Nope; the drama was built up over the entire season, and the fighting was his last desperate effort to lash out—but it wasn’t “just a pool” that made him realize what he wanted.
No amount of time was ever going to get Haru ‘fixed’. So Rin and Makoto couldn’t just sit back and give him space; when they do that, Haru just runs away or ignores his problems, because that’s the kind of guy he is: someone who doesn’t like conflict or change. And Makoto even said that if he truly believed that Haru did want to just stay like he was? That he didn’t long for bigger and better things? He would back Haru in a heartbeat.
But like I said before: Makoto understands Haru, and Rin gets Haru, and these two forces together were what he needed. Together. Makoto took away his final safe harbor because Haru needed tough love, and then he made sure Rin was there to toss him a lifeline. And then Rin dragged Haru to a place so far outside of his comfort zone you half expected Haru to hook a finger into one of Rin’s belt loops so they wouldn’t get separated.
Rin showed him not just a pool—because he could see that pool anywhere—but a pool dominated by swimmers likely better than either of them, international swimmers who challenge themselves daily against the best of the best, reminding Haru just like he did in episode 1: that he’s a competitor, deep down, and you don’t have to care about times or records or placement to still feel that drive to be the best. Haru saw with his own eyes that there was no one else in that natatorium who could stand up to the thrill of racing against the national team—and saw in himself that he wasn’t like that. He didn’t feel scared or intimidated, he felt spurred on.
He didn’t want the pressure he felt everyone was putting on him (which, IMHO, they weren’t—it was Haru misinterpreting their concern and excitement for him because he viewed it through his own fuzzy filter of self-doubt and misunderstanding), and he didn’t want swimming to become a “career”, something he had to do because people expected it from him. But the trip to Australia, seeing the national team and their pool and mounting that starting block, imagining himself swimming not for a country’s glory but because there were people on the blocks next to him who craved the thrill of the chase just as badly, that sparked something in him.
Haru couldn’t have gotten that at Iwatobi, he couldn’t have gotten that at Samezuka. He couldn’t have even really gotten it at Prefecturals or Regionals. He couldn’t have even gotten it with just Rin. Because we’ve seen that Haru can feel that similar urge against others—like Sousuke. And that’s the thing—he needs to be swimming with the best. He enjoys swimming, and he enjoys it more when it’s swimming with purpose, a goal. They told us that in the very first episode of S2, where Haru comments that just soaking in the tub, empty water, isn’t enough for him anymore. We knew that way the heck back in High Speed!! when he unconsciously threw himself into competition with Rin—that was all of the irritation he experienced, Rin doing things and Haru striving to do them better even though he didn’t care about competition.
So Haru needed Australia—he needed to see those international swimmers and feel what it might be like to stand alongside them. Because he’s the kind of guy where seeing is believing. And Rin and Makoto both understood that and did their respective parts in showing him.
You may have already seen that the great Welcome to Night Vale / Thrilling Adventure Hour crossover show will be released on October 1st. And yet, you still may not have gotten caught up on The Thrilling Adventure Hour. You thought you’d have more time! Well, time travel is no longer illegal, so just go ahead and zip back a month or two and begin getting caught up on TAH.
If your time travel machine is broken, and instead, you’d like a crash course into what you need to know before October 1st, read on!
So by now you might be wondering: What the heck is this Thrilling Adventure Hour thing? Should I be listening to it as well as Welcome to Night Vale? Are they similar at all? Do I have room in my heart for two podcasts? Will the Sheriff’s Secret Police show up in an unmarked van and haul me away?
The answers to these questions are: We’re about to tell you. Yes. Sort of. Probably. Definitely. (But not for listening to TAH. You know what you did.)
As huge fans of both podcasts, this post we’re making here is just going to be a basic introduction to Thrilling Adventure Hour, what you need to know for the crossover show, and what you need to know to become an Adventurekateer. Oh, yes, TAH fans are called Adventurekateers. Fun, right? Anyway, we’re not going to go SUPER in depth into exactly what TAH is. For that, we highly recommend you go check out whitachi’s awesome TAH introduction post here. Really, as soon as you finish reading this post, go read that post, too. Or, go read it now. Or after you get back from your sojourn to THE BROWNSTONE SPIRE.
We’re going to put a Read More cut here because we care about your dash, but please click it. What else are you going to read, a book? Do you really think you’ll make it back from the Library? Well, it’s your choice.
FYTAH just put together a fantastic, uber-detailed guide for fans of Welcome to Night Vale who want to get started with Thrilling Adventure Hour!
Take a look— they put a lot of effort into it. This blog is one of the reasons I (Alice) started listening to TAH, and I love it. Give this blog post a look if you’ve ever considered getting into the show!