「決戦のスタイルワン!」 (Kessen no Sutairuwon!)
“One Final Style”
I am completely stunned by how this episode ended — and I mean completely and utterly stunned. I don’t know about any of you out there but I never for the life of me thought Haru would lose to Rin!
But before I get into how sly Kyoani is trying to be, I really enjoyed this week’s perspective change. Besides seeing Rin as a total jerk to everyone but his sister, it was nice to get a closer look just what makes him tick. While it isn’t too hard to believe that he was inspired by his dad to become the best at swimming, I wasn’t sure what to make of his explanation behind how he lost his dad. Because unless I’m imagining things, his story sounds a lot like the one Mako dropped on us last week. And if I were to make an educated assumption, wouldn’t it be nifty if the Ojii-chan that Mako cherished so much ended up being Rin’s dad? Sure I could be completely wrong since the sole act of being a fisherman is quite dangerous but I wouldn’t put it past Kyoani to setup some crazy link between characters. (And it occurred to me that the Ojii-chan may be too old to be Rin’s dad but what if the Ojii-chan was Rin’s grandfather who died together with his son? WOULDN’T THAT BE A CRAZY PLOT TWIST!?)
Crazy theories aside, was I the only one who was blown away when Haru actually lost to Rin? Because after building up the pairs rivalry since the very first episode I was at a loss for words when Rin not only beat Haru but eliminated him from competing at nationals! But as the initial shock faded away (and after I listened to the preview) I think it became pretty clear where the writers are heading — it’s not about winning by yourself but together as a team! And seeing how the battle between Rin and Haru has finally been sealed, I can’t wait to see how intense things will get once everyone’s getting a piece of the action.
Overall I think this episode was another winner in my book. Not only did we get what this show promised us (swimming!) but after a whole week of Gou not going oogly eyed over sexy man muscles I was grinning when she finally succumbed to the pressure. On to next week!