snow XD

    • July 25, 2013 at 1:48 pmTakaii

      I was going through my screencaps, and man I NEED MORE GOU.

      Can someone draw me Gou with this pose with a nice background? http://randomc.net/image/Free/Free%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2010.jpg


      • July 25, 2013 at 1:48 pmTakaii


      • July 25, 2013 at 11:52 pmsonicsenryaku

        Gou is drawn and designed pretty damn well; I expect more hnnnnnng’s from many fans in the near future

  • July 25, 2013 at 2:17 pmtaiakun

    I don’t think it is too outlandish that butterfly is the stroke he is able to swim. Butterfly is the hardest, but as you mentioned, it is the one that depends the most on form. The thing with butterfly is that, if you have your form correct, then the momentum from the movement is sufficient enough. It’s essentially diving into the water, then doing a strong kick to come out of the water (which is the difficult part), and repeating. Just doing those motions alone keeps you moving forward and also keeps you at the surface of the water rather than sinking. Other strokes, while requiring form, is perhaps more reliant on strength and technique.

    That aside, it did happen too quickly for my liking, that overnight he was suddenly able to swim butterfly. I would’ve liked to see a few mins to the end him learning that he is capable of swimming butterfly.

  • July 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm5OClockTea

    Oh Gou! I love the lady she was named after. And I adore her in this show.

    To think I am internally shipping Gou and the other swim team captain rather than the boys like a good fujoshi is supposed to do. KyoAni, what are you doing to me?

  • July 25, 2013 at 10:13 pmCrunchie

    Butterfly because his arms propel him OUT of the water woo~

  • July 26, 2013 at 2:31 amdu5k

    TorewarA no Batafurai. Just saying.

    • July 26, 2013 at 2:32 amdu5k

      Fuck. I meant TorAware no batafurai

  • July 26, 2013 at 3:04 amZhinvu

    Gou/Kou never fails to captivate me. Not only did she look pretty and sparkling(literally) in her casual wear, but in this episode she showed she isn’t just a pretty face. She’s also a very capable club manager, getting serious when it’s necessary (Rei was at the receiving end of that). I was impressed how she adjusted Rin’s training regiment to accommodate Rei’s inability to swim. And Takaii so far I wouldn’t worry about Captain Mikoshiba. From today’s episode too it looked like Gou/Kou isn’t really interested in him. And really Ama-chan-sensei’s extreme aversion to swimsuits really perplexes me now. Something really embarrassing must have happened in her previous work.

  • July 26, 2013 at 4:23 amdark

    i guess my hope for haru x gou at the beginning of ep is shattered by haru x rin in the middle
    and i guess this series go to the tag echi in term of muscle

  • July 28, 2013 at 7:38 amMagoiichi

    I’m still watching this show waiting for the hax superhuman “generation of miracles” equivalent of swimming to show up. Well, the other reason would be to see Sensei in a swimsuit! That is the endgame for the show.

    I like Rei, he’s the only one on the team that needs improvement apparently. I haven’t seen Makoto, Nagisa, or Haru do any sort of self improvement so far, they just stand around being all fanservice, meh.

    I like Goukou too, but she ain’t about dat life like Riko is.

  • July 31, 2013 at 4:05 pmmianghuei

    if anyone is wondering, episode 5 is delayed due to….swimming competition, ironically.


  • August 6, 2013 at 9:21 amAshen-phoenix

    Really loved this episode. Funny, awkward (those ugly swimsuits, Rei, dear gawd!), and even some excellent character development between Rin and Haru. What more could I ask for? Gou is a character I didn’t expect to like or root for as much as I have come to (Indeed I think cap. Mikoshiba is crushing on her, and I’d say why not? He seems like a nice guy, plus he’s enabling Iwatobi to get closer to Rin!).
    The little chinks in Rin’s a-hole armor really showed this time for me, and I love how Haru even seemed aware of it to some extent (when he spoke to Rei near the end, especially). A nice bonding scene between him and Mr. Analytical helped.

    Cannot wait for the next episode. This is shaping up to be a sweet, fun, and deeper-than-I-expected anime.

  • August 15, 2013 at 4:16 pmAnonymous

    You know, it’s only today that I realized you guys have silently dropped Free seeing as it’s no longer listed under the “Current Series” bar on the right hand side of the site.

    You could have at least just make a brief announcement, either at the end of this post or on the announcement bar on your main page saying you’re going to drop it so people aren’t left hanging wondering when you guys are going to update.

    A little communication goes a long way, mate.

    • August 15, 2013 at 8:46 pmstarss

      9 days of worrying and it turns out to be for nothing. It could be worse. It could be a show that was anticipated for months and had a fan following…

    • August 15, 2013 at 10:37 pmchioneicedyrken

      Same here! I thought it was rather odd that there wasn’t any post for ep5. I brushed it off as the reviewer being busy or whatnot. Then when I wanted to re-read ep4 review today, I realised it wasn’t in the “Current Series” list too! I agree with you. If the blog had wanted to drop, then they should have made an announcement in this episode or edited in the season schedule. The very least, say something when Takaii reviews Monogatari series. Yes, a lil communication goes a long way.

      • August 16, 2013 at 5:41 amstarss

        As for that one, I realized he didn’t get to the next episode of THAT either!!

        Takaii!!! Stay alive!!!! Breathe, dammit!

  • August 15, 2013 at 8:44 pmSad_Reader

    After I returned from my trip I also noticed that Free was dropped from the “Current Series.” I wish RC had continued to update it…I was always looking forward to read the updates on Free :( So sad and bummed T_T

    • August 15, 2013 at 8:45 pmstarss


      ….. so…………..

      ……… we gon’ git any UPDATE on this, or are we just supposed to go by our slow, weeks-long assumptions here?

  • August 15, 2013 at 11:17 pmJonnyVegas

    Is there any reason why you guys would drop this series? I mean, at least tell me something like Takaii is busy or whatnot.