Free – Eternal Summer! – 5

As far as I can remember, this is the first Nagisa episode we’ve gotten…ever! I can’t seem to recall any episode centric to him in the first season (and by all regards, he is probably the most underdeveloped of our main 5, not counting Sosuke).

Nagisa’s grades are suffering, so as a result he’s turned into a runaway in response to being told he must quit the swim team. Like all the Free’s, being forced to quit swimming is a fate equal to being stabbed in the throat, having salt poured on it, and being left to die in a spike pit. Nagisa obviously doesn’t take kindly to this and even refuses to explain his situation initially to any of his friends. After some hardcore coercing, he explains all that I just outlined to Makoto, Haru, and Rei.

Rei, being the best goddamn guy ever and Nagisa’s confidant (read: boyfriend and gay lover), propositions Nagisa and offers a logical solution to his problem, even going so far as to hide him in the Iwatobi swim club as his parents were in pursuit. Of course, it wasn’t actually his parents and instead their teacher (you can’t see any of their parents on screen, silly! This your first anime? If they’re not important you don’t see them.)

Nagisa, of course, is able to continue swimming because it means so much to him. While we’ve seen this sort of plot point before, it made me smile watching Rei support his good friend – to whom he was initially so cold towards. They’re, quite honestly, polar opposites. That’s what makes their relationship with one another work so well – a classic foil to one another. A fighter to his black mage, if you will (trust me, you won’t.)

Character development for Nagisa is a go. That is a good thing. But the real burning questions remain about Sosuke and how he views Iwatobi, doesn’t it? I suppose that will have to wait for next week (or perhaps the week after!)

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