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Final Impression:
Oh man, I don’t know about you, but I loved the ending. I loved and have uttermost respect to Rei for his selfless actions of stepping down to let Rin swim in his place AND having cleared up the Haru’s misunderstanding from the past. In the end, winning wasn’t important to them, it was about being Free, and Rin who was the only one of the group who was still chained down just SNAPPED this episode was having an emotional breakdown. If Rei hadn’t sacrificed his position, god knows what would have happened to Rin. The poor guy was at his lowest point and was absolutely shattered by the fact he couldn’t swim with or against his beloved COUGHARUCOUGH team. It was emotional; not emotional enough to make me physically cry, but I did mentally. It touched my heart, and seeing Rin in tears, I just wanted to hug him. Thankfully there was a hug (I think I would have screamed in agony if there wasn’t), Rin hugged Haru right after they won the race before shortly turning to a group hug. It was special to see the boys once again, reunited despite being unofficial team, knowing that regardless of the results they were likely to be disqualified but that didn’t matter to them. By swimming altogether, each of them, Makoto, Nagisa, Rin, Haru all of them were able to break to the surface and be completely free.
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Free! Ep 12 Img 0012I felt bad for Rei though. Despite being incredibly proud of him, watching him wound up as the third wheel during the finale was a bit hard to watch. He did this for the greater good, and it paid off. And this brings me to the subject of why it is in fact Rei, who I believe is the best character of this show. His character development, holy shit- where do I start? This is the guy started out being obsessed with logic and calculations believing that alone is what will make him succeed and being beautiful a priority not to mention sunk like a rock every time he was in the water, and ends up being the catalyst of setting the boys free. Rei has a big heart, he really does. He cares for the team and most importantly, he cared about the orignal team, the one he wasn’t a part of. His selfless actions, his determination, and not mention GUTS, this guy never gave up and that’s what makes him such a beautiful character.
Good gracious I swear to god, Nitori annoyed the HELL out of me this episode and in the end, his irritating efforts paid off and senpai finally noticed him (I sincerely hopes that will make him shut up). He’s the only character I hate in this show, just simply because he drives me insane with his “SENPAI NOTICE ME!”.
In the end, Free! was hands down my favourite show of the summer. The solid story, loveable main cast and their solid developments, KyotoAnimation really did a fantastic job with this original production, even more so as the (correct me if I’m wrong) first anime to revolve around competitive swimming. Although admittedly the ‘Sport’ aspect of this show was more like a subplot, regardless I enjoyed every little bit of it. Around the fandom I’ve seen swimmers praise the show for their accuracy on the details and information of the sport. Some scenes that may seem humorous to some of us who are not familiar with competitive swimming, but for others who do know their stuff will (at least from what I’ve seen around the fandom) nod in approval.
I am absolutely psyched to see that a second season is somewhat confirmed, or at least implied with ‘See You Next Summer!’. With most of the character development done, I expect to see the focus shift to the tournament aspect of the story rather than the boys’ relationship/friendship.
Stay tuned for the Overall Review
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Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Ashley Joiner

    This ending is amazing…I LOVE YOU RIN!!!!! <3 *starts fangirling wildly*

    1. Eva


  2. jsyschan

    I expect to see an OVA of Marin chan someday. Also, someone on another blog mentioned that they wished that there was a spin off show of Gou and company doing nothing but oogling at half naked men. That seems nice.

    1. Eva

      Either that or featured in FrFr! as the DVD/BD (either only BD or both), or an OVA, I too would love to see that some day.
      LOL That sounds like an amusing idea! XD

  3. K-AL

    AHHHHHH DEAD SO DEAD…Rei, dammit, you’re so cute and selfless. Nagisa always was the reliable one, and it gave room for Haru and Rin to grow a little together.
    Kouhai Nitori levelled up! First name status! X3

    1. Eva

      Rei is perfect and no one can say otherwise.
      Senpai finally noticed him!

  4. BNV
    Rin my God…. I didn’t care for him but after seeing the screen shot… NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! DX D’: GOD DAMMIT those puppy eyes…
    Yes!!! (;~;)
    I completely agree that Rei was the best character in the entire series. I mean just the guy wearing glasses made me happy but seeing him from going solo to having a group of bros to care for was amazing to watch. I sincerely hope Kyoani puts another season because I want Rei back so bad!!! D: D:

    1. Eva

      I’m crossing my fingers that “see you next summer” means we’ll get a second season then. It’s a perfect summer show afterall hahaha. It’d be great to see how much Rei has improved by then =w= such a precious boy. Best Character of the Summer 2013 Season.

  5. Cena

    Shipping my Rinharu so harrrrrrrrd <3

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