Does Haru Fall? (Nietzschean Interperetation of Free!)

Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Thomas Cole

A few days ago I published a blog post asserting that Haruka Nanase of the anime series Free! is a type of ubermensch who exhibits master morality. This indeed seems to be the case through most of the series. From his childhood, he insisted on swimming “free” and not being bound by the value judgment of society on his ability to swim. However, by episode 13 of the Eternal Summer season, he decides to take up swimming as a career and openly (to his friends) is willing to swim in keeping with the value judgment of his society on his swimming (times, competition, etc.). To me, this seemed like something of a tragedy. It is as though Haru loses who he is. The character that we have come to know seems to have changed unalterably at the last moment in the series. From a Nietzschean viewpoint, he loses his role as a master, a creator of values, and takes up the role of the slave, one who adheres to the values of the master.

Haru in Episode 13 of Free! Eternal Summer

This led me to think — are more of us Nietzschean “masters” in childhood, and we become slaves as we teach ourselves to adhere to, and to accept the value judgments our society places upon us as we grow into adulthood? This appears to be something which Haru does, and to me, it is reminiscent of a sort of “fall”, not the same as the Christian “fall”, but equally disastrous from a Nietzschean viewpoint. I encourage my readers to reflect on this and to consider how much of our behavior, and even inward thoughts is controlled(policed) as adults, and how difficult it is to openly express, or even form value judgments dissonant with what society deems acceptable.

If you wish to understand master and slave morality better, especially as it applies to this context, this video can help:

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s