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!
- “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!"
- 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's animal is a great white shark, while Haru's is a dolphin
- In the first two seasons Haru was often quoted saying "I only swim free." However, this is negated in the third season where he admits to swimming other strokes, but when he's swimming "for real" it's always free.
- Rin swims free and butterfly
- 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."
Screenshots and Gifs
|slash||HiyoIku • IkuHaru • MakoHaru • NatsuRin • Reigisa|
Ringisa • RinHaru • RinRei • RinTori • SouMako • SouRin