swimming losers

alright alright alright. so. back in october when me and @lazyshark caused havoc in japan and australia, one of the things we came up with in kyoto was a terrible sourin konbini AU based on the Daily Yamazaki konbini chain. basically, the idea is that ssk works part time at one, but little does rin know that the guy who always looks at him weird when he’s shopping for late night noodles and coke is actually the heir to the company AND SUPER LOADED. always funny.

now, little did I know that @lazyshark went and FREAKING COMMISSIONED THIS FOR ME FROM @plaemon as a surprise Christmas gift that I received on New Year’s eve. given that i LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE @plaemon’s art, i kinda lost my shit because it’s such a fun memory we shared on our trip and now, well, it exists. and i have no words what is what fshdfskj bfdskdsjfdsdfsk

SO OF COURSE I WANTED TO SHARE after i got permission from @plaemon to post it. and promptly advise all of you to go check out their commission page. because i love this so much aaa aaaa aaaa aaa aaaa  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

System forces you into their definition of society.
Society forces you to swimm in a one meter swimmingpool.
But you want to dive in a deep ocean.

System can’t allow this.
Society can’t accept this.

Ends up being an outsider.
Maybe we are outsiders with a greater mind.

But we are not losers.

Otsukaresaba! Gift exchange fic

Title: Beyond
Chapter: 1/1
Fandom: Free!
Pairing: Haruka/Rin
Rating: T (just for like, one instance of swearing idk)
Word count:  8345

Nanase Haruka writes a book. Then two. Eventually, a third.
Then comes the fame.
Then comes the TV deal.

Then comes the trouble.

(Or, the story where the worlds we live in are sometimes locked inside our heads.)

Click to read

So fun story: back in December, @aenya asked me if I’d like to participate in a no-pressure, no-stress fic exchange. Given that most of my recent writing attempts can be summed up in “lol as if even a mola mola would read this”, I think I jumped at the chance to try out something a little different.

…Only to choose a Harurin prompt. That was also @aenya‘s prompt, as it happened.

The good news is that I fell right back in love with Haruka and Rin while writing; the bad news is… that I fell right back in love with Haruka and Rin, which means that I probably have to do something about my schedule to actually clear room for continuing to write more. (You know the story I’m talking about.)

Anyway, enjoy, or don’t, etc.

harurin doujin rec v. 2.0

I noticed that the ask I got a long while ago about my favourite harurin doujin started going around again, which reminded me of how outdated it was. While visiting saerigraphie a couple weeks back, we talked about the reasons for getting attached to certain doujinshi, and how our tastes gradually evolve – in other words, what we look for in doujin can and does change over time. However, while I might hold onto some of the doujin from this era just for nostalgia’s sake, there’s not much informational value in recommending such work. This is why I figured I should put together a more updated version of my harurin doujin tastes, which focuses more on specific artists who I feel offer a broad range of themes and stories in the fandom.

I decided to feature everyone who’s managed to accumulate a lot of works in my collection, and what kind of an audience I would recommend them to. Because save for a few exceptions, I wouldn’t necessarily rec each artist without reserve – as I mentioned, we all have different reasons for reading doujin, so finding a doujinka who matches your tastes is always the key. I hope my experiences might offer some idea of their individual “charm points”.

Disclaimer: I’m not a super expert doujin connoisseur who can visit every event for every new title, but rather someone who’s killed their knees way too many times shuffling through the shelves of Mandarake and Kbooks for back catalogues. This is also not a critical list, out of respect for the following doujinka as creators of fanwork – in the end they are still normal fans just like you and me, so whether they’d ever actually stumble across this post, I’d rather make a rec list that celebrates their strengths instead of complaining about what I personally might not like as much.

AMBITIOUS, ATMOSPHERIC, ARTISTIC: zatta, solafana, prinz yori

Each of the following three doujinka display a certain ambitious attitude towards their work that I really admire. Their payoff is not always in R18 but the emotional content of the works, plus the overall style (art, panels, pacing) is often right on par with published work.

zatta: probably the most well-known doujinka in the harurin fandom, and not without reason. I’m currently trying to get my hands on the first issue of her harurinpics trilogy, because that whole work basically summarizes zatta to a T: putting in the effort of creating a ridiculously long, slow-burn story with amazing attention to detail. Most of her doujin features R18 content which is a definite A++ because it’s usually in the context of a story, not just pwp. However, while I love works like Snow Globe and the aforementioned trilogy, I also really like Meet Mermaid because it is pure crack and shows her more playful side (you can read more about it here).

solafana: possibly my personal favourite, because I really love her art style. I’m still missing a couple of her doujin, but the way these subtle stories are constructed reminds me of some of my favourite BL mangaka, which says a lot; there’s a real down-to-earth feel to her stories, which makes them feel strangely rewarding even when there’s no R18 (Sonna karera no kankei-sei being one of the few exceptions, which is why it’s probably my favourite haha). I’m really sad that they apparently don’t really do doujin anymore, because you can feel the love for the characters through these everyday stories. 

prinz yori: arguably the most ~artistic of the bunch. yori deals a lot with themes of childhood and growing up, which combined with their style gives each story a kind of timeless atmosphere. They’re not stories for instant gratification (or R18), but exploration of character dynamics, since introspection is really the key here. Because I have a soft spot for travelling, 好敵手と逃亡 might be my favourite, but only until I have time to unearth all nuance from the rest – Yori is basically the reason I want to improve my reading comprehension, haha.

QUIRKY, FUNNY, LOTS OF R18: croceca, masumiwataru, hemu

The next is a group of artists who I enjoy for reasons far simpler to the previous three: they’re guilty pleasures without the guilt, because I have no qualms about saying I enjoy their brand of humour and inventive R18, which clearly comes from a place of love towards the subject material. So what’s not to appreciate?

croceca: I guess in a way you could say croceca is the most “normal” of these three, but this doesn’t make them at all boring. Even the stories that don’t feature sex have something unexpected and funny (like Present For You! which sounds like a R18 maid scenario but features maid Rin uppercutting Haru in the solar plexus), and you can tell croceca’s probably gone to Iwami because of the backgrounds (though realistically speaking nobody would walk all the way to that Famima just to buy uhm… well, you’ll see). I’m always excited to find one of their doujinshi, because they’re often a definite Adventure.

masumiwataru: that being said, the queen of Adventure is probably masumiwataru. It actually wasn’t until saerigraphie requested I pick up their latest Comiket release that I realized masumiwataru was also to blame for the funniest doujin in the world, i.e. Rin-sensei to Make Love Eikaiwa. No, honestly. If you only read one R18 Harurin doujin in your life, it has to be that one. Basically, masumiwataru’s speciality is sex doujin that are also hilarious. It’s not all they do, but they’re certainly capable of making you enjoy even the weirdest of themes (like that one Future Fish AU sarah showed me orz) because it’s just so funny.

hemu: Fun fact, hemu’s circle Karhu means bear in finnish. Maybe this is why it took me a while to warm up to them (there are some… interesting kinks in the older stuff lmao), but I ended up pledging loyalty when I realized just how funny a sense of humour hemu also has. There’s a lot of visual jokes and almost slapstick-like scenes in their later work, plus the style is quirky enough to always catch my eye. Plus I will never stop laughing at Haru’s snow globe phone charm in aquatic animal, sorry. Comedy gold

Of course, this is not the be-all and end-all of harurin doujin. If you’re looking for something with an edge, try out Oshinobee; if you’d rather steer clear from R18 and like soft linework with subtle introspection, I would suggest MGN. For a wide range of stories, maybe hit up Skyjack. Ah man, it’s really hard to end a list when you start one, which is why I think I’ll end here before it gets out of hand, because there’s tons of great harurin artists out there, and I’ve left out many whom others probably really enjoy. But the above six are some that I’ve currently enjoyed a lot, and will make a conscious effort of keeping up with the future, so in that regard they’re a good representation of my harurin doujin rec list v. 2.0. Maybe it’ll change again in the future when my interests shift, and there’s obviously individual gems I haven’t listed too, but these are more or less the artists I really enjoy right now the most.

The start of something new...
It’s you who cares about that (or, of pride and insecurity)

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything of this sort (or anything, really!) but there’s a thought that came to me a few days back that kept growing in my head, so. I’m not sure if it’s much more than personal rambling at this point, but I might as well write it down – because even as the years pass, I find myself more and more able to relate to certain aspects of this stupid dynamic called Harurin, and it makes me appreciate it that much more.

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What The Water Gave Me: Free!, harurin, and how this stupid show ended up affecting my life

I’ve wanted to write a post like this for a while now, I guess. A few things prompted me to, now: rhweek, the Olympics, the announcement for new material for Free!. But one of the biggest reasons is because it’s been a year now since I went to Iwami, and onwards to Sydney – a trip I kind of thought was always going to be the crux of my relationship with this ridiculous show, kind of like something to help me put it behind me for good. Little did I know then that almost a year later I would be headed right back to Uradome beach and Room 25, but this time with someone I never would have even met if it weren’t for those same swimming losers. Just thinking about it wrinkles my brain, but in a good way.

Because it’s so easy to only think of the bad things –fandom wars, shipping arguments, the whole bullshit train– but those are not the things I want to remember when all of Free! is really over. Whether or not this new material turns out to be something I personally enjoy (the only kind of content I truly welcome without reservations is Ashita no Sou-chan i.e. the spinoff about Sousuke who travels around Australia boxing kangaroos and being coached by Nagisa), I wanted to take a moment to appreciate just how much I’ve already gained by taking part in fandom. And it made me wonder, what kind of stories do other people have? Which is why instead of just narcissistically blabbing about myself, I want to hear yours, too – and do a small giveaway among those who want to participate, regardless of whether you follow me or not.

tl;dr – if you want to write about the good experiences you’ve had thanks to Free!, tag your post as #wtwgm and you might win a small gift. I’m going to pick up a few things on my trip this upcoming October, so more than one person will get something. You might also want to @ me to make sure I catch it, and maybe link back to the original post so others can join too! All posts are eligible for a prize up until I return from Australia, which is November 9th.

Anyway, I’ll start off by sharing my story. Because no matter which angle I look at it from, it’s a pretty weird story. So, here goes: of Wind Waves, foster moms, conventions, and the things you never asked for but got anyway.

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It was on that day you understood how easy it would be to destroy him: the dysfunctional side of Rin and Haruka's friendship

I acknowledge how hypocritical it is for me to cry about not having time to write stuff while I simultaneously crank out meta, but contrary to popular belief these actually don’t take that long – and even if they did, I operate on inspiration. I had been planning this one for a while now (read: first during the drafting of Kaiyukan, and then again when I prepared notes for my lecture), because Haruka and Rin’s dysfunctional relationship IS at the core of Free! in many ways.

I have written about Haruka and Makoto, after all; theirs is a relationship that shifts back and forth between a nurturing symbiosis and stifling dependence, but at the end of the day they care about one another enough to avoid the worst of such pitfalls. The same is, of course, no less true with Haruka and Rin; as I said before, no dynamic goes without a shadow, but these shadows can be worked on and overcome when two people genuinely care about one another. The strength of that conviction is what makes Free! such a fascinating show to me to begin with.

In the end, the conflict that fuels the entire first season is simple, and also the basis for this post:

Rin and Haruka repeatedly misunderstand each other’s actions and motives because they come from two very different places of emotional cognition. Moreover, their ways of reacting to said emotional stimulus are likewise almost polar opposites, which naturally complicates matters. And if that wasn’t enough, these opposites often hit the exact most sensitive spots for both characters, as their instinctive modes of self-preservation also have the tendency of striking the other person where it hurts the most – be it on purpose or by accident.

Haruka and Rin could easily destroy one another. What’s crucial to the narrative is that they don’t.

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anonymous asked:

Guy, seriously... I think I'm being too demanding, but I would like a official remake for Free! Eternal Summer. Almost the whole thing had writing failures. :/ Sighs, Season 1 had such an amazing narrative flow. I was expecting the same thing to Season 2, but...

Hey there!

You know, I first want to thank you for this message because it actually prompted me to put my finger on something I want to explore later in greater detail, something that had been looming at the back of my head but I wasn’t sure how to tackle in less abstract form. And that something is this:

I don’t think Season 1 had an amazing narrative flow, personally. I think it had terrible, terrible pacing and completely stupid choices in execution, especially in the first part of the season. However, the reason Season 1 held together far better than Season 2 as a complete narrative arc is because Season 1 knew the story it wanted to tell. This sounds like a very Captain Obvious kind of argument (which it is), but one I also feel is supported by all the technical issues in Season 2 that bombed in ways that Season 1 didn’t – despite the fact that neither one of these seasons was exactly a shining jewel of script-writing.

Now, what I’ve written below is something I plan to explore in greater detail to see whether subsequent rewatches actually provide enough technical evidence to support it; so far it’s more of a gut feeling, so make of it what you will. Either way, it begins by acknowledging that Season 1 only really told the narratives of two characters + one side narrative to support both – namely those of Haruka, Rin, and Rei. (You can split hairs and argue S1 is Haruka’s story supported by Rin and Rei, and I wouldn’t disagree with you; but it’s easier to put it in the aforementioned form than to create a clear hierarchy between Rin and Rei’s narratives, as they aren’t equal in standing either). In comparison, Season 2 is once again Haruka’s story, now supported by Sousuke, Makoto, and to a lesser degree, Rin. Technically that’s roughly the same amount of characters, but the key to why it feels like S2 tried to tackle far too many narratives to ever realistically succeed is because Season 1 integrated these narratives together to tell one single story, whereas Season 2 did not.

In Season 1, it didn’t feel like you were watching three individual stories, because the most pivotal elements of what Haruka did affected Rei affected Rin affected Haruka. For Season 2 though, what Haruka did affected Makoto affected Haruka, and what Sousuke did affected Rin affected Sousuke, but the overlap that should have organically tied all (or even most) of these storylines together never properly materialized. This is why the Haruka + Sousuke subplot falling flat shifts the dynamics of Haruka + Rin and Rin + Sousuke so much, because by that point there isn’t enough overlap in the other dynamics to offer alternative support. Likewise, there is zero effect from Sousuke to Makoto and barely any effect from Makoto to Rin, so the Iwatobi – Samezuka division ended up being almost too effective in tone: shifting focus back and forth and minimizing screentime for everyone, where it could have worked to bind them together better to tell several narratives at once.

What do I mean? Again, Rei is a perfect example of this in S1, and he becomes the perfect example in S2: in the lone Rei episode, by tying his subplot together with Rin’s we learn something about Rin and Rei simultaneously. This is why I was so upset that Nagisa’s subplot ultimately had nothing to do with Haruka or Makoto, and why skipping the Makoto-Sousuke interaction seems like a wasted opportunity to integrate the whole third year axis together. Because there was always going to be limited time to tell these narratives in, in order to make it feel like they were all coming together to tell one single story: that of Haruka’s future.

But like I said, I’m going to make a more extensive post on this later (well, unless I get lazy and just use the notes for my presentation in February, cause I’m not sure if anyone actually cares), so I won’t get more into the technical details now. But I feel like Season 2 is full of the aforementioned examples, where instead of bridging the story, the various plots succeed in detaching it – and for me, the biggest issue with Season 2 was always that, detachment.

alternate episode 5 script

because i’m still salty about ep 5, i wrote an alternate version for it. kyoani, if you’re reading this, feel free to use.

scene 1:

makoto: hum de dum de dum haru r u in the tub––


makoto: OH MY GOD

scene 2:

makoto: and thats why i had to run home and change my pants.

haruka: it’s not the first time.

gou: why was nagisa in haruka-senpai’s tub? cos. you know. i exist too

nagisa: eh he he eh he he

gou: sounds like he’s hiding something.

rei: a girlfriend?

gou: come on son don’t be silly

scene 3:

haruka: this is a flashback.

nagisa: i am at your house

haruka: why are you at my house

nagisa: because out of all the senpais, i know i can talk to you without feeling like i’m being moddly-coddled. well, you and rin-chan but he’s out somewhere showing off his abs.

haruka: did someone say rin’s abs

nagisa: so anyway. here’s the deali-o. you guys are gonna graduate and we haven’t got any new members and i’m kinda freaking out. i thought it wasn’t that bad but when i thought rei-chan was gonna quit, i realized we’re pretty damn fucked. or just me, cos i have literally nothing going for me apart from this club and my friends.


nagisa: but i can’t stop you from graduating and i can’t make time stand still, and i just don’t know what to do. given that you’re struggling with future fish plans, i figured you could at least sympathize.


haruka: did someone say rin’s abs

scene 4:

nagisa: i wish there was someone who understood how i felt.

nitori: hi

nagisa: someone who was as much of a shota as me. who swam breast like me. who gets treated as comic filler like me.

nitori: hi

nagisa: oh hi ai-chan. nice swimming trunks, did your mom buy them for you?

nitori: after spending the entire season 1 unable to read rin-senpai’s emotional cues, i can actually recognize yours since they resonate with my own role as the weakest link of my team. wanna talk about it?

nagisa: i’m not the weakest link

nitori: you eat carbs like a pregnant lady, you sit on your ass all day, and while ryuugazaki-kun is out there busting his own ass off every day to get better, you make a joke out of everything to cover up the fact that you’re scared shitless that it’s not gonna be enough.

nagisa: i am the weakest link

nitori: it’s ok though. i used to think i had as much narrative purpose as a potted plant, but now i’m out there actually gaining relevance and making friends with people who aren’t rin-senpai. this has given me as much wow as an advice meme dog.

nagisa: i should probably get my shit together

nitori: here, try this free coupon.

scene 5:

nagisa: and that’s why i’m gonna put in the effort to try harder and take things more seriously and just ganbare myself into oblivion and not run away from things anymore.

rei: wow nagisa-kun you are so inspirational it’s beautiful

nagisa: i know right

makoto: this has been an excellent lesson in not taking anyone for granted. not even nagisa’s cheerfulness.

nagisa: i just love you guys so much. no bromo.

rei: we’ll figure things out together. things may change but we can evolve alongside them, and find new ways to be happy.

nagisa: baw baw baw

makoto: baw baw baw

rei: baw baw baw

gou: baw baw baw

haruka: did someone say rin’s abs



okay, so. I reserve the right to break my general “don’t speculate or analyze Season 2 before Eternal Summer has ended because trying to hazard educated guesses based on incomplete information fights against everything you believe in as an academic and helpless Claw” rule when I feel the need to, because even after a) ranting about this to friends and b) ranting about this on twitter I’m still sorta pissed off, so I might as well get this out of my system:

Episode 5, are you fucking kidding me?!

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