Free! Eternal Summer is the second season of the Free! Iwatobi Swim Club television 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.
Episode Six opens with the Iwatobi team meeting one last time before prefecturals. We learn that Nagisa is swimming the 100m breaststroke, Rei is doing the 100m butterfly, Haru is swimming the 100m and 200m freestyle, and Makoto is doing the 100m backstroke and 200m freestyle. Later, when Haru and Makoto are alone, Makoto asks Haru to race him for real during the 200m freestyle. To punctuate this point, we get to see a flashback sequence of Haru and Makoto when they were kids at the time they first joined the Iwatobi Swimming Club. I just couldn’t get over how cute they both looked when they were little!
After this, the remainder of Episode Six focuses on the first day of the prefecturals. First up is the 100m breaststroke, which sees Nagisa and Nitori swimming the same heat. Nagisa comes in first and makes it past the preliminaries. Unfortunately, Nitori doesn’t move on.
Next is the 100m backstroke race, and this heat sees Makoto up against both Momo and Uozumi from Samezuka. Makoto comes in first, and Momo comes in second; both make it past the preliminaries.
Then it’s time for the 100m butterfly race, and Rei is upset because he doesn’t have a competitor from Samezuka. And to add insult to injury, the audience doesn’t get to see all of Rei’s race; we only get to see him start, and then when he touches the sides of the pool. The other races up to this point showed the entire race. Poor Rei just can’t seem to get any respect! Fortunately, Rei’s able to take first in his race and make it past the preliminaries.
Then it’s the 200m freestyle race, which pits Haru against Makoto. Makoto ends up making a big mistake when he starts out in the race, and this mistake ends up causing him to lose to Haru, who comes in first. Makoto takes the loss well, going as far to laugh and exclaim happily that he lost.
The final race is the 100m freestyle, which pits Haru against Rin. It’s a close race, but Rin ends up winning and moving past the preliminaries.
So at this point, we see many of the main characters moving past the preliminaries for their individual events. According to what’s said in the episode, the next day of the competition will focus on the relay. I suspect the relay will end up being the major part of the story in Episode Seven.
Free! Eternal Summer will now be able to differentiate itself more from the first season, since we’ll now have episodes that see the characters competing at nationals. But from what’s said in this episode, the third-years will have to retire from the team after this summer’s tournaments. While they’re happy to be going on to nationals, I do think the fact the third-years will have to leave at the end of the summer will cast a bit of a dark shadow over the team regardless of how well they do. Once Haru and Makoto retire, there will only be two members left. Hopefully the fact that the team is already doing better than the previous year will help them find some potential new recruits.
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