Exactly, it wasn’t a matter of Haru wanting to go pro, it was a matter of him pushing himself to reach out and grab what he already wanted.
Now our bby is truly free!
I think the whole season was building up to this, tbh. There's been a lot of foreshadowing that Haru WANTS to go pro, somewhere deep inside at least, but he's having a hard time dealing with the pressure that goes with that. Going pro means going to a new town, a new team, being under a very strict training schedule, having the pressure and expectations of a pro athlete on your shoulders. He knows that Rin can handle that, but he didn't know if he could until Rin showed him.
I hope you don’t mind, I’ll publish this because I think there are still a lot of people who have missed these hints, so I’d like to take this time to talk a bit about why Haru going pro was a bit obvious from the beginning and why him deciding to do so now is not at all out of character or surprising.
First and foremost, it is really important to differentiate Haru wanting to be “free” from Haru not wanting to go pro.
The show never said, hinted or foreshadowed in any way, shape or form that Haru didn’t want to go pro. What the show did say, many times was what Haru wanted to do, which was to be free.
Which does not exactly mean he wouldn’t enjoy swimming pro. Being able to make a living out of what he loves to do the most? Heck yeah, he’s in.
The problem is 1) Haru believes that by going pro he would have to leave the others behind, or that he wouldn’t be able to swim along with Makoto, Rei and Nagisa anymore and 2) swimming pro would mean swimming for an audience he would not care to swim for.
Afraid of those two conditions while being pressured by others to take a path already, Haru slowly comes to deny the idea of going pro because he believes that would make him unhappy.
And the interesting thing about that is that Rei notices this. Rei realizes that it’s not as though Haru doesn’t want to go pro, rather it’s that he’s scared of the consequences that going pro would bring forth.
Sensing where Haru’s true confusion lays on, he then proceeds to explain to Haru that he doesn’t have to let go of one to have the other. So long as Haru remains free of doubt, he can have anything he wants.
(THE EAGLE IS REALLY IMPORTANT IN THIS SCENE OKAY??? SYMBOLISM AT ITS BEST)
This scene was so important for so many different reasons and a lot of people completely forgot about that. First, we get the definition of what Haru’s being “free” is, not in clear words, but a definition nonetheless. Haru makes of it what he wills and that’s the one thing Rei loves about him the most.
The more conflicted Haru gets about the whole thing, and the more pressure everyone else lays on him, the worse his swimming becomes and that’s enough for Makoto, Nagisa and Rei to truly get worried.
I mean, Haru is only 18, no one expects him to have his life arranged by then. Heck I’m 24 and I’m still unsure if the path I chose for myself is the right one. And then you have people who succeeded in life, are well over their 50s and doing really well and they realize they like something else and throw everything aside to go back to uni again to pick a different path! Being conflicted about life choices is perfectly normal at any ages, especially when you’re around Haru’s age. But being conflicted about it doesn’t mean it’s okay to neglect it.
Haru has been putting off talking about his future career with everyone. With Rin in episode 1, Amakata-sensei in episode 2, Rei and Nagisa in episode 11, literally every Makoto scene in episode 11. It was because Haru was conflicted that they all wanted to help, but Haru shut them all off every single time. I mean, of course Haru needed some time to think about it, which they gave him, but Haru just wasn’t taking a step forward at all, he wasn’t being pro-active, he was still putting the talk about future plans off and then he exploded at Rin in front of everyone in episode 9 and that’s when everyone knew that something was very, very wrong. Hence why Makoto finally voicing his opinions in episode 11 was so important.
And also why Rin taking Haru to calm down and clear his head in episode 12 was so important as well.
And Haru finally admitting he wanted to go pro? That wasn’t out of character, it wasn’t a 180º turn. He’s wanted it all this time, he just wasn’t sure he could deal with the cons of doing it. But actually tasting what it feels like to be a pro made him realize that the pros are much greater than the cons and he finally became free of his burdens.
In fact, even during interviews KyoAni had already made it clear that this would be the path Haru would choose (“Rather than HOW Haruka will change, WHY he changes will be something to pay attention to.”)
I mean, yeah, the pacing during this season was off and KyoAni messed it a lot. Haru exploding and Makoto voicing his opinion could have happened a lot earlier, but nevertheless, the signs were clear.
The hints have been there from as early as S2E02. It wasn’t surprising at all that he would go pro.
It’s not like I wanted to share bed with you”Hotsuoka must be illegal
(he has a little blush on his cheek on the 4 pic too)
"What's the purpose of your visit?"
Haru and English part 1
Like, I can totally understand that the pacing in this season was fucked up, especially with how many fillers we had and all.
But there are people honestly, legit surprised that Haru going pro was out of nowhere and this is amazing because wow, did you really watch the episodes, are we talking about the same show???
besides the fact that they’re at a foreign country, doesn’t it look like Haru feels lost without Rin?
And also.. the way Rin looks as he responds// it’s kind of as if he feels Haru’s claim has two meanings.
1. for leaving him alone there
2. for leaving him alone when he left for Australia and ‘changed’
and that’s really important