Hey guys, it’s Pink and I’m back again for another OWLS blog tour! Here’s this month’s schedule, so feel free to catch up and support everyone else’s wonderful posts!
In honor of the 2018 Winter Olympics, this month’s topic will focus on the theme, “Competition” because the Olympics is where athletes from all countries join together to compete in sporting events. Through these events, we see how “competition” brings out the grit, the teamwork, and the competitive spirit within athletes. This month, we will be exploring anime and pop culture media that discusses the good and the bad when it comes to competition and what it can teach us about ourselves and the world around us.
For this month, I chose to write a short and sweet analysis on Free!, an epic anime that revolves around the members of a high school boys’ swimming team. This anime goes deep into the struggle of competition and it’s effects on friendships and daily life. Therefore, it seemed like the perfect match for this month’s theme.
I want to specifically highlight the relationship between Haruka and Rin, two teens whose friendship and challenged multiple times throughout the series due to competition and teenage life.
“I know! How fun it is to swim with friends…How good it feels to swim in a relay together… You were the one who taught me that, Rin! You’re the reason I..“
When he is first introduced, Haru is shown as the nonchalant quiet boy who loves water and only swims freestyle. When first questioned about the reasoning behind his love for swimming, he doesn’t really have a meaningful answer. However, once his past with former friend Rin is revealed, we begin to see a new side to Haruka.
After winning the medley relay he swam with Rin and the others years back, Haru is shown something new and exciting – the effects of teamwork and working together with your friends to achieve a common goal. However, Rin leaves Haru’s life shortly after that and Haru reverts back to his old mindset.
Years later, Haru’s friend Nagisa convinces him to create and be a member of their high school’s swim club. When Rin returns, acting nothing like the boy Haru once knew, Haru’s passion is ignited once again. He looks forward to racing Rin, but when he beats him, Haru realizes something: There’s no joy in winning if you hurt someone you love in the process of doing so. Haru sees how his victory has negatively affected Rin and makes a vow to quit swimming competitively.
This vow is eventually forsaken, but Haru’s resolve is not. His interactions with Rin give him a new definition for competition. For Haru, competition is being able to swim with his friends, being able to swim with Rin as members of the same team and not rivals.
It is through this definition that Haru is enlightened and finally realizes exactly who he is swimming for. Although Haru is enamored with water, his true desire for swimming and competing is his friendship with Rin and the other Iwatobi swimmers.
That’s it, everyone! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to read Lita’s (Lita Kino Anime Corner) post on the 28th!