Let's start things off with an out-of-context screencap!
|I think I know what's going to dominate my Tumblr dash for the next week|
I mentioned this in my coverage of the first episode, but Haru's characterization so far is very similar to Oreki from Hyouka. Of course, the big exception here is that there is one obvious thing Haru really cares about: water. However, in last week's episode and to a large extent in this one, we see him be protective of Makoto, going after him first in the ocean rescue and then later telling Nagisa and Rei to back off when they ask him why he's afraid of the ocean. Haru's friends mean a lot to him, but it seems to take extreme circumstances to drag out that part of his personality.
|First episode: Makoto is trying to hold a conversation while Haru is distracted by the ocean|
|Last week's episode: Makoto fakes a neutral conversation while they walk by the ocean. Haru is looking at his friend, not the water, because he knows something is up.|
And there's poor, sweet Makoto. I still don't get why his animal representation is a killer whale, since that doesn't seem to suit him at all. Anyway, the riddle I posed last week has been solved, and the answer is an old fisherman drowning at sea. This was a pretty good explanation for his fear, since judging by his age, that was likely Makoto's first experience with death. On top of that, having it happen in such a tragic way would be traumatizing no matter what age you are. In the way he explains it, it's obvious that it's something that he's continued to carry with him as well--"We swim three kilometers every day," as well as the fact that he continues to change the flowers for the fish's grave. Honestly, I don't think he does that just for the fish.
But, like Haru, he's willing to set his fear aside if it means making his friends happy. As we saw in this episode, that kind of selflessness can backfire, but in the larger picture I think that it means Makoto is finally making peace with that part of his past. He'll likely be more honest with Rei and Nagisa from now on as well. Speaking of which, I still don't understand why this was something that Rin was aware of when Nagisa didn't know about it. Didn't Rin leave before Nagisa? Or do I have my timeline messed up somewhere? It's possible that Haru told him about it, but considering how defensive he was of Makoto's feelings in this episode, it doesn't seem likely. Maybe I'm over-thinking it.
Anyway, onto the rest of the episode! The fallout from Rei's descision to swim alone in the ocean at night did not go as expected; in fact, it was downplayed a bit. That probably did a lot to calm down the fangirls who were convinced that characters were going to die last week, but as I previously went off on a tangent about, this is a serious issue. While I was glad to see that Rei was immediately remorseful, I was a bit concerned that the show could brush off Makoto almost drowning so easily. Also, Nagisa should've listened to Haru and gone for help; if something bad happened to all of them, then who would know? However, being a light-hearted anime seems to have saved everyone's skin, but I still think someone should hang a giant neon sign over those scenes reading DO NOT DO THIS.
|Despite what I said above, Haru/Water is canon and nobody can tell me otherwise|
The rest of the scenes get back to what I typically expect from this show, with Nagisa trolling Rei (for refrige-"rei"-tor, Nagisa earns the title King of Puns), nakkid aprons for everybody, and a story about Haru's romantic encounter with a waterfall. And it looks like that's it for the "training" arc, since we've reached the halfway point (time sure flies!) and from the preview it looks like the club will participate in their first real competition next week. I'm pretty sure that this is some sort of preliminary thing, given the episode count, but it'll be a good indicator for how much our heroes may or may not have improved. It'll also be nice to see the detailed swimming animation again, since the show has been skimping on that lately.
In the meantime, I'm just happy everybody's okay.
|He just saved his life, let them have their moment|