Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club is an anime about a group of four boys who swam competitively when they were younger, but one of the friends went to Australia to go to school to become an Olympic swimmer. Now in high school, three of the boys have started a swim club at their school, and the fourth boy has returned from Australia but goes to a different school.
The high school team acquires four members after Ryugazaki, a non-swimmer, joins the team; they have worked with him enough so he is now a beginning swimmer. Gou, the younger sister of the friend who went to Australia, serves as the team’s manager.
In episode five, the Iwatobi Swim Club members went to an island in order to have a swim camp to work on their stamina. Ryugazaki decides to go out swimming on his own one night in order to get more practice and catch up to the others. A storm suddenly hits, and Ryugazaki begins to drown. Makoto hears him and runs out to save him.
Haruka and Nagisa hear the noise and discover what’s going on. Haruka goes in to help, and Nagisa follows shortly after. As Makoto is close to Ryugazaki, he suddenly freezes and has a flashback. Haruka ends up having to rescue Makoto, while Nagisa rescues Ryugazaki.
The four of them discover they’re on the island directly across from the one they are staying on, and they try to find somewhere to take shelter out of the rain. They find a rest house, and it is in here where the viewer finally learns why Makoto is afraid of the ocean. There’s also a couple of other brief stories that give the viewer a glimpse into a couple of the other characters, but Makoto’s was the most important. The next day, they head back to the island they were staying on.
This episode starts out on a very dramatic note, which makes sense considering the cliffhanger that episode five ended with. However, by the time the episode reaches the halfway point, there’s not much action and more of the focus is on some character development. I’m glad the question of why Makoto is afraid of the ocean was answered, and I thought the explanation made a lot of sense. It definitely put the short snippet of flashback that appeared in episode five and in episode six into an understandable context for the viewer.
Overall, this was a pretty decent episode of Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, and I plan to watch more to find out what will happen to the members of the swim club next.
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