As the episode title suggests, “Interval in the Evening Calm!” is a bridge between the first part of the season with all the Ikuya drama and the second part of the season with all the competition drama.
“Interval in the Evening Calm!” was quite possibly Free! at its finest. It was funny and light-hearted, it propelled the story forward, it introduced some new dynamics, and there was some great swimming. I’m glad that Ikuya, and by extension Hiyori, is friends with the other guys again and that they all hang out together. I was really getting tired of all of the angst.
I’m disappointed but not surprised that Haru decided to drop the IM and return to focusing only on free. I really wish he would stick with the other styles, though, otherwise what even was the point of that whole subplot? I wonder what Ryuuji thinks about that. (Also, wow, Ryuuji went to Iwatobi? Small world.) I do like that he seems to be making friends with the other guys on his team.
While we’re on the subject of Haru, I am LOVING the addition of Albert to the show. It’s long past time that Haru has had a good rival. Not that Ikuya and Rin aren’t, but now he’s met someone who is leagues better than he is, and this should finally be the push to make him grow as a swimmer. I do worry how this will affect Haru, but maybe what solves Haru’s problems is swimming with Albert. Plus, the music when Albert is in the water? Amazing.
Rin is back in Japan, yay! We got denied a Rin/Haru and Rin/Sousuke reunion scene this week, but at least we got to see him say hi to his Samezuka kouhai. I loved that he brought a kangaroo for Momo – what a nice little throwback. I loved, LOVED his reaction to finding out Mikhail is Aiichiro’s uncle. I am always impressed when they are able to animated such nuanced facial expressions; Rin’s in that moment made me legitimately giggle.
I also love that we are keeping up with the trope of cats not liking Rin. True, Steve is the same cat, but still.
With Haru, Rin, Ikuya, and Albert all in the 100m freestyle, that race is going to be epic. I am so excited for next week!
I like the little moments we get of the Iwatobi boys, particularly in “Interval in the Evening Calm!”, but considering how important Nagisa and Rei have been to the series, I’m just a bit upset that we don’t get more of them. I would have loved to see them competing, but I can understand how things must be sacrificed for all the Ikuya drama. Still, it would have been nice to see them developing more as a team. I hope that we can at least see the team’s relay at regionals, especially since it was such a huge part of their standalone episode a few weeks ago. Also, I can’t help but wonder if Rei’s musings was foreshadowing for a possible season 4. Nagisa and Rei will be going to university – will they end up in Tokyo as well?
A third Mikoshiba? Who would have guessed! Isuzu is adorable, though. She can stay. She’s like a toned-down Momo with a dash of Gou (the way she’s obsessed with Haru’s triceps).
What did you all think of “Interval in the Evening Calm!”?
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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