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Characters / Free!
aka: High Speed Free Starting Days

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Characters of Free!. Names are in western order.

Spoilers for the events of Season 1 are unmarked. Some major spoilers for Eternal Summer may appear in trope names. Proceed with caution.

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    Main characters in general 
  • Adorkable:
    • Makoto and Nitori are this at all times.
    • The trailers made Rei look like a sort of reserved megane archetype. Not so. While he's often book smart and serious, he still does ridiculous things as if they were normal. This includes trying on silly patterned swimsuits with gusto, going on hilariously passionate rants about only performing beautiful sports, belly-flopping into a pool, occasionally pole vaulting like this, calling Rin "Rin-chan-san" note , and pretending to be a detective and making sound effects while spying on Rin. He perhaps outclasses everyone else in this aspect.
    • Strict captain tendencies aside, Seijuurou is actually a friendly, dorky guy, especially around Gou. The same can be said for his brother Momotarou, who was an instant favorite before he even made an appearance in the anime.
    • Even Haruka and Rin have their moments. For Rin, this was especially evident during his initial stay in Australia.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Almost every single major male character save the Mikoshiba brothers shows zero interest in women and have very, uh, intense friendships, to put it lightly. The "ambiguous" label is perhaps most questionable in the cases of Makoto and Rei.
  • Animal Motifs: Each swimmer is associated with a different swimming-style-related animal.
    • Haruka — Dolphin
    • Makoto — Orca
    • Nagisa — Penguin
    • Rin — Shark
    • Rei — Butterfly
    • Sousuke — Whale shark
    • Momotarou — Sea otter
    • Aiichirou — Duck
    • Ikuya — Beluga whale
    • Asahi — Ribbon seal
    • Natsuya — Tiger shark
    • Nao — Northern gannet
    • Hiyori — Polar bear
  • Bishōnen: They're all slim, tall (bar Nagisa and Nitori), and handsome, and could be more accurately described as "pretty" than "manly" (except for Seijuurou and Sousuke), which is par for the course for most swimmers.
  • Childhood Friends: All of them, excluding Rei, used to be elementary school friends until they went their separate ways (though Haruka and Makoto still went to school together).
  • Color-Coded Characters
    • Haruka = Bluenote 
    • Makoto = Green
    • Nagisa = Yellownote 
    • Rin = Red
    • Rei = Purplenote 
    • Sousuke = Teal
    • Momotaro = Orange
    • Aiichirou = Light blue
    • Kisumi = Pink
  • Female Gaze: One of the main themes of the anime is 'upper bodies'.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Gender-Blender Name: All of the members of the Iwatobi Swim Club have gender neutral names that are popular for girls. Incidentally, their female manager Gou inverts this by having a name usually given to boys. Rin, Aiichirou and Momotarou join in the Theme Naming as well; while Aiichirou and Momotarou's names are male names, their nicknames "Ai" and "Momo" are used as names for girls.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Being swimmers, this is of course expected.

Iwatobi Swim Club

    Haruka Nanase

The strong, quiet protagonist of the series. A second-year student with a strong fixation to water. Was childhood friends with Makoto, Nagisa, and Rin. Has a natural talent for swimming, but does not swim forms other than freestyle.

Specialty: Freestyle stroke
Elementary school: Iwatobi Elementary School
Middle school: Iwatobi Junior High School
High school: Iwatobi High School
University: Hidaka University
Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki, Megumi Matsumoto (young) (Japanese), Todd Haberkorn, Lara Woodhull (young) (English), Diego Becerril (adult and young) (Latin American Spanish)

  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Haru" by Makoto and Rin and "Haru-chan" by Nagisa. When they were kids, Rin and Nagisa referred to him as "Nanase-kun" before they became close enough to him to call him "Haru/Haru-chan". Makoto actually also used to call him "Haru-chan" before Haruka insisted that he dropped the "-chan", but he will still sometimes calls him that in special situations.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: His obsession with swimming and water would be rather unsettling were it not clearly meant for comedy and constant shirtless scenes. He will even strip down to his swimsuit in public in order to step into a fish tank. The second season plays this a bit more seriously, since he shows signs of having an anxiety disorder due to feeling pressured to figure out what to do after graduation and being afraid of change in general.
  • Animal Motifs: Dolphins. He even has a dolphin as a bath toy and Nagisa compares him to one.
  • Asexuality: Ambiguously Gay tendencies and occasional Homoerotic Subtext aside, Haruka has never expressed interest in romance and in fact is seemingly in a relationship with water.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The Little Guy to Makoto's Big Guy. Downplayed in that he's only "little" compared to Makoto, but they fit other personality characteristics of the trope, such as Haruka being the smaller but less emotional and more intimidating of the two, while Makoto is bigger and taller but gentler and more easily scared.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Others don't share his interest in mackerel pineapple pizza.
  • Break the Cutie: In Starting Days, all the boys go through this, but Haruka probably deserves special mention, as he cannot cope well with change at all. First Rin leaves for Australia, right after the medley relay that had changed his view of swimming, making him feel that Rin didn't care about their friendship/rivalry. He and Makoto are placed in different classes, and Makoto starts growing distant from him and won't explain why. The other two members of the medley team are uncooperative, and nothing like the previous medley teammates he had. He starts to eat only his favorite food and nothing else, hinting at being depressed, and his stamina during the tournament drops as a result, which earns Sousuke's ire. Things only improve after he and Makoto talk it out.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: He may spend his time slacking around, but he is a profoundly gifted swimmer, an excellent artist, and a talented cook.
  • Brutal Honesty: Unafraid to contradict or correct other characters.
  • Catch Phrase: "I swim free or I don't swim at all."
  • Character Development: Haruka begins the series depressed and closed-off, essentially relying on Makoto to to make sure he actually goes to school and to communicate on his behalf, but gradually he starts to involve himself in things more and more without having to be coaxed, such as personally helping Rei learn to swim (when at first he was ready to reject Rei over his dislike of water), and since opening up to his team in episode 9, Haru's been much more openly emotional, smiling often and being direct in showing concern or appreciation for his friends. Season 2 Haru compared to season 1 Haru is a perfect example of character development.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He likes to swim so much that he spends most of his free time in the bathtub when it's too cold to swim outside. He also has a strange fixation on the school's mascot, Iwatobi-chan.
  • Comfort Food: In Starting Days, at his lowest point, he only eats mackerel and rice for a few days, refusing to eat the food Makoto brings him. He winds up fainting and needing to be hospitalized.
  • The Comically Serious: This guy can nonchalantly take off his clothes just to swim at all times, with his face completely serene and emotionless.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Much as he tries to downplay it, he's obviously not happy about seeing other guys hang off of Makoto. In fact, this is why he doesn't really like Kisumi, as he likes to be touchy with Makoto in front of him.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He apparently wears his jammers at all times instead of underwear, so he can swim at the drop of a hat (read: If he is not stopped, he will strip down to his jammers no matter where he is or who is watching).
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: His entire character arc during Eternal Summer. While everyone seems to be moving forward with their lives, it seems that Haru is only wishing for time to stand still so he never has to step out of High School. Not because he wants to stay a teenager forever, but because he wants to have his friends around always and keep on swimming the way he wants to, being free from outside pressure. As he realizes that his friends are all following their own dreams while he obviously has none, as it appears each time more inevitable that they will soon have to part ways, he completely closes off and lashes out whenever asked about his plans for the future.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": He prefers to be called "Haru" rather than "Haruka." He also doesn't like it when being called "Haru-chan", as it's childish and he's reminded Makoto more than once, but he seems to have made an exception for Nagisa, if only because Nagisa is too stubborn to drop it and he adds "-chan" to everyone's names anyway.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Haruka doesn't like being called by his real name because his name can be feminine and also causes people to confuse him for a girl.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The melancholic of the group of five.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Haruka is a feminine name, and as such he is often mistaken for a girl, so he's usually addressed as "Haru."
  • The Gift: Haruka has not only passion, but also natural talent in swimming.
  • Hair Flip: Complete with a good helping of sparkles.
  • Heroic BSoD: He has one at the end of Episode 7, after Rin defeats him in their qualifying relay and claims he will never swim with Haru again. He gets better after his team gives him a comforting pep-talk message on his phone. And Makoto asleep on the floor waiting for him helped as well.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Haruka has been close to Makoto ever since childhood and they are almost always at the other's side. Even after graduating from high school and attending different universities, he and Makoto still moved to Tokyo together and constantly visit each other. As for the "heterosexual" part, though...
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He is a surprisingly good artist; the art club try to steal him away after witnessing his rather impressive poster advertising the swimming club. His detailed sketch of Iwatobi-chan isn't half-bad either.
    • Not to mention whatever's going on between him and Rin.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Fits with his character color. Also goes to show his 'cool' personality.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Says he can't wait to be ordinary in the first scene of him as a teenager. However, when Rin shows up, he thinks being ordinary can wait a while.
  • Innocent Fanservice Guy: He's not stripping to show off, he just really needs to be in the pool this instant.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Haru", which he is often addressed as to get past his feminine-sounding name.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Though not as openly kind, Haruka has been seen playing with the neighborhood's cat and feeding strays with extra mackerel.
  • Meaningful Name: The second kanji in his surname means "current" or "shallows".
  • Minor Living Alone: Haruka lives alone in his late grandmother's house, although Makoto does live right down the street. Haruka's parents moved away for work, and his grandmother died sometime later. By Take Your Marks, he has become a university student and now lives alone as an adult.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: He has a habit of sitting in the bathtub with his swimsuit on when it isn't warm enough to swim outside.
  • No Social Skills: Haruka is nice enough on the inside, but doesn't converse much and usually needs Makoto to speak his mind for him. That and his intense obsession with water sets him apart from others. As the series goes on, he becomes less socially awkward.
  • Not So Above It All: Stoic demeanor aside, he blushes and his eyes widen whenever Makoto mentions a cool new pool he can try out. Makoto nearly drowning in Episode 5 shows us another side of him, too.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Though mild at first he shows signs of being worried over Makoto's fear of the ocean in Episode 5. During the near-drowning incident we see him losing his cool and actually shaking with fear while Makoto is still unconscious. Thankfully, he manages to work through it.
    • It becomes even more noticeable at the end of Episode 7. He looks so genuinely hurt when Rin says he won't ever swim with him again, causing Haru to become troubled over his own motivations to swim. But by the end of it, Haru does get better thanks to Nagisa, Rei, and Gou sending him a worried voicemail and finding Makoto waiting for him to come home.
    • The latter half of Episode 9 shows Haru with far more emotion when he admits he felt happy to swim with the others. It gets to the point where calling him "stoic" is debatable.
    • By the last episode he's gone from this to this.
    • Episode 9 of Eternal Summer shows Haru actually angry enough to punch a locker and yell at Rin.
  • One-Note Cook: Implied. He is a great cook as mentioned in Supreme Chef below, but so far, everything he makes is related to mackerel.
  • Parental Abandonment: A relatively mild case, but he's alone in his house because his father left for business and his mother decided to go with him. His mother makes an appearance in Starting Days, so his parents probably left after middle school.
  • Perpetual Frowner: He rarely smiles.
  • The Quiet One: The least talkative of the group, his words are usually brief. He talks more in later episodes, when he has opened up more.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He knows how to cook and in the 2015 "Top 20 Characters Otaku Want to Marry" he wound up placing 18th in the "Ideal Wife" category.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Rin's red.
  • Second Year Protagonist: When we first meet him, he's already in his second year in Iwatobi. He becomes a third-year in the second season.
  • Security Blanket: In High Speed!, Haruka admits to himself that water comforts him when he is upset or when there is a distressing situation he can't do anything about (for instance, Rin moving to Australia when Haru was just warming up to him).
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: All he wants to do is swim, but at each opportunity, his clothes just so happen to be in the way and he doesn't care where he is when he takes them off.
  • Shower of Angst: He takes one after losing to Rin at prefecturals. You know it's bad when Haru is surrounded by water and still miserable.
  • The Stoic: Especially in the first season, Haruka almost never changes his expression and looks emotionless most of the time. Later on, he smiles more often but still mostly maintains a straight face.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He's very quiet and distant, but deep down he's a big old ball of sensitive fluff. This is more apparent in later episodes and especially in the third season, where plenty of Character Development leads him to become much warmer.
  • Supreme Chef: Haru is an excellent cook, and always has been, according to Nagisa. One of the audio dramas follows Haru teaching Makoto how to make mackerel braised in miso sauce; all the while, Makoto continually remarks on Haru's cool competence and air of professionalism as he works. The finished dish (which Haru turns into mackerel fried rice, in the end, as Makoto is a dedicated but somewhat hapless culinary student) is apparently delicious, judging by Makoto's rave review of it.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: More of case of being blunt than snarky, but still there.
  • Team Chef: See Supreme Chef above.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Performer to Rei (and to a lesser extent Rin)'s Technician; he doesn't care about entry angles or initial velocity or even improving his time, he just wants to swim. And he's good at it.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mackerel. So much that if Haruka was stuck in a deserted island, and he could only bring one thing, it'd be canned mackerel. On one of the drama CDs, the boys discuss which one of them they'd each go out with if they were girls. Haruka initially says he'd pick Makoto because it's "easiest"... but when Nagisa says he'd cook mackerel for Haruka every morning, he changes his mind.
  • When He Smiles:
    • In Episode 9 and Episode 13 of season 2, where he along with Makoto, Nagisa and Rei, wins the national relay.
    • In one of the "FrFr!" short movies included on the DVD releases of the series, Rei notes that he has never heard Haru laugh out loud; only Makoto recalls ever hearing Haru laugh, back when they were children. This revelation prompts Rei, Rin, Makoto, and Nagisa to tackle Haru and begin tickling him relentlessly in a Must Make Him Laugh ploy. Haru struggles against their efforts, but eventually bursts out laughing — cue the other swimmers' stunned, blushing expressions, as it turns out that Haru's laugh is heartrendingly sweet and adorable.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: He doesn't care what he has to wear as long as he just wants to swim. On a minimum of two occasions - including the day they very first met - when Nagisa's sisters switched out his trunks with a girl's one-piece swimsuit, Haru lent Nagisa his own trunks and then wore the one-piece for swimming without complaint.

    Makoto Tachibana

Haruka's best friend. Caring, considerate, but easily frightened. Elementary school buddies with Haruka, Nagisa, and Rin.

Specialty: Backstroke
Elementary school: Iwatobi Elementary School
Middle school: Iwatobi Junior High School
High school: Iwatobi High School
University: Unnamed university in Tokyo
Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Satsuki Yukino (young) (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch (English), Eleazar Muñoz (adult and young) (Latin American Spanish)

  • Affectionate Nickname: Is called "Mako-chan" by Nagisa. Makoto himself calls Haruka "Haru", and "Haru-chan" back in childhood and sometimes in special occasions.
  • Animal Motifs: Orcas. It becomes more meaningful in Episode 6 when his feelings about swimming reflect the nature of orcas conquering the largest distances as a pod.
  • Be Yourself: In Starting Days, Makoto feels that he should change now that he's in middle school, but eventually ends up trying too hard. He ultimately learns to be okay with who he is.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When rumor has it that Rei is quitting the swim team, Makoto looks... quite unnerving. Too bad he's not good at keeping an intimidating front.
  • The Big Guy: He's the tallest and most muscular member of the Iwatobi Swim Club.
  • Bromantic Foil: Makoto, as the stoic Haruka's understanding best friend, apparently has to speak for him when Haruka refuses or acts too distant for anyone else to figure out his intentions.
  • Character Tics: He often complements his trademark smile by way of shutting his eyes and tipping his head forward or to the side. He seems to have picked the habit up from his mother.
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: He's generally the one to try and stop Haruka from stripping. Established in one of the first scenes, in which he shows up at Haruka's house to see why he's not going to school. He also knows how to get Haruka to cooperate with their plans when the latter is being stubborn (generally by mentioning an opportunity to swim).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His race with Haru ends up with him losing by a considerable margin.
    • Played straight all the way at least until the end of his sumo wrestling match where he is on the receiving end and ends up barely winning. Justified in that sumo wrestlers are “extremely” muscular having vast amounts of muscle underneath their fat, whereas Makoto is instead toned and lean.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He developed a fear of the ocean as a child, as a result of an old fisherman Makoto befriended and his crew drowning during a typhoon. Just some time before, the fisherman gave him the pet goldfishes he wanted to catch from a summer festival, but they eventually died even with all the proper care Makoto did to ensure they lived long. However, he copes with that fear because he wanted to swim together with Haruka and the others.
  • The Dutiful Son: In a Flashback from Take Your Marks, Makoto tells Ikuya he is quitting the swim team because he has to take care of his siblings, and since he has to pick them up from kindergarten every day after school, he won't be able to put in time for practice.
  • Face Your Fears: He's willing to hide his fear for the sake of the team. When Rei needs saving in the ocean, Makoto hurries out to save him. He goes under and needs to be rescued himself, but he grows more confident with the support of his friends.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The phlegmatic of the group of five.
  • Friend to All Children: He's very good with kids. His younger twin siblings Ran and Ren adore him, and he does a great job as a temporary swimming coach to a group of kids in episode 8 of Eternal Summer, even helping one of them conquer his fear of swimming.
  • Garbage Wrestler: When wrestling as Iwatobi’s mascot. Being the brawniest member of his swim team makes him most suited to wrestle for Iwatobi. However, he struggles while wrestling a rival mascot during a mere preliminary match. Despite stressing his body to its utmost limit and straining all his muscles to their absolute peak he is unable to move his opponent a scintilla and is instead dominated without much effort. It’s only by using swimming backstrokes is he able to fortunately catch his opponent off guard and land a surprise attack that ends the match. Justified in that he's a 6 foot, 161 pound high school swimmer competing against big bodybuilder types in a national competition, so he would be scrawny by sumo wrestling standards.
  • Gentle Giant: Easily the biggest and tallest of the main cast, but definitely gentle.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: Despite his own insecurities, he still focuses on others' problems before his own, a habit that annoys Haru.
  • Heroic BSoD: In Starting Days, he suffers one when Nao asks him if he really likes swimming, and not just because of Haruka.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He certainly fits the "life-partner" part, as he and Haruka constantly stick to each other like glue. How much of this is actually heterosexual depends on the viewer.
  • Irony:
    • Makoto is a head taller than Haruka, but he's actually 5 months younger than him.
    • Makoto has a tendency to hide behind Haruka when he's scared even when he's the taller and bigger one of the two. The flashbacks to their childhood show that Haruka was taller when they were kids, though, so this is probably his unconscious habit.
    • Although he's the kindest and most gentle member of the club, his speech pattern is the rough masculine type comparable to the way Rin or Haruka talks, rather than Rei's Keigo. It's shown in Starting Days that he picked up this pattern after starting middle school in an attempt to seem more mature (including changing his personal pronoun from "boku" to "ore"), but his soft nature remains and contrasts the way he speaks.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: In Makoto's first scene, he greets and pets a kitten. He's later seen playing with it. In contrast, he seemed to be afraid of dogs, as the Timeless Medley movie shows him being frightened of a puppy and hiding behind Haruka.
  • Lethal Chef: The poor guy can't cook at all; the lunches he brings to school each day come courtesy of his mother. In one of the audio dramas, he asks Haru to teach him to cook something so that he can feed the twins while his parents are out celebrating their wedding anniversary. The lesson doesn't exactly go smoothly, and Makoto's rather unappetizing first foray into cuisine (a very salty variation on mackerel braised in miso sauce) only proves salvageable after all on account of Haru's own Supreme Chef skills and quick thinking.
  • Lovable Coward: For sure. It's not difficult to scare him, as Nagisa knows, but he's easily the most caring member of the cast.
  • Love Confession: In Starting Days, he apologizes and admits he likes both swimming and "Haru-chan", though the romantic subtext varies between the viewers. However, it's important to note that he uses "daisuki", a phrase that tends to be used in love confessions in general, and in fact most easily seen in male-and-female relationships.
  • Luminescent Blush: He blushes hard in embarrassment while doing the Fanservice club recruiting idea Gou thought of.
  • Nice Guy: Easily the kindest and gentlest of the main cast and the person who holds his swimming team together.
  • Not a Morning Person: His younger siblings have to come wake him up in the mornings due to his tendency to oversleep.
  • Not So Above It All: Makoto manages to maintain an air of maturity and steadfastness most of the time, but underneath his peaceful, nurturing surface, he's an outgoing, goofy nerd at heart. When he begins to enthuse over "Super Fusion Doppelganger" (most likely a "Super Sentai" Stance their elementary school swim club did together, by the sound of it) and launches into a demonstration thereof in the first episode, even Nagisa moans that he's being embarrassing.
  • One Head Taller: He's the tallest member of Iwatobi's swim tea, and he's a head taller than Haru and Nagisa.
  • Only Sane Man: It's easy to see him as this when you see what kinds of shenanigans his friends go on.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: You know things are off when Makoto doesn't offer to lift Haruka out of the pool.
  • Perpetual Smiler: His default expression is a good-natured smile, befitting his sweet and friendly personality.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: His kind and gentle nature makes him the Blue to his teammates' Red, but he is the Red compared to Haruka's Blue.
  • The Rival: Both averted and defied when it comes to him and Haruka. Their relationship is explicitly and especially emphasized to not be competitive and they are both more contented in supporting each other.
  • Running Gag: The first episodes of all 3 seasons have him extended his hand to a Haruka in the pool while calling him "Haru-chan". He even does so in the Starting Days movie.
  • Security Cling: Makoto has a tendency to hide behind Haru and hold on his shoulders when he's scared, ever since childhood and even now, when they are both university students.
  • Senpai Kouhai: Senpai to Nagisa and Rei's kouhai.
  • She's Got Legs: Gender inverted. His triceps are toned to the point it has etched a permanent impression on Gou’s mind. She can even recognize him just by watching them flexed.
  • Sleep Cute: Well, more like "Wake Up Cute". He probably gives his younger siblings, the twins Ren and Ran, a run for their money with this.
  • The Social Expert: This is especially obvious in comparison to Haruka, but out of the Iwatobi swim club he’s the one with the most normal way of speaking and the easiest person to talk to. It’s not that the others are unfriendly, but Nagisa might be too overly forward, Rei can be a bit too dramatic, Gou can potentially weirds people out with her muscle fetish, and Haruka... is Haruka. Makoto however can talk to pretty much anyone civilly and normally and he can be friendly with almost everyone.
  • Stepford Smiler: In Starting Days, Makoto starts doing this to hide his anxiety over his conflicting feelings about being independent from Haruka. Unfortunately, Haruka can see right through it.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Makoto resembles both his father and mother: his hair color is a mix of both, he's got his father's hair shape and gender but his facial features seem to take more after his mother, who looks like an older female version of his and also shares his habit of smiling with his eyes shut while tilting his head to the side.
  • Sweet Tooth: He seems to have a pronounced weakness for chocolate.
  • Tareme Eyes: A little subtle, but still there.
  • Team Mom: A gender-flipped example. He's much more nurturing and always looking after the emotional welfare of his teammates. Arguably, Gou plays more of the Team Dad role than he does.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: In the Starting Days movie, when Haruka faints due to lack of sugar leading to low blood pressure, Makoto frantically calls him "Haru-chan". He also generally uses "Haru-chan" when he feels especially emotional with Haruka.

    Nagisa Hazuki

Specialty: Breaststroke
Elementary school: Iwatobi Elementary School
Middle school: Unnamed middle school
High school: Iwatobi High School
Voiced by: Tsubasa Yonaga, Satomi Sato (young) (Japanese). Greg Ayres (English), Bruno Coronel (adult and young) (Latin American Spanish)

A cheerful, direct first-year student. Childhood friend of Haruka, Makoto, and Rin.

  • Agent Peacock:
    • Look at his jammers!
    • He's dressed incredibly flamboyantly (more so than the rest) in the ED, in colorful gauze and bangles.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He mentions that in middle school, his parents made him study so much that there was no joy in his life at all. When he was told he would have to quit the swim club in favor of academics, he says that “everything he could see went dark”. It’s possible to interpret this as severe depression
  • Animal Motifs: Penguins. They're even on his underwear!
  • Big Eater: Watch as he makes almost half a pizza disappear in less than a minute!
  • Book Dumb: Somewhat. He is pretty smart and he has no trouble studying - everyone is very surprised at how badly his grades have dropped - it's just that studying AT ALL evokes bad memories of his middle school years. Thus he avoids it as much as possible and his grades plummet.
  • Cheerful Child: A male version of this when he was young. Turns out he wasn't always so cheerful; he said himself in the drama CD that he used to be a crybaby and was bullied often due to his Gender-Blender Name. If that wasn't bad enough, his sisters forced him into dressing up in girls' clothes and he was often teased to the point of tears. He became cheerful after meeting Haruka.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: For example, one of the main reasons he tries to recruit Rei is because he, too, has a Gender-Blender Name.
  • Cuddle Bug: The most physically affectionate of the cast, he tends to suddenly snuggle up to others. Especially Haruka or Rei.
  • The Cutie: His mannerisms makes him be seen as this.
  • Dragged into Drag: He has three older sisters and when he was younger, they'd often dress him up in girl clothes and have him wear makeup, even packing one of their one-piece swimsuits into his swim bag. It's entirely possible that they still do dress him up since they put another one of their swimsuits in his swim bag when he was in high school. While Haru's taken the girl's one-piece to wear and let Nagisa borrow his swim trunks at least twice, presumably there's been at least a few times where Haru wasn't there and Nagisa had to wear the one-piece himself.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Somewhat, his keetness makes him as bubbly as a girl, he's very short in stature for a boy his age, he has a bit more of a feminine face than the others, mainly due to his eyes, and was even dressed up as a girl by his older sisters when he was younger. His Gender-Blender Name doesn't help much either.
  • Dumb Blonde: Appears to be this based on personality, but demonstrates a more cunning side.
  • Education Mama and Papa: His parents are very demanding when it comes to academic success, often at the expense of Nagisa's happiness. They enrolled him in a very strict middle school where he did nothing but study, and they only allowed him to transfer to Iwatobi with his friends when they noticed how unmotivated and miserable Nagisa was feeling. When his grades in Iwatobi drop, they tell him to quit the swimming club and focus on his studies.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The sanguine of the group of five.
  • Fun Personified: One of his character songs is about having a fun time. His adventurous attitude is what gets the plot going. This may be because his parents were incredibly strict about his studies back in middle school, to the point that he had nothing fun in his life.
  • The Gadfly: Often plays around with Makoto and Rei. He's also fond of poking fun at Gou's name.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Nagisa has penguins on all his underwear.
  • The Heart: He's the reason the Iwatobi swim club was resurrected, tries his level best to make sure everyone gets along, and has amazing interpersonal skills. Not even Sousuke can resist him.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rei. They become very close friends after Rei joins the team, and are almost always together.
  • Insistent Terminology: No matter who they are, if Nagisa has known them for a considerable amount of time, he will eventually call them by their first name or nickname with a "chan" attached to it. This is most notable with Haruka: while Haruka insists on Makoto to drop the "-chan" and just to call him "Haru", he gives up on asking Nagisa to do the same, due to Nagisa not seeing why he should.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: His room is... girly, to say the least, and he owns a pink cell-phone; apparently, being forced to dress up like a girl and wear make-up by his older sisters helped him awaken his feminine side. To say the most about his room, it was based off of a furniture catalog photograph of a model bedroom for girls. In one of the drama CDs, he mentions that his sisters have repeatedly switched his swimsuit with one of their own, so presumably he's worn a girl's one-piece bathing suit to practice on at least a few occasions.
  • Japanese Honorifics: Nagisa refers to everyone with the honorific "-chan", which is used to express closeness, fondness, and affection. "-chan" is typically added to the end of a girl's name, but can be added to a boy's name. Ironically, Nagisa is the only one of his inner circle of friends not to be referred with the honorific "-chan", instead, he is the only one to be given the honorific "-kun" which is basically the same as "-chan" but is typically given to boys, and Rei is the only one to refer to him as "Nagisa-kun".
  • Keet: He is generally energetic, cheerful and bubbly.
  • Meaningful Name: "Nagisa" means "beach" or "seashore".
  • Moe Stare
  • Nice Guy: He acts kindly towards everyone and gets along with a lot of people.
  • The Nicknamer:
    • Haruka = "Haru-chan".
    • Makoto = "Mako-chan".
    • Rin = "Rin-chan/Rin-Rin".
    • Rei = "Rei-chan".
    • Gou = "Gou-chan".
    • He calls Nitori "Ai-chan," as shown in the premiere of season 2.
    • He calls Sousuke "Sou-chan" in the post-season 2 OVA.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Nagisa gets pretty touchy-feely with his friends, Rei receiving the brunt of it.
  • Older Than They Look: Downplayed. Appears younger than the other four, but is actually older than Rei.
  • Out of Focus: Since Dive to the Future focuses on Haru's life in college (whereas Rei and Nagisa are still in high school), Nagisa has been relegated to being one of Those Two Guys with Rei with them being the episode preview commentators in an attempt to keep them relevant.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Has three older sisters.
  • The Pollyanna: Quite the cheerful one.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He wears a fair amount of pink for a boy.
  • The Runaway: He briefly runs away from home after his parents try to force him to quit the swim club.
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: He has no problem with getting naked to play around in the pool.
  • Skinny Dipping: He does this in the first episode.
  • Sleep Cute:
    • He falls asleep on a train and his head rests on Haruka's shoulder.
    • The picture at the end of Episode 3 has him doing this with Rei.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Can be very manic and dreamy, but shows good planning and interpersonal skills. Despite how childish he seems, he can be very mature, and he scored a 98 on one of his exams.
  • Something Only They Would Say: After not seeing him for 3 years, Haruka and Makoto recognize him when he addresses them as "Haru-chan" and "Mako-chan".
  • Static Character: Nagisa remains the same throughout the Season 1. He starts out bubbly and cute and is bubbly and cute consistently through the story, and is the only one of the main characters as of episode 11 to not have an episode feature his Character Development or past, aside from the brief moments he is seen as a kid in Haruka, Makoto, and Rin's memories. He gets more development in the second season.
  • Stepford Smiler: In episode 5 of Season 2. See Education Mama above.
  • Sweet Tooth: He is extremely fond of sweets, especially anything that includes strawberries or is strawberry-flavoured. He even piles strawberry-flavoured protein powder onto some noodles in episode 8 of Eternal Summer, much to Makoto and Rei's disgust.
  • Tears of Joy: During episode 12, he cries tears of happiness when their team wins the relay with Rin.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Pink.

    Rei Ryugazaki

Specialty: Butterfly stroke
High school: Iwatobi High School
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa, Yoko Hikasa (young) (Japanese), J. Michael Tatum (English), Dan Frausto (adult and young) (Latin American Spanish)

An intelligent, serious first-year, originally part of the track and field team, but eventually pulled into the swim team by Nagisa.

  • Academic Athlete: Both a bookworm and a sports star.
  • Agent Peacock: In the ED, with his bright red feather cap and a rifle. In the show itself, he wears a brightly-colored speedo at first, and in one scene a body suit covered in purple butterflies (his animal theme). He's also even more muscular than the others, and an excellent pole-vaulter.
  • Alliterative Name: Rei Ryuzaki.
  • Animal Motifs: Butterfly. It's also the only stroke he can do, at least until he's tutored exhaustively in the second season.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He uses physics to get ahead in track. However, it's shown that doing this doesn't always help him, especially when he tries to apply it to swimming.
  • Bookworm: Shown in more than one scene to be reading a book.
  • Character Tics: Nudging his glasses. Even if he isn't wearing them.
  • Chewing the Scenery: "Over-the-top" does not even begin to describe him, especially when he's upset... which is about half the time he's onscreen.
  • The Comically Serious: Most of Rei's humor comes from the fact that he takes everything so damn seriously.
  • Cool Shades: Wears orange wraparounds with his track uniform.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Butterfly is the only stroke he can perform properly. He sinks to the bottom with the other three strokes, and it's really weighing him down in episode 3 of Eternal Summer. He does improve on it though, thanks to having private lessons with Rin.
  • The Dandy: A variation; he's not afraid to work out, but he's obsessed with looking beautiful as he does so, which is the reason for his initial rejection of swimming, since in his mind the sport involves a lot of unsightly body undulation and desperately gasping for air. Another reason his choosing butterfly is baffling—along with being ridiculously difficult for a beginner, it's probably the hardest to make look pretty.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: In the preview for episode 11, Rin refers to him as "Speedo Glasses", the "Speedo" part referencing the fact that he was wearing a speedo when he first met Rin; Rei is embarrassed hearing this to say the least.
  • Epic Fail: His attempts to swim anything other than butterfly in Season 1. Especially the "dive" (read: flop) into Samezuka's pool at their first joint practice.
  • Expy: Blue hair, glasses, the smart one in the group with dorky side, and can't swim at first to lesser extent. Grown-up Kido Joe?
  • Forgot I Couldn't Swim: He tries to hide that he doesn't know how to swim and attempts to compensate by analyzing how it's done. It doesn't work.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The choleric of the group of five.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Not the death kind, obviously. In episode 12, he gives up his spot on the relay team so Rin can swim with his teammates again.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Nagisa. After Rei joins the team, they become close friends and are usually seen working or hanging out together. Although the heterosexual part is very much debatable in his case.
  • Idiot Ball: Episode 5. Despite being a raw beginner who's only just learned to swim, Rei decides to do some extra long-distance swim training alone, in the ocean, in the middle of the night when everyone else is in bed, and does not so much as bother to leave a note about where he's gone. Then a random storm rolls in...
  • Keigo: He uses very polite language, even when he's angry.
  • Kirk Summation: Gives a passionate one against Rin in episode 11, questioning why he decided to do a relay against Iwatobi when Rin swore not to swim with Haruka again.
  • Large Ham: He tends to be this when he's particularly worked up about something, namely sports.
  • Opaque Lenses: Whenever he gets flustered.
  • Out of Focus: Since Dive to the Future focuses on Haru's life in college (whereas Rei and Nagisa are still in high school), Rei has been relegated to being one of Those Two Guys with Nagisa with them being the episode preview commentators in an attempt to keep them relevant.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: While tailing Rin at the festival, he goes Sasasasa!. A clear master of stealth.
  • Sempai Kouhai: Kouhai to Makoto's senpai.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: He was not in the original PV, only showing up in the second ad. This means he missed out on most of the giant "SWIMMING ANIME!!!" pre-release hype, and has had much less advertisement than the other characters so far. People who aren't watching the anime probably only heard about the original four boys.
  • Sixth Ranger: An odd case. According to the cast biography, not only did he recently switch from track to swim team, he's the only person not a part of the original Childhood Friends ensemble, and thus likely to have the perspective of an outsider. It's possible that Rin could fill in the role instead, though, as the same biography points out that his former childhood friends feel as if they don't understand him anymore. Because of this status he actually shares some different, oddly refreshing, views compared to his teammates. Especially with things related to Rin. His thoughts on Rin aren't tinted with nostalgia, so he's a little harsher in his opinions on Rin's obnoxious Jerkass behavior. He's also the only one to notice and actually feel put out by the fact that the team's original goal to do well in the nationals has become related to beating/keeping up with Rin, instead of just having a good time and being proud of what they can achieve.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Played with. He is excellent at deduction, math, and applying formulas, but often acts like an enormous dork.
  • Stoic Spectacles: Subverted by being a Tsundere, as well as a Large Ham.
  • Super Drowning Skills: He can float, but that's about it; he compares himself to a submarine.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Other characters (including his track coach) point out that he pays too much attention to form, theory, and calculation, and it won't help him improve in either track or swimming. He gets inspired to join the swim club upon watching Haru, who is a performer through and through.
  • Technicolor Eyes: His are purple.
  • Tsundere: Appears to be a Type A.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Plays it straight.
  • Younger Than They Look: Downplayed. Around the same height as Rin, but younger than Nagisa.

    Gou Matsuoka

Specialty: Backstroke
Elementary school: Sano Elementary School
High school: Iwatobi High School
Voiced by: Akeno Watanabe (Japanese), Jamie Marchi (English), Alejandra Delint (Latin American Spanish)

Rin's younger sister, a first-year student. She's attending the same school as Haruka and the others and the Swim Club's manager.

  • Audience Surrogate: Her immediate reaction to Haruka being shirtless is to avert her eyes and insist that good girls don't stare at half-naked guys, but within seconds she's gushing with starry-eyes over his muscles, and has reacted similarly to all other shirtless swimming guys she's seen since. Considering that the main point of the show is Female Gaze-y half-naked boys, clearly she's acting as the audience here.
  • Big Brother Worship: It's subtle, but she highly looks up to Rin and frequently displays concern for his well-being. In addition, he has her ideal body type in men.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: In episode 4 of Eternal Summer, she makes a very appetizing-looking meal for the team...but it turns out to be stuffed full of chocolate, strawberry and banana-flavored protein powders. Nagisa is the only one who likes it.
  • Covert Pervert: A lot of scenes involve her staring at the boys.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: Just like her brother.
  • Cute Sports Club Manager: The manager of the Swim Club; a cute girl among muscular but lean young men.
  • Disappeared Dad: See Rin's note below.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Gou dislikes being called by her first name, as it sounds very masculine. Well, until Eternal Summer, at least...
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Being the swimming club manager, this happens quite often. And she doesn't necessarily react only in Shirtless Scenes. Just seeing well defined muscles makes her eyes to go into full Bishie Sparkle mode. See Audience Surrogate above and Fetish and Otaku below.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Gou hates her first name because it's a boys name. In the first season, she often corrects anyone who calls her "Gou."
  • Fetish: Has a fetish for muscles.
  • Fiery Redhead: Outspoken and tends to be passionate about things, particularly muscles.
  • Incest Subtext: Gou's ideal body type in men is Rin's. In episode 1 of Eternal Summer, she's also very enthusiastic about Rin stripping down and even prepares her camera for a shot as she suggests he does.
  • Insistent Terminology: She prefers to be called Kou, which is a more feminine pronunciation of her name, but no one does. She drops the insistence by episode 4, and in Eternal Summer even refers to herself as Gou.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Gou is generally a masculine name, yes, but she's specifically named for a female historical figure.
  • Otaku: Gou is fascinated with muscles, so much that she points out every specific muscle at every opportunity and tries to get the swim club to show off their muscles at any chance she gets. She also owns a collection of muscle-related photobooks.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Gou knows Ms. Amakata used to be a gravure model after finding one of her old magazines in the club room at the end of Season 1. However, it's not known is Ms. Amakata is aware of this, and Gou pretty much tries to pretend it never happened to avoid awkwardness.
  • Super Drowning Skills: It was discovered in one conversation that Gou can't swim.
  • Team Dad: Despite being female and their manager, she is much more into getting results from the team, like improving their time and following a strict regime, and wants the team to be more ambitious.
  • Tranquil Fury: There's one occasion where Nagisa calls her "Gou" in the middle of a discussion on club business where she sharply cuts him off with "It's Kou", accompanied by a plastic smile and awkward silence for a couple seconds before she simply resumes the discussion.
  • Tsurime Eyes: In contrast to Miho's Tareme.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: When Gou sees Rei talking privately with the captain of the track team, she immediately thinks Rei is in love with him.

    Miho Amakata
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (Japanese), Caitlin Glass (English), Betzabé Jara (Latin American Spanish)

Haruka and Makoto's homeroom teacher, who they later convince to become the Swim Club Supervisor.

  • The Ditz: She's often a little spacey, and her literary references rarely make any sense.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Being a literature teacher, she frequently dispenses these.
  • Mysterious Past: She was a swimsuit model named "Marin-chan" at one point and quite dismissive whenever its mentioned.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Shows up behind Nagisa whenever he mentions her wearing a swimsuit.
  • Older Than They Look: If you saw her standing next to her students while they were all wearing civilian clothes, you would think she was another teenager. Justified, since the first episode we learn that she recently graduated college, so she probably isn't that much older than them.
  • Porn Names: She went by the name "Marin Nishikujo" during her swimsuit model days.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: For example, she sees no problem with the boys sneaking into abandoned buildings, since you're supposed to adventurous and a little reckless at that age.
  • Sensei-chan: Her students even call her "Ama-chan-sensei".
  • Tareme Eyes: In contrast to Gou's Tsurime.
  • Tranquil Fury: Displays this when Nagisa suggests that they get more members for the swim club by having her wear a swimsuit. She even threatens to quit supervising.

    New Recruits 
The swimmers that joined the Iwatobi Swim Club following Naru and Makoto's graduation, introduced in Dive to the Future. They are Nagisa, Rei, and Gou's juniors.

Romio Hanahune

Voiced by: Atsushi Abe (Japanese), Parker Gray (English)

Shizuru Isurugi

Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese), Alejandro Saab (English)

Ayumu Kunikida

Voiced by: Ryo Hirohashi (Japanese), Apphia Yu (English)



    Rin Matsuoka

Specialty: Butterfly stroke, freestyle stroke
Elementary school: Sano Elementary School, Iwatobi Elementary School
Middle school: Unnamed middle school in Australia
High school: Samezuka Academy
University: Unnamed university in Australia
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano, Akeno Watanabe (young) (Japanese), Vic Mignogna, Austin Tindle (Dive to the Future ep. 0 onward), Maxey Whitehead (young) (English), Miguel Ángel Leal (adult and young) (Latin American Spanish)

Haruka's rival and former childhood friend, who went overseas for three years and returned with a different personality. Attends Iwatobi's rival school. He trained in all four swimming styles as a kid, specializing in butterfly. He focuses on free stroke during the events of the anime so he can compete against Haruka, but swims both freestyle and butterfly individually.

  • The Ace: Of Samezuka's team in Eternal Summer, when he's the captain. He sets multiple records, is highly sought-after by universities, and is only ever matched or beaten by Sousuke (in butterfly, unofficially) or Haru (in freestyle).
  • Always Second Best:
    • Since childhood, he's been regarded as second in skill after Haruka, a point that drives him to travel overseas to swim.
    • He was thoroughly outclassed by nearly all of his fellow swimmers in Australia, which crippled his self-confidence and his desire to swim.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Gou worries about his well-being throughout Season 1, but he rarely interacts with her and is almost as dismissive of his sister as he is of his old friends. He communicates more in Eternal Summer, but Sousuke does chide him and say he should pay more attention to her.
  • Animals Hate Him: Rin likes cats, but cats hate him. In one drama CD, he enlists Makoto's help to befriend a cat who keeps scratching him. Rin's cat, Steve, even hates him, since he's always seen running away from him whenever he tries to pet him.
  • Animal Motifs: Occasionally referred to as a shark due to his competitive nature; also resembles one via his teeth.
  • Anxiety Dreams/Dreaming of Times Gone By: In episode 7, he has one that begins with his younger self and Gou walking with their father's funeral procession after he died in a typhoon. It proceeds from there with his fear that he'll always be second to Haru, and that by extension he'll never be able to carry on his father's Olympic dreams.
  • Benched Hero: During The Stinger of episode 11, Seijuurou removes him from the Samezuka relay because his mind is too focused on beating Haru instead of working with his own team.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Gou. It's more obvious in Eternal Summer; he's more aloof and troubled in Season 1, and avoids her nearly as much as he avoids the Iwatobi swimmers.
    • In the drama CD based in Season 1, he does mention that Seijuurou shouldn't call other people's little sisters by their first name without first asking permission. Naturally, Rin is referring to Gou. When Seijuurou asks permission to call Gou by her first name (jokingly), Rin cuts him off with "NO."
    • Another drama CD scene reveals that he's paranoid over Gou going out every Sunday, thinking she has a boyfriend. When Nitori suggests that Seijuurou likes Gou, Rin immediately confronts the captain, who, says he went to see a movie with "the little sister". Turns out, Seijuurou meant he went to the movie with his own sister.
    • In the anime itself he does occasionally demonstrate concern/affection for Gou, such as walking her back to the hotel she's staying in after it turns out both their schools were training on the same island. Still, Sousuke notices that they're not as close as Gou would like and offhandedly tells Rin to spend more time with her.
  • Big Ego, Hidden Depths: He may be a huge jerk, but it's later shown that there is more to him than he lets on.
  • Break the Haughty: Rin finally does beat Haru and declares that he'll never swim with him again, but it's obvious that this didn't actually solve any of Rin's issues. Then he sees how the new Iwatobi team swims together, and is clearly jealous and bitter about the fact that Rei has taken "his place" (butterfly) in the relay and that they can win without him. Rin spends most of episode 9 breaking down as a result. In episode 11, his unhealthy obsession with beating Iwatobi gets him kicked off Samezuka's relay team.
  • Can't Catch Up: While in Australia, Rin had trouble competing against the other swimmers and couldn't even communicate well because of the language barrier. Rin came to the conclusion that he had to do everything alone, and that the relay with his friends was distracting him from his goal. His frustrations eventually led him to quit shortly before the events of the anime, but swimming against Haru in the first episode reignites his drive to swim.
  • Character Tics:
    • Snapping his goggles strap. The others recognize him after not seeing him for three years when he does something similar with the strap on the back of his baseball cap. This tic is also an homage to his father.
    • He rubs the back of his neck when he's embarrassed or annoyed.
  • Cheerful Child: Used to be, but his behavior changed when he went abroad to Australia and became discouraged when most of his classmates were able to swim faster than him. Haruka beating him when he returned to Japan during a school vacation was his breaking point.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: He tends to do this, to go with his shark-like teeth.
  • Cry Cute: All over the place in episode 12. Generally, it's a known fact among other characters that Rin's a crybaby, a fact that Sousuke occasionally teases him about.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: His eyes and hair are both red.
  • Cute Little Fangs: As a child. There are also moments during the current events of the anime where his sharklike teeth are less pronounced and look more like cute fangs.
  • Death Glare: He has a nasty one in the first season, but not so much in Eternal Summer.
  • Disappeared Dad: It turns out that he died in a typhoon during Rin and Gou's childhood.
  • Dragged into Drag: Rather than be forced to quit the team, he begrudgingly agrees to take part in the maid cafe. Mikoshiba, Nitori, and even his sister all think he wears it well.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: During elementary school, Haruka and Nagisa called him "Rin-Rin", and he didn't like it at all. When this comes up in High Speed!, Rin explains that he was bullied and called "Rin-Rin" at his old school, and he's scared of being bullied again. However, when Nagisa calls him "Rin-Rin" near the end of episode 12, he doesn't seem to mind.
  • Evil Redhead: He's not actually evil, but he is Haruka's rival and quite the Jerkass in the first season.
  • Fair Cop: During the second Ending Theme, he wears a policeman's uniform. Needless to say, he looks pretty good in it.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Choleric of the group of five.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Despite the fact that he initially ignored Nagisa and Makoto in favour of challenging Haruka, he is not happy when he realises that "his" place in the relay team (the butterfly stroke) has been taken by Rei. When he watches the relay, he admires his old friends' trademark swimming styles... but snarls all the way through Rei's leg of the race, considering him unworthy of being in the same team as the other three. Rin seems genuinely taken aback at how much this upsets him, having thought that beating Haruka would solve everything. He gets over it by the end of the season. In the next season, he teases Rei when he sees that they're both swimming butterfly, and spends quite a bit of time and effort teaching Rei to swim other strokes when he asks.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • Travels all the way to Australia to get the necessary training to beat Haruka. When he comes back to Japan to start highschool and beats Haruka, he becomes upset — most likely because Haruka didn't seem to put in his utmost effort (or he just didn't even care that he lost, because he doesn't care about winning or losing). Later, it's revealed that he returned to Japan every so often, and once challenged Haruka when they both went to see their old club. He lost to him again and then told Haruka he was quitting swimming. It's also addressed in episode 4 that Rin has been training much harder and is in better physical condition than Haruka, which in Rin's opinion, makes his win pointless.
    • Played with at the end of episode 7. Haru trained to keep going on personal bests before the prefectural tournament, but Rin won in their seed and swore he wouldn't swim with him anymore. However, Haru hasn't been seriously training for years because of the above-mentioned incident that ended in Rin quitting. Haruka only had a month or so to train, ultimately making this victory hollow, too.
    • In episode 11, he reveals that he blames swimming in a relay for affecting his performance since no matter how hard he practiced, he couldn't get the results he wanted.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Eternal Summer Rin seems quite a contrast to the first season. He's often aloof and tends to stare in disbelief or get annoyed with minor things or anyone being interested in Gou, and... that's about it.
  • Jerkass: After meeting his team mates for the first time in years, he insults Haruka for still hanging out with Makoto and Nagisa, the latter two he doesn't even acknowledge. After an unsuccessful attempt to race Haruka, he takes the trophy they had worked so hard for as children and tosses it aside, saying he doesn't need it anymore.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As it turns out, he's really not that bad and is dealing with some significant personal issues that he eventually works through. He also shows genuine concern about Makoto facing the ocean in episode 5, and has a couple of Pet the Dog moments with Nitori.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Nitori observes Rin taking in a stray cat from the rain and feeding it mackerel in the old swim club building. Kindhearted... deep down.
  • Last-Name Basis: He refers to Nitori exclusively by his family name for most of Season 1. They graduate to First-Name Basis in episode 12; Rin calls Nitori the Affectionate Nickname "Ai", and Nitori switches from "Matsuoka-senpai" to "Rin-senpai".
  • Light Is Not Good: The Samezuka uniform is mainly white, and he's the closest thing to an antagonist in Season 1. Later subverted and ultimately averted once his Heel Realization kicks in near S1's end, and he's become a much better person by the time Eternal Summer rolls around.
  • Meaningful Name: "Rin" means "cold", "strict", or "severe" - a pretty good summary of his outward personality in Season 1.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Comes up more than once in the drama CDs during interactions with his captain. In Eternal Summer, he also has this attitude towards Momotarou, who is much more direct in his attempts at flirting with Gou, which often translates to Rin unceremoniously dragging him away. In Take Your Marks, he nearly freaks out when he thinks Gou and Momotarou are dating.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Calls Nitori by his first name in episode 12, to Nitori's delight. There are other moments in Eternal Summer.
    • Pretty constant through the second season, where he has the merest facade.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Haruka's blue.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Rin feels like the "replaced" part of this trope when he watches Rei swim butterfly in Iwatobi's relay team.
    • Played with when Rin replaces Rei in the final relay.
  • The Rival: Pre-air material really wants to drive it home that he fills this role for Haruka—not only is it the introductory line of his profile, but in a chart mapping cast relations, Rin has an isolated red box (being from a rival school and all) surrounding him with an arrow pointing only toward Haruka (and vice versa) with the words "RIVAL" written above it. Glaringly, he seems to have no interest in anyone else, and they in kind have no arrow relating to him.
  • Scary Teeth: As a teenager.
  • Security Blanket: The after-ending, next-episode character commentary reveals that Rin can't sleep without his pillow.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Rin adamantly chooses to believe that Sousuke can and should return to competitive swimming, despite a severe, movement-inhibiting injury that actual medical professionals have failed to fix for two years.
  • Sempai Kouhai: The senpai to Nitori.
  • Slasher Smile: Oh yes.
  • Sore Loser: His inability to accept Haruka's victory back when they were kids is what destroyed their friendship in the first place. Over the course of Season 1, it gets worse before it gets better.
  • Spirited Competitor: He thrives on challenge and competition.
  • Stepford Smiler: Episode 12 of Eternal Summer reveals that he was this during his time in Australia, putting on a cheerful face despite having trouble adjusting to a different country.
  • Team Mom: Surprisingly is this to Sousuke's Team Dad in Eternal Summer and especially the Hot Springs Episode in Take Your Marks, keeping Nitori and Momo in line.
  • Technician vs. Performer: A mild example of a technician in contrast to Haruka's intuitive performer. He consistently weight trains in order to supplement his swimming skills (and even chastises Haruka about not focusing enough on gaining a stronger build). He also frequently reads books about improving swimming techniques. In Season 2 he's more like the performer to Sousuke's very strict technician, in that he takes enjoyment in swimming with and helping his friends, rather than believing that the only meaningful thing to do with that time and effort is self-train.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After coming back overseas. It is hinted in his talk with Rei and the end card in episode 11 that disappointment after disappointment of his swimming combined with being alone in a foreign country was enough to make the once idealistic, cheerful child the jaded teen we see today.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After the climax of episode 12. He still shows traces of grumpiness, but he's much friendlier and more open with his emotions. Shown fully in Eternal Summer; while he's still a bit grumpy and his general personality is the same, he is much more openly friendly and nice, smiles far more than his first-season self did, actually laughs in some scenes, and is openly supportive towards Nitori and Rei when they need it. He's only ever aloof and hostile towards Momotarou, and that far less than in Season 1, showing mostly when Momotarou is being particularly absurd.
  • Troubled, but Cute: His attractiveness is commented on in-universe, and most of the anime he can't hide his frustration about his swimming ability.
  • Tsundere:
    • Even after episode 12, his sister and Nagisa both outright say he needs to be more honest with his feelings. Nitori even calls him one once.
    • More specifically, a platonic example towards the Iwatobi team. Sosuke points out when Rin complains about them calling him for a favor that he might complain, but he'll do it anyway.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: Rin began to swim competitively because he wanted to live out his father's missed-out dream as an Olympic swimmer. His father decided to put off his swimming career so he would be able to support his family and properly raise his son and daughter, but he died when his fishing boat was caught in a typhoon. Rin feels like he has to be a great swimmer and make up for the opportunities his father lost.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Prior to his three years overseas.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Haruka (as of Eternal Summer, evident in episode 12) and Sousuke.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Was once good friends with Haruka, Makoto, and Nagisa before going overseas and coming back completely changed. He goes back to being their friend in episode 12.

    Seijuurou Mikoshiba

Specialty: Backstroke
High school: Samezuka Academy
University: Hidaka University
Voiced by: Kenjiro Tsuda (Japanese), Robert McCollum (English), Fabián Rétiz (Latin American Spanish)

The Samezuka swim team captain. Rin's superior in the team and Gou's eager suitor in the first season.

  • Boisterous Bruiser: Episode 8 reveals he makes good on his boisterous nature by being a very competent swimmer, setting a new tournament record in his prelim.
  • The Big Guy: In the first season, he's indeed the most powerful swimmer of the team and is also the tallest one.
  • Commuting on a Bus: In the second season. He graduates in the first episode, so he's obviously absent from the school and training scenes. However, he still shows up from time to time to check on his old team.
  • The Captain: Of the Samezuka swim team. Referred as such by Rin and Gou especially ("Mikoshiba-buchou").
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead: He has the darkest complexion of all the named characters, with red-orange hair.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He has a crush on Gou and even tries to ask her out a couple of times. She doesn't seem interested, though.
  • Gentle Giant: When off-duty, he's actually very kind and cheerful.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Since he's written out at the beginning of Season 2, there's not much hope for him to actually have anything going on with Gou.
  • Hunk: Before Sousuke's introduction, he was the sole example of this in the series. He's tall and muscular, with a commanding voice and very respected as a leader by his cohorts, despite being unexpectedly approachable when off-duty.
  • Large and in Charge: The tallest and most muscular of the Samezuka team and also their leader in season 1.
  • Love at First Sight: It is implied that he falls in love with Gou when she came to look for Rin before he joined the swim team.
  • Passing the Torch: He graduates at the beginning of Eternal Summer and passes the title of team captain to Rin.
    • He also passes the role of Gou's Hopeless Suitor to his younger brother (Momo).
  • Rated M for Manly: Him and Sousuke are the most masculine members of the cast, although he represents a more upbeat side of masculinity.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He's extremely strict and serious when it comes to his team, but when interacting with Gou or the original Swim Club members he's surprisingly Adorkable.
  • Sweet Tooth: Nitori mentions all the sweets he eats at the squid festival.
  • Younger Than They Look: Downplayed and only when compared to Natsuya and Nao. Seijuurou looks and sounds older but is actually a year younger than them.

    Aiichirou Nitori

Specialty: Breaststroke
High school: Samezuka Academy
Voiced by: Kouki Miyata (Japanese), Josh Grelle (English), Héctor Ireta del Alba (Latin American Spanish)

A first-year on the Samezuka swim team and Rin's roommate.

  • Affectionate Nickname: "Ai". Rin calls him this in episode 12 (progressing to First-Name Basis), and continues to do so in Eternal Summer.
    • Nagisa calls him "Ai-chan" in Eternal Summer, about which he's less pleased because he feels that Nagisa is being too forward.
  • Animal Motifs: Duck.
  • Beauty Mark: He has one under his right eye.
  • Covert Pervert: The second FrFr! shows that he has a porn magazine lying around his books.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Tends to say parts of what he's writing in his diary out loud with Rin nearby. Given that most of what Nitori writes is about Rin, he's left to stammering denials.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: When Rin is annoyed about the joint practice with Iwatobi, Nitori says that the Iwatobi boys all have girly names. Rin, who just happens to also have a girly name, is not pleased.
    • Does it again in Episode 4, when praising Haruka and saying that success "all comes down to talent". He gets a particularly vicious Death Glare from Rin for that.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Extremely dogged towards Rin, whom he clearly has a thing for, in a "Please, notice me Senpai!" kind of way.
  • Expy: Looks very similar to Masato from Uta No Prince Sama: both have the same hairstyle and have beauty marks under their right eyes.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Seems to believe this. He says at one point that success all comes down to talent because he doesn't seem to be improving. This attitude does not go over well with Rin. He changes his tune in Eternal Summer and is shown training himself at night to improve his times.

  • Last-Name Basis: He refers to Rin as "Matsuoka-sempai". They graduate to First-Name Basis in episode 12, and Nitori calls Rin "Rin-sempai" from that point onward.
  • The Rival: Nagisa's in season 2, as Nitori is beginning to specialize in two strokes like Rin, the second being the breaststroke, and in the opening the two are seen competing against each other in the relay.
    • In episode 2, Iwatobi and Samezuka have a non-official relay against each other at the revival of the Iwatobi SC, he and Nagisa go against each other in the relay Nagisa's stroke is shown to be faster and more refined than Nitori's, and Nagisa beats him in their leg of the relay.
  • Senpai Kouhai: Refers to Rin as "Matsuoka-senpai" and later "Rin-senpai". In Eternal Summer, Momo calls him Nitori-senpai.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Rin accuses Nitori of stalking him at one point in Season 1, and Nitori doesn't even deny it. His behavior also occasionally gives the impression of stronger feelings.

    Sousuke Yamazaki

Specialty: Butterfly stroke
Elementary school: Sano Elementary School
High school: Samezuka Academy
Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya, Aoi Yuki (young) (Japanese), Ian Sinclair, Ryan Reynolds (young) (English)

An old friend of Rin's who transfers to Samezuka in the second season.

  • Animal Motifs: Whale Shark.
  • Berserk Button: Do not threaten Rin or interfere with his swimming. He also scares the living hell out of Nitori after the latter unintentionally sprays Gou with his water gun.
    • In Starting Days, He has to be physically restrained when he feels like Haruka isn't trying in the first tournament.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's very protective of Rin, even though they are more or less the same age.
    • His relationship with Gou has shades of this as well, especially when he tells Rin to spend more time with her and gives her his jacket after Nitori accidentally sprays her with a water gun in episode 14.
  • The Big Guy: He's the best swimmer in Rin's team and the most physically imposing, being impressively muscular and the only main character taller than Makoto and Seijuurou.
  • Broken Ace: He's an incredibly talented, powerful swimmer who is nationally-ranked for Butterfly. He's also intimidating, has limited social skills with everyone but Rin, and has a Career-Ending Injury to his shoulder.
  • Career-Ending Injury: There is major Foreshadowing throughout the season in the way he uses his left shoulder, and in episode 8, Kisumi reveals that Sousuke has a serious injury to his right shoulder. In episode 10, Sousuke reveals to Rin that he damaged it in his first year of high school due to pushing himself too hard with increasingly intense training. And because he never stopped training to address the problem, the joint has broken down to the point that it can't be fixed.
  • Character Tics: Twisting his shoulder because of his Game-Breaking Injury.
  • Childhood Friends: With Rin. They've kept in touch since Rin left for Australia, but Sousuke clearly misses him and is angry with Haru for not working hard because he takes it as an insult toward Rin's efforts to improve his swimming.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In Starting Days, he says that the letter from Rin must be for Haru because it's written as though Rin doesn't expect to get a response, and Sousuke always writes back.
  • Death Glare: He's got a vicious one, generally reserved for Haruka.
  • Defrosting Ice King: A non-romantic example as he develops from a closed-off and intimidating loner to a Team Dad for the Samezuka relay team. Eventually, he even warms up to the Iwatobi team, most obviously in ES 14.
  • Dented Iron: Overtraining led to a shoulder injury. Numbing the pain and continuing to train intensely caused permanent damage to the joint and will prevent him from ever swimming professionally.
  • Determinator: Deconstructed. Training and working himself past his limits despite a serious joint injury exacerbates it to the point that he will never swim competitively again.
  • Foil: To Makoto. They both fill the roles of The Big Guy and childhood friend of the team's freestyle swimmer. But where Makoto is timid and universally friendly, Sousuke is blunt and intimidating. Conflict is an alien concept to Makoto and Haruka, but Sousuke and Rin "fight all the time" because of their intense personalities and how much they care about each other. Makoto only competes against Haru once, and decides not to do it anymore because their friendship isn't about challenging each other; Sousuke and Rin's friendship thrives on competition, but Sousuke has to stop because he's physically broken.
  • Foreshadowing: For much of the season, he's seen stretching and rolling his left shoulder but never his right. He also never competes in individual events, despite the fact that he disliked the relay when he was younger and is nationally-ranked for butterfly. It turns out that he has a Career-Ending Injury to his right shoulder and all he wants is to swim the relay with Rin for as long as he can; butterfly puts immense strain on the shoulders, so he limits the amount of time he spends swimming it at top speed.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Sousuke is a national-top-ten ranked swimmer who leaves a prestigious high school legendary for its swim team to join Rin's team at Samezuka. His Career-Ending Injury acting up just as he passes Rei is the only reason he doesn't give Rin a major advantage going into the freestyle leg of their relay at regionals.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Even though he never says it outright, Sousuke's brief and far-between interactions with Haru clearly display his intense jealousy of Haru's importance in Rin's life, a position that Sousuke wants for himself. In Starting Days, when he gives Haru the letter from Rin, he's obviously jealous of the way Rin talks about Haru.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Non-romantic between him and Gou.
  • Hunk: Unlike the other characters, he fits squarely into this trope thanks to his height and build.
  • Ineffectual Loner: The most aloof and solitary of the main cast, and also the one hinted to have lost everything in the end. It's also shown that being a loner since Rin left for Australia may have resulted in competitive success, but it also drove him to a Career-Ending Injury.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's a bit gruff and blunt, and he is willing to threaten and intimidate Haru, but he does so for Rin's sake, and the way he interacts with Rin and Nitori suggests he's not all bad.
  • Last-Name Basis: He and Haruka refer to each other by last name due to their less than friendly relationship. However, as of episode 14, they graduate to First-Name Basis after spending a whole day being on the same team and defending each other.
  • Man Hug: Him and Rin have their own version of this which includes faking to punch each other.
  • New Transfer Student: He transfers into Rin's class at Samezuka at the end of Eternal Summer's first episode.
  • Not So Different: As Makoto points out, he and Haruka are actually pretty similar in terms of being quiet and stoical.
  • Perpetual Frowner: You can count on one hand the times Sousuke actually cracks a smile, especially when he's not alone with Rin.
  • Rated M for Manly: Along with Seijuurou, the most masculine member of the main cast.
  • Shower of Angst: At the end of episode 9, after he aggravates his shoulder injury.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: He's unfriendly (even threatening in Haru's case) toward everyone except Rin and eventually the rest of the Samezuka relay team. Turns out he has a Career-Ending Injury that has eliminated any chance he once had to swim professionally, and he can only bring himself to put on a nice face for Rin.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Just look at the picture! He's the tallest in the cast and very attractive, though not particularly charming.
  • Tareme Eyes: Probably to soften his hard features.
  • Team Dad: Almost everything about his behaviors reflect this in him. From his overprotectiveness of Rin (especially when confronting Haru in ES episode 2) to the way he acts around the other Samezuka swim team members. There are even long posts on Tumblr about how he wears "dad outfits." This is especially prominent in Take Your Marks, when he helps Rin keep Nitori and Momo in line.
  • Tough Love: Toward Nitori on two occasions.
    • He goes out at night and finds Nitori sitting on the stairs, upset about his lackluster times. Sousuke grouches at him for self-pity, but follows it up with the advice that Nitori has potential and shouldn't crush it before he even tries.
    • When he catches Nitori swimming at night, Sousuke walks up to the side of the pool and informs Nitori that fatigue is ruining his form. When Nitori tries to argue, Sousuke says he'll coach for the rest of Nitori's practice, but only after he takes a break. All the more touching with The Reveal that Sousuke caused permanent damage to himself by overtraining, and he's trying to stop Nitori from making the same mistakes.
  • Training from Hell: Deconstructed. After parting ways with Rin in middle school, he went off to rigorously train himself so that one day he would compete with him. He did become a nationally-ranked Butterfly swimmer, but he also damaged his right shoulder to the point that he'll never be able to swim professionally.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Invoked through Gou's reaction to his usally aloof and dismissive attitude.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: According to Rin, they "fight all the time", and their secret handshake involves fake punching each other. Sousuke also makes fun of Rin for being a Tsundere ("You complain, but you're going to do it for them, right?"), and Rin kicks him on a semi-regular basis.
  • Watching the Sunset: During the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, Sousuke is the only one whose sequence hints a Bittersweet Ending. He's only seen watching the sunset all alone on a deserted quay, hinting that his swimming days are probably over, despite Rin's encouragements, and that he may have to go his own way and start a new life, on his own.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He's pissed when he swims free against Haru and beats him easily, because he thinks Haru is mocking him and not taking the competition seriously.
  • You Must Be Cold: In Episode 14, he gives his jacket to Gou after Nitori accidentally sprays her with a water gun.

    Momotarou Mikoshiba

Specialty: Backstroke
High school: Samezuka Academy
Voiced by: Kenichi Suzumura (Japanese), Jerry Jewell (English)

Seijuurou's younger brother, and a first-year who joins the Samezuka swim team in the second season. He is the "fearsome new face" his brother referred to.

  • Alliterative Name
  • Ambiguously Bi: Momo loves cute girls, but gets distracted by Rin's pectoral cleavage and is very enthusiastic about befriending Nitori.
  • Animal Motifs: Sea otter. It even applies In-Universe, since he's been nicknamed "the Sea of Japan's Sea Otter".
  • Beetle Maniac: One of his hobbies is catching stag beetles. In Episode 11 he even asks Rin to give Gou a stag beetle he caught for her himself. In Take Your Marks, he thinks the best gift he can give her is a giant container of stag beetle sap.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Probably, since during his first appearance he mentions wanting to see cute girls which was the only way Rin could convince him to come to the Splash Fest. And since he does things like this, he probably doesn't get many admirers.
  • Fiery Redhead: He's constantly energetic and doesn't ever seem to calm down.
  • In-Series Nickname: His teammates call him "Momo".
  • Keet: He's probably even more energetic than Nagisa, albeit in a more Hot-Blooded way.
  • Legacy Character: He's much like a younger version of his brother. He also somewhat replaces him as Gou's suitor in the show.
  • Love at First Sight: Like his brother, with Gou.
  • Luminescent Blush: Whenever he's around Gou but, unlike most examples, he's more likely to proposition Gou, especially to her brother's face, than acting clumsy and/or aloof.
  • Meaningful Name: He's named after the titular character of the Japanese folktale Momotaro.
  • No Social Skills: Doesn't seem to understand that not everyone is as enthusiastic about stag beetles as he is.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: A big percentage of his casual wardrobe seems to include bright pink shirts.
  • Running Gag:
    • Gou has difficulty remembering his name.
    • Whenever he talks to Gou, he has a habit of rattling off random facts about himself, like his hobbies and favourite foods, which is a classical way of presenting oneself as a potential suitor in Japanese culture.


    Kisumi Shigino

Elementary school: Sano Elementary School
Middle school: Iwatobi Junior High School
High school: Unnamed high school
University: Hidaka University
Voiced by: Chihiro Suzuki, Rina Sato (young) (Japanese), Eric Vale, Tia Ballard (young) (English)

Kisumi is an old middle school friend of Haru and Makoto, and he also went to the same elementary school as Rin and Sosuke. He reunites with them in Eternal Summer when Makoto begins teaching his little brother Hayato how to swim. He has more focus in Starting Days, where he is shown to be an avid basketball player.

  • Ascended Extra: From a minor character to a main cast member in High Speed! Free! Starting Days and Dive to the Future.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: To a small degree, he's a little intrusive. It's not that Haru and the others don't enjoy his company — really, they do, but Haru and Asahi sometimes get annoyed by his nosiness, and it seems like only Makoto is the only one who doesn't mind him being around. In Take Your Marks, Haruka threatens to leave and actually follows up on his words when he finds out that the realty Sasabe recommended to him is run by Kisumi's family.
  • The Gadfly: Kisumi enjoys teasing Haru and (especially) Asahi a lot just to see their reactions. In Starting Days, Kisumi even jokingly offers Asahi to sit on his lap when Ikuya sits in his spot to eat lunch, only to laugh when Asahi vehemently rejects the idea.
  • Innocent Innuendo: His name is one of them, sounding like the English "kiss me".
  • Innocently Insensitive: One of the first things he says to Haru when they meet up again is how he remembers Haru being sad about Rin leaving for Australia.
  • Keet: Not as small as your average keet, but when it comes to cheerfulness and enthusiasm, he's up there with Nagisa.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Kisumi is part of Haru's social circle in middle school and when he goes to college, but he usually doesn't hang out with them due to being in different clubs. For example, he seemed largely unaware about the bad blood between Haru and Ikuya.
  • Nice Guy: Kisumi is undeniably friendly to everyone he comes across, and official character descriptions mention that he gets along with everybody. He's also able to deflect scathing remarks from Haruka and Asahi into something nice (i.e. complimenting Asahi for his patience and kindness when explaining swimming, when Asahi is frustrated at him butting into his and Haruka's conversation).
  • No Sense of Personal Space: He has the habit of wrapping his arm around people's shoulders and clinging to them. Haru takes it in stride.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: A Rare Male Example. His hair is a light peach color, fitting his cheerful, caring, and affable personality.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Kisumi is often missing from most of the swim team's drama due to being busy and hanging out in other clubs. He does, however, try to cheer up Hiyori during the regionals.

    Asahi Shiina 

Asahi Shiina

Specialty: Butterfly stroke
Middle school: Iwatobi Junior High School
High school: Kazami High School
University: Hidaka University
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese), Christopher Llewyn Ramirez (English)

A boy with a bright personality and a luck-pusher. Asahi is one of Haruka's classmates in middle school, and from the moment he sees him wants to recruit Haruka into the swim club. His best swim style is the butterfly, but he can swim all other styles well, something he takes extreme pride in. In Dive to the Future, he and Kisumi join Makoto and Haru at Tokyo University, becoming part of the main cast.

  • The Ace: Throughout the beginning of Starting Days, he brags about being a genius, but after seeing Haruka swim, he struggles to swim freestyle again.
  • Animal Motifs: A monkey, to his chagrin. Officially, the ribbon seal.
  • Book Dumb: The boy does not know how libraries work.
  • Breakout Character: From a movie-only character to a main cast member in Dive to the Future.
  • Butt-Monkey: Often the movie's main source of humor, usually at his expense.
  • Competition Freak: In Starting Days, Asahi often challenged Haru a lot to swimming.
  • Cry Cute: He anguishes to Nao how he fears he may lose his other swimming talents and cries on his shoulder.
  • Fiery Redhead: Asahi is colored with red hair, and he's one of the most animated, energetic characters in Haru's circle of friends.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: High Speed! 2 reveals that Asahi had known Rin as a child, since their fathers were friends, and he was part of the relay that first inspired Rin to start swimming. However, they lost touch after Rin's father died, and they most likely don't remember each other because they were young at the time.
  • Heroic Willpower: After forgetting how to swim freestyle, Nao suggests that he does some mental training, which leads to Asahi borrowing books on boosting confidence and chanting, "I'm a genius" before competitions. Dive to the Future shows that he still does that.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: In the middle of practice, he suddenly forgets how to swim freestyle. He later realizes it's because he was too intimidated by Haruka's superior freestyle, but once he realizes that Haru himself isn't perfect, he's able to swim it again.
  • Keet: He's the most enthusiastic about joining the swim club.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Ikuya did not get along in Starting Days, but they eventually become friends after joining the swim team together.

    Ikuya Kirishima 

Ikuya Kirishima

Specialty: Breaststroke
Middle school: Iwatobi Junior High School
High school: Shionezaki High School
University: Shimogami University
Voiced by: Kouki Uchiyama (Japanese), Lee George (English)

Moody and distant, Ikuya is the exact opposite of Asahi both in personality and mindset. He initially hates the idea of joining the school's swim club, stating that school clubs are childish compared to a real club. It just so happens his older brother is the captain of the school's swim club, and the two have an icy relationship.

  • Animal Motifs: Beluga whale.
  • Big Brother Worship: Ikuya tries his best to get Natsuya's attention, mostly by copying Haruka, who was praised by him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ikuya is very sullen and makes sarcastic remarks, Asahi often being on the receiving end.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Ikuya is such a Bishōnen that his facial features appear downright feminine at times. In fact, in Starting Days, if you only look at his face and ignore the rest of his body, he looks like a short-haired young girl. This is downplayed in Dive to the Future, where he becomes manlier.
  • Fairytale Motifs: Ikuya draws parallels to The Little Mermaid, which he has admitted is his favorite story. He compares the mermaid's suffering when she first came onto land to the multiple times he's nearly drowned.
  • Friendless Background: Ikuya had no friends (other than his brother) before joining the swim club. After Haru, Makoto, and Ikuya quit the swim team, he starts questioning if they were ever friends in the first place and starts disconnecting with people.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: In Dive to the Future, Ikuya's regarded as a loner, as he refuses to participate in teams and only has a friend in Hiyori. In the first episode, he's wearing headphones and ignoring everyone else.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: There is no girl that he appears to be close with at all and he seems very obsessed with Haruka. They shared a promise under shooting stars which is rather common in typical love stories, he drew parallel between himself to The Little Mermaid and compared his loneliness to the suffering she endured for the prince, and his story arc with Haruka in season 3 follows a breakup-and-reconcilation motif.
  • I Work Alone: In Dive to the Future, Ikuya refuses to swim in team medleys because he feels he is too dependent on others and believes he cannot improve his own weaknesses as an individual, something he realized after Haru, Makoto, and Asahi quit Iwatobi's swim team in middle school.
  • Incest Subtext: Ikuya is very clingy to Natsuya and his character conflict in High Speed! dealt with Natsuya growing apart from him. It gets to the point where he tries to imitate Haruka closely just so Natsuya would compliment him.
  • Ill Boy: Ikuya has an ongoing condition where he suffers from oxygen deprivation, and he has nearly drowned several times because of that. Hiyori mentions when he had moved to America to study abroad, he had a particularly near-fatal incident that caused him to be hospitalized for days, but has since been working hard to overcome it.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: After Haru, Makoto, and Asahi give him a You Are Not Alone speech, he begins bawling loudly.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Asahi tackles him to the ground while he's found on a bridge. The trope is subverted in that Ikuya wasn't actually committing suicide but was looking for his old swim club building.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: His usual event is the Individual Medley.
  • Not So Above It All: For all his talk against Asahi's childishness, Ikuya's got his own immature side, which shows up in him imitating Haruka. And he does so in the hopes his brother, who praised Haruka, will notice him.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: His bangs mostly cover his right eye.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Ikuya isn't very good at being nice, but it comes from years of having no friends and becoming a little socially awkward as a result. In Dive to the Future, this becomes even worse as he becomes very bitter about Haru, Makoto, and Asahi leaving him.
  • Tsundere: Ikuya is mostly grumpy, but there are times when he's Not So Above It All, particularly when it comes to getting Natsuya's attention. In Starting Days, when Kisumi cajoles Ikuya into sitting with them during lunch, Ikuya turns into a blushing, stuttering mess as he reluctantly accepts.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: If Hiyori's flashbacks come to mind, Ikuya used to smile a lot and was very gentle, even after what happened to him in middle school. However, now he is gloomy, detached, and isn't even sure what friends are.
  • When He Smiles: After Asahi's clumsy attempt to offer his shirt for crying on, he goes from crying to laughing, getting the widest smile on his face.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Asahi eventually become friends, but he still holds a sharp tongue against him. In fact, his awkwardly polite conversation with Asahi when they first met each other again without Hiyori's intervention shows that they are not as close as before.

    Natsuya Kirishima 

Natsuya Kirishima

Specialty: Freestyle stroke
Middle school: Iwatobi Junior High School
High school: Soufukan High School
Voiced by: Kenji Nojima (Japanese), Ricco Fajardo (English)

The middle school swim team's brash but charismatic captain. Natsuya sees an opportunity with the four 1st-years swimming styles and wastes no time assigning them as a medley team. He treats everyone on the team amiably, but his behavior around his younger brother is cold.

In Dive to the Future, Natsuya reveals that he spends his time Walking the Earth and using the prize money from various races to fund his next adventure.

  • Aloof Big Brother: Natsuya acts very distant to Ikuya in Starting Days in hopes it will encourage him to reach out to others more, which strains their relationship. They have a better relationship in "Dive to the Future", but Natsuya's habit of Walking the Earth means he's still not around much.
  • Animal Motifs: Tiger shark.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Ikuya when they were younger. In Starting Days, he's more distant from Ikuya despite taking on something of a Team Dad role with other young swimmers. By the time of Dive to the Future, they're on good terms and Ikuya narrowly defeats Natsuya in the Individual Medley event at the All-Japan Invitational.
  • But Now I Must Go: After his impromptu race with Rin gets interrupted by a rainstorm, Natsuya abruptly decides that he's heading back to Japan, because swimming with Rin made him realize what he's really missing (Nao).
  • The Drifter: In Dive to the Future, Natsuya wanders all over the place, winning prize money in swimming competitions and using the winnings to travel to a new destination.
  • Expy:
    • In Starting Days, his role is similar to Seijuurou's at Samezuka in the first two seasons. They're both Hot-Blooded team captains as well as Big Brother Mentor types. Unlike Seijuurou, Natsuya spends a year on the same team as his little brother, and they're not on great terms.
    • He moves out of Seijuurou's shadow in Dive to the Future, wherein he's eschewed the typical competitive swimming path and spends his time Walking the Earth by means of winning prize money in swimming competitions around the world.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: He really just wants Ikuya to go out and make friends, instead of tagging behind him always.
  • Hot-Blooded:
    • In Starting Days, his reaction to Haruka refusing to swim in the medley is to immediately strip and challenge Haru to a race.
    • Dive to the Future shows that Natsuya has become even more impulsive and spirited over the years, and one of his first scenes involves him beating every swimmer on Rin's elite college team because he thinks that will inspire Mikhail to coach him.
  • Older Than They Look: He along with Nao is this to Seijuurou. They look and sound younger than he does but are a year older.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The fiery counterpart to Nao's calm.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Being a 3rd year, he's the sempai for the main characters.
  • Team Dad: He's the captain of Iwatobi's middle school swim club, and he provides guidance and inspiration to the younger swimmers (alongside gentler, subtler Nao). The two of them are shown keeping an eye on the team's summer practice, and Natsuya tells Nao that they "don't have to spoil them so much."
  • Walking the Earth: In episode 3 of Dive to the Future, he reveals to Rin Matsuoka that he's been doing this after Starting Days. He travels around the world entering swimming competitions, uses the prize money to fund his next trip, and repeats.

    Nao Serizawa 

Nao Serizawa

Specialty: Backstroke
Middle school: Iwatobi Junior High School
High school: Soufukan High School
University: Unnamed university in Tokyo
Voiced by: Satoshi Hino (Japanese), Oscar Seung (English)

The swimming club's manager. In contrast to the captain, Nao's personality is calm and gentle. Possesses a strong knowledge of swimming.

In Dive to the Future, Nao attends university in Tokyo and is majoring in sports medicine.

  • The Ace: People wonder why he's only the club's manager, because it's obvious that he's athletic and talented. Turns out he was the team's best swimmer, but his eyesight started going bad due to retinal detachment and he had to stop swimming until he could have surgery and time to recover.
  • Animal Motifs: Northern gannet (a type of sea bird).
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Unwittingly does this to Makoto when he questions his motivation for swimming.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Occasionally, but not in a mean way. It's usually directed at Natsuya.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In college, his hair is shorter than it used to be in middle school.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: Like Sousuke in Eternal Summer, Nao noticed but ignored a health problem until it became so serious he had to stop swimming. Fortunately, unlike Sousuke's permanently damaged shoulder, Nao's injury (retinal detachment) should not hinder him in swimming once he's recovered from surgery. By the time of Dive to the Future, he's doing well but his vision has gotten worse, judging by his new glasses. He's studying sports medicine in school, hoping to rehab and prevent injuries in other young athletes.
  • Ill Boy: The reason he doesn't swim anymore is because one of his retinas has been detaching, revealed when he's in the hospital.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The gentle, patient blue oni corresponding to Natsuya's brash red.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Being a 3rd year, he's the sempai for the main characters. This applies to a lesser extent in Dive to the Future; none of them attend his school, but several characters still refer to him as sempai.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: In college, he acquires a pair of glasses, due to his eyesight worsening.
  • Team Mom: The knowledgeable, caring (yet somewhat witty) manager of the swim club, and a fitting counterpart to Natsuya's intensity and more hands-on approach to leadership.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: In addition to his swimming knowledge, Nao is highly perceptive of the people around him.

    Hiyori Toono 

Hiyori Toono

Specialty: Backstroke
High school: Shionezaki High School
University: Shimogami University
Voiced by: Ryohei Kimura (Japanese), Jason Liebrecht (English)

Hiyori is Ikuya's best friend, having studied with him abroad in America in high school.

  • Animal Motifs: Polar bear.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Hiyori is mostly polite to everyone, but he's also alarmingly protective of Ikuya, often reaffirming to Haru that he's his best friend.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Hiyori had met Ikuya when they were in the same swim club as children before he moved away. Ikuya doesn't remember this until episode 8 of Dive to the Future.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Like Haru and the others, Hiyori has a neutral name that's often associated with girls.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Hiyori constantly keeps tabs on Ikuya to make sure he's doing okay, including visiting him routinely to make sure he eats, keeping Natsuya updated on his condition, and having a watchful eye on him during swim practice.
  • The Unapologetic: After the end of episode 4 of "Dive to the Future", where Hiyori outright said to Haru that he causes nothing but suffering to anyone around him, Hiyori never apologizes for such a response, nor does anyone ask him to do so.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Since Hiyori knows Haru at a very shallow and personal level, it's easy to see that he's only keeping him away from Ikuya for his best interests. At the same time, his gatekeeping can be extreme, like only relenting to give Haru, Makoto, and Asahi a chance to have a simple conversation with Ikuya through a swim race.

    Mikhail Makarovich 

Mikhail Makarovich-Nitori

Voiced by: Hidenobu Kiuchi (JP), Phil Parsons (EN)

Rin's swim coach in Dive to the Future. A Russian former professional swimmer who speaks Japanese. He's also a distant relative of Aichiro's.

  • Ambiguously Gay: Mikhail likes young men's muscles, enough to keep books of them. This makes Rin somewhat uncomfortable.


Ryuji Azuma

Voiced by: Takeshi Kusao (JP), Brandon Potter (EN)

Ryuji is a mysterious drifter who takes an interest in coaching Haru. He's also a food blogger.

  • Chekhov's Gunman: He's actually the legendary "PKH Azuma" who Gou, Rei, and Nagisa discover in Take Your Marks.
  • Chick Magnet: He was so attractive that literally a lot of girls joined the swim team as managers.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He appears in episode 0 of Dive to the Future when Haruka walks past him after finding Iwatobi's beak.

    Isuzu Mikoshiba 

Isuzu Mikoshiba

Voiced by: Rina Sato (JP), Mikaela Krantz (EN)

Isuzu is the younger sister of Seijuro and the older sister of Momotarou. She's the captain of Hidaka University High School's swim team.

  • Ascended Extra: Seijuro having a sister was only mentioned briefly in a drama CD from the first season, where he mentions taking his sister out to watch the movie A Rat's Life. However, she was made into a character and was integrated into the story in Dive to the Future.
  • Birds of a Feather: Gets along immediately with Gou.
  • Gamer Chick: She frequents fighting games at the local arcade.
  • Fetish: Like Gou, she has a thing for muscles.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: She has the same red-orange hair and golden eyes as both her brothers. She also becomes fascinated with Gou at first sight.
  • The Worf Effect: Good at fighting games as she is, a mysterious boy later revealed to be Albert Wahlånder, the college swimming world champion is introduced absolutely trouncing her.

    Albert Wåhlander 

Albert Wåhlander

Voiced by: Jeff Manning

The college world champion swimmer, from Sweden. Has his eye on Haru for as yet unknown reasons.

  • Fish out of Water: Needs Haru's help to buy food at a cafeteria, and doesn't know how to use chopsticks.
  • Language Barrier: Somewhat subverted. Albert only speaks English and Haru only speaks Japanese, but they somehow understand each other just right. It's implied that they both understand the language better than speaking it.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: His blond hair covers half of his face, including one eye.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Most of the cast had their character designs released before the start of the show. Albert was hyped up to be an important character judging from Dive to the Future's opening, but he isn't seen until the 9th episode.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The official Kyoto Animation website gives his surname as "Volandel" but that's not a real Swedish surname; "Wåhlander" and "Vålander", however, are. Funimation's subs go with the "Wåhlander" spelling.
  • Technicolor Eyes: A bright violet-pink.
  • The Worf Effect: His only purpose in the series is to show how much Haru needs to personally train after he beats him in a freestyle relay.

Alternative Title(s): High Speed Free Starting Days


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