Free! Eternal Summer: Episode 12 – “A Swim-Off in a Foreign Land!”

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.

The focus of Episode 12 is on Rin and Haruka’s trip to Australia. The episode provides the audience with some small flashbacks of Rin’s time in Australia, especially when he first got there and was trying to acclimatize to new surroundings and a new culture.

As they spend time together in Australia, Haruka starts opening up about being bothered by his fight with Makoto in Episode 11. Rin also makes it clear to Haruka how much Rin has looked up to him all these years.

My favorite part of this episode, though, is when Rin takes Haruka to meet Russell and Lori, the couple that Rin stayed with while he was in Australia. I could tell how much they cared about Rin, and Haruka’s interactions with them also seem to start getting him to think more about what he’s been doing as of late. The scenes with Russell and Lori have quite a bit of English in them, and it was neat to see Rin speaking so much English with them. Poor Haruka couldn’t entirely follow the conversation, but he did pick up on bits here and there and was able to respond with the occasional English word or phrase.

But Rin’s main purpose for bringing Haruka to Australia is to take him to the aquatic center, which is a stadium for international swimming competitions. They luck out and are there at the time the national team is practicing. It’s during his time here that Haruka finally realizes what his dreams and goals are.

By the end of Episode 12, Haruka seems to have a renewed sense of purpose, and hopefully he’ll be able to bring this renewed sense with him when the Iwatobi team races in the relay during nationals. At least with Haruka’s love of swimming being reignited, this should give the Iwatobi team a fighting chance.

It looks like nationals will be taking place in Episode 13, which is the final episode of Free! Eternal Summer. I can’t believe this series is almost over, as well as how quickly my summer seemed to fly by. I’m definitely going to miss watching Free! Eternal Summer when I start into shows for Fall 2014.

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