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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. 

Anonymous sent:
Is there a blush on Rin's cheek as he turns over in the bed with Haru? What do you have to blush about Rin-chan-san?!?!



Yup, there is! :D

I think he’s blushing because he didn’t expect Haruka to have remembered their first meeting—-or if not that, then at least because he hadn’t expected Haruka to own up to it.

He starts out a little carefully, testing the waters, but… when Haruka doesn’t respond with the usual aloofness or avoidance, Rin’s entire posture on the bed changes! He literally and figuratively opens up (body-language wise, get your head out of the gutter! xD) to Haruka even more at that point. It’s like he really only needed a little encouragement, before he could get started on working his way up towards the most important thing on his mind: did (does) Haruka feel the same way?

I really love how Haruka didn’t respond like he usually does to Rin’s roundabout way of bringing up the future, etc. There’s no WHATEVER, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS or THAT’S ENOUGH from him this time.

I mean, a lot of people have been saying there was no need for them to actually share the bed - making it 100% fanservice - but I don’t completely agree with that. I think it affected their conversation here a lot. Being so close together, their backs almost touching underneath the same blankets… it’s easier to open up like that, when your words will be partially hidden in the dark, you know?

I also like the contrast between S1!Haruka running out of the hotel room when, uh, discussing his feelings got too much for him? I doubt the fact that they’re in Australia would stop him from escaping to the bathroom, if he really felt uncomfortable. (Or possibly the lobby? Though, I can’t see him going very far - so literal running away would be out of the question, ahahah.)

Well, that’s all just my opinion based on a quick re-watch though. Take it or leave it, you know? I’M SORRY IT GOT SO LONG, ANONYMOUS-CHAN-SAN. x’D


OK but look how young Haru looks here. Children under 20 can only have passports good for 5 years, so given that Haru is 18 now (it’s mid-August, and his birthday is at the end of June, and he’s a graduating senior—so 18) he is at least 13 in that picture.

That means he got it on or after July after Rin left.

Now why on earth would 13-year-old Haru need a passport? (his father lived elsewhere at the time for business—but still in Japan AFAIK—and he still lived with his mother at the time)

New headcanon: he either got it the summer after Rin left, out of a spur-of-the-moment desire to fly to Australia to see Rin (or “just in case”), maybe after experiencing that great relay with his new teammates/Sousuke and wanting to share it with Rin/see how Rin was doing—


He got it after their falling out, another spur-of-the-moment thing where he felt like he ought to go after Rin, to make sure he wasn’t serious, wasn’t really going to quit swimming.

And then eventually chickened out/couldn’t get his parents to agree to it.

(Source: fallencrows)

Some more symbolism in Free!ES ep. 12


So, I didn’t really put this post together—source is here and is a great read for all of the things to look around for in Episode 12, if you feel like digging through the Japanese. It goes into great detail not only about the fun tidbits, like the meaning of flowers and numbers and story progression in the episode, but also compares them to other works that Yamada Naoko (the episode director) has been involved with, like Tamako Love Story and K-ON with similar themes (so that we can be assured that these things were put there on purpose).

But I’m just going to translate/paraphrase/meta a little bit on one part that really stuck out to me—and that was the importance of “feet/footsteps/walking” in episode 12!

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Nonprofit HaruRinHaru 2015 Calendar



This is a bit of a rushed project because they’ll have to be sent out by the beginning of December, but here we go:

I can admit to feeling a bit snubbed by the official Kyoani calendar and would rather just have a HaruRin fest on my wall, so I was thinking: Why not make my own!

But there’s no way I could draw 7-12 pictures in such a short amount all by myself. That’s why I’m looking for other artists open to contributing artwork for a nonprofit HaruRinHaru themed calendar.

Calendar specifications:

  • A4 (210 × 297mm) or A3 (297 × 420mm)
  • 7 to 13 one-sided full color pages (Cover + Months)
  • Spiral binding
  • English language
  • Nonprofit (only production and shipping costs will be covered by the price), price depends on final specifications

[*Depending on a) how many people I can find and b) a printer who allows you to do 6 page calendars.]

Artwork specifications:

  • 300 DPI+ A4 or A3
  • Full Color
  • HaruRinHaru
  • SFW
  • specific themes for each month are still up for consideration

I need:

  • 7 (Cover + 6 Pages) or 13 (Cover + 12 Pages) artists who can work on a tight schedule (Deadline for Art would be October 31st at latest)**
  • a reliable printer
  • maybe someone who’s good at design/prepress work bc I suck at it

[**One of them being myself, obviously.]

If you are interested in helping out, either send me an ask or email me at notplatina[a]gmail.com with samples of your art until SEPTEMBER 15TH. . Each artist contributing to the calendar will get a free copy.

This is my first time working on a calendar, so if anyone has experience with it or wants to just offer help in general, please let me know!

Thanks for reading!


I want to have a full list of artists by September 21st! So if you are interested in helping out, please let me know asap.

From the moment I met you, the world just opened up before me. This wide, wide world that spreads out forever…I’m sure you could see it too, if you’d just lift your head and look. Haru.
—Matsuoka Rin, episode 12 preview (via fencer-x)