We've been waiting so long, and it finally arrived. The much anticipated Free! Eternal Summer OVA. It's no overstatement that KyoAni did a fantastic job in delivering to their multitudes of Free! fans in such a fun, light-hearted 24 minute OVA.
The premise is simple and fun. The Iwatobi and Samezuka boys all hang out at the Samezuka culture festival. Despite it's overall simpleness, the story provides excellent ways for characters to interact with each other both as usual and unusual. The OVA gives a new breadth of knowledge in the Free!verse because finally, we see some character interaction that has only so far been
implied, but never really seen. Such as Nitori and Makoto, Sousuke and Nagisa, etc. Not to mention, everyone had a fair amount of screen time, even more minor characters like Gou and Kisumi got at least a little time in the spotlight.
KyoAni has a reputation for their crisp animation. I was very please to see that the production quality of the OVA was relatively on par with the rest of the series. Often times, OVAs lack the same smooth finish as the TV series, due partly to it just being an 'extra'. Regardless, the free! OVA is rather fluid and eye-appealing, though I really didn't expect anything less of KyoAni.
All the voice actors we know and love made a reappearance in the OVA. Nothing has really changed soundwise. The music is very free!esque and fitting for the mood, whatever the scene may be. All the characters voices resonate exactly as we remember them. All in all, very solid.
While the OVA doesn't have many important plot points, the character development is SUBSTANTIAL. Without all the conflict of a main story line, we are able to see the characters with no external forces. Really, we see them as they are. Hilarious, teenaged boys. The OVA provided a chance for each character to get some time to show the audience who they are. Character relationships are built (mainly Sousuke and Haruka), relationships are re-enforced (Rin and Rei), and some are just plain adorable (Nagisa and Momotarou). Each of the characters are special and quirky in their own ways, and we really get to see that in this OVA.
I love Free!. I've been watching it since the first season back in July 2013. This one extra episode reiterated why I love the show so much, and how much I miss it because it's over. For all the reasons above I loved the OVA. There were so many moments that made me laugh, that made me happy, and just the nostalgia itself was in some ways enjoyable. Free! is a great show not enough people give a chance. Sometimes, we just have to let go of the negatives and enjoy the show.
Overall (Average based on the five categories): 8.6 [Rounded to 9].
Free! Is a special anime because it was the show that introduced me to the Sports Anime genre and because of it I am now a huge fan. I don’t like to write reviews but after watching this, I felt a little inspired. Free! At its core is a wonderful anime about friendship and the importance of forming and preserving bonds with those people you care about. Through seasons one and two we witnessed the emotional rollercoasters characters went through because they felt like they did not belong or they were jealous that they couldn’t be part of a group. Friendship helps everyone
in the show become stronger and put their petty feelings towards one another aside. At times the series has been melodramatic but it was never boring, it’s just incredibly enjoyable to watch and this OVA had me laughing out loud most of the time.
If you’ve been following the series, this episode ties in with the previous season of Free! Eternal Summer. You see the cast (with some loveable additions) join in the 24 minutes of fun. I was extremely happy to see Kisumi, who briefly appeared in an episode last season and left me (as well as many other fans) wanting more. Momotarou Mikoshiba, Ai and Sousuke Yamazaki, the loveable brooder returns as well.
The art in this anime is quite beautiful and this OVA continues to give us the same animation style. Swimming really does bring out the beauty in Free! Those moments where the characters become one with the water were missing in this episode; however, the writers gave us soo much more that I am content with the lack of majestic pool sequences. The beginning of the episode opens at the Samezuka Academy Cultural Festival. The level of detail that the creators and developers took to make this really shows. Everything from the bright colors that pop to the beautiful architecture of the school, just made me extremely happy to watch the loveliness that is this show.
The music in Free! Is really comical because it’s eclectic; you can have a few episodes with harmonious musical moments and then have a gritty dubstep track pop up during an angsty competition scene. The OVA had music that blended well with the scenes. The overdramatic moments during the water gun fight had the cheesy D list action movie feel while the ending had that beautiful melody that just warms your heart when you know that there is peace between your fave characters (Sousuke and Haru!). The opening theme was "Dried Up Youthful Fame" by OLDCODEX and closing song was "FUTURE FISH" by STYLE FIVE, which were the same tunes from Eternal Summer.
My favorite character in this series is Sousuke. I started as a Rin fan, but moved on to better and more interesting people like Sousuke Yamazaki. Imagine the glee I felt when I saw him cooperating and exchanging pleasantries with Haru? This is what makes Free! Wonderful. In those 24 minutes, Haru and Sousuke put their differences aside and worked together and managed to not kill one another. Nagisa continued to be his usual self, but a bit more hentai this time around (poor Momo). Makoto continued to be mother hen to the groip. Gou still loves her muscular men. Rei has finally opened up more to everyone and continues to be more adorable. Haru spoke to Sousuke (this was HUGE) and Rin seemed relaxed, carefree and most importantly he wasn’t depressed. I’m glad that everyone has finally managed to grow compared to S1 and S2.
The creators of this series know what the fandom wants and likes and they sure as hell delivered. This episode was incredibly fanservice-y, but we got the best of both worlds. There was a plot, there was much needed character development and we got to laugh a lot. I really hope that there will be a third season (maybe throw in some Kisumi) because this show is just that great. Of course, I’m well aware that this is not a show for everyone, but if you’re into sports anime and have enjoyed seasons one and two of Free!, you should definitely watch the OVA. If this is the last we will see of the boys (I hope not) this OVA helps bring us some closure, but I am keeping my fingers crossed for a much needed season three.
For those of you who really missed the guys from Free!, then this special unaired episode would definitely be an eyecandy!
Right off the bat, we see the Iwatobi guys visiting the Samezuka School Festival and we then saw the crazy antics that ensued during the entire day in the festival. From the Samezuka's swim club's Maid and Butler Cafe (Damn, Rin looked good in butler uniform, as well as freaking Nitori and Momo on a maid costume, and Sousuke cooking omelette rice!!), to the guys playing the Survival game, where the winner is the last man standing. Who won? Watch it!
And oh, the awkwardness between
Sousuke and Haru tho. XD
For someone who enjoyed (tehnically) the first 2 seasons of this anime filled with nothing but fanservice for the girls, I can really guarantee that every Free! fan out there would enjoy it. I mean, how could you not resist seeing your ships happen?! From MakoHaru, to SouRin, to ReiGisa, to all the possible ships that you can think of!
Giving this OVA a 9/10 just for the laughs alone. That's how funny this OVA is! So if you have nothing to watch and want to have a quick laugh, then watch this OVA. It's a gem!
This is how OVA's/Specials should be.Not directly related to the main series in terms of it being a continuation of it's parent series, but knowing the characters beforehand makes it much more enjoyable.
This Special was nearly perfect.It did'nt touch any serious theme like it's parent anime did (which was a coming of age story), but solely focused on giving us another look at the characters lives.
It's about when the Iwatobi Swim Club members went to Samezuka Academy's school festival and ended up playing a survival game with water guns.Many new and interesting interactions between characters who did'nt talk much in the main series are explored.
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a high-intensity race, be it in a car, bike, or even mecha suit. Youthful passion and energy fuel these shows about drivers, pilots and athletes all striving for that #1 spot. As Ricky Bobby once famously said, "If you ain't first, you're last".