Rin and Haru meet when Rin transfers to Haru's elementary school. He originally attends Sano Elementary but transfers to Iwatobi because he saw Haru swimming at the local swimming club and thought "I want to swim with him" because of his speed and style. Haru is initially put off by Rin because of his boisterous nature and insistence on Haru swimming in a relay while Haru's philosophy is to swim just to "feel the water." Rin is playful with Haru as a child, flustering the usually placid boy who has difficulty expressing feelings. After Haru decides to swim in the relay, Rin announces his plan to attend a swim school in Australia but says he will stay until after the relay. Haru is angry about this, having become friends with Rin and agreeing to finally swim with him, but says nothing.
Rin moves to Australia to pursue his dad's dream, now his own, of being an Olympic swimmer. He soon learns that while he might have been decent in Japan, there are many people faster than him internationally. He returns to Japan during his first winter break and spots Haru at the train tracks. Haru is surprised to see Rin, but Rin looks disheartened and unlike his usual self. Despite this, he challenges Haru to a race at the local swimming club, hoping to prove that his efforts in Australia have paid off. Haru wins and, unaccountably, Rin is highly upset and declares that he is quitting swimming altogether. Haru, thinking that he has just crushed Rin's dream, quits competitive swimming, as well. In reality, it is Rin's own insecurities that drive his actions, though he may not understand this or knows this, but doesn't want to reveal it to Haru.
Rin returns to Australia, returning to Japan in his second year of high school to attend Samezuka Academy, a swimming powerhouse, although he doesn't join their swim team right away. He meets Haru and the gang at their old swimming club, right before it gets torn down. At the start of Season One, he is bitter and unfriendly towards his old teammates, but due to the unwavering friendship extended by the Iwatobi team, amends are made and he is friends with them once more.
As the franchise continues, Rin returns to Australia and continues training, eventually working with a professional coach. Haru remains in Japan and attends university in Tokyo, becoming a member of the swim team. Their rivalry continues, but it is based on mutual admiration and the understanding that it pushes each of them to improve and keep a short-term goal in mind as they head towards global competition.
Dive to the Future
SPROUTING DIVE START!
As Rin takes to a start in Australia, Haru is also taking a start in Japan, the two dive in at the same time and both begin to swim free. They both finish at the same time. In the end, the two look into the lane beside them. Rin is lane four, while Haru is in lane five. They seem to feel the presence of the other, despite the thousands of miles between them.
FIRST SWIM IN A NEW COUNTRY!
When Natsuya mentions that he was from Iwatobi, Rin asks if he knew Haru. Natsuya says he was new in his third year. He says he was a weird kid who kept saying “I only swim free.” He asks Rin what happened to Haru. Rin says he started taking up swimming again in High School, and he’s now aiming for the global stage. Rin dreams of being on that stage with him. Natsuya then passes out and Rin carries him back to his hotel. It’s the same one he and Haru stayed at. Rin heads home and lies on the couch. He opens Haru’s contact and seems like he’s about to call him, before deciding to wait till the next time he sees him in person.
A couple of days later, Natsuya tells Rin about how his brother used to swim with Haru before Haru quit swimming. Rin thinks of how he was the cause of Haru no longer wanting to swim.
Dive to the Future
First Swim in a New Country!
- When Natsuya calls Rin adulterous, he mentions how many guys he wants to swim with, including Haru
Interference of Loss!
- When Hiyori tells Haru that people who swim with him tend to suffer, he thinks of Rin
- Natsuya – “I went to Iwatobi.”
- Rin – “Really?! Do you know Har- Nanase Haruka, by any chance?”
- — First Swim in a New Country!
- “Add the two of you together and divide by two, and it would be perfect.”
- — Aki Yazaki; High ☆ Speed! light novel
- “It’s the boy Rin went so far as to transfer schools chasing, after all. You can’t imagine how shocked I was when I heard that was the reason.”
- — Kyou Matsuoka; High☆Speed! 2 light novel
- “Let's swim together, Nanase. If you swim with me, I'll show you a sight you've never seen before.”
- — Rin; Reunion at the Starting Block!
- “I know! How fun it is to swim with friends... How good it feels to swim in a relay together... You were the one who taught me that, Rin!”
- — Haruka; Distant Free!
- “Rin, come. It's my turn to show you a sight you've never seen before.”
- — Haruka; Distant Free!
- “Haru! You showed me the best sight I could've asked for!”
- — Rin; Distant Free!
- “The feelings brought back so clearly were someday’s joy / Pretending to have forgotten, I somehow really forgot them / The time when I was with him who laughed so much / Won’t pass as just the result of childishness / They were genuinely full of joy”
- — Haruka; Free! Iwatobi Swim Club – Character Song Vol.01 – Nanase Haruka, sung by Shimazaki Nobunaga
- “Haru's just as you described him, Rin. A cool attitude and eyes clear as water.”
- — Lori; A Swim-Off in a Foreign Land!
- “Rin really looks up to you, Haru. Every time he talked about you, he was always full of admiration!”
- — Lori; A Swim-Off in a Foreign Land!
- “I can see why you're so taken with him.”
- — Sousuke to Rin; Stroke of Chance Encounter!
- “I found a guy there I want to swim relays with.”
- — Rin; Stroke of Chance Encounter!
- “I remember how lonesome you got after Rin went to study abroad.”
- — Kisumi to Haruka; Locomotive of Crisis!
- “From the moment we met, my world has kept expanding. This great big world that goes on forever… if you look up, I know you’ll see it too, Haru.”
- — Rin; Season 2 episode 12 preview
- “I've always admired you.”
- — Rin to Haruka; A Swim-Off in a Foreign Land!
- “You make such a nice face when you talk about him.”
- — Sousuke to Rin; Free! Timeless Medley Promise
- “I was able to start walking towards the future because of you.”
- — Haruka; Free! Take Your Marks
- “Come with me to the world, Haru!”
- — Rin; Free! Road to the World
- “Haru is aiming for a global stage like me. It's my dream to swim with him on a global level someday.”
- — Rin; "First Swim in a New Country!"
- JOY by Shimazaki Nobunaga
- Real Wave by Mamoru Miyano and Shimazaki Nobunaga
- Kitto Wasurenai by Mamoru Miyano and Shimazaki Nobunaga
It is considered one of the most popular ships currently in the Free! fandom. The two were shipped from the very first episode. Most were drawn to the childhood friends/rivals aspect of the relationship, and the mystery surrounding Rin and his relationship with Haruka at the time of Rin's first appearance.
The major appeal of their relationship is the fact that they are the only ones able to inspire and ignite each other to do better in swimming. Both of them rely on the other to keep them motivated to swim better and faster so that they can swim on the international stage together. The two are also considered "opposites," with Haru often being reserved and aloof and Rin being emotional and outgoing, so their personalities play off one another's and make for a unique combination.
On AO3 it is the most written ship for Rin, and the second most written for Haru. It is the second most written ship in the Free! tag.
Rin and Haruka have a fanon child who shows up in numerous fan arts, Sakura. His name come from the significance of the cherry blossom motif in Rinharu scenes. His design from the cover of booklet for the 6th volume of the BD/DVD of the first season of Free! featuring a teenage Haruka watching the child version of himself running towards the origin of a gush of cherry blossoms wind (a metaphor for Haru's feelings coming into full bloom used in two scenes with Rin in episode 1 and episode 12 of the season) while a light shines on him and colors his hair the same as Rin, representing the influence that Rin has had on him.
- Rin's animal is a great white shark, while Haru's is a dolphin.
- Rin and Haru's most swum strokes are freestyle.
- Haruka & Rin were the last to get a mook of the two. The mook features darker colors compared to the two's first mook (dark red for Rin and dark blue for Haruka), and is the only mook where the two are touching each other in the image (they are holding each other's wrists).
- Rin considers Haru his "other shining," his first being Iwatobi Elementary School.
- In the Haruka & Rin mook, Mamoru Miyano, Rin's seiyuu, calls Rin and Haruka the "destined pair."
- They are wearing matching rings on the cover art for their character duet theme songs.
- The KyoAni and Animation Do staff have dubbed the beach scene in 'A Swim-Off in a Foreign Land!' the 'honeymoon scene'.
- When asked which character will be what manner of hero to others in the future, Shimazaki Nobunaga answered that Haru and Rin will be each other's heroes.
- The song playing in scenes several between Rin and Haruka in season 1 is titled 'Words that changed my life'. Its leitmotif is reused in songs playing during significant scenes between the two of them in the next installments of the franchise, most notably in 'Precious Words', 'Days that changed my life', 'Longing for you' and 'You changed my life'.
- In the High Speed! light novel, it is revealed that Haru saw Rin for the first time at the latter's father funeral.
- Haru and Rin took driving lessons together.
- Misaki Kuramoto was stated by Eisuke Kawanami to be a combination of Rin and Haru.
- Haruka stares at Rin's picture for 1 minute and 17 seconds before the wind blows it away in episode 7 of season 1.
- A recurring pattern in official group art is Rin putting his arm on or around on Haru's shoulders.
- Haru and Rin are competitive about their heights; they have kept a 2 cm height difference from childhood to young adulthood with Rin being the taller one.
- The Russell Hotel has been featured in the Australian media on several occasions because of the massive influx of Free! fans requesting room 25 where Rin and Haru share a double bed in the twelfth episode of season. The key rings of the room is available for sale.
|slash||HiyoIku • IkuHaru • MakoHaru • NatsuRin • Reigisa|
Ringisa • RinHaru • RinRei • RinTori • SouMako • SouRin