Free! Eternal Summer: Episode 8 – “The Locomotive of a Twist!”

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 Eight sees Makoto helping out at the Iwatobi Swim Club, where he helps Coach Sasabe teach a group of kids to swim. One of the kids (named Hayato) turns out to be the younger brother of Kisumi, a former classmate of Makoto and Haruka’s from middle school. Through Kisumi, Makoto learns that Hayato has a fear of water after he fell off a boat and nearly drowned. Makoto, with his own history of a fear of water when he was younger, takes it upon himself to try to teach Hayato to not only learn how to swim, but to also love the water.

When we see Haruka and Kisumi at one point, it’s obvious from Haruka’s expression that he doesn’t care much for Kisumi. From what flashbacks I saw, I was getting the impression that Kasumi seemed to be closer to Makoto than we was to Haruka. It makes me think that Haruka was afraid that Makoto would decide to be friends with Kisumi instead of with him. With this dynamic coming into play, I wonder if Kisumi will end up becoming an important character during the remaining episodes of the series or not. Even if he isn’t, Kisumi ended up providing some important information to Makoto and Haruka, as well as the audience, in regards to Sousuke. It’ll be interesting to see how this information will come into play as the series continues.

Speaking of Sousuke, we see him coaching Nitori to help him improve his swimming. There’s some respects in which Sousuke seems to be thawing out his cold personality, but there’s still a lot of ways in which he hasn’t. And after what we learn about Sousuke at the end of this episode, how much of an act is he putting on and how honest has he been with Rin up to this point?

My favorite part of this episode was seeing Makoto interacting with the kids that he’s teaching. He genuinely understands how to treat them and how to interact with them. He’s so good with kids, and he’d definitely make a great father when he’s older. I guess he’s used to being around kids due to his two younger siblings. The scenes of Makoto and the kids were very sweet.

Episode Eight made occasional references to the upcoming regional competitions, but we didn’t see much actual training going on for it. From what I saw in the preview for Episode Nine, it appears that regionals may play an important role in it. Not only that, but it appears that Haruka will be the main focus of it.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the remainder of Free! Eternal Summer in order to find out how this story will ultimately progress and come to an end.

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