Free! Wiki
Free! Wiki

Makoto Tachibana
Makoto Dive to the Future profile.jpg
Kanji 橘 真琴
Rōmaji Tachibana Makoto
Also known as Mako-chan (by Nagisa)

Makoto-senpai (by Rei and Gou)
Makocchi-senpai (by Momotaro)

Gender Male
Sign Scorpio ♏
Birthday November 17th
Age 12 (High☆Speed!)

17-18 (Free!)
18-19 (Dive to the Future)

Height 151 cm (4'11") (High☆Speed!)

183 cm (6'0") (Free!)
184 cm (6'0") (Dive to the Future)

Weight 42 kg (93 lb) (High☆Speed!)

73 kg (161 lb) (Free!)

Professional Status

University student
Part-time swimming instructor

Education Meijo Chuo University

Iwatobi Badge.pngIwatobi High School (former)
Iwatobi Jr High School (former)
Iwatobi Elementary (former)

Clubs Tokyo Swimming Club

Iwatobi High School Swim Club (former)
Iwatobi Jr High School Swim Club (former)
ITSC RETURNS Logo.png Iwatobi Swimming Club (former)

Position Coach

(Tokyo Swimming Club)
(Iwatobi High School Swim Club; former)

Swim Style Backstroke (specialty)


Events 100 m breaststroke

100 m backstroke
200 m backstroke
4×100 m medley relay
200 m freestyle

Personal Status
Relatives Mr Tachibana (father)

Mrs Tachibana (mother)
Ren Tachibana (younger brother)
Ran Tachibana (younger sister)

Anime Episode 1
Light Novel Chapter 1
Voice Actors
Japanese Tatsuhisa Suzuki

Satsuki Yukino (child)

English Johnny Yong Bosch

Colleen Clinkenbeard (child)

Makoto Tachibana (橘 真琴 Tachibana Makoto) is a main character in the anime series Free!, beginning with Free!, and the light novel High☆Speed! written by Kouji Ohji.[1] He is the backstroke swimmer and former captain of the Iwatobi High School Swim Club. Currently, he is a first-year university student majoring in sports medicine at Meijo Chuo University, in Tokyo, with the aim of becoming a professional sports trainer.


Makoto Full.png

Makoto is a tall, muscular young man with green eyes and shaggy, olive green hair. His fall and winter high school uniform consists of light brown trousers, a white shirt with green dotted necktie, a dark gray unbuttoned blazer, and orange sneakers. During the spring and summer, his summer uniform consists of gray trousers, a white shirt with a dark gray collar, a green dotted necktie and orange sneakers. When swimming in competition, he wears black, long-legged swimskins with a green pattern and longer length swim trunks for recreational swimming. As a swimming coach, he wears a tricolor uniform consisting of a short sleeve swim shirt and coordinating long-legged swimskins. He usually wears stylish clothing and upon entering college, black framed glasses that he uses for reading and playing video games.[2] The most developed muscles of his form are his trapezius muscles (upper back).


He is a pleasant and considerate individual, who is always concerned about the welfare of others. Due to his caring personality, he is usually seen with a gentle smile on his face. Despite his large frame, he scares easily,[3][4] as shown when he appeared terrified of the possibility that the Iwatobi Swimming Club may be haunted.[3] When he gets scared, he tends to hide behind Haruka Nanase, a habit developed during childhood.[3][4] As he matures, he develops self-confidence, especially when defending his friends, as seen when Haruka challenges Hiyori Tono to a race and Makoto intervenes upon learning that Hiyori swims backstroke.[5]

Makoto is one of the more sensible people in the group and can get a bit worn out from his friends' peculiar antics and mannerisms.[3][6] He is usually the one restraining Haruka from randomly stripping at the sight of water or diving into fish tanks.[3][7][6] His easy-going nature, combined with his self-discipline, makes him an excellent Captain for the Iwatobi High School Swim Club where he demonstrates responsible and steady leadership with a natural proclivity for building bonds between its members. Being the eldest in his family, he has long been responsible for assisting in the care of his young twin siblings, Ren Tachibana and Ran Tachibana, who adore him.

Makoto and Haruka have been best friends for so long that it seems they are able to read one another's thoughts,[3][6][8] Their countless hours together have enabled them to intuit one another's feelings, but Makoto is especially vigilant about Haruka's well-being, especially when other people are involved. In turn, Haruka defends Makoto when the much-larger boy expresses irrational fears. Makoto's insight into how Haruka thinks is an advantage when convincing him to do something he doesn't want to do, often using water as a lure.[3] This ability to sweep Haruka into his plans, and at his pace, lessens as Haruka grows more independent and vocal in college, but is demonstrated to be as strong as ever when Haruka tries to ignore the advice of his professional coach, Ryuji Azuma, but is convinced by a simple anecdote about preparing mackerel by Makoto. And although Haruka dislikes it when people use his first name and especially his full first name, Makoto does so and also uses the informal form used between close friends, calling him 'Haru'[3][9] and even Haru-chan, which Haru constantly corrects without success.


Makoto and Haruka Nanase have been friends since at least kindergarten. It was in kindergarten that Haruka started calling Makoto by his first name and Makoto calling Haruka "Haru-chan." It was Makoto who wanted to join the Iwatobi Swimming Club when they were children and Haru simply tagged along. Due to the length of time Makoto and Haruka have been friends, Makoto can usually guess what Haruka is thinking and vice-versa, resulting in the both of them being able to hold wordless conversations.

When Makoto was young, he would visit a small fishing harbor. At the harbor was a nice, old fisherman who would sometimes play with Makoto. One summer, during a harbor festival, Makoto wanted to scoop for fish but had already used up his allowance. The fisherman gave him two goldfish to make him feel better. Later that season, a typhoon swept the coast and the fisherman's boat sank. Many people drowned, including the fisherman. Later, when the two goldfish died, Makoto made a grave for them, changing the flowers every day. Because of this experience, he developed thalassophobia, a fear of the ocean.[4]

As a child, Makoto swims the breaststroke and usually wins the 100 m breaststroke events against Rin Matsuoka, but loses the 50 m breaststroke against him. It's only when he teams up with Rin, Nagisa Hazuki and Haruka for the relay in elementary school that he switches to the backstroke. Finding it more comfortable, since he can see the sky, he henceforth specializes in that stroke.[9]

At Iwatobi Junior High School, Makoto is known as "the big kid from class 2" because of his good physique. Kisumi Shigino asks him to join the basketball team after seeing him play during a combined gym class with Class 1 and Class 2, but Makoto ends up joining the Iwatobi Junior High School Swim Club with Haruka, Asahi Shiina and Ikuya Kirishima. One day before swimming practice, Makoto and Haruka run into a stray dog. Makoto likes it, but Haruka tells him to ignore it because it will follow him around. Even though Makoto makes sure not to look at it, the dog follows them and despite Nagisa's assumption that the dog is attached to Haruka, it's actually attached to Makoto. It stays at the bottom of the stone stairs near Haruka and Makoto's houses, but Makoto is unable keep it because his mom proves allergic. Haruka comforts Makoto, naming the dog Makkou, and telling his friend that he will keep the dog if it stays at the bottom of the stone stairs until they return from school each day.[10]


Main article: Makoto Tachibana/Story


His stroke... A rough but dynamic stroke that leaves everyone behind... It hasn't changed at all since then. That's Makoto's stroke.
Rin Matsuoka, about Makoto's stroke.[11]

Stats (season one):

Mental Strength
Water Repellency

Expected stats:

Mental Strength
Water Repellency


Main article: Makoto Tachibana/Relationships


Main article: Makoto Tachibana/Music

Creation and Conception

Makoto Sketches.JPG

Hiroko Utsumi, the director of seasons 1 and 2 of the anime, described Makoto in one phrase as "sweet boy." "He's your everyday common high school boy. Strong, sweet, and a very helpful older brother. He's been childhood friends with Haruka, so there's not anything he hates about him. Conversely, he knows quite well the things he likes about Haruka. And because of that, he knows how to handle Haruka very well. Since Haruka isn't the type to talk much, Makoto speaks up for Haruka. If Haruka wasn't like that to begin with, Makoto would not become close to him. Since he is flawed, Makoto is there by his side. I wonder if Haruka would also notice if Makoto's big existence wasn't always taking care of him." She also says, "He's big, yet scary things get to him. It was a bit sad when we decided to make him scared easily yet have that body style. My impression is that as he grew bigger, he didn't know how to use his size to his advantage. Really, a smaller body seems to fit that side of him."[12]


  • His motif animal is the orca, the largest member of the dolphin family.
  • The kanji for his family name Tachibana (橘) is also the Chinese hanzi character for "wild orange."
  • Like all members of the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club, Makoto has a gender-neutral name that is considered feminine.
  • Despite being on the swim team, Makoto is afraid of the ocean.[4]
  • Makoto has been described as the wishy-washy type by Haruka, because he is too nice and was unable to decide which club member would be his boyfriend if he were a girl.[13]
  • Makoto and Haruka appear to have a game that consists of Makoto guessing what Haruka is thinking.[14]
  • According to Free! TV ANIMATION GUIDE BOOK:
    • Makoto's favorite foods are green curry and chocolate.
    • Makoto's best subject is literature, while he's bad at English and art.
    • Makoto likes physical activity and manual labor.
  • Makoto was voted Sexiest Anime Man of 2013, winning over Haru Yoshida from "Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun" with 24,861 votes.
  • Makoto won the muscle contest held at ITSC RETURNS, where Gou Matsuoka acts as one of the judges.
    • Gou gives the most points to her brother, Rin.[16]
  • Makoto's voice actor, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, is the vocalist for OLDCODEX, the band which performs the opening themes for all three seasons of Free! — "Rage on", "Dried Up Youthful Fame" and "Heading to Over".
  • Young Makoto's English voice actor, Colleen Clinkenbeard, also voices Mrs Tachibana and Tsukushi Kurimiya.
  • At a staff talk event for Free!–the Final Stroke–, one of the character designers discussed the main characters' body types in terms of musculature. Makoto was listed as being "type 5:" the second most well-muscled of all the types. Makoto was listed as having "softer" muscles compared to Sosuke, since Sosuke has had to do post-surgery training to recover from his shoulder injury.[17]
  • There is both a Meijo University and a Chuo University in Tokyo, Japan.
  • Those born under Scorpio are loyal friends, resourceful and protective, but can also be manipulative and self-righteous. They enjoy teasing and finding talent in others, and dislike superficiality and dishonesty. Those born on Nov 17 face the challenge of finding their true self separate from family and past influences to become centered in the world. Traits are affected by the position of the moon and other planets at the time of birth.[18]


  1. High☆Speed! Official Website (Japanese)
  2. Episode 4 end card
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Episode 1
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Episode 6
  5. Episode 29
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Episode 2
  7. Makoto's Trouble! (short movie)
  8. Episode 3
  9. 9.0 9.1 High☆Speed! Volume 1
  10. High☆Speed! Volume 2, Chapter 1: Jump
  11. Episode 8
  13. Iwatobi High School Swimming Club's Diary 1: Track 3
  14. Iwatobi High School Swimming Club's Diary 1: Track 5
  15. Anime America Podcast Facebook Page
  16. Episode 15 preview
  17. Free!–the Final Stroke– staff talk event, translated by denkimouse on Twitter