(1/2?) I'm just gonna reply to your replies here, since tumblr replies have such a small character limit... ANYWAY, yes. I really need Haru to sell me his dream also, because if he's going to follow Rin to his dream or even to Australia, he needs the same conviction that he does. BUT he did just find that dream, even if I think it's been there all along, lost underneath the confusion and fear and anxiety. So I think there's still time, but I'm always overly optimistic with this show...
oop if you meant to send a second one it mysteriously disappeared but imma respond to this anyway because i want it on the top of my blog.
having calmed down from my four stages of attempts to process emotion (1. laughter 2. anger 3. elation 4. anger again cos that’s my default state with anything i care about), what i want to say about this episode beneath any ship-related wah de dah (because ultimately that’s not what any of this is supposed to be about, although i’ll make no pretense about how important some of these relationships are to me regardless) is this:
i think, one of the biggest issues kyoani has with the show is that right now nobody really knows what the hell haruka’s “going pro” is supposed to entail. a life towards olympic swimming? a scholarship at a university? showing up on japanese tv shows and making ooh aah sounds while eating various foods? like, it literally feels like every single person watching this show has their own interpretation of it. this is why half the fandom is currently pressed like a tsukemono and the other half is parading around, because we’re all talking different things. granted, whatever result episode 13 brings is still bound to divide the fandom, but at least then we’d all be on the same page.
because i still agree that haru going pro, assuming this meant a life towards olympic swimming, is not necessary realistic. i’m not saying it’s unrealistic either, just that we’re talking about something more than just a narrative path or the story trying to come full circle. however, i also agree that if we are simply talking about a life centered around swimming that might be more competitive in tone, then there is probably nothing standing in the way of him learning to embrace that for himself, too – which is why all the “no no no this is the worst possible outcome” reactions seem really over-exaggerated, as much as i understand where they’re coming from.
when this season began, i actually had a dream one night; in that dream i was talking to haru, and i told him, “look kid, i know you love him, but you can’t replace your obsession with water with obsession with rin”. any romantic undertones of my psyche notwithstanding, what this meant was that since the beginning i have feared haruka running with rin’s dream and substituting it for his own. this is the last thing i want to see happen. but it is also not my place to say where rin’s dream ends and haruka’s begins, which is why i am banking everything on episode 13 to make me feel that haruka is really doing this for himself; i honestly feel it can still come out rewarding and legit because like you said, at this point in time the real haruka is still buried beneath confusion and fear. he has just grasped at that chance, and now it’s his stage to make me feel what he feels.
i tend to approach things with pessimism cos that’s just how i’m built, but i’m nothing if not always willing to be proven wrong. and right now, more than anything, i want to be proven wrong on all these fears that somehow kyoani won’t have enough time to pull off the gamble they’ve taken – but i also felt like that a year ago, and now look at me. so yeah. prayer circle for nanase haruka’s future, and for it to feel rewarding and deserved, because there is still time.
whoops, it looks like my second reply got lost! I resent it, but if it doesn’t come in, it was this:
(2/2) But yeah, he was definitely still kind of lost until the very end, just kind of taking in what Rin was saying and reacting with confusion or hurt or even just…listening. I really hope he DOES apologize to Makoto which he comes back (I feel like he will since he does feel terrible about it) and also that he FINALLY expresses his (love) admiration for Rin in return. Because he wouldn’t be here without him, he was so lost without him! We’ve gotten little things BUT I WANT THAT EP12 PASSION
ANYWAY, I figure I’ll just reply to this here to say YES and that I agree with you so much on all of these points. This is my fear also, because so much of this season has been us wondering and asking - along with the entire cast - “what the hell does Haru want?” Because the only thing he’s willing to give until recently (barely) is “free.” What does that even mean?! But that definitely comes hand-in-hand with Haru not even knowing what he wants for himself.
I think the reason I’m optimistic about Haru chasing a life of professional swimming (whatever that means, whether it’s joining the Australian team with Rin and aiming for the Olympics, going to a university, joining the national team somehow, we’ll see!) because, as much as we’ve all been wondering where he’s going to go, I think this in the back or front of his mind all season. But because of the anxiety and confusion coming from the pressure everyone’s been putting on him coupled with his inability to figure it out for himself in his own time because he doesn’t have time, he wasn’t really ever able to parse what he wanted for himself. So, I think being in Australia opened up his eyes and cleared the confusion enough for him to catch a glimpse of that desire, that dream that he didn’t think really existed.
I’m also SO worried that he’ll just be following Rin because it’s the easiest thing. Maybe the best ending would be for Rin to go to Australia again and Haru to go to Tokyo or another university, allowing them to grow on their own before they reunite on the Japanese Olympic team. This definitely reassures us, in some way, MAYBE, that Haru’s conviction in his dreams are real, that he’s doing this for himself, etc. The HaruRin shipper in me wants them to go to Australia together or be on the same team together because of obvious reasons! But also because I think they also achieve so much when they’re together, their competitive nature toward each other in that kind of setting would mean they would achieve so much. AHHH I DUNNO, I don’t know what I want. I feel like I’m just rambling at this point…
BUT YEAH, I feel like I’m just clinging to an optimistic hope that episode 13 is going to deliver on everything that episode 12 didn’t: what Haru’s dream really is, Haru’s relationship with himself, his dream, and his friends, Haru’s potential, and also the big fat apology he owes everyone that he pushed away while he was scared and hurting himself.
In the end, I think he could be so happy continuing to swim in a professional setting, now that he’s starting to glimpse an understanding that swimming competitively for a living (nationally, internationally, etc) isn’t going to take away his freedom or lose himself. BUT we’ll see.
Prayer circle for Nanase Haruka’s future. I’m terrified for next week… It’ll either make or break me, I’m sure!
lmao sorry for everyone’s dashes but YEAH
I mean, narratively-speaking, I do think Haru’s progression makes sense; anyone who thinks he was making any kind of real decisions while feeling pressured and anxious must not have ever been a teenager, because rejecting expectations is something that inevitably happens when you force someone as self-sufficient as haruka to suddenly “owe” his future to other people. The problem is that this easily runs both ways – that it’s very hard to say where compliance with that pressure turns into concession, or, as some fans have been crying, “ooc’ness”.
In a sense, I feel like I can’t win. There are things I wish I could selfishly see happen (rin and haru embarking on that future together), and things I wish I saw happen for the sake of feeling like haruka isn’t compromising himself too much. But the issues is also, again, that he’s a teenager and so whatever he chooses now is tied to that moment in time regardless; like I mentioned elsewhere, he both is and is not at all equipped to making these choices in the first place. Which is why, when it comes down to it, we just gotta go with what happens and trust in him to know what is best for him, external pressures or not.
In that sense, I loved it that Rin was so patient and gentle with him. He shared his feelings, yes, but he didn’t force them on Haru, the way Sousuke kind of did in episode 11 (I love you kid but saying “Rin needs you!!” def deserved a side-eye from me). The pacing of this season has unfortunately left everything crammed into the last couple of episodes*, which inevitably throws off the impact of some of that conviction, regardless of if it’s one Haruka sincerely comes to of his own accord. I don’t think it’s that wildly out of character for him at all, because at the end of the day the most important thing is that he gets to choose, that he feels something, and that it’s enough for him to grasp at with hope.
Like I said before, I don’t know if the writers see the idea of Olympics as a fanciful symbol rather than something that really exists. I don’t know if they really consider how much work it takes, or how well (or not well, in this case) it would suit someone with a work ethic like Haruka’s. But I suppose that’s not something we’re not exactly at liberty to decide anymore, because one way or another Haruka wants more for himself in life than he did before, and that thought genuinely fills me with hope, too.
"It’s not enough."
I keep coming back to that sentence, and I want to feel like it finally is.
(ep 13 will destroy us regardless and afterwards we should really find a way to get on skype or something lmao and just scream endlessly
tbh i’ll probably get drunk off my ass just to stop my brain and heart from hurting)
edit: * by this i mean actually dealing with the topic rather than gently foreshadowing without providing any concrete evidence one way or another