Let’s take a look at this scene again.
I can almost guarantee that Makoto has never been told that he’s good at anything. I think he’s always tacitly understood that he’s a good brother, a good son, a good friend. But simply understanding something doesn’t make a person believe that they have value and I can tell you that Makoto doesn’t value himself. It’s a Steve Rogers Complex. He may be a good
amazingman, but he knows all of his flaws acutely and that’s all he can focus on. He’s a scardey-cat. He doesn’t have any special skills. He’s too nice. He’s too boring. He does average in school. He certainly has no idea what he wants to do in life, and he’s a crowd-pleaser. This is how Makoto sees himself. He doesn’t see the wonderful, kind, sweet, selfless, loyal, gentle giant that he is. He assumes that he has no value and this is how he’s seen himself from childhood.
This is a child who does everything for other people because he doesn’t believe that he himself is worth anything. Now imagine being best friends with a prodigy.
We’ve all had that one friend who is better than us at something. Better at drawing, singing, school, whatever. Remember how shitty you felt when you realized no matter how hard you work that you’ll never reach their level? That’s Mako. Now mix it with an immense guilt-complex and selfless love for Haru. Not only is he feeling like shit about himself, he’s confused, upset, and guilty about his feelings of jealousy because friends aren’t supposed to feel that way about friends.
Makoto never processed those emotions, he just locked them away until they became unbearable (2 episodes ago). Makoto sees himself as a tool for other’s self-realization, so it’s inconceivable to him that he has talents; that he’s good, really goodat swimming.
Now imagine how he must feel when Rinsits down with him and tells him that he should be getting calls from scouts with his skill level.
Makoto was so focused his entire life on how amazing Haru and Rin were at swimming that he never realized his own talent. Now someone’s telling him that he may have a future, a professional future, that mind you, not everyone can achieve, in something he’s always seen himself as mediocre in.
Makoto Tachibana is valuable. He is worth something. He is irreplaceable and must be loved within an inch of his life. This has been a PSA and I hope you’re all drowning in your tears like I am.