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Artist: Haru, Rin, Nagisa, Momo, Nitori
Track: "Ano Natsu no Long Slow Distance, Ch. 2"
Plays: 12,422 plays


So the “Samezuka Channel” CD that comes with each DVD includes a cute drama track (that is serial, so each track is pieces of a bigger story), and this time, we had all of the Iwatobi gang working part-time jobs (Nagisa and Haru at a McDonalds rip-off, Rei and Makoto ala their endcard working as deliverymen, and Gou earning money working as an MC at an Iwatobi-chan event) to earn money for their training camp, with Rin, Nitori, and Momo coming across them on the job. I clipped the Nagisa-Haru portion of the track because the Haru-Rin interaction here is priceless XD

Nitori: Aah, wait, Momo-kun!
Momo: What’re you doing? Rin-sempai, Nitori-sempai! Hurry, hurry!
Nitori: I can’t keep up with him…
Rin: No choice, let’s just get something to eat.
Nagisa: Welcome!
Rin: Wait, NAGISA?!
Haru: …Welcome.
Rin: HARU?! What’re you two doing here?
Nagisa: I could ask you the same thing, Rin-chan! You’ve got Ai-chan and Momo-chan with you.
Nitori: H-hello…
Rin: We came to get new suits for next week’s training camp.
Nagisa: Oooh, I see! We’re earning funds to pay for our camp! Right, Haru-chan??
Rin: Hmmm……..
Haru: Wh-what?
Rin: That uniform looks so lame on you!
Haru: Shut up! Just hurry up and order already.
Rin: What’s this? Commanding me? Is that how you’re to address a paying customer?
Haru: …Would you like fries with that?
Rin: I haven’t even ordered anything yet!
Haru: I need an order with no pickles, please.
Momo: I’ll take an extra-large helping of a Lucky Set!
Nitori: Momo-kun! Hamburger shops don’t offer “helpings”!
Nagisa: I’ll take Ai-chan and Momo-chan’s orders!
Haru: And I’ll take Rin’s. Hurry up and order something.
Rin: I’ve decided! Maybe I’ll just have one of those~
Haru: “One of those”…?
Rin: YUP. A smile. TEN of them. What’s the matter? No smiles in stock? Snap it up! I’d like the BEST smile you have!
Haru: Smiles are…out of stock.
Manager: Hey, what’s going on out there, newbie?
Nagisa: Uwah! Haru-chan got dragged back into the kitchen by the manager!
Rin: Heheh! I win!
Nitori: Aah~ As expected of Rin-sempai!
Rin: But for Haru to go out of his way to do a job like this…I guess that means Makoto and Rei are doing something too?
Nagisa: Yup! Mako-chan and Rei-chan have different jobs from us, though.

Rin, who’s had a clear vision of wanting to swim at the international level ever since he was a child, set off for Australia right after graduation, vowing to get revenge in the place where he’d once experienced bitter failure. He now spends his days globetrotting with Haruka, who said he wanted to swim together with him. From now on, they’ll likely continue to be great, close friends who compete while influencing each other, as well as rivals.
Pash, Nov 2014

(Source: fencer-x)

Australia is a very important place to Rin, and that’s exactly why he wanted Haruka to see, “Look at this world waiting out there!” If he’d just wanted Haruka to see a pool where international tournaments are held, Rin could have taken him straight to the pool and been done with it—but he wanted Haruka to feel, with his own skin, just how wide the world was. Of course, it was up to Haruka himself to decide how to react to that once he understood it, and if he hadn’t felt anything at all, then that would’ve been fine too. I believe that Rin brought him to Australia, fully committed to that.
—Utsumi Hiroko, Pash Nov 2014 (via fencer-x)


"From now on, they’ll likely continue to be great, close friends who compete while influencing each other, as well as rivals.” - Pash (x)

THANK YOU PASH FOR UNDERSTANDING THE ONE THING I WISH ALL FANS WOULD REALIZE. This is 100% how I see Haruka and Rin. A more perfect observation couldn’t be made. And I am just so so happy someone finally put it into words.

ssssnnaaaaaap we were being told harurinpics was coming THE WHOLE DAMN TIME.


Interviewer: And what about the relationship between Haruka and Rin, which was fleshed out in the climax of the season?

Utsumi: Actually, the shot in the OP where the camera kind of revolves around Haruka and Rin as they swim was pointing toward this ending for the two of them. I feel like their conclusion may have been foretold, that way.

On reciprocity and things that reminded me of S1ep12 (or just an excuse to talk about their bed scene again)


I bet there are probably 54 posts about all this by now, but the more I watch the bed scene the more I love it and I came across a few comments saying that it came off as “one-sided” on Rin’s end. No way I would have been able to shut up after that lol

The tl;dr of this would be that imo the post that said s1 was about Haru’s feelings for Rin and now we have Rin’s feelings for Haru is 100% spot-on. 

When I look at their bed scene, I personally see a lot of validating (hence reciprocity) going on from both ends of the spectrum; Haru does so consciously, while Rin not so much - but that’s actually what makes the whole thing even more beautiful. Because just like in S1ep12 Haru poured out his feelings to Rin and willingly made himself vulnerable because these were things he needed Rin to know, whether Rin felt the same way or not - Rin is doing exactly the same thing for Haru here.


Look at Rin’s expression and at the way he prefaces his confession. He acknowledges that Haru may not remember; in fact going by his expression, I believe he is actually betting on Haru not remembering it. That he assumes that he doesn’t. Because while that day became a pivotal moment of Rin’s life for Rin - for Haru it could have been just another race.

So why should Haru remember a random race that happened ages ago against an unknown kid? Why should Haru find it memorable? 

But Haru takes Rin by surprise - because he does remember. 


So, that day that could have been trivial for Haru? It wasn’t. Just like Haru made an impression on Rin from the get-go; it was the same for Haru. Of course, us as the viewers and readers know this because of High Speed - but Rin had literally zero clue. He had absolutely no way to know this, and no leeway to get to that conclusion on his own.

So right here, by admitting that he does remember it - Haru is essentially validating (returning) Rin’s feelings and consciously doing so.

To me, that is precisely why we see Rin’s surprise change into that pretty, warm expression and his body language do a 180º turn. He lays open and comfortable now because he has just been reassured. So feeling empowered by Haru’s admittance (again: reciprocity), Rin carries on.


And that right there is one of the things that reminds me of S1 ep 12: 



Because if you look at the storyboards, they read: “As he takes in Rin’s tears, Haruka smiles. Haruka is relieved that Rin feels the same way he does." (x) As we all know, Haru’s smile came right after Rin admitted that yes; he wanted to swim with them, too. Thus not only returning Haru’s feelings, but validating them; letting him know that he placed the same amount of importance on swimming together that Haru himself did. 

So if you ask me, their relief during both scenes are most likely meant to be one and the same. But I digress before this gets awfully long! lol

What I actually meant to talk about is that in my eyes Haru wasn’t the only one doing the validating here. Rin himself did, too - and that is key. Because what exactly are the feelings we see Haru validate?

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Olympic/pro-swimmer!Haru hints in episode 12


This episode had what I think are some very important moments that illustrate where Haru might be heading after graduation.

So here we go. A Swim-Off in a Foreign Land!

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Free! EP 12 thoughts (of the pro swimmer haru kind)


It has been a long road full of struggles but we’ve finally reached our destination and I am so happy about it that I wasn’t going to comment; especially because I think that next episode we may have more insight as to what things touched Haru and in what measure.

But then I rewatched the episode and I couldn’t help but to form my own guesses; and given that this is the topic that has got me more emotionally invested this whole year, here goes nothing! 

When the season started airing, I said that I felt it would be necessary to make Haru acknowledge his competitive drive beyond Rin. And then when Episode 7 aired, I said that personally:

I feel that there are mainly two things that fuel that fear and that keep Haru from honestly addressing the possibilities being presented to him; on one hand, it’s his own philosophy - aka “free”. On the other hand, it’s the future itself and more specifically: the change that future brings. (x)

And I can’t help but to feel that this episode tackled both things. The first I feel was through Haru’s interactions with Russell and Lori; or more specifically, through watching Rin’s interactions with them.




We had an inordinate amount of focus on Haru noticing these things; complete with his eyes trembling right in that last shot. It struck me as peculiar and I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first; but after giving it some thought, to me this feels like Haru may as well have been realizing that you can have a home away from home. That change does not have to be something negative; that leaving Iwatobi does not have to be a depressing prospect. That he can forge bonds and belong somewhere else, too (which I have to say was probably even more effective because Rin told him all about his hardship first).

In other words, I feel that Haru being able to experience the bond Rin was able to form with Russell and Lori - how welcoming they are, how much like family they are - eased Haru’s fears and hesitation regarding change; regarding leaving his roots and his comfort zone and stepping out into the unknown.

So I feel that is one of the vital pieces that allowed Haru to give that step forward at the end. Another one would be Rin’s talk to him in the bed; because it lead to something fundamental (at least to me):

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This episode was so fulfilling because Haru and Rin were constantly together in a bright world.

The scenery was beautiful and the dialogue was like something taken out of a poetry anthology.

And every single moment was dedicated to highlighting their mutualistic relationship, every single line stated what we already knew, and every miniscule detail confirmed just how much they respected and trusted each other…and well, isn’t that the most beautiful relationship there can be?

I don’t want to draw comparisons (because it’s obvious) but let me just say that they are able to lay down their feelings honestly because they are equals.

Yes, Haru did not say much but his reactions/actions towards Rin’s words speak volumes.

Yes, Rin does have a crush on/admires Haru and it’s probably just as well because it looks like they are tied together by fate any way.


You may wonder why Haru doesn’t express his “need/dependance/admiration” for Rin, but tbh, wasn’t that already covered in season 1? And this season too when he said that he was saved? Wasn’t it already established that Haru saw Rin as somebody who was “shining”?

They were both saved on that day they swam together…and in this season too when they raced each other in Samuzeka…they both felt it.

The pull, the magnetism, the “catch me if you can because I know you can!” feelings that overwhelmed their senses and made them plunge towards the finish line with urgency.

Because, if Rin pulls ahead, Haru will try to follow and close that distance, just so that they are together or so that he is ahead of Rin again… so that they will constantly match each other and chase each other down.

They save each other by making the other come to life and showing “the sight” that others cannot show.

They’ve been doing this ever since the day they met.

If you don’t see it, just what have you been watching?

a two-way street


There are so many things to appreciate about every single line and every single shot in this episode, oh god.


This is the first time that we’ve seen all the difficulties Rin faced in Australia. The fact that he is talking about them shows how much he has grown; how much stronger he has become, enough to want ‘revenge’; enough to desire to come back and set the record straight. Enough to share his feelings in depth.

But that it is Haru he is telling this to though; that is so so important. Until now Rin had been so vague; only saying the necessary and never giving any details. But this time he is sharing it all; he is baring himself open and he does it on his own.  Beause he wants to share it with Haru. Because he understands how Haru must be feeling. And because he wants Haru to know the full extent of the importance of his influence on him. He wants Haru to understand him just as much as he wants to understand him.

And what Haru says in turn:


This line, the way it was delivered spoke to me. Just like Haru became Rin’s bechmark - I feel that  Haru has always been looking ahead at Rin, too. When Rin said “To be honest, it had never occurred to me that I could lose to someone.” Samewise, it most likelt never ocurred to Haru that there could be someone who ‘understood’ water better than him. So he picks up running, he starts adding in actual effort - because Rin himself becomes to Haru what Haru is to him. It goes both ways. They’re always aiming to never fall behind each other.

And this to me was another showcase of that. Of what zakki said, that to someone like Haru Rin 'shines'. Look at the way Haru words it; as if he felt that Rin had more experience than him, was ahead of him. 

And then come two things that were so important to me.

One is that just like Rin wanted to share the hardships he went through in Australia with Haru; he also wanted to share the upsides.


That all those “kinds of things Rin saw”, all those “kinds of experiences Rin had" over Haru; they are things Rin wants to share with Haru. He did not wish to flaunt them, or leave him out of them; but to share them with him.

And the second is this:


Rin is effectively showing Haru the path he should take (again: a two-ways street). By bringing him here into his world - Rin gave Haru the key to his future, the key to discover his dream. 


Because just like in S1; when Rin lost himself in his self-doubt and his fears and his problems but Haru never lost sight of Rin - no matter how lost Haru was up to this point,Rin has never lost sight of everything he knows Haru is and can be.