In recent episodes (11 episodes at the time of writing) of Free! Eternal Summer, we saw avid swimmer Nanase Haruka struggles to deal with the expectations from people around him. As a talented freestyler, Haruka was well sought after by universities but he wanted nothing of it. As he tries to find his place in the swimming arena, Haruka repeatedly told his friends all he wanted to be is “free”.
As a person who never had such high expectations rested on his shoulders, Haruka found it extremely difficult to manage. After all, we’re talking about a guy who has been swimming casually. Since day one, we viewers have been told that he swims because he enjoys swimming. He swims to have fun experiences with his friends. Haruka is competitive, but at the end of the day, he always swims for his own reasons.