Free! ES episode 6 gave me a bag of feelings.
Cause of Death: Shota Makoto (oT-T)尸
remember the reason makoto swims? it’s to be with his friends, to be with haru. and that’s also the reason why he wanted to race him, at least once, he wanted haru to take him on seriously and when he does, this happens. I’m sure makoto knew that haru would win, but this scene isn’t about the race anymore, not for makoto. it’s about his relationship with haru and how, just like in the race, he is being left behind, bc as much as haru doesn’t want to admit it (or maybe doesn’t even realize this yet), makoto knows that haru will follow rin into the pro circuits and he will be left out.
thus, this race is makoto’s final test, he tries to find the strength to follow them, but seeing haru’s back, reaching his hand out and still not being able to catch him is the marker of his failure. and makoto realizes that it’s all over, he can’t follow haru anymore, he has to let go
I have to say I don’t agree with this. Even if Makoto was trying to follow Haru into pro swimming (which Haru clearly is not interested in), swimming freestyle with Haru would be the wrong way to go. Makoto’s specialty is not free, but backstroke. If he wanted to try for pro, he would only concentrate on backstroke.
Haru is not suited to the disciplined lifestyle of pro swimmers. He is discovering his competetive streak, but it’s not about being the fastest swimmer, but about being the one who is best in understanding and feeling the water. He cares mostly for the races with his friends. Friends, who like him, love swimming itself too and not just swim for the sake of being the fastest. I think this is something that Sousuke needs to and surely will learn during the rest of the series. It’s something Rin learned during the end of the first season.
You also have to consider that Haru joined the swimclub because of Makoto. Sure Makoto came up with the idea and wanted to swim with Haru, and Haru first declined, but in the end he joined because he understood that Makoto was searching for something they both could do together. Something both of them love doing. Makoto is not the only one who swims to be with his friends - all of them are!
In the end, Free! is about both friendship and friendship through swimming together. Notice how the water turns from dark to light in the scene? Makoto realised, that he won’t be left behind. Haru is there to swim with him, whether it’s in a serious race against each other or in a relay together.
when i call a character trash i don’t mean it as a joke or an insult i mean it as you belong in a garbage can and the garbage can is my heart