English: Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 4, 2013 to Sep 25, 2013
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.941 (scored by 39672 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe story revolves around Haruka Nanase, a boy who has always loved to be immersed in water, and to swim in it. Before graduating from elementary school, he participated in a swimming tournament along with his fellow swimming club members, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka. After achieving victory, each of the boys went their separate ways.
Time passed, and in the middle of their uneventful high school lives Rin appears and challenges Haruka to a match, showing Haruka his overwhelming power. Not wanting it to end like this, Haruka, gathers together Makoto and Nagisa once again and brings a new member named Rei Ryugazaki to create the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club in order to defeat Rin.
Related AnimeAdaptation: High☆Speed!
Other: Kyoto Animation: Suiei-hen
Side story: Free! Specials
Characters & Voice Actors
After receiving universal acclaim on their short preview which showed Kyoto Animation (the same company that likes to churn out shit that panders from young, jailbait girls to old hairy virgin men such as myself) waving their ever-increasing sum of money in front of faces screaming how good they can animate water and delicious biceps which they then decided to finally animate it. It is shocking to see them come out with something new that they intended to aim only at a female audience and had many males turn their noses in disgust. However, being a male myself, if enjoying this is a crime, other than necrophilia, is the only crime I have committed.
Like a girl sitting anxiously on the casting coach for the once in a lifetime chance to achieve a spot in the porn industry, you never know what you are going to get with something that has as much negative reception as this. You've all had that feeling, where you are sitting on your computer, expecting the worst, right hand to Jesus and reciting the Fifth Amendment, hoping what you are about to watch isn't absolute rectal cancer. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t experienced both of these sensations of anxiety before (the first one more than the other, unfortunately) and this is one of the times where a miracle happens and it completely catches you off guard. Shockingly, this show really isn’t as bad as the other straight males make it out to be, but I won’t lie as there are some instances that have been making me question the sexuality of the characters and myself afterwards.
After having his heart shattered after being beaten by his love interest Rin in swimming, Nanase Haruka decided to once again create and join his own swimming club in hopes of being able to once again go against Rin. The story is simplistic as fuck as follows the same formula of slice-of-life comedy that Kyoto Animation always does. Cute boys/girls doing cute things + comedy + school = $$$. But you honestly can’t expect Baccano or Monster level type plot and for what Free sells itself as, it does it pretty well. It does the slice-of-life aspect well and although not my type of comedy is quite humorous at times. The rivalry between Rin and Haruka and their struggles to try and best each other are entertaining and engaging to watch and almost as good of a rivalry as Goku and Vegeta, Naruto and Sasuke, Walter White and Pizza or me and STD’s. (7/10)
I’m not going to lie to you; the characters suck pretty fucking hard and consist of some very forgettable and bland main characters which all 5 coincidentally have girlish names. 3 of the main characters Nagisa, Rei and Makoto are pretty much side characters as most of the focus throughout the series is on Haruka while the 3 of them are just comic relief and sit in the corner jerking each other off. Seriously, they swim their events and no one gives two fucks about them. The most focused on and the most interesting one out of the 5 main characters is Haruka. This motherfucker is stone-cold; he shows little to no expression and does not take shit from anyone. He only swims freestyle and that’s that, end of fucking question. What’s this, freestyle isn’t even an event for today’s race? Well it is now, because Haruka is here and your opinion doesn't mean shit to him. The second most focused on character is Rin, Haruka’s former crush and rival. After returning from Australia, Rin turns into a racist, homophobic, man-hating, sexually frustrated bastard (which, being from Australia I can confirm happens a lot) and the selling point of the show is the chemistry between these love birds since Rin got his ass destroyed (both figuratively and literally) in swimming and wants to redeem himself. Also, he has shark teeth so you know not to touch his monkey. His sudden behavior change came as a shock to the main characters but as the story progresses Rin’s drastic change in personality is explained so there was somewhat a hint of character development and the same with Haruka and Makoto but that doesn't change the fact that the characters are essentially shit. (6/10)
The animation is great, with the carefully detailed muscles on the luscious boy’s bodies to their slender, perfectly developed thighs. Then there’s the actual animation itself but that isn’t really important right now. Every single line and color used solidifies the masculinity of these 5 flawless specimens and KyoAni proves to us once again that not only are they able to design cute girls but also make a man think twice about their sexuality. Personal feelings aside the animation is indeed great, little to no short cuts have been taken and every inch is detailed and filled with vibrant colors. Character designs and facial expressions were well animated how they are able to make water look that fucking good is beyond me. (8/10)
I had mixed feelings as far as music goes. The opening was great and the ending was too arguably (if you disregard the guys in the club in full BDSM Bondage clothing) and the OST consisted of calm, uplifting tracks that fit the mood completely. Then there’s the fucking Dubstep. As a fan of electronic music, that was the worst attempt at creating atmosphere and tension that has ever assaulted my ears. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure did it and succeeded but this? Not so much unfortunately. I’m not exactly a pro at FL Studio but as hard as I try I am unable to create something that sounds that out of place and retarded as that. I would compare it to Will Sparks having a heart attack from an overdose of Viagra and getting his dork sucked from under his DJ set from a twelvie whilst smashing keys blindly on the side but even that is giving it too much credit. Fortunately the atrocity that Tatsuya Kato calls a ‘song’ doesn’t appear often and played only in the more intense scenes while the rest of the soundtrack is pretty good. (7/10)
Free was definitely the biggest surprise of the season and I bet a lot of viewers went into it expecting demon shit and came out surprised at how enjoyable it was. Animation was great, music was as well for the most part, plot was simple but engaging and in the end was a nice story about camaraderie, hard work and dedication. But I won’t try and feed you shit and if you are a full-fledged homophobic and come in expecting a complex plot interlaced with no homosexual undertones because of this then don’t watch it, because it still strongly focuses on the beautiful men’s curvaceous abdominals and not much more. I know I’ve been joking about homosexuality this whole review and I’m sorry for that, so if you’re a judgmental class A scrotum caresser like the others and not watching this for that very reason then you are a terrible person. If you can get past all the female fanservice it actually makes for a decent show, my hairy penis thanks you KyoAni. read more
Ahhh, Free! The most controversial anime of the year, perhaps even of all time. (This is what's called a joke, kids. If you don't know what that means look it up.)
My problem is: why exactly is this anime controversial?
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out why. It is simply because most males--maybe females too, although I haven't met one--can't wrap their head around the fact that KyoAni, or any anime producers, would make a fanservice anime that--GASP--is catered to the female population. Whoa. I need to sit down for a bit. G-Girls? Get anime???? Anime for girls???? No anime for me???, a 40 year old balding man who sits at home and plays WoW and jacks off to 14 year old anime girls??? WHAT??? This is bizarre??? W ???HAT?????
It's ridiculous. And then those same 'men' claim that Free! sets body standards for the male gender too high? Ugherm. Excuse me as I watch countless anime filled with girls with triple H breasts and impossibly slim waists. Talk about setting the body standards too high. The boys in the Free! anime actually have achievable bodies. It takes a lot of work, sure, but it is certainly achievable. All you have to do is get off your greasy ass, put away the cheetos (Wash your hands, too. Cheeto-y fingers are gross.) and exercise. Unless if you're in the 5% of women (Most likely even less than that) with ginormous breasts and a perfect body, it's nearly impossible to achieve the body standards set for women in the other anime. Unless, of course, you get tons of surgery. (It's possible to get a slim body, but the triple H breasts when you only have a B or an A cup...)
Now that that's out of the way, time to review Free!.
Free! is actually a good show. It's hilarious and clever, it's characters are fantastic, and not simply because they have amazing bodies. Sure, they're a bit stereotyped but what anime characters aren't? They're memorable and fresh and yes, comedic. As of yet, there are only four episodes and because of that I cannot say for sure; but so far there has plenty of character development. It's not perfect, but it's still great.
The animation, is of course, amazing. Nothing less than what is to be expected from the works of KyoAni. The animation literally feels like taking a cool, refreshing, sip of ice water on a hot summer day. The scenery is beautiful, and character designs are subjective, so this doesn't tie into the rating, but they are somewhat unique and fitting.
I don't typically like to factor sound into my ratings. I've never come across an anime with such an appalling soundtrack or voice acting I was forced to stop watching it to save my poor ears. Sound, like character design, is subjective. I've found most soundtracks to be either simply average, which is by no means a bad thing, or amazing. However, my opinion on the sound: the opening surprised me immensely, but it was still enjoyable. Nothing amazing. It's most certainly not the next Cruel Angel's Thesis or Tank!. The ending was quite hilarious, but this is mostly attributed to the video that accompanies the song. The voice acting was just fine. The seiyuu's (voice actors) did their jobs well, and the voices themselves are spot-on with the characters' personalities.
Now on to the plot. I've heard many-a-people (Mostly the aforementioned males) complain about Free!'s plot. I don't completely understand why, though. It is a slice of life after all. If you watch slice of life for the plot... You're doing it wrong, friend.
Anyway, the plot isn't so bad. It's definitely the show's one weak point, but it's not horrible by any means. It's like most typical slice of life plots.
Our protagonist, Haru, the boy with the water fetish, wants to go swimming. But, alas. It's too early in the year, and in turn, too cold to go swimming in the ocean. Haru, and his best friend Makoto, along with Nagisa--a boy they used to swim with way back when--open up a swimming club.
That's the gist of it. Of course there's a bit of angst when their former team mate Rin returns from Australia and everybody freaks out because what the hell Rin turned into a shark or something.
Anyway, all in all, Free! is actually a really good show. If you're a female, or a male who isn't narrow-minded and is looking for a good comedy to watch, this is most definitely the show for you. Sorry, this review was crap but it is my first.
Surely these two series have a lot in common to begin with the main focus being the sport genre, one focused on basket and the other on swimming.
Both Free! and KnB have a gorgeous art style and colors, which doesn't let "indifferent".
Plotwise, as a few other person mentioned already, the main charas Kuroko and Haruka are both the quite type; also both titles share a curious thing that somewhat "uniforms" them, in KnB they have color-related names for the GenMir, while in Free all the important charas have a girly name.
Being team sports genre focused, obviously both series see the team of main characters that will aim to the first place in competitions, and as any respectable serie the main chara/s will have to face, at some point, their rival, being a "long lost friend".
Both show you the beauty of their sports to the point to let you all bumped up and make you say "let's play basket/let's go swimming!"
So yes, indeed, if you liked one of these already, you might really want to check the other, as you'll probably love it too!
They both have old teammates meeting again as rivals. Though neither are shounen-ai, there are some moments that make you question whether or not the characters are straight.
Haruka and Rin are somewhat like Kuroko and the other players of the Generation of Miracles.
Both are about old teammates who meet again in high school as rivals.
Well, if you are looking for some cool guys, both Kuroko no Basket and Free! are series to check out.
In fact, both series consists of a cast of male characters that are dominant in their perspective sports. They also have rivalries with certain other characters that brings out some of the intensity of both shows. There's some fan service for the female audience. Additionally, both series also seems to have a building of friendship between certain characters. Of course though, there is that sense of rivalry that can be traced back through flashbacks that brings out some animosity. Both series also has a manager/coach who is female but also becomes involved with the teams/clubs that consists of the male dominant casts.
Kuroko no Basket and Free! are both shows about bishounen boys that were good friends before high school until one becomes a rival (Aomine in Kuroko no Basket and Rin in Free! ).In both shows the more quiet main characters(Kuroko and Haruka) has to defeat their rivals before they can reach their ultimate goal.Both shows also have a female coach who are just as entertaining as the male leads,show the development of their friendships and the training proses they go through before facing their rival.However Free! is a bit more on the slice of life side than Kuroko no Basket.
Both are an anime focusing on a sport throughout the whole show. Both are shrouded with immense testosterone from all the male characters, with a few females added in to not overwhelm the show with its manliness. Both plots focus on the concept of rivalry from old friends they use to compete with in their sport category. Both anime seem entirely different with the animation and quality of the soundtracks, yet they give each anime the same type of feelings as the audience watches as the story progresses—angst, eagerness, determination, etc. Both are similar in the competitive-sport-rivalry sense so you might like one if you like the other.
Rin's peronallity is kinda looks like Aomine Daiki
Rin & Haruka's friendship are like Tetsuya & Daiki's friendship... so as his talent, Rin is an athlete who had been practicing since he was a kid, and Haruka is someone who don't care about but love swimming so much
those two are really similar with Kuroko & Aomine
Both about sports although KnB is way more focused on it than Free!, whose purpose is also show the relationships between the main characters and the character development. I want to highlight the fact that I'm talking solely about the anime adaptions of these two series so.
The target audience of Free! is mainly females, of course, and probably those who are fond of shipping.
In KnB's case it's a way more open one, since girls and boys could watch it and enjoy it equally. BUT If you really are a "fujoshi", believe me, there are a LOT of characters you could ship so no worries.
Anyhow, I would like to say that if you've watched Free! you probably will like KnB, but it doesn't necessarily apply the other way round.
Sports. Bishounens everywhere (fanservice too; although Free! takes it to a different level). Good comedy. Somewhat unrealistic skills. Rivals. Childhood friends. You name it.
Both are extremely good sports anime, though one is swimming and the other is basketball. Both have memorable characters and awesome opening theme music. Both have memorable moments that will leave you stunned and wanting to swim and/or play basketball!
I'm sorry for making such an obvious rec. Free! = Kurobas plus water. They both have a strong, silent protagonist and a crappy sports team determined to make it to the top. Old friends become rivals whom go to elite sporting schools. The uniformity in names of team members (colors in Kuro and girly names in Free!) is also similar. And of course, the *coughs* pretty boys. The only thing is, Free! has a bit more fan service.
Both are sports anime that have a lot of good looking bishounen guys (fan service for girls, lol). Both have old teammates compete with each other in high school.
Both of them are very sports-centric and have many different characters (with various hair colors) that are namely, males. They both have that feel-good kind of sensation that comes along with watching teamwork, friendship, and all of that nice stuff. And they also are bother rather funny and slice-of-life themed animes, though KuroBasu is focuses a bit more on the sports (basketball).
If anything, I find KuroBasu a lot more exciting and fun to watch :)
Hot guys, sexy guys, handsome guy and sport anime which most of the girls are interested in.
- Some second years get together and form a club for practice.
- The club is also in a school who never did well at tournaments
- The antagonist is also talented and connected to the main character's childhood
- There's also a female coach who's talented at her work.
The plot is also rather similar: Train at a not-so-popular highschool to meet their rival from middle school at a tournament later.
All in all, it gives off the same sports-anime aura with competitive athletic spirit that gets you excited just like Free! does.
Both shows are focused on the changing of relationships over time, more specifically friendships becoming rivalries, with the rivalries being over sports. In Free!'s case, Haruka and Rin become rival swimmers, while in Kuroko no Basuke, Kuroko butts heads with his former basketball team.
Kuroko no Basuke and Free! are both mostly composed of a bishonen cast, with some obvious parallels between them, such as having significantly calmer protagonists (Kuroko and Haruka) and their more competitive rivals (Aomine and Rin).
Both shows are fun to watch and although they focus on sports, are well-written and interesting. The mostly male casts are fairly diverse and interesting, and their interactions really bring the "Growing Up" theme home.
Sports with a lot of fanservice and perfect boys who everybody loves.
Both are sports anime and deal with the friendship of the team. They both look into the depths of teamwork and how they strive to reach their goals.
If you enjoyed sports genre type of anime then Kuroko no Basuke and Free! is for you. Both will let you experience what it's like to swim/play basketball. After watching both of these anime, you will probably think "I want to swim/play basketball. Plot-wise, both involve the main characters (Nanase Haruka and Kuroko) enjoying the sports they are in. Later on, they will overcome difficulties with their teammates. Kagami and Rin are also kind of similar. Both have red hair, are arrogant, and in love with their sport to the point that that they will do anything. Teamwork wins the game.
Both have a protagonist who is extremely passionate about one particular sport and are about a group of childhood friends who meet again in high school.
Both are about a team of childhood friends who used to participate in an activity together until one of them left. They meet back up and try to get the friend to play with them again. So far the plot is the same excpet with karata instead of swimming. Incredibly similar anime.
Both are only similar in the way that a bunch of old friends start a club/group in their high school and along the way run into an old childhood friend that they hang out with, who is not the same person anymore. Both compete in competitions to see if they will meet that old friend of theirs and play "their" sport like they used to when they were just kids. Both have protagonists who are passionate about their favorite "sport" and it is always on their mind, ignoring all other logical reasons. I wouldn't say if you like one you'd hate the other but, Chihayafuru is on a completely different level than Free!. They are only similar in the "old friend from elementary school, rekindling the friendship between the bunch of friends, where everyone is in high school now, surrounding a sport that has changed their lives."
Both are similar in that they center around a sport that the main character(s) enjoy and have enjoyed since they were kids. As time progresses, the characters in both Free! and Chihayafuru lose a bit of interest in their respective sports. However, the love for the sport is rekindled in high school when old friends meet up again.
Both are categorized as Sports animes, where close friends are separated after elementary school and drastically change. Both follow the changes that occur after they join their individual school teams, and continue to compete and share their love for the sport. Both Nanase and Arata had quit their sport because they had a hurt a loved one, but found it impossible to deny their passion for swimming, and in chiyafuru's case, karuta.
Big focus on character backstories, character development and sports. When Free!'s drama starts getting heavier, it gives off a reminiscent feeling comparable to Chihayafuru's.
Opening Theme"Rage on" by OLDCODEX
Ending Theme#1: "SPLASH FREE" by STYLE FIVE (Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Mamoru Miyano, Tsubasa Yonaga, Daisuke Hirakawa) (eps 1- 11)
#2: "EVER BLUE" by STYLE FIVE (Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Mamoru Miyano, Tsubasa Yonaga, Daisuke Hirakawa) (ep 12)
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