Captive Butterfly and Trial in Open Water
I’m sorry you probably all missed your daily dose of Free, but now I’m back, and what can I say? So much has quickly changed over the past 2 weeks for the swim club, that honest, I was quite surprised, but in a good way! And now I actually can’t wait to see Kyo-Ani will do next.
(Again, I apologize for the lack of posts recently from me but I was away and had no internet access, and I did dearly miss watching Free every week as well. Nonetheless, I was quite surprised when I came home and saw all the gossip about it, and in fact I was really shocked (mainly by episode 5) that it’s taking a… Slightly dramatic turn. Anyway, my point being is that if you haven’t watched Free yet or are behind on some episodes: GO WATCH THEM NOW! :3
Anyway I’ll keep these posts fairly short since if I went into too much detail about both episodes this would be one massive post.
Episode 4: Captive Butterfly
Finally we’ll get to see some PROPER swimming action and the tournaments that they go to, as the Iwatobi High School swim club have decided to enter a swimming tournament. I think one of the reasons I was so keen to watch it was also because I really thought that the anime would have an interesting concept, and whilst I am aware that not ALL anime are particularly accurate and in line with reality, but often anime focused on a particular topic would aim to make the content as accurate as possible, and I wanted to know more about the competitive side of swimming really. Of course what with the useless Rei unable to swim, the boys and Kou had no choice but to teach him how to swim. Or rather, just the boys, since Kou seems fine to just be bossing them around with orders. Actually, not to go off on a tangent, but I really love Kou’s character. I know some might think she’s just a bossy and stroppy teenager, but I love her confidence, and how she easily motivates the swim club so well to do their practice and their swimming and that this is all just for her brother. The fact she’s taking so much time out of her day to help them out just so she can make her brother happy again… Gosh… It’s really admirable. I doubt I’d see many other sisters going to such extreme lengths for their brothers and siblings, but you know, I love Kou. That and she is also an accurate representation of most girls watching the anime, so she really does make me laugh. ^^” With only a week left to the tournament, the boys frantically (or rather just Nagisa and Makoto) think that it is going to be possible to teach Rei how to swim within such a small time limit. Now jesus, I remember learning how to swim at a young age, and I HIGHLY doubt I learned how to within a week. And this smallest little detail really bugged me, because I’ve seen it happen in a lot of anime too. But then again, I guess it would just… Waste time and they wouldn’t be able to move the episode and story on, and it’d be the same thing repeated over and over. Also another thing that bugs me is Rei’s attention to detail. As much as I like him as a character, the way he sits there, doing his stretches and posing, calculating everything in his head just… Aggravates me, for some reason. Maybe because I can see things a lot more how like Haru does, that you should just be free in the water (since water is such a “free” moving substance itself) and not have to worry about all the theory and things like that. I mean sure it IS important to take on board such things, but Rei can’t even SWIM, so bombarding himself with all these calculations only leads to him failing miserably at swimming. And time, and time again, he cannot swim, no matter what stroke it is (cough so obviously we now know CONVENIENTLY what stroke he’ll be doing cough), AND REI BLAMES IT ON HIS SPEEDOS, and then we all get a very nice close up shot of him clenching his buttcheeks together. Dear god. I had to cover up my eyes at this part. It wasn’t even SUBTLE. It was just there, RIGHT IN YOUR FACE. Jesus christ Kyo Ani.
Anyway after another fanservice filled scene of tight fitting, rainbow coloured and bizarre swimming trunks, Kou begins to understand that actually looking after the boys is a lot of hard work. Sure, the biceps and the muscles are pretty to look at, but once they start trying on their swim gear, they won’t stop til they find the perfect pair. So next coincidentally Rin is also there with his swim team, and Rin tells Haru he wants a rematch of the race they had, and he won’t do it until Haru’s in perfect form again, and at his best. Although to be honest, just look at them. ._. Are you telling me that they are not in “perfect form” for swimming, because goddammit, it looks like they are. Anyway I really am looking forward to seeing more of this Rin and Haru storyline and I hope that they do become friends again, or at least on good terms. Rin doesn’t seem to be so forgiving, and Haru doesn’t seem to care at all, so it… Makes me kinda sad that even after all those years apart they can’t even seem to be civil to each other without demanding a race every 5 seconds.
But since this episode is mainly focused on Rei, Haru decides to teach Rei how to swim, and yet again, Rei fails miserably. And I do feel sorry for Rei, because he’s been forced into this swim club and doesn’t even know how to swim properly, so how he will cope in competitive swimming I have no idea, but god the fangirls are swooning and going crazy over Nagisa and Rei. And here’s where the episode name comes in: Captive Butterfly. After an inspirational quote from their teacher and club adviser (“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration.”, and basically as Kou puts it simply: “Hard work will always triumph over talent”, which I’d say is fairly accurate), this then triggers Haru (whom Rei seems to be absolutely fascinated by) to then inspire Rei to keep working with his swimming. And hah, look at that little butterfly over there! That’s… Definitely not saying something is it? Haru just tells Rei “I’m not free either”, and I suppose this quote is what triggered Rei to carry on, and to not give in, just for the sake and the fate of the swim club. And that, he wants to be the one, to prove that you can be free whilst swimming, and you can look beautiful whilst splashing around in the water. Although to be honest I don’t think butterfly is really the nicest looking stroke when in the water, but you have to be strong, and free in the water to let you arms pull you up for air and really, I think Rei is perfect for the butterfly stroke (well hey what the hell it was the only stroke they didn’t have yet). That and butterflies are beautiful, when they’re fluttering daintily and gently in the warm air, and I just love Rei’s determination, however I still think a MIRACLE must have happened if he managed to learn the butterfly in just one day. Anyway, now let’s look forward to the tournament and episode 5! O-or… Will we?
Episode 5: Trial in Open Water
I am still in shock after this episode. I really and truly am.
So basically I’ll keep the summary of this episode short and simple, and leave you with my thoughts on it. There’s only 48 days left until the tournament (sooo, what about the other tournament they were gonna enter? what happened to that?) and Kou is still determined that the boys must improve their stamina before the big day in order to place a 1st, 2nd or 3rd, which would then mean a bigger budget for the club, meaning they could also build an indoor swimming pool, which would also mean swimming all year round for Haru, so smiles all round. Kou finds a leaflet from the old Iwatobi Swim Club explaining how they did training circuits on a desert island, swimming from island to island. Of course Nagisa is thrilled by the idea and surprisingly, our usual lighthearted and optimistic Makoto seems… A bit nervous or unsure on the idea. However as team-captain, he doesn’t want to let the team down and so the group all go to the island and it turns out that this episode is… You guessed it! A beach episode! However in Free’s traditional fanservice style, nothing for the boys (yet), so the female audience could once again swoon over the boys. Rei though, being a fairly weak swimmer feels like he is letting down the team because if he can’t place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the tournament, then it would mean no indoor swimming pool, and you know, since he is so inspired by Haru and looks up to him, I guess maybe he’s frightened that this would upset Haru. Either way, Nagisa (posing with Kyo-Ani’s famous muscles pose) and Makoto are optimistic that they can do well and that it was only the first time: They had plenty of time to improve. Which is true… Rei seems to be too hard on himself. He’s always striving for perfection and always striving to be the best and to look “beautiful”, although it seems that because of this, all it does is create more flaws in himself. As Kou and Ama-sensei go to bed and the boys sleep in their tents. After Rei fell behind on their training in the sea, he sneaks out in the middle of the night to practice even more… As he looks up into the sky, a storm begins to brew, and as the waves begin to grow choppier and the wind bitterly strong, he loses his grip on the precious kick float keeping him afloat and what do you know? Rei-chan’s in danger everyone! ;w; At this moment in time I had my hands over my mouth and I couldn’t avert my gaze from my laptop screen. Makoto, who slept in the same tent as Rei, is awoken by the sudden storm and races out the tent and dives in to quickly rescue the vulnerable Rei even at his own peril. He didn’t even care about the training regimen. All he cared about was being able to swim with his friends and seeing them have fun, and our caring and loving Makoto, didn’t want to lose another friend (cough Rin cough).
So this whole episode? I liked it. It took the spotlight away from Haru and Rei and put it on Makoto. We always assumed he was just permanently happy and a ray of sunshine: But as the episode progressed, we learned more about him and saw that whilst he may seem fearless and always smiling, that deep down he has regrets, fears and bad memories just like anyone else. Also this being said, Makoto is my favourite character so seeing his character development take place now is great and I would love to see where this leads next. Whatever may have sparked Makoto’s fear of the ocean must have been great, and it seems only Haru and Rin – Makoto’s closest friends – know what it is. So I guess we’re left in the dark here: I mean what about Nagisa? Sure he’s always permanently fun-loving and maybe a little oblivious to the dangers that surround him, but does he know? And of course, poor Rei didn’t even know these guys yet already he feels like he has to keep competing so he can be as strong and powerful swimmers like them. So as we sit and watch these scenes, we begin to imagine and begin to think: What will happen next? Will Rei die and what about Makoto? I’m really looking forward to the next episode but sadly Kyo-Ani like to keep us waiting so Free missed an episode this week. Goddammit. ;__; Looks like these next few days are going to be the longest days as we wait for episode 6 of Free!