If you're not there... It's meaningless without you!
— Makoto, speaking to Haruka Nanase.
Makoto Tachibana
Makoto Dive to the Future profile
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
Occupation Swimming teacher
Affiliation Iwatobi Elementary School (former)
ITSC RETURNS Logo Iwatobi Swimming Club (former)
Iwatobi Junior High School (former)
Iwatobi Badge Iwatobi High School (former)

Meijou Chuo University

Function Captain (retired)
Swim Style Backstroke (specialty)
Freestyle (crawl)
Events 100m breaststroke
100m backstroke
200m backstroke
4x100m medley relay
200m freestyle
Personal Status
Relatives Father
Ren Tachibana (brother)
Ran Tachibana (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 one of the main characters of the anime series Free! and the light novel High☆Speed!. He was the backstroke swimmer and a captain on the Iwatobi High School swimming team. He is currently majoring in sports education at a University in Tokyo, with the aim of becoming a swimming teacher for kids.


Makoto Full

Makoto is a tall, muscular young man with short, olive brown hair and droopy green eyes. His usual school uniform consists of light brown trousers, a white shirt with a green necktie, a dark gray unbuttoned blazer, and orange sneakers. During the spring and summer, he also wears his summer uniform that consists of gray trousers, a white shirt with a dark gray collar, the green dotted necktie and the orange sneakers. The best feature on his body is his trapezius muscle.

While swimming, he wears black long leg swim pants that have green patterns on them. He's seen wearing black framed glasses once, but it's not said whether he really needs them or not.[1]


Makoto is a nice and considerate guy, who is always concerned about his friends' welfare. Due to his caring personality, he is often seen with a gentle smile on his face. However, he is rather weak-hearted and can get scared easily,[2][3] as shown when he appeared terrified of the possibility that their old Swimming Club may be haunted.[2] When he gets scared he tends to hide behind Haruka or cling to him in some way.[2][3]

Makoto also seems to be one of the more sensible people in the group and can get a bit worn out from his friends' peculiar antics and mannerisms.[2][4] He is the one usually restraining Haruka from randomly stripping or diving into fish tanks.[2][5][4]

Makoto and Haruka have been together for so long that Makoto is able to read Haru's mind.[2][4][6] He is also shown to be slightly manipulative, often using Haruka's love of water to his advantage to convince Haruka to do what he wants.[2] It was also shown that Haruka dislikes it when people use his first name, but Makoto always somehow manages to win the argument and calls him 'Haru'.[2][7]


Makoto and Haruka 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 tagged along with him. 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 fishing harbor, there was a nice old fisherman that would sometimes play with Makoto. During the summer, at the festival near the harbor, Makoto wanted to scoop for fish but already used up all his allowance. The fisherman gave him two goldfish to make him feel better. Later that summer, there was a big typhoon and the fisherman's boat sank. Many people drowned including the old fisherman. Later when the two goldfish died, he made a grave, which is now a precious memory to him, for them, in which he changes the flowers everyday. Because of this experience he is afraid of the ocean.[3]

As a child, Makoto used to swim the breaststroke and usually won the 100m breaststroke events against Rin but would lose the 50m breaststroke against him. It was when he teamed-up with Rin, Nagisa Hazuki and Haruka for the relay in elementary school that Makoto switched to backstroke and found that he was more comfortable with the stroke and has since specialized in the backstroke.[7]

In Iwatobi Junior High School, Makoto was known as "the big kid from class 2" because of his good physique and because of it, Kisumi Shigino asked him to join Iwatobi Junior High's basketball team after seeing him play during one of the P.E. classes class 1 and class 2 had together. One day before their practice at Iwatobi Swimming Club, Makoto and Haruka ran into a black stray dog. Makoto liked it but Haruka told him not to pay attention to it because it will follow him around. Even though Makoto made sure not to look at it, the dog followed them and despite Nagisa's assumptions that the dog is attached to Haruka, it was in fact attached to Makoto. It stayed down the stone stairs near Haruka and Makoto's house, but Makoto couldn't keep it because his mom wouldn't stop sneezing it if was near her. Haruka then told Makoto he would keep the dog if it stayed down the stone stairs when they come back home from school.[8]


Main article: Makoto Tachibana/Plot


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.[9]

Current stats:

Mental Strength
Water Repellency

Expected stats:

Mental Strength
Water Repellency


Main article: Makoto Tachibana/Relationships


Main article: Makoto Tachibana/Music

Creation and Conception

Hiroko Utsumi, the director of the Free! 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 was 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 will follow up for Haruka and speak in his place. If Haruka wasn’t like that to begin with, Makoto wouldn’t become close to him. Since he is flawed, Makoto’s there by his side. I wonder if Haruka would also notice if Makoto’s big existence wasn’t always taking care of him." he says. "Actually, one point of Makoto’s character is that he’s scared easily. 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.", the director says.[10]


  • The kanji for his family name Tachibana (橘) is also the Chinese hanzi character spelling of the word "orange".
  • Additionally, there are also two different spellings for the Japanese family name "Tachibana"; 立華 and 立花. The character "華" in 立華 can also be translated as reading "hana", the Japanese word for "flower". Both of the other spellings are spelled with two kan'ji and also spell out "Rikka".
  • Like all members of the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club, Makoto has a female name.
  • Despite being on the swim team, Makoto is afraid of the ocean.[3] However, in the High☆Speed!, Makoto is not only afraid of the ocean, but the water in general.
  • 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.[11]
  • Makoto and Haruka appear to have a game that consists of Makoto guessing what Haruka is thinking.[12]
  • According to Free! TV Animation Guidebook:
    • Makoto likes eating 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 by winning over Haru Yoshida from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun with 24861 votes.[13]
  • Makoto has won the Muscle Contest held at the renewed Iwatobi Swimming Club, where Gou was one of the judges. However, the one Gou gave the most points was Rin.[14]
  • Makoto's voice actor, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, is the vocalist for OLDCODEX, the band which performed the opening themes for the 3 seasons of Free!, "Rage on", "Dried Up Youthful Fame" and "Heading to Over".
  • He occasionally wears glasses.
  • His motif animal is an orca.
  • Young Makoto's English voice actress, Colleen Clinkenbeard, also provides the voice for Mrs. Tachibana and Tsukushi Kurimiya.


  1. Episode 4 End Card
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Episode 1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Episode 6
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Episode 2
  5. Makoto's Trouble! (short movie)
  6. Episode 3
  7. 7.0 7.1 High☆Speed! Volume 1
  8. High☆Speed! Volume 2, Chapter 1: Jump
  9. Episode 8
  10. Free! TV Animation Guidebook
  11. Iwatobi High School Swimming Club's Diary 1: Track 3
  12. Iwatobi High School Swimming Club's Diary 1: Track 5
  13. Anime America Podcast Facebook Page
  14. Episode 15 Preview


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