The tides are turning for the other hemisphere as summer is coming to an end, autumn approaches. Me and another good friend of mine Taku finally collaborating for the first time about two things we love Summer and some swimmer boys!!!
I managed to get Taku out of writer block mode soon as I said the pretty little words “Co-llab-oration”. I can be pretty convincing. FINALLY ME AND TAKU’S VERY FIRST COLLABORATION EVER! why did it take us three plus years? I don’t know actually but I couldn’t be more hyped to do this collaboration with someone who loves two things much as I do. Taku wanted to commentate the end of summer on his end and I wanted to talk about Free!
*whispers* everybody wins!
For this collaboration we asked each other seven seperate questions about Free! and their very varied questions. You can check out Taku’s collab other half here!!
We’ll start with some character talk. Free! has gone on to include so many unique and colourful personalities since its first season. Which of the boys do you relate to most and why?
Out of all the seven questions Taku has asked two ‘in relation to’ questions which I had to think about hard. Free has fantastic cast of colliding personalities uplifting Nagisa, like mother Makoto. Since I’ve talked about before in my old Free! review connection to Haru would be the latter choice, we both have a mass love for swimming. Haru was second choice to who I relate most too, smartie bean Rei Ryugazaki the one I relate with. The how? How I relate to a genius who likes to seek the beauty in the things and not standing the ugly is funny in my choice here.
Before joining the Iwatobi swim club, Rei was a member of the track team as a pole vaulter. Being a genius Rei overanalysing his jumps, perfectionism was Rei’s worst enemy and stopped going to the club. When approached to join the swim club and first refusal only proved the point, Rei perfectionism blinded him to missing out on things. This part of Rei’s personality I relate close to my own, towards my work, running this blog, youtube etc wanting things to look as perfect as possible, to sound as perfect. I hate to do things half-assed, my perfectionism became bad down to the smallest detail of organising a hang out with friends, picking the appropriate place, food people like. Perfectionism is not a good thing turning into anxiety itself, to hide your own self flaws, setting high standards and becoming critical upon yourself.
It wasn’t till a few years ago I pulled the rein backs for myself. When hanging out with friends, have no plan and go with the flow. Even this year towards my blogging I’ve become more free form and less critical. For Rei he discovered there was beauty in swimming, Haru was a massive influence. Haru never letting anyone dictate how he approached swimming, and doing it his way. Swimming let Rei ‘just be’ in the moment not overthinking the outcome of situations, got the dude to relax. Certain friends in my life at the time had the same influence over me, to just be in the moment and stop seeking for things to always go as planned. Rei and I learned to ‘just be’ and tone down our perfectionism.
Each of the characters play a role in shaping Haru or another fellow swimmer’s career. Was there a character that you did not care for at first, but eventually grew on you?
Ahaha, this is an excellent question to ask me because there was one male that I did not warm to making his first impression, Sousuke Yamazaki. Sousuke appears in Free! Eternal Summer transferring to Samezuka Academy, Rin his childhood friend attends also. Sousuke at the start is full of frustration and regret due to severely injuring his shoulder, dashing his chances at going pro. I feel Sousuke redirects all of his begrudge feelings towards Haru, that and how Haru doesn’t take swimming seriously and as a casual thing, frustrates him even more. Sousuke needed something to pile on his negative and Haru became the target which I don’t think was fair at all. But you sympathise the fact Haru’s attitude towards swimming would frustrate an individual like Sousuke who loves it.
Let’s add onto the fact Sousuke had a possessive hold over Rin but only because he cherished him as a close friend. Haha, but some of the scenes they had you sweared they might have been gay, I can see it hehe. Honestly not till end of the second season last few episodes and third season is when I began to like Sousuke. Second season he had time to get over his issues and third season allowed his true self to flourish. Underneath he is a gentle giant with a big heart but that was kept under a pile of negative for the majority in Free Eternal Summer!.
Likewise, with so many lovely poster boy icons to catch your eye, which character from the franchise was one that you loved from the start, and still do? What was it that drew you to them in the first place?
Rin, Rin, RIN!!. I’m not even answering this question seriously at all, purely fan girl motive answer here. Among discussions of this series, Rin is not most favourited because how much he was on his ‘high horse’ and cold manner towards his Haru, Nagisa and Makoto. The first and second season focus on these boys reconnecting together but to reach that is a rollercoaster. Rin’s cold shoulder he gave Haru majority, after racing Haru, he treated it as no big deal. Haru gave no reaction and Rin couldn’t stand his response, how Haru never took swimming seriously.
I liked Rin’s persistent to try and push Haru to take swimming seriously, going as far taking Haru with him to Australia – showing what ‘the big stage’ in swimming feels like. Beneath Rin’s enwrapped feeling of hurt and agitation, deep down wanted to be as he once was with the others. Eventually Rin reunites with everyone after all the drama. Season three allowed us to see a more mellow Rin who is not self absorbed from the past and a released Rin who feels at peace with himself and the others. How could I be attracted to a guy who is on his ‘high horse’ most of the time? Blame Vic Mignogna who voices Rin in the english dub. Vic just brought this smooth, sass to Rin’s character and feistiness that I liked.
Let’s be real here, for me it was those shark teeth and maroon goodness that drew my eyes in and never looked twice at the others. Despite how Rin acts sometimes, he had a loyalty all through to his friends but it was hard to bridge that connection with the everyone. Shark boy has been best boy from the start and will be till the end !
With each season of Free! comes its own conflicts and plot lines, from trying new
things in season one, to going all out senior year in season two, and even pursuing life after high school in season three. Which season had you relating to the characters most, and why?
One of my favourite watches last year was Dive To The Future, the naming of the title stayed true throughout the series. The third season focuses on the new paths everyone was taking for themselves and resonated with me the most: about the future. Everyone has the fear of the future mine is I’ve always been terrified of it, though I’m not comfortable to say why. There are some personal matters I won’t always speak about on here. The future is something I never think about but only thinking of the next day, this year and recently brought the issue up after a long while. Plaguing on my mind but as I write this thanks to reassurance from the people closet. I don’t feel so afraid now where as before it left my mind numb just the thought of it.
Haru is the most relatable for me in ‘To look to the future’. It has taken until season three and those who have influenced him to take a new lease on swimming. Taking it more seriously and finding that competitive drive, it’s taken until now for me to not be terrified of the future all the while – not keeping having a negative mindset toward it. It’s okay to be scared of it but how I viewed it all the time wasn’t healthy. Dive To The Future I can rewatch anytime now and be reminded the future isn’t something to always be terrified of but to make the best of what I have now – for whatever comes after.
Alright, it’s Iwatobi vs. Samezuka time! If you were forced to swim on one of the teams, which would you pick, and what stroke would you swim?
I am Slytherin over here!! Samezuka team because Lita as a fiery streak inside of her and she don’t like to loose or be a goody two shoes always. I take after Rin and Haru’s rival relationship, swimming against iwatobi would reignite old flames just as Haru did for Rin. Make you want it bad and push your limits, these days I like to push myself in my gym sessions to not stay stagnate all the time. Strokewise I take after Haru in doing freestyle, it’s that or nothing at all.
If you could put together a dream relay of characters from the series, allowing for multiple swimmers to swim the same stroke, who would you place on that team?
You have four on your relay team in swimming Hmph better make some careful choices here.
*winks. . . . winks some more* You’d think there would be something wrong with me if I wasn’t going to have Rin on my team. Haru and Rin are even in their swimming abilities so I have to choose one of the two. Rin has purely been chosen well. . . best boy nothing more to say there.
Natsuya Ikuya’s brother long time competitor, multi awards and plus a veteran why would I not have him on my team. I have to admit he came off as slightly arrogant at the start but ya girl feel in love with that factor of his personality . . . what a surprise there. A veteran of anyone whose been in the game a long time is more than a wise choice. Still hot as. ahahah shut up Lita . . .
Beloved Rei, I don’t care the dude is still a beginner he has a hungry drive to try which is any essential ingredient at the start. This experience would only add on top of the many he has had already. In Dive To The Future you can really tell how far Rei has come from season one, becoming captain of the swim club. Rei is only beginning to make his way up the ladder this might push his limits in a good way.
Hot head Asahi. He is a fairy strong swimmer but reason I chose him lastly, he has such a infectious, vicarious energy whenever he is and it makes you smile. He would be an excellent motivator for everyone and keep the spirits up. From the moment he was introduced in third season I was hooked on him instantly, he is just loveable in every sense.
Did I pick good here? I think I did, plus there all hot. so . . . ya know.
Since the KyoAni tragedy has surely pushed back many of their projects, specifically the 2020 continuation to the third season of Free!, what do you anticipate most from this next part of the franchise, whenever it does get released?
I believe never say never for the next season of Free!. The Tokyo olympics aren’t till summer 2020 July, Kyoto animation may bounce back by there. Already the new Violet Evergarden movie trailer as been released so that’s a good sign to me. My only expectation from the next season is set on the ‘big stage’ for swimming. I don’t doubt we wont get that as with how season three ended Sweden prodigy Albert making a appearance and leaving Haru frozen in awe. That is the push Haru needs to make it all the way.
I hope to see Rin and Haru have another swim rematch but on the big stage. The first two seasons of Free! focused more on the drama between the boys than swimming. Swim focus has been on the back seat, in the third season it was brought to the forefront a little, I am anticipating for it to become a central focus. Intertwining with the new hopes Haru has to make it big and for Rin also. I’m hoping Sousuke becomes another focus as in third season he has shoulder surgery to try going pro a second go, I’d love to see if that happens for him.
Look, last season just blew me away last year, my favourite season of Free! and there is no doubt next round will be just as good. I’m ready for whatever Kyo Ani wishes to do with these boy’s futures, it’s in good hands.
I’m sure your sick of Free! talk by now but this concludes this collaboration. But Free! talk will never stop between me and Taku, Thankyou buddy Taku for doing this collaboration with me, I know I chose well for this one. I’ve had all the Free! feels coming back to me as I’ve been writing this and definitely want to rewatch this before summer comes to the aussie land again.
Make sure you check out Taku over at his blog, he does some epic ass reviews that I know I could never write poetic like as he does. Amazing dude !!
I’ll see you all in the next post!!