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: 7.801 (scored by 83799 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
No tags found
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!: FrFr - Short Movie
Sequel: Free!: Eternal Summer
Characters & Voice Actors
"For the team..." - from the director of Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On, Clannad and Lucky Star comes a show about swimming. And you know, I like it. The story follows 5 swimmers, four from middle school to the present (Nanase, Hazuki, Tachibana, Rin), the other a track and field club member who eventually gets won overbfrom Hazuki (Rei) and Rin's little sister, who is also the coach/support for Nanase, Hazuki, Tachibana and Rei. Without spoilers, Rin... Moves on in life without Nanase, Hazuki or Tachibana and this is of course fully explained, and I like how the story shows the guys experiences from both sides. Nanase is our main character, so we see the experience from his side and how he misses swimming with Rin and sometimes doesn't see the point if he can't swim with his former teammate, and from Rin's side we see how he gets disc...ouraged, and wishes he... could swim with his former teammate... Oh. To be honest the story is fairly weak, but what makes it bearable is the ending, it's really heartwarming and for anyone who's read my Love Live review, you'll understand why four life long friends coming together after a long stint of not seeing each other is heartwarming to moi.
The other characters are pretty much there just for support and to flesh out the story, though of course the ending again makes them redeeming. They are all likable at least, but you can tell the story and character is focused on this rivalry between Nanase and Rin.
Must admit, there are pros of course. As well as the ending I keep going on about, and this will be personal, I love swimming IRL. So the premise for the show drew me in, but it's disheartening to know it's kind of just another string to the main ploy of the show, Nanase and Rin. The other is the art - we're talking Clannad or above. It's quite beautiful, BUT - it's really wierd. Because you can't speak of Free! without the male fan service - well, I mean it's for females to enjoy, but all the guys are male... OK, OK. LOTS OF RIPPED HIGH SCHOOL LADS, AND A GIDDY FEMALE TEEN. It just seems jarring to the almost serious relationship between Nanase and Rin. What really took me out of it, and I kid you not, Rin turned his head slowly as his hair was being windswept and cherry blossoms blew in front of his face...
OK, quick rap up. Pros:-
(IMO) premise (as in swimming)
Relationship between characters (mainly ending)
Jarring plot threads
Lack of real need for support characters
And this anime comes with a recommendation to stream, if it seems interesting to you, but not to feel bad if you can't watch it all the way through. 6/10. read more
I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading sports manga and watching sports related shows. I was also a competitive swimmer way back in highschool, so when I saw that an anime was coming out about SWIMMING?! Oh yeah, I just had to watch it. Right from the get go I was mortified, the first episode was pretty much showing off the 'eye candy' cast and establishing the background that sets up the premise of Free! It was a major struggle to get through most of it, but I made it through and here I am to tell the world about it.
Man, if people think watching competitive swimming is boring, then most of the anime fits right in along with the sport. It's a sport anime in the sense that the boys actually swim in a couple of meets and train for said meets, but it's not quite like other sports anime.
For one, the characters grow outside of training and competitions unlike in other series where much of the game time is focused on inward self reflection or coming up with strategies. Now there's nothing wrong with this, in fact it makes sense. Swimming is a rather quick sport, with the longest single event lasting only 15 minutes max (relatively). There's not much time for reflection, not much time to think, and no way to strategize. So it's perfectly fine that the boys will be spending down time together outside of the sport to build up their characters and progress through the story.
That being said, it doesn't really feel like the characters grew that much. They stay pretty much the same as when they started except for the main conflict in the story, which had been resolved by the end of the series. Most of the episodes gave tidbits on Haru's and Rin's relationship and why they grew apart, but to me it felt like time wasting filler and I believe that the show could have yielded the same results with a shorter amount of episodes.
The second thing was, there was a lot of drama. So much so that I actually laughed at the climax, where all the emotions and baggage were on the table. Again, this is understandable since the target audience is supposed to be teen females. Not to stereotype and whatnot, but girls tend to enjoy stories that enrich character backgrounds, makes a deeper and more emotional connection to the characters, and a storyline that emphasizes friendship or a relationship through events. However, once again I felt most of the drama was so unnecessary and exaggerated that it turned me away.
What I did appreciate though was the fact that the sport was explained in depth. This isn’t unusual in sports anime, because it’s assumed that the audience doesn’t know the rules or the terms of the sport. Perhaps I enjoyed it more because I knew what they were talking about.
If there's one thing that this anime did right it was the art and animation. Oh boy did they know how to animate water. Considering that this is a swimming anime, to would be expected that the water would look pretty. However, you can tell from the quality that the animation budget mostly went to the water. I also appreciate the time they spent on the actual swimming itself, the movements were fluid and the boys had good form. This is where the show truly shines.
Unfortunately the sound wasn’t as great as the animation, which is pretty disappointing because the sound can make the animation truly outstanding. Most of the soundtrack was pretty average which nothing much in particular standing out. The one bit I liked was the dub step/techno used during the meet, which I thought was a nice touch considering dubstep was and is still pretty popular. The opening theme song is pretty typical as well, which makes the sport look edgy and cool while at the same time dramatizing the relationship between Haruka and Rin. The ending theme is catchy and refreshing, with the voice actors for the characters singing it themselves. I’ll admit, I was really into it for awhile, listening to it on the 4 hour loop on youtube back this last summer.
On top of the lack of character growth, I believe the characters didn’t have much personality to grow on in the first place. In Free! we see some pretty common character tropes with a little quirk added to them to make them more comical. Haru is your ‘tsundere’ who seems to have a romantic love for water; Makoto is the ‘big brother’ who’s actually easily frightened; Nagisa is the ‘shouta’ who’s pretty dense; Rin is the ‘cool guy’ until he talks; and Rin is the ‘Sporty’ guy who gets discouraged easily. I’ll admit the troupes worked well with each other and they served as perfect fuel for a good chuckle here and there. But in my opinion all of them were pretty two dimensional that relied on their quirk to keep the ball moving.
Now even though my rating and my comments might sound harsh, I actually had a good time with the show -- after I got past the hump and made myself watch it. It gave me a good laugh nearly every episode, and it was a bit heartwarming to see the level of friendship that existed between everyone. It’s just I could have done without the filler esque episodes as well as all the drama. If it were up to me it would have been more about the swimming, but I suppose it does well as an introduction to sports anime for those who find that watching an anime on a sport would be boring.
That being said I don’t think I’ll rewatch the series, as it has been licensed in North America and the dub is currently in production. Nor do I foresee myself watching the second season or the OVA. For me, I stop here and that’s fine by me. read more
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.
Both series are about a group of boys trying to accomplish something sports-related. Though Free! is more slice-of-life and Kuroko no Basket is more typical shounen, they have some similarities. Both Kuroko and Haruka (the main characters) have the same "kuudere" way of interacting with people. If you enjoy the humor of Free!, the humor in KnB will surely amuse you. While Free! has a lot of fanservice, KnB has little of the sort, but if you like bishounens, both series will appeal to you!
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.
I’m going to try to compare very much things in both shows. So maybe it’ll look like I am searching similarities too far… Anyways, sorry for my English...
Let's get started... So.
Both have (how could it be else), their main focus on sport (swimming and basketball). Even though Free! is more slice of life and KnB is more fixated on the real sport, they have very much in common. First of all they both have a nice, enjoyable art style, with characters, considered as beautiful (it's all a matter of tastes though, but I hella like all of them). Both of them tell a story about a team that’s trying to ‘achieve’ something (and let’s not forget that both teams were not really ‘spectacular’ before the main characters joined/formed the team). There’s this rivalry between old friends, that used to be in the same team together. Also, something that I noticed was the fact that they’ve ‘theme names’ (yeah, idk how to call it), what I mean is… ehm, the Free! characters all have female names(Rin, Rei, Haruka, Nagisa and Makoto) , while the generation of miracles have all color-themed names (AOmine, MIDORIma, AKAshi, KIse, MURASAKIbara and KUROko). Both have a great voice cast imo (even though they don’t have many va’s in common, there’s Shimazaki Nobunaga and Tatsuhisa Suzuki). Oh, and there are lot’s of similiarities between certain main characters? Lot’s of people seem to compare Rin with Aomine, because they once worked together with the protagonist and are now are rivals, but I think Rin and Taiga have a lot in common as well. Both used to live in a Western, English speaking country (America and Australia), in the second season, one of their childhood friends pops randomly up (if I am right, but I might be mistaking, they even had both an injured arm, shoulder and wrist), they both seem to be rude and arrogant at first and their colorsheme is similar. For the other characters… I think you can compare the protagonists Haruka and Kuroko a lot? Because both have a calm, introvert personality, maybe even a little weird. Their voice type is the same and their expressions, such as deadpan faces are sometimes similar as well. The biggest difference between the two of them is that I have the feeling that Haru is taken too serious, by having literally almost everyone kissing his feet, while Kuroko is lot’s of times mistaken as a bad basketball player. The other main characters have less in common but I think you could compare Kise’s rather friendly personality a bit with Makoto his? Only a bit tho. And let’s say that the megane-guys are both a bit weird, haha. But still… I wouldn’t say there is a amazing similarity between those. Oh, let’s not forget there’s a stroking similarity between the High Speed (Free! novels) characters and certain KnB characters. Serizawa and Murasakibara, Ikuya and Tatsuya, Asahi and Akashi… Even their names… Just look at this piece of fanart (http://static.zerochan.net/Free%21.full.1715331.jpg ) and judge for yourself.
Oh, and both have lot’s of shippings…
I think the biggest difference between the shows is that KnB focuses way more on the sport itself and is sort of more serious. The cast is waaaay bigger then Free theirs and honestly the characters are better developed. KnB takes the time to introduce you to other characters that aren’t the main team, while Free! focuses 90% on Haruka and his relationship with the other (ex)teammembers .
I’d say, watch KnB if you’re searching for someone with a ‘deeper’ plot and if you feel like watching a 26+ episode anime. Watch Free! if you’re more looking for fanservice, a ‘lighter’ storyline and just something to relax.
I don’t think one is better then another. Some people say KnB is too slow and boring and others say Free! is too rushed. It’s all up to you. In the end opinions are different…
I preferred KnB, but as I said. That’s all a matter of taste.
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.
-both are sport-themed anime
-both have bishounen characters
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 :)
- 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.
They involve hot guys playing sports.
These anime are of the sport and bishounen genres. The characters are likable, funny, and cute in some form. Teenage boys in high school who are in a sport team compete with other schools and use teamwork. They have some girls involved who are reliable.
Both anime are sports related.
they both have a lot of match related drama and rivalry
Free has better animation but kuroko no basket has a better storyline and more suspense and detail when it comes to the sport being played
Water-themed slice of life shows bursting with colour where attractive boys bond over water-related activities, such as fishing or swimming. Tsuritama is the wholesome one, the one you wouldn't mind introducing to your grandma. Free!, however, positively delights in showing you just -how- attractive these boys are. Blushy blush.
Cute guys doing cute things. The shows are water-themed and generally light-hearted and fun
The characters are somewhat alike but both in common have water, one of the main characters are trying something new and trying to be good at it. They are in the daily lives in high school. Mostly male cast and the both animation's are well done.
Lots of guy characters with a water themed story. In tsuritama it's about fishing and more laid back while Free! has more a hardcore like sports anime feel about swimming.
Both include a group of teen boys that bond over a hobby (swimming in Free! and fishing in Tsuritama) Both have homoerotic undertones, colorful, and water theme.
Both are water themed and are about a group of teenagers who bond over swimming/fishing.
Both shows feature 4 male leads, 1 of whom is a kind of rival/outsider of the group. They both center around water and have gorgeous animation.
Two great summer shows about about friendship and cute boys doing cute things.Both Tsuritama and Free! are funny and relaxing slice-of-life shows that are sure to put you in a good mood.
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)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
HayaiSUB [Hayaisubs] (Brazilian Portuguese)
AnimeYO! [AnimeYO!] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related ClubsFans of Sports Animes and Mangas, Our Anime & Manga Club, J-WoW (Just Wannabe Otakus Welcome!) & Cards , Realm of Cards (R.O.C) ☆ ★ CLOSED FOR NOW, Crazy Cards Club, Awesome Art Anime, Revolutionary YLF, Cardinal Leger Anime Club 2013-14, Hentai Club, Free! Fan Club~ , The Glasses Club, take me to anime WORLD, Gladies, !~~tsubasalover's Friendships~~!, Anime Alliance Club ～Ａ ＡＣ ●, Intense Anime Characters Fanclub , Otome road, Slice of Life Club, Lemon Fanfiction, We love them with Brown hair and green eyes !Swimming Boys Fan Club「Free!」, Wings Of Freedom, MakoHaru - The Official Makoto x Haruka Fanclub, MBTI Club, ☆彡Just 4 US☆彡, ~♥Beloved Bromance♥~, Fanclub for the Almighty Raikenzera , - ~ Miyano Mamoru Fanclub ~ - , All the Hot Guys from A&M 2, combonicko's shit tastes, Open Discussion Club, Haruka x Rin FC, A&M Guy Legs Appreciation , ☆Offline☆, OFFICIAL D-TWON ANIME CLUB, Realistic Anime, Makoto Tachibana Fanclub, Matsuoka Rin FC, Traditional Friends Card Club [TFCC] , **Kyoto Animation FC**, Satou Satomi Fanclub, Morioka University, Ani-Manga, Poor decisions, ♪ Other Dimension ♪, Nanase Haruka FC, Free! ~ Iwatobi Swim Club, Rin Matsuoka FC, Passion for Sports Club, Heterophobia, California Otaku Society, SourceFedNERD Anime Club, ☆ dear clouds;, Kyoto Animation Mafia Club, Free!, Virtually Emotionless Characters Club, Anomeklubi, Floral Philippines inc - B Section, Anime ID Centar, Anime Adapted Light Novels/Novels, Animanga Card Empire (A.C.E) ✦ ✧, Anime Revolution Vancouver, Yoko Hikasa Fan Club, Swek, Free! Fan Club Medley, pure fangirls unity(pure fangs), Haruka Nanase Fanclub, I've watched at least one Anime Club, IPI anime, Uke/shota club, The Dildo Drones, Legion of Anime, TIM TAM REVOLUTION (Rebooting) , The Panda Club, Iwatobi Swim Club, ★★Heavenly Realm★★, ☕ Eternal Heavens Cafe (E.H.C) [SEMI-HIATUS] see all
Recently Watched By