OH MAN JUST WHEN IT WAS GETTING GOOD!!!!! THEY ENDED IT WITH HARUKA LAUNCHING! Darn it all!
It was a really slow episode this week, so slow I thought by the mid episode we were at the end. I had a feeling we weren’t going to see much of the competition, or at least the heart of it, which was Ikuya’s race. But so far our dudes (except for Ikuya since this will be his first race) have all passed the base time required to compete in the All-Japan Invitationals. Rin is also included in this qualifications, in both the 100m butterfly and freestyle.
But it finally started picking up once Ikuya had the much needed conversation with Asahi. It was such a classic reunion, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Asahi repeating his mantra of “I am a genius” and Ikuya walking in was freaking perfect, and a great way of breaking whatever tension that could have fallen between them at that very moment. It got even better when we saw Haruka stepping up to the plate, revealing he will be competing in the individual medley as well. And thank god for that because Ikuya was in such a dark train of thoughts, talking how he is alone in the pool/water, like dude, that’s not healthy, at all. Thankfully with the support of his friends, he will probably be able to weather the storm that has been looming over his head ever since he bumped into Haruka.
Applying to compete in the individual medley was a genius move on Haruka’s part. Not only does this enable him to fulfill his promise with Ikuya, but also make sure that he isn’t alone in a place where he believes he is. And frankly, had Haruka not done this, I am not sure whether or not Ikuya would have succeeded at all. And while Natsuya told him not to stress out about it, and how he will have other opportunities if he isn’t able to be in form to do so, he was also told off by Nao about not being serious enough about himself and Ikuya, and I agree with his assessment. It seems Natsuya seems to be unconsciously projecting his own weakness onto Ikuya by telling him he has nothing but time. But the truth is, time is in the essence, if you’re at your peak that’s your best chance to break into the global stage. Natsuya has been entering competitions and winning prize money, but he hasn’t actually put himself onto that stage yet, and Nao knows it. On top of that, while the brothers have been keeping in touch by phone, they haven’t seen each other in a while, and they do need the opportunity to finally have a proper conversation. And it’s not just that, but it’s pretty bad when Natsuya has gone out to eat with just about everyone except for his own brother.
As for Hiyori, tensions remain between him and Ikuya. If he didn’t realize it last week, this week it certainly sunk in how he messed up big time, and has been seen more or less sulking to himself. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting him to do well in the race, but he and Asahi ended up tying for first. But I actually felt bad for him when Ikuya told Asahi he doesn’t really know if Hiyori is his friend. MAN. IF THE GUY HEARD THAT, IT WOULD DESTROY HIM! So thank goodness he didn’t hear the conversation! But it is rather alarming how Ikuya doesn’t remember or recognize what friends are anymore. I am glad both Haruk and Asahi were able to give him some assurance by reaching out to him, reaffirming they are friends, even if he can’t recognize it.
Admittedly I am a bit surprised to see that Haruka’s private lessons with Ryuuji wasn’t shown too much. The hilarious part was how Haruka is ‘paying’ for it by buying Ryuuji food. If that isn’t an amazing deal, I don’t know what is. But the only thing we really got out of it from it was that Haruka’s weakness is his mentality, which honestly I think most of us already identified, but perhaps that’s why they elected to skip over the process entirely. which the same can be said true in regards to Ikuya as well. They have so much potential, but it’s their mentality that’s screwing them over.
That’s all I have to say for this week’s episode! I am looking forward to the race between Ikuya and Haruka, and I hope for Ikuya’s sake, it goes well!