Don’t resist the water

Welcome to Waterbound, a shrine dedicated to the character Haruka Nanase (mainly referred to as Haru) from the anime Free!, created as part of Amassment’s Dynamic Duos Challenge alongside Andrea’s Easy Breezy.

Waterbound deviates from my usual shrines in that it is not “just” a dedication to a character, the accumulation and merging of factual information and personal interpretation. Waterbound in its entirety is a character analysis from a very specific — and very personal — angle: It studies the elements that make up Haru in relation to the autism spectrum.

Now, Haru is not canonically autistic (meaning that there’s no such confirmation in the source material or in the creators’ words), and what I present on this shrine is only my own reading of the character. While autistic traits are present throughout the shrine, it is not my intention to “warp” facts to bend to my interpretation; whether or not you agree with the autism component of the character study, it is my hope that Waterbound appeals to any fan of Free!

However, to me, it would also feel… wrong for anyone to browse this shrine with no regard to the autism elements and to absorb the information independent of this specific background. Just as autism is not something to be separated from a person because it doesn’t affect merely one aspect of one’s life, but is an intrinsic part of it that colours one’s very thought process, Waterbound was created and structured specifically with an autistic reading of Haru in mind.

No knowledge of the autism spectrum is required in order to read this shrine; regardless of your level of familiarity with the spectrum, all I ask of you is to approach this shrine with an open mind. To better understand my intentions in making this shrine as well as what I am and am not doing, please make sure to read Mission Statement.

Note that there are unmarked spoilers all across the site. Waterbound breaks down Haru's personality and mannerisms to examine them in detail, while using a selection of incident-based screencaps to back up the points I'm making; minor spoilers are thus prevalent. Major story spoilers, on the other hand, are only found under Growth. Screencap sets can be browsed with the arrows to the left and right of the images or with the mouse wheel. To those already familiar with the series: Whenever a specific episode is mentioned, know that you can hover over the number to see its title.

The content is based solely on the two seasons of the anime and currently uses Crunchyroll’s subtitles. Any material beyond that is not considered for the time being.

The site is intended to be viewed at a minimum resolution of 1024x768.

If there are any thoughts you’d like to share, I’d be delighted about any feedback in my guestbook. If you have any suggestions or questions, or if there’s anything that you didn’t understand, just shoot me a message. Also know that it is of utmost importance to me to acknowledge the voices of autistic people. If you feel that I’ve phrased something poorly or that something could be offensive, don’t hesitate to contact me privately. As long as feedback is made with the points under Mission Statement in mind, I will hear you out. Thanks a lot for your visit!

listed at: Emotion
last update: October 2016