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Once again, I’m quite impressed by the visual accuracy of Free!

This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but with my background in competitive swimming, I’m fairly certain I would like the show much less if the swimming wasn’t accurately depicted.  This is a huge selling point for the show.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the other strokes (backstroke, breast stroke, butterfly) in later episodes, because those strokes rarely get any attention in any form of popular culture and it’ll be nice to see that.  Now that there’s a swim club, I’m pretty sure we’ll start seeing that soon.

This episode definitely helps to establish the characters a bit more.  Rin’s current personality is explained a lot, which is a good thing.  It would have been annoying if they’d have left it a mystery why he’s such a jerk now until the end of the season.  While there are still some mysteries about his personality, we have at least a bit of an idea of why he’s acting the way he is.

On that same note, it’s nice to see the home life of a character other than Haru or Rin.  Seeing Makoto’s family was nice, and the fact that he has two younger siblings explains quite a lot about his personality.  He definitely has the older brother mentality when he’s around Nagisa and Haru.  I hope we get to see Nagisa’s home life eventually, too, as such scenes definitely help to solidify the characters’ personalities.

I’d like to comment a bit on Gou, as well.  I feel like the most important function her character fills is to be an identifier for the audience.  That is, I think she’s mostly there to say exactly what a lot of the audience is thinking.  She ogles the swimmers much like the audience does, but also verbalizes the things the audience is likely thinking.  Anyone who has ever watched competitive swimming during the summer Olympics or something like that knows that competitive swimmers are well built, and Free! does a good job of showing that.  It’s only natural to notice this fact, so Gou points it out to the audience to, perhaps, make them more comfortable.  (And this explanation is my attempt to make guys who might be interested in this anime more comfortable with seeing so many scantily clad men.)

Definitely looking forward to the next episode, to see what circumstances lead Rei to leave the track team and join the swim club instead.  We need a good megane in this anime!

Free! Episode 3 Preview

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