I had a hard time picking my favorite scene. It’s not something I really think about and picking one great scene out of everything I’ve watched? It’s was hard, until I realized that it wasn’t. I honestly don’t care if you think this is a cop out. This is my favorite scene. It may be a recently aired show, but that doesn’t matter. The impact it left on me is completely different from the impacts of the rest of the anime I’ve ever watched.
The scene I picked? (Oh, hey, spoiler alert)
The ending sequence of Free! Eternal Summer. No, not the ending theme, but the actual end scene of the show. The ending scene is a mix between credits and a “what happened after the end” kind of thing. And frankly? It might be the most impactful thing I’ve seen.
I don’t care what this sounds like. If saying that Free! Eternal Summer is one of my favorite anime of all time and that it’s ending was ab-soooo-lutely perfect makes you think I’m crazy, then so be it. The entire second season of Free! is a roller coaster I didn’t know how to deal with. Nearly every episode pushed me closer to a certain character and by the end there was not a character I disliked. But at the center of why this scene means so much to me is Haru.
Haru spends this entire season trying to figure out what he is going to do with his life and for the most part fails. He has no dream, no goal, nothing. And that’s exactly how I feel even as I work towards graduating college.
Eventually Haru was able to find a dream, after being pushed to the breaking point and coming back. And the ending sequence of the show is an immediate glimpse into the future of the Free! cast. Everyone gets a little scene. Nitori becomes captain (initiate crying), Rin tells Sousuke not to give up (more crying), glasses Makoto comes back (small smile), the Iwatobi swim club actually gets more members (a waterfall of tears for Nagisa and Rei), cherry blossom pool (actual tears), and so on. This scene hurt, felt good, put me close to tears, and made me smile, all at once. It was the perfect way to end the show. It wrapped everything up and even though I was sad I wouldn’t get anymore Free! I was happy that the characters were happy, that their lives went on, and they would be ok. And really that’s what I got from this, that everything would work out and maybe, just maybe, like Haru, I would be able to find a dream.