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Free! Dive to the Future – 12 (END) »« Free! Dive to the Future – 10

Free! Dive to the Future – 11


“Streamline of Unity!”


「集結のストリームライン!」 (Shuuketsu no sutoriimurain!)

We arrive at a similar juncture to the previous summer in Free!. This episode was very much about Rei and Nagisa, focusing on their final high school swim, with strong echoes back to last season when everyone else was on the cusp of graduation. Camaraderie was ever-present. On top of eating a meal together in Tokyo, Makoto offered his workplace for Rei and Nagisa to swim as they’d like and finalise their preparations. But I’d say that Rin and Haru went an extra mile, figuratively and literally. They skipped important training for the All-Japan Nationals just to attend the competition and express support. Particularly poignant was Rin’s concession that he wouldn’t be the swimmer he was today without the bonds he had formed, hence he felt obligated to show up and support his Samezuka kouhais.

And it seems obvious in hindsight – no one in modern sport ever made it to the top by themselves. People need coaches to sharpen them, rivals to increase their drive, family and friends whose sake they can swim for, etc. Haru is no exception either, though he may seem like it at times. Only recently has he acquired a coach and a true ‘rival’ to inspire him in the form of Albert, but above all else, he has always had his friends. So it makes sense that he’d be there for his friends, since they’ve been there for him his entire life. Anyway, it’s a damn shame that Rei didn’t qualify and that Nagisa got beaten by Ai. Nevertheless the two had a really great year full of wonderful memories together, and I look forwards to seeing them reunite with their sempais as well as swim at a university level.

Now that’s done and dusted, there is only one competition left that’s been relevant for the run of Dive to the Future – the All-Japan Nationals. If you don’t mind, this is where I’ll go on a tangential anecdote. At the beginning of this entire series, Haru was more talented than his peers beyond all measure. Rin could only keep up by putting in superhuman levels of hard work. Now that Haru has gone to university, he finally sees the entire ocean of swimmers for what it truly is. For now, let’s put aside Albert, who is such an outlier to anything the series has come up with so far. His transcendence poses a troublesome question that is particularly hard to directly answer without another season of progression. I also doubt that he will compete with Haru anytime soon, because their recent encounter seemed like pure happenstance for the most part.

But with the All-Japan freestyle on the horizon, we can turn our attention towards an ominous premonition – the rising Japanese star who‘s been breaking records after switching from butterfly to freestyle. I have a feeling that Haru’s single-minded obsession with freestyle will heavily dictate how this turns out, though I’d temper my expectations, considering that the converted swimmer broke a national record during a casual practice session. Am I excited to witness how the All-Japan races pan out? No doubt! But I’m uncertain on how things will end up. For those wanting a definitive answer to the best freestylist, who doesn’t want to see Rin, Haru and Ikuya contend in the 100m freestyle? But while Haru is undergoing a massive training arc, we haven’t really seen the fruits of his progress for what they are. His results are up in the air as far as I’m concerned, with stiff competition all around, though I would like to see him do well! Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always thank you very much for reading my post, and see you next week!

Preview

September 22, 2018 at 7:46 pm
12 comments »
  • September 22, 2018 at 11:37 pmzztop

    I’m certain Kyoani’s setting up for another instalment of Free! sometime in the future.
    Especially given how they’ve only brought up Kinjou Kaede just now, despite him being teased in the OP intro from the start.

    Only question now is if they’ll do another TV season or a movie.

  • September 23, 2018 at 12:31 amUsagi

    - Ryuuji must be a major “tsundere” and i think that he is happier than it seems with Mikhail contacting him.

    I just can picture an adult Haru recieving a call from Kisumi and acting the same way as his coach in the future XP.

    – I still think that there is a confussion about the coaches being grandpas. It’s like people assuming that Sousuke’s cousin is his older brother.

    – Isuzu and Gou had a very “intense” moment ^^; ahaha …

    – I couldn’t take too seriously that sprint by Haru and Rin: “This is free” ^^;.

    It was nice to see Haru and Rin cheering at their friends. It would be a down for everyone the other way.

    I’m sure that deep inside Haru’s coach admire the “guts” from his swimmer ^^; hehe …

    – I never imagined Rei being a swimmer in the university level until that season. I kinda expected the poor Nagisa losing against Nitori …

    It’s fun to imagine people like Nagisa and Kisumi hanging out together in a near future with their friends ^^ .

    – I wonder what are they showing about Haru next week. He trained a lot but maybe he is not going to set any new record and they’re just going to display Haru’s personal and beautiful swimming commpared to others who seem stronger (like that last new character).

    We are going to see how it ends next week …

    • September 23, 2018 at 1:33 amHelssi

      It is funny Gou’s finally got her soulmate “Isuzu”. If there’s any OVA or movie to be released, I’d like to see how Gou, Isuzu, Rin, Mikhail and Ryuuji interact with each other. I really hope more movies or OVAs on their school life are being released (Btw, Free! DF Radio CD cover shows Hara visiting Makato in class).

      Having noticed Haru went and cheered on his Iwatobi’s teammates before the All Japan Invitational, I guess Ryuuji’ll change his mind not to shake off Mikhail and will be willing to contact him.

      • September 23, 2018 at 3:27 amUsagi

        I didn’t know about that Drama CD with Haru visiting Makoto in class ^^ . I must acknowledge that we’re never going to see the same as japanese fans ^^;; …

        (Today i listened and old Drama CD with Nagisa and Haru first meeting story ^^;).

  • September 23, 2018 at 1:28 amHelssi

    It is funny Gou’s finally got her soulmate “Isuzu”. If there’s any OVA or movie to be released, I’d like to see how Gou, Isuzu, Rin, Mikhail and Ryuuji interact with each other. I really hope more movies or OVAs on their school life are being released (Btw, Free! DF Radio CD cover shows Hara visiting Makato in class).

    Having noticed Haru went and cheered on his Iwatobi’s teammates before the All Japan Invitational, I guess Ryuuji’ll change his mind not to shake off Mikhail and will be willing to contact him.

  • September 23, 2018 at 1:33 amHelssi

    “no one in modern sport ever made it to the top by themselves. People need coaches to sharpen them, rivals to increase their drive, family and friends whose sake they can swim for, etc.” WELL SAID.

    “For those wanting a definitive answer to the best freestylist, who doesn’t want to see Rin, Haru and Ikuya contend in the 100m freestyle?” – I think the OP has answered your question – Haru excels at freestyle, Rin butterfly, Ikuya breaststroke. I’m quite sure it will pan out just fine – Haru’ll probably break the national record for the 100m/200m freestyle, not that rising Japanese star (because he, Rin and Ikuya may be affected by Haru’s new swimming style – just like what Albert did to Haru).

    Btw, I was wrong. Isuzu is Momo’s elder sister, not his younger sister.

    Ep 11 is definitely a reunion show for “Free”, does that mean S3 is the final season?

    • September 23, 2018 at 1:55 amzztop

      I don’t think S3′s the last – there’s a good number of plot points that are still unresolved, like Haruka possibly surpassing Albert, Kinjou Kaede’s very late intro, etc. Unless the director intends this as a open-ended “life goes on” ending, there could be room to make a new instalment in the future (plus Tokyo 2020 draws even nearer, a good chance for a tie-in.)

      • September 23, 2018 at 2:30 amHelssi

        You’ve got the points and I really hope S4 is coming..but as long as Haru has become a national athlete, Kyoani’s production may have its limits. On the other hand, it seems that S3 is not well received…

      • September 23, 2018 at 3:17 amUsagi

        If BD’s sell well in Japan i will laugh at the people complaining too much about that 3rd season ¬_¬; …

      • September 23, 2018 at 4:16 amLyfe

        “If BD’s sell well in Japan”

        You do realize Free! is Kyoto Animations best selling franchise ever right? They may produce SAO, but Free! is something they pretty much own outright with the way they publish the Light novels & produce the anime.

      • September 23, 2018 at 4:19 amLyfe

        Correction, Free! is the second best selling after K-On!. And apologies for the mix up about SAO LOL(That’s A-1, not Kyoto Animation). But yeah the sales figures don’t lie. Kyoto Animations top two shows are K-On! & Free! if you look at the sales data.

  • September 24, 2018 at 2:21 amUsagi

    Yes. I know Free sell a lot and i hope that this will continue. A BD equalling every sour person complaining about every female oriented anime ^_- .

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