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|Also known as|| Sou-chan (by Nagisa)|
Yamazaki-senpai/Sosuke-senpai (by Aiichiro and Momotaro)
|Age|| 17-18 (Eternal Summer) |
19 (Dive to the Future)
|Height|| 185 cm (6'1") (Free!)|
186 cm (6'1") (Dive to the Future)
|Weight||76 kg (167 lbs)|
|Occupation||University Student and part-time restaurant worker|
|Affiliation|| Seshika Kyoritsu University|
Samezuka Academy (former)
Tokitsu High School (former)
Sano Junior High School (former)
Sano Elementary School (former)
|Function||Sano Junior High School Swim Club|
|Swim Style||Butterfly (former specialty), Freestyle|
|Events||4x100m medley relay|
|Relatives||Kazuma Kato (older cousin)|
|Light Novel||Chapter 7|
|Japanese|| Yoshimasa Hosoya|
Aoi Yuki (child)
|English|| Ian Sinclair|
Ryan Reynolds (child)
Sosuke Yamazaki (山崎 宗介 Yamazaki Sōsuke) is one of the main supporting characters in the second season of the anime Free!, Free!-Eternal Summer-. He was the butterfly and freestyle swimmer on Samezuka Academy's swim team. Sosuke is a close elementary school friend of Rin Matsuoka, and the person who understands him the most. He currently works at his family's restaurant with his cousin while also studying at Seshika Kyoritsu University.
Sosuke is a tall, muscular young man with short, dark brown hair and teal eyes. He is usually wearing a serious facial expression. His fall and winter school uniform consists of white trousers, a black t-shirt, a buttoned up white jacket and black shoes. During the spring and summer, his uniform consists of white trousers, a black polo with a pink collar, and black shoes. When swimming in competition, he wears black jammers which either have a white, grey and brown or a teal pattern.
Sosuke is reserved and stoic, even intimidating, but is actually quite kind. He takes a dry and harsh position on swimming toward himself and those around him. Despite this, he takes an active interest in Nitori's training when he is despondent about his progress. He's very protective of Rin, threatening Haruka not to get in Rin's way as Rin pursues his Olympic dream. Sosuke thinks of Gou as his own sister. He is hard working and dedicated to his family, as seen by his participation in a family-run restaurant.
Sosuke has been best friends with Rin since their classes at Sano Elementary School, spending holidays together, like New Year's Eve, with Rin's family. Rin and he often hang out together, enjoying similar activities, but especially swimming. Despite both loving to compete, Sosuke eventually tells Rin he would rather swim individually, as he hates losing because of someone else's mistake and having to share victory with others. This makes Rin angry, but their friendship prevails. Sosuke is also a member of the Sano Swimming Club with Rin, where his path crosses with the Iwatobi Swimming Club and again, during middle school.
When Rin transfers to Iwatobi Elementary, Sosuke misses his friend, but still considers him a rival. Sosuke knows of Rin's competitive drive to beat Haruka, but also knows it motivates Rin. Following a tournament, while Rin is in Australia, Sosuke hands Haruka a letter written to him from Rin. He notes that the letter was clearly meant for Haruka, as there is evidence that Rin had rubbed out "you" and replaced it with "him."
After finishing elementary school, he attends junior high and continues swimming hard. Even after Rin's letters stopped coming, Sosuke continues training in order to, one day, swim at the same level as Rin. In time, his hard work pays off as there is nobody who can beat him in butterfly. However, he begins sensing that something is wrong with his shoulder. When he hears from Gou that Rin has returned to Japan, he works to repair his shoulder before meeting him by going to physical therapy every day. By then, his teammates have surprassed him and Sosuke has decided to quit swimming, believing his dream will never come true. However, seeing Rin's response to swimming relay with Haruka, Makoto and Nagisa revitalizes his desire to swim with Rin once more.
After transferring to Samezuka Academy, he joins their Swimming Club. Ever protective of Rin, Sosuke admonishes his friend to forget about friendship and to focus only on his Olympic dream, but Rin replies that he needs his friends to succeed. Sosuke then asks to be "one of those friends" and to be on Samezuka's relay team beside Rin. Rin agrees, changing the rules of relay team selection to allow those who had the greatest desire to swim relay to be on the team versus those with the fastest times.
Sosuke's shoulder injury eventually sidelines him from competitive swimming but following successful surgery, he tells Rin he plans to return. Meanwhile, he continues to train while working and attending school.
- Main article: Sosuke Yamazaki/Story
- Main article: Sosuke Yamazaki/Relationships
Creation and Conception
- According to Rin, Sosuke is bad with directions and he's often seen getting lost at his own school and when travelling for races.
- Sosuke's Japanese voice actor, Yoshimasa Hosoya, is also active in other sports anime, voicing Junpei Hyūga in Kuroko no Basuke, Kuranosuke Shiraishi in Prince of Tennis, Arata Wataya in Chihayafuru, Asahi Azumane in Haikyuu!!, and Takuya Sekizan in All Out!!.
- It's possible that Sosuke and Gou both attended Sano Elementary School and the same middle school since she stated that she hadn't heard from him ever since they ended up in different high schools.
- Another popular alternate spelling of Sosuke is "Sousuke." This spelling is used in multiple main fandom sites like Fanfiction, Wattpad and Archive of our Own.
- His motif animal is a whale shark.
- His shoulder surgery was successful, making it possible for him to return to competitive swimming.