Free! Eternal Summer: Episode 4 – “The Somersault Turn of Promise!”

Free! Eternal Summer is the second season of the Free! Iwatobi Swim Club anime series. This season begins in spring, when the new school year is getting underway. The focus of the series is still on the Iwatobi High swimmers (Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rei), their manager Gou, and Rin from Samezuka Academy.

A big emphasis in Episode Four is on Gou trying to get the members of the Iwatobi swim team to eat a balanced diet, and she starts by conducting a surprise bento check. Unfortunately, not a single member passes the check. When they ask her to make what she feels would be an acceptable bento, she takes up the challenge. Later, Rei makes a list of foods that contain the ideal amount of proteins and vitamins for swimmers, while Gou has come up with a training regimen to get the team ready for the prefecturals.

Episode Four also has a strong focus on character development for both Sousuke and Rin, especially concerning their childhood and their friendship. We learn that it was because of issues that Rin and Sousuke had working together on the same relay team that Rin transferred to Iwatobi and began swimming with Haruka, Makoto, and Nagisa. Near the end of the episode, Sousuke and Rin kind of butt heads over what’s important for attaining the dream of competing in swimming at an international level. Fortunately, Rin is able to win the argument by showing his conviction but not yelling about it.

This episode was very instrumental in providing the back story for Sousuke and Rin that had kind of been hinted at. This was the first episode to truly delve into why Rin didn’t stay where he had been for swimming as a kid. It also gave the viewer insight into why Rin was so insistent on swimming relays when he came to the Iwatobi Swim Club.

And when it comes to Momo, the younger brother of Samezuka’s former team captain, his obsession with Gou is definitely much more of a running gag than his older brother’s interest in her. In this episode, Momo gets into her face and starts blathering at her. While Rin did come to the rescue, he was a little slow to do it. And poor Gou just looked so uncomfortable, and it was obvious that she’s not the least bit interested in him. I almost wish she had said something about him not having enough muscles for her taste or something like that. And Rin really needs to be a good big brother and have a talk with Momo about his behavior toward Gou.

It also looks like that the Iwatobi team has given up recruiting new members at this point, because not a single word was uttered about recruitment over the course of Episode Four. With half of the current team being third-years, it could basically spell doom for the team if they can’t manage to recruit anyone else. Hopefully the team can have a good showing during the prefecturals later this season and be able to bring about more recognition for the team.

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