Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club: Episode 7 – “One Style Final”

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.

The first half of the episode has a lot of focus on providing backstory for Rin. In this part of the episode, the audience learns what Rin’s motivations for swimming are. It turns out his father was the best swimmer in Iwatobi when he was young, and his dream was to become an Olympic swimmer. Unfortunately, his father never realized his dream and became a fisherman instead. Rin’s father died when a large typhoon hit and sank a number of fishing boats; this appears to be the same event that was referenced by Makoto back in episode six.

I really appreciated seeing this portion of episode seven, because it finally helped me to better understand Rin’s character and his motivations. While this doesn’t necessarily help me to like Rin any better, at least I now understand where he’s coming from and why he acts the way he does.

The second half of the episode happens on the day of the prefectural meet. Near the end of the episode, the first event takes place, which is the 100 m free. Rin and Haruka are competing in the fourth heat. Their heat takes place right at the end of the episode, and I thought the result was a little on the surprising side.

To be honest, I was actually surprised that the prefectural meet actually started before the end of episode seven. When I saw that they were heading to the meet at the halfway point, I assumed the time would be spent with the characters getting to the venue, scoping out the competition, and getting ready. I hadn’t anticipated any of the events actually happening, especially not Rin and Haruka’s event.

But now that I’ve seen the results of this event, I’m really wondering how Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club will continue over these last few episodes. I’m definitely watching next week to find out what happens next!

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