I was discussing anime with some friends and my friend who studied sports medicine/biology explained the significance of each of the Free! characters’ physical builds.
Rei has trouble swimming because as a track runner/pole vaulter, he has really high muscle density and that’s what causes him to sink even though his form is perfect, and to fix this he needs to gain more fat. The butterfly stroke relies heavily on upper body strength though, and this is why it’s the only one he can do.
Nagisa gains an advantage from his height because his short limbs allow him to rotate his arms faster for a faster breast stroke.
Conversely, Makoto’s tallness helps him because the backstroke is a long-axis stroke, so longer arms make him swim farther and faster with less exertion.
Freestyle, or the front crawl, is also a long-axis stroke, so again being tall helps. Rin is more powerfully built than Haru and his flip turns boost him a lot farther, but being less bulky makes it easier for Haru to catch up, so they’re pretty evenly matched.
There’s a thing I wanted to point out earlier that really caught my attention, ‘cus I wasn’t sure if other people were likely to think much of it considering the circumstances.
The way Nitori was so quick to throw his arms up to protect himself- how he tensed and screwed his eyes shut tight and flinched back- both on the bus and when Rin was throwing his fit in the hallway? That’s a BIG red flag, man. That’s the sort of reflex very often indicative of someone who’s used to getting hit. And having seen that, it also calls into suspicion how often he’s called himself useless or a lost cause, how he instantly jumps into adamant placating mode when Rin is upset, and basically ignores that he generally behaves rather coldly to him. All of that behavior is common among people who’ve been abused..
((But Rin’s certainly never laid a hand on him; that much is obvious. Even though he’s always otherwise been very aggressive to others when angry, quick to grab someone up and get right in their face, he didn’t do that with Nitori. Not even when he encroached on his personal space by catching him by his jacket. Not even with how downright furious and emotional he was being. And Nitori consistently engaging him, regardless of how generally agitated Rin often is, clearly says that he doesn’t feel threatened by him normally.))
I remember when I thought people in their 20’s were adults. Now all of my friends are in their 20’s and everybody is just kind of fumbling around bumping into each other, trying to figure out where the free food is