Gou Matsuoka

Gou Matsuoka

    Free! Iwatobi Swim Club

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… a girl with a boyish name. The younger sister of talented swimmer Rin Matsuoka (a boy, by the way, with a girlish name), Gou has always been annoyed by her unfeminine name. She frequently tells her friends: "Don't call me Gou. Everyone calls me Kou." Sadly, very few of them ever listen.

Living… in Iwatobi, with her brother again. After several years spent abroad, Rin has finally returned home, to his little sister's delight. But something seems to be wrong with him: he hardly smiles anyone, and he won't answer her calls or texts. Frankly, Gou's a little worried.   

Profession… high school student. While Rin's attending the elite swimming school Samezuka Academy, Gou's currently attending Iwatobi High School. When several of Rin's old friends there decide to form a swim club, Gou offers to help as their manager, believing that they're "the only ones who can change my brother."

Interests… besides helping her brother, she’s intrigued by muscles. Deltoids, triceps, biceps – rationally, Gou knows that "girls my age shouldn't ogle naked men," but that doesn't stop her from sighing over a well-defined pair of abs. Unsurprisingly, being the manager of a swim team is practically heaven for her.

Relationship Status… single. Despite her love for muscles, Gou doesn't show much romantic interest in the boys around her, not even hunky Samezuka captain Seijuro Mikoshiba. Then again, Rin doesn't seem to take well to the idea of anyone dating his little sister, so maybe it's all for the best.

Challenge… helping her brother and leading the Iwatobi team to success. Gou's determined to get her brother's old self back, and she thinks the key may lie in his former Iwatobi friends. After all, Rin was so happy when he used to swim with them. But with the exception of prodigy Haruka Nanase, the rest of the Iwatobi members have a ways to go before they can compete with the likes of Samezuka. Gou, however, is determined to help them get there.

Personality… responsible, but reasonable. Gou might get excited over her teammates' physiques, but otherwise, she's a good manager, keeping her team on strict diet and training regimes to improve their times. Generally friendly and responsible, Gou might have her own worries, but she's always happy to provide moral or emotional support for others. 


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