I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel, world. And I saw a little boy, his eyes tightly closed, holding to his breast the old kind world, one that he knew in his heart could not remain, and he was holding it and pleading, never to let him go.
What you’ve got to remember about Rin, when it came to things like that, he was always very different to us. You and me, right from the start, even when we were little, we were always trying to find things out. Remember, Haruka, all those secret talks we used to have? But Rin wasn’t like that. He always wanted to believe in things. That was Rin.
I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart. That’s how it is with us. It’s a shame, Makoto, because we’ve loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can’t stay together forever.
I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I’d ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field.
Kazuo Ishiguro x Free! Iwatobi Swim Club: Never Let Me Go (x)
Three Iwatobi students, Rin, Haruka and Makoto, develop a close but complicated friendship. Makoto develops a fondness for Haruka, looking after him when he is bullied and having talks with him beside the pond.
Miss Amakata reveals the destiny of all “students” of Iwatobi. The children are clones, created to be “donors” that provide vital organs for “normals” through a series of “donations” that eventually lead to the donor’s death, which the characters refer to as “completion.” The term refers to the fact that they have given all that they have; their purpose in life is complete.
Rin and Haruka enter into a romantic relationship and are still together when they leave Iwatobi. Makoto is often the peacemaker in the tumultuous relationship between Haruka and Rin but tensions rise and Makoto puts in a request to become a “carer”, a clone who cares for donors.
It matters because themes matter. For me, personally, there’s nothing really beyond that. (Also, I’m a very mechanical/technically inclined thinker so thats why I get so stuck on this stuff. For some people it really doesn’t matter and that’s ok!)
Theme is defined as a main idea or an underlying meaning of a literary work that may be stated directly or indirectly.
Theme is what separates real life and fiction. Real life has no theme or central message in the way that fiction does. (Which is something that makes biographical writing interesting, because those authors draw theme from actual real life events.)
So what are the themes in Free? Friendship, teamwork, hard work, perseverance, dreaming big. All positively presented. Ambiguous rhetorical statements like “For the future!” (which was used as a tag line in S1 as well) give rise to an “there’s no limits!” feeling.
Themes are a map that guide the narrative. The narrative is built with characterization and plot. Essentially in all literary works the set up is like this: consistent plot + characterization <—-> consistent narrative <—-> theme.
I think that an adequate support of the overall themes is essential in any work. So in my opinion, I don’t think they fulfilled that completely, applying it to nearly every character in the end except for Makoto. (Even for Sousuke, the against-all-odds possibility of overcoming something as huge as an injury was left on the table and that falls in perfectly with the rest of the series, thematically.)
Onto your second point. I agree that they used episode 8 to make teaching apparent as Makoto’s goal— but the thing that refuted episode 8 in my eyes, was the existence of his chat with Rin in 9. Like I said in that other post, I’d understand his outcome completely if that chat didn’t happen. They could’ve at least had Makoto tell Rin that he was thinking of quitting, but that would automatically trigger the theme again— “Don’t give up, work hard, persevere.” (Not to mention, this is something they used Rin for consistently throughout ES.)
Now lets say the coaching episode happened after episode 9. I would totally understand the logic and the idea that Makoto just found something better for himself. After a stinging loss in the regionals, he finds a place where he excels. That would be more understandable.
Still, for Makoto to have so many mishaps in swimming (like the late start— but I think they did that just to make Iwatobi have a close call with defeat) and then to still pursue that route without letting loses deter him would be a more satisfactory fulfillment of the overall themes of the series. (After all, there are few athletes out there like Haru who win nearly everything. It would also be pretty realistic to have at least one character within the main group that falters athletically and grows past it— like Nitori, for instance.)
I know it’s a lot and maybe it’s going in a bit too far on details but this is the way I think about stories, so that’s why it left me feeling a bit empty.
Title: Tokyo, January, 8 PM
Pairings/Characters: Tachibana Makoto/Matsuoka Rin.
Warnings: Un-beta-ed, my brain’s been refusing to English, so this might feel somewhat repetitive? Also gross, gross fluff. Takes place one or two years after Free! ES, I guess.
A/N: I’m sorry for the gross fluff, is all I want to say. I wanted to write Makoto and Rin bickering and teasing each other, but the result is this… uhh. Idek man, wwww.
The last bit of this work was completely gestahlt’s fault. Also, happy belated birthday, naturalvirtue! I tried writing an Angels/Demons AU but I got completely stuck, I’m sorry for this… sorry excuse of a gift, but thank you so much for brightening our days with your artworks. :D
Tokyo, January, 8 PM
It’s eight in the evening when Makoto’s phone rings; Rin’s tone, with his name flashing on the screen, and Makoto nearly throw his laptop in his haste to scramble towards the coffee table, leaving behind a flurry of papers, a mug of untouched hot cocoa and a thick, comfortable blanket his mother had sent from home. It’s nearing the end of winter, but nights in Tokyo is still frozen, the unmoving air in his apartment icy against the tip of Makoto’s nose.
*goes to bed at 2am instead of 5am* wow, my life is so in order right now. i’m making such good decisions for myself and my body and my soul and im so in love with myself for doing this
I am reading an essay called Male-Male Desire in Pharaonic Egypt (by Alex Clayden) which is actually pretty good
I just need to draw attention to this little gem of a pick-up line
Attention, followers: you now know how to write “nice ass” in hieroglyphics.
all i ever wanted out of life tbh