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Gou Matsuoka

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Don't call me Gou!
— Gou, speaking to Nagisa Hazuki.
Gou Matsuoka
Gou Matsuoka anime
Kanji 松岡 江
Rōmaji Matsuoka Gō
Also known as Kou ()
Matsuoka-san (by Miho Amakata)
Description
Gender Female
Sign Taurus
Age 15-16
Professional Status
Occupation 1st year High School Student
Affiliation Iwatobi High School
Swimming Club[1]
Function Manager
Personal Status
Relatives Father (deceased)
Mother[2]
Rin Matsuoka (brother)
Grandmother (deceased)[2]
Debut
Anime Episode 1
Light Novel Chapter 6
Voice Actors
Japanese Akeno Watanabe

Gou Matsuoka (松岡 江 Matsuoka Gō) is Rin's younger sister. She is a 1st year student and the manager on Iwatobi High School swimming club.

Appearance

Gou Full
Gou is a petite girl with long burgundy hair, tied back in a ponytail. She has light skin and red eyes, and is usually seen wearing the standard Iwatobi school uniform.

Her usual school uniform consists of light brown skirt, white shirt with red bow tie, light gray long sleeved jumper, dark gray unbuttoned blazer, blue socks and black shoes. During the spring and summer, she wears her summer uniform, which consists of gray skirt, white shirt with dark gray collar, red dotted bow tie, light gray sleeveless jumper, white socks and pink shoes.

Personality

Gou has an easygoing and refreshing personality, as shown by the way she talks. However, despite her friendly persona, she can get very angry if someone were to call her "Gou" because it is a rather boyish name for a girl. She prefers being called "Kou" and will always try to correct anyone who chooses to call her otherwise. Nagisa calls her "Gou," despite her constantly trying to correct him.

Gou also seems to be worried about her brother Rin a lot, as she regularly and persistently checks up on him and sees to it that he is all right. She even opted to be the Iwatobi Swim Team's manager, so that they could help in changing Rin back to his old self.

As a manager, Gou can be strict when needed, but at the same time, supportive of the swim team's decisions and feats. She is actually quite efficient in her role as manager and often makes the effort to improve on their training by setting up the team's regimen and organizing joint swimming practices.

Gou has an odd tendency to blush and get overly enthusiastic whenever she admires the muscles of men.

History

Gou's father was a fisherman who died in a fishing boat when she was very young. She appears to have been born in Iwatobi, and to have moved a short time afterward to another school district. Around the age of ten, her grandmother died and Gou, Rin, and their mother inherit the house in Iwatobi where her grandmother lived. At this time, she and her mother become a little worried by Rin's plan to move to Australia to study abroad.

Some time shortly before Gou's eleventh birthday, she briefly meets Haruka Nanase, Makoto Tachibana, and Nagisa Hazuki while delivering to Rin the cookie tin he plans to bury the medley trophy in. Neither Makoto and Nagisa nor herself seem to remember the meeting when they later reunite, but Haruka remembers her identity and name later on and Gou herself remembers Haruka, presumably because he's the one that Rin constantly talks about when at home.

While watching her brother compete in the relay, she watches him smile and laugh while they celebrate victory, and this memory burns in her mind after he leaves to Australia. Although he returns every Winter for New Years, she worries over the way he no longer smiles and becomes more withdrawn each year.

Eventually, when Rin returns to Iwatobi only to attend a boarding school and refuses to answer her texts, much less visit home, Gou becomes worried enough about Rin to decide to take action to 'make him smile again'.

Plot

Gou-Makoto-Nagisa 0
At school, after Haruka's and Rin's unsuccessful duel, a scarlet-haired girl observes the group with a friend and remarks of them being old acquaintances before Makoto and Nagisa are reprimanded by a teacher for trespassing at the swimming club. As Makoto and Nagisa visit Haruka that evening, they discover the scarlet-haired girl turns out to be Rin's sister, Gou Matsuoka, attempting to pay Haruka a visit. They then learn from her that Rin is now attending Samezuka Academy upon his return from Australia.

After the match, Haruka and the others are once again reprimanded for trespassing on Samezuka Academy grounds. Makoto and Nagisa run into Gou and they all agree that Rin's attitude had dramatically changed in the past few years, simultaneously learning that Gou had been the one who sent him to the Iwatobi Swimming Club while Nagisa suggests that they form a school swimming club.

Seijuro 1
Gou proposes that the swim club join an indoor gym so they can practice swimming until summer, but due to its expense, they seek sponsorship from the school. After Nagisa's numerous unsuccessful attempts to get Rei to join the swim club, Gou informs the club that she had successfully scheduled a joint swimming practice with the Samezuka team at their indoor pool, but they would still require a fourth swimmer.

The Swim Club (with their fourth member, Rei) officially starts training in the refurbished pool using an old training regiment of Gou's had unearthed. The following day, the guys try to come up with designs for a club uniform but Gou instead gives Rei's lessons higher priority and makes a revamped swimming regiment during which he must master swimming in one week before their first prefectural tournament. During the weekend, Rei attributes his inability to not having proper gear, hence prompting a visit by the team to a sports store to buy swimming essentials. Gou runs into Seijuro there who was surprised to see her. Later, she overhears Rin's and Haruka's conversation outside the store, getting even more worried over her brother's drastic personality change.

Gou 58
Believing that the added pressure will help the Swim Club in their training, Gou continues to make her countdown calendar for the upcoming prefectural tournament. Meanwhile, as the guys decide on which events they will each participate in at the tournament, Gou discovers a decades old training regiment of the past Iwatobi Swim Club, and excitedly proposes that they use it and venture to an island for a summer training camp. On the day of the trip, Sasabe takes the Swim Club to the island where they coincidentally discover the Samezuka Swim Club, along with Rin, training at a special swimming facility on the island. As they prepare for dinner, Gou heads to a nearby convenience store and briefly runs into Aiichiro and Rin who shows some concern for Makoto after Gou explains their training, before returning to his usual stoic self.

The next morning, the group (who was on the other island during the night) swims back to the coast where their tens are, as well as Gou and Miho, who didn't know what happened last night. When they finally arrive at the coast, Gou and Miho watch them as they sleep and wonder what they're doing. Gou tries to wake them up, but doesn't succeed.

Miho Gou 8
At the day of the tournament, Miho notices that Gou isn't very happy and tells her not to dwell on it, but Gou replies that that's not it and that she wanted to see her brother and Haruka swim together, not against each other. After the unsuccessful day at the swimming tournament, Miho and Goro left Makoto, Nagisa, Rei and Gou alone. Gou then decides to tell the group that she signed all of them up for the medley relay on the second day of the tournament. The group protests a little for Gou not telling them about it sooner, but Rei immediately agrees on swimming in the relay, making Makoto and Nagisa agree as well. They go to Haruka's house with a goal to make him agree on swimming in the relay with them as well, but nobody's there. They break in the house and start searching for Haruka in the hope that he's somewhere in the house. After going in every room and not finding him there, they decide to call him, but he doesn't answer. Rei, Nagisa and Gou leave him a voice message, but soon discover by Makoto that he doesn't bring his phone with him often.

The group attends a summer festival, running into Gou and Chigusa. Makoto compliments Chigusa and Gou for their looks, but Chigusa misunderstood him, thinking that he complimented their yukatas instead of their looks, making Makoto feel a bit uneasy.

After the team finished on one of their practices, Nagisa, Makoto, Rei and Haruka together with Gou, Goro and Miho had a hot pot in Goro's house even though it's summer. There, Gou discovered the old clubs photos, which of course includes Rin in it.

Relationships


Nagisa Hazuki


Main article: Nagisa Hazuki

Nagisa seems to enjoy teasing Gou by calling her Gou instead of Kou, which is constantly upsetting her. Even though, the two seem to be on good terms and rarely fight (aside from him refusing to call her Kou). They often seen to have a same response, along with Rei.


Haruka Nanase


Main article: Haruka Nanase

In the first episode, Gou visited Haruka's house to ask him for information about her brother. She is also constantly swooning over Haruka and his figure. He is the only member of the Swim Club who recognizes her as Rin's sister and who Gou remembers.


Makoto Tachibana


Main article: Makoto Tachibana

Makoto and Gou have a good, friendly relationship. Makoto was the first one to notice Gou and the first one to actually realize that Gou is Rin's younger sister. Since the day Makoto and Nagisa ran into Gou in front of Haruka's house, all three of them started hanging out a lot and spending time together at school. After having a talk with Makoto at the school pool, Gou decided to join Iwatobi High School's Swim Club.

Unlike in Gou and Nagisa's relationship, Gou never gets angry with Makoto, despite him calling her "Gou-chan".


Rei Ryugazaki


Main article: Rei Ryugazaki

Chigusa Hanamura


Main article: Chigusa Hanamura

Chigusa is a friend of Gou and they at times hang out together.


Miho Amakata


Main article: Miho Amakata

It is unknown whether or not she's Gou's Classic Literature teacher as well as Makoto and Haruka's, but the two seem to have a great relationship. They act quite friendly towards each other and often do things together. [3][4][5][6]


Rin Matsuoka


Main article: Rin Matsuoka

Gou is often worried about her brother. One of her main goals in becoming Iwatobi's swim manager is that the guys will help bring her brother back to normal. Rin in response appears a bit protective of her as well especially in response to Seijuro's use of Gou's first name. In the drama CD Rin and Nitori stalked her because Rin thought she dated a boy every weekend. And they found that actually Gou went with Hanamura to buty a Christmast present for Rin.[7]


Seijuro Mikoshiba


Main article: Seijuro Mikoshiba

Seijuro has a noticeable crush on Gou after their first meeting.[8] He is always eager for opportunities to speak to her, shown by his enthusiastic acceptance of an idea of a joint swim practice with the Iwatobi swim team.[9] His attempts to go on a date with her are often thwarted by Rin.[10] He usually calls her 'Gou-kun', much to her dismay.[11][9]


Goro Sasabe


Main article: Goro Sasabe

Creation and Conception

Gou Rough Sketch
Early sketches of Gou.
OOQuietSnowOoAdded by OOQuietSnowOo
Hiroko Utsumi, the director of the Free! anime, revealed that both Gou and Miho are really supported by the male staff members. "Her expression is similar to Rin’s. Her eye angle is also similar." she said. "Her hair isn't exactly the same color as Rin’s, but they resemble each other’s. Matching siblings are cute, wouldn't you agree? You sense that she really became emotionally attached to her older brother. I didn't want to have her feel like a character who relied on anyone else, so I made her the kind of girl who’s got her own independent will. She’s a kind of girl who does whatever she wishes. She has her own reasons for joining the swimming club. It’s not that she’s weak as a character; she joined because she would enjoy looking at muscles. Thus we also depicted her discovering her own reason to enjoy the swimming club. Her personality is feminine yet clearly cheerful. I requested to Nishiya-san that I wanted her hair to be long. I think she’s a character who splendidly stands out amongst the cast.".


It is also revealed that Gou is really poor athletically. If she and her brother were both athletic and swam, the animators would have to insert differences between them to show weaknesses. She’s also poor at running. So, Gou only joined the swimming club to watch guys swim. The reason why Gou gets into arguments with Nagisa is because he won't change how he calls her. “Don't call me Gou, call me Kou.” They're the same age, so there’s no hesitance for her to speak like that. Gou has some aspects of her that are childish, so the two of them together feel like a couple of kids arguing with each other. At any rate, Gou is in an important position as a character. She’s Rin’s sister, so she acts as a bridge between him and the Iwatobi swimmers. The director also contributed things she clearly wanted in Gou's personality, like how she loves looking at muscles, so it was immediately put in.

Trivia

  • Gou was named after the Sengoku warlord, Nagamasa Azai's third daughter.
  • In contrast to the male characters' feminine names, Gou has a masculine name.
  • Both Gou and Nagisa's rooms were exactly copied from North American furniture catalogs and blogs.[12]

References

  1. Episode 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 High☆Speed! Chapter 6
  3. Episode 5
  4. Episode 7
  5. Episode 8
  6. Episode 10
  7. Iwatobi High School Swimming Club's Diary 1: Track 4
  8. Episode 2
  9. 9.0 9.1 Episode 3
  10. Iwatobi High School Swimming Club's Diary 1: Track 7
  11. Episode 7
  12. Anime News Network Free! Trivia

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Start a Discussion Discussions about Gou Matsuoka

  • Who do you think is the worst character?

    134 messages
    • hahaha... this thread is STILL going on? even after almost a year... xD
    • >.< Nagisa's cute he reminds me of Honey-senpai from Ouran Highschool Host Club ^-^
  • What is she? Gou Matsuoka

    68 messages
    • ^^sorry my post above got cut at the first sentence, I meant to ask why do you pretend that she needs to a deep personality with flaws or needs...
    • Yes, I am helping since this whole scenario is so damn hilarious! :D :D :D Seriously though, I did not even watch this series and can say t...

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