“An Ominous Workout!”

「兆しのワークアウト!」 (Kizashi no Waakuauto!)

Though we don’t get any more juicy drama continuing from last week’s ending, other than seeing Haru’s internalised suffering for a few seconds, this episode laid ground in terms of establishing the new generation of Iwatobi’s Swim Club. For a while I wasn’t a huge fan of the new characters because it didn’t feel like they added anything to the series. However this episode completely changed my mind, and KyoAni went about it in a most fabulous way.

Iwatobi Swimming Club Generation 2.0:

The high school journey might have come to a close for Haruka and Makoto, but some familiar faces are still around and some new blood has come to course through Iwatobi Swimclub’s lifeline. Remnants of the old vanguard continue in the form of Gou, Nagisa and Rei. Gou and Nagisa are very much the same as always – muscle freak and bubbly boy. Rei? Not quite so much. He’s always had the penchant for being the butt of jokes. But going from the snarky frost king to this wholesome captain constantly brimming with positivity is irrefutable proof for Rei’s remarkable character development. Our newcomers are Romi-chan the hyperactive gaijin, Shizu-chan the stoic seaweed lover, and Ayumu-kun the chubby chaser. They all have unique quirks to their personalities, but this week, Romi-chan takes the spotlight.

False Start Trauma:

We learn that Romio had a traumatic false start in the past, which cost his middle school swimming team and damaged his mentality as a competitive swimmer. While Sousuke’s advice played a very pivotal role in helping Romio overcome his false start trauma, it was ultimately the Iwatobi team’s emotional support that helped Romio overcome his camel hump of a mental block. Even though they came dead last, the relay truly exemplifies the true spirit of the Free! franchise. It’s not all about winning your races, and there’s much more to be gained from the fact that Romio overcame his own trauma, as well as the fact that everybody bonded over doing the relay together. As a nice way to round the episode off, we were able to witness Sousuke overcoming apprehensions about forging his own path. I fully agree that surgery to his injured shoulder should not be decided through a coinflip, even if Natsuya had the best of intentions. But while Sousuke didn’t find out about the result, I think choosing the coin heavily suggests that he will proceed with the operation, and I truly hope to see him back in action sometime! Sousuke might be rough around the edges but there’s no denying that he has a heart of gold.

Concluding Thoughts:

Meanwhile, I can’t seem to get enough of this Capybara vs Sea Otter rivalry. It amuses me to no end! But alas, with the focus switching back to Ikuya and Hiyori, it will be quite a while before we get more from this heated fixture. Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to talk about this week. I’m not particularly interested in seeing what kind of justification KyoAni will come up with to explain away Hiyori’s nasty behaviour, but I’m open to being swayed because you can never count out their potential to utterly exceed our expectations.



  1. When I heard the movies and thus this series decided to follow the lives of the core 5 swimmers after some of them graduated, I knew the chemistry wouldn’t be the same. In mean more than half of them aren’t together anymore, which feels weird. I’m glad Nagisa and Rei are getting their time to shine this week again, and you can bet that all 5 will reunite in some way before this season’s end.

  2. How can anyone dislike Rei? He was like the “true hero” of the first season and right now is a mature and reliable captain. I think that even Nagisa matured in his own way and they look “so married” ^^; ahaha…

    I will try to remember the names of Iwatobi “newbies” from now on XP …

    I wasn’t fond in Sosuke until now but i came to like him (his seiyuu is of a great help).

    Maybe in next episode i will feel some “sympathy for the Devil” as a child but i’m by far more worried about Haru.

    I really wish to see Ikuya getting angry with Hiyori even if they make up for it later for sure …

    1. I just read some interview translation where Hiyori’s V.A. says that Hiyori probably was harsh due to jealousy and how veeery good boy is for real …
      I’m like: Maybe i will swallow my words but … Where is the good boy here? XD.
      I suppose this is Free not Utena XD …

      Truth to be told: I liked Hiyori’s character design a lot until the first time that he opened his mouth :p .

      (I read that maybe Free is going to be delayed a little because of Koshien or whatever).

      1. The interview with Yokotani Masahiro, the script writer, revealed that the relationship between Haru and Ikuya….Haru is considered to be Ikuya’s first love. Hiyori is very jealous of Haru because he has a big influence on Ikuya.

      2. I think that i finally find that interview with Yokotani Masahiro: The scriptwriter said that “compared to a shoujo manga it would be like Ikuya’s first love (Haru)”.

        This is also cute 🙂 .

  3. go sousuke! in the OVA where the samezuka relay team went for a hot springs trip, momo got sousuke the omamori for victory instead of health, which i think leans heavily on sousuke making a comeback in the competitive scene. i’m glad kyoani gave the iwatobis got some spotlight this episode, instead of dropping them off into forgottenland and focusing only on main chara haru.

  4. <>.

    Really? Did they go to the extend of saying that Haru was Ikuya’s first love? I find it so cute but i’m puzzled that they were so explicit saying that. I don’t remember that kind of talk about the main characters of Free in the past seasons O_O;.


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