“Wakare no Batafurai!” (別れのバタフライ!)
So Rin has someone looking out for his back, we met new friends and our old friends have all grown so much since episode one of the first season.
Right now we are in the best time ever in the anime, everyone is happy, everyone loves what they are doing and we get to see all the boys bonding without any real drama in the background (other then Haru being in trouble with Sousuke!
What can’t be good about a Rei centred episode?
The answer is nothing. A Rei centred episode is wonderful.
The series, like the first, is getting better each episode and this one really hit the final nail in the head of my hatred for the finale. It did what I WANTED before Rei gave up his place in the team for Rin. It gave us a reason to care about Rin, it gave us a look inside Rei’s head and it brought it altogether beautifully.
Now the recruiting is still going badly even though they win the sports team relay, no thanks to Haru who is actually pretty slow on land, but Makoto… Now Makoto is wonderful and so is Rei, Nagisa is alright I guess….
I think the thing that really stood out in this episode other then Rei (which I’ll talk about in just a second) was seeing Makoto really taking charge. He actually gave speeches that were uplifting and made the others want to do better and different things, he took charge when they worried that Rei was leaving and as always he was the voice of reason (at times. None of them had any reason when it come to girlfriend chat it seems!)
It was nice to see Makoto taking charge and keeping the boys on track.
Now lets talk about Rei!
I have loved Rei since he was introduced, I think his character was the one that really saved the show in my eyes in the first series. I was rather bored of Haru but Rei kept me interested. Makoto took a while to kick in really because at first he felt more like a shadow following Haru around. It feels weird thinking about it like that because I love all of them now but that was how I felt at first.
Since he was introduced he was one of the main plot points, not being able to swim obviously thrust him into the drama of most stories, he’d get them into problems or else be the cause of tension with Rin. Saying that his character development wasn’t the focus of the stories. Here we get to see two things.
Firstly how Rin’s attitude has changed towards him. At first Rin was very much against Rei mainly because he couldn’t swim therefore he didn’t feel he was worthy of swimming with his old friends (even if he was being cold towards them) now with everything that happened he classes him as a friend and teaches him how to swim other strokes. It was a wonderful little surprise at the end of the episode and nice to see Rin so nice!
Secondly we see just how important Rei’s relationship with the others are. He’s so focused on doing his best for the team… It really was the one thing I hated about the end of last season, he tried harder because he knew he had more to prove and then was kind of left out. This episode shows how hard he’s always worked but also now WHY. It isn’t just he wants the team to win but he wants to be able to be proud of being a senior member. He wants to be able to swim other styles with his friends.
It really is nice to see that his determination has paid off and finally it seems that he can swim a few more strokes!
It also shows how good a teach Rin could be if he doesn’t go professional, or even after he’s gone professional. No one else was able to get Rei floating!
There is so much I loved about this episode and I haven’t even talked about Nagisa and how sweet he is! He really lives and breaths the swimming club and probably doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for being as intensely proud of the team and as enthusiastic as he is for their success!
It really is just nice.
I kind of don’t want anyone else to join the club because I’d miss the dynamic if anyone else joined in, but at the same time I don’t want the club to die at the end of the season.
Oh and another thing I liked was seeing more of the relationship between Rin and his team! We didn’t get to see too much of it last time out. It is great seeing more of them this series.