Free! ~ Review
“A sports anime that has beautiful visuals and story (and something for the ladies)”
I’m gonna be clear with you all here – there is one genre that I always haven’t too keen with. And that is the sports genre. Don’t get me wrong though; there are some absolutely awesome sports anime series as well (*cough cough* Slam Dunk *cough*), but there also some mediocre ones. But I was pleasantly surprised with this highly looked at anime, and I just thought that I’d like to share this with you all here today. So let’s go.
Free! (although the full title of the anime is Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club) revolves around four friends – Haruka, Nagisa, Makoto and Rin – who swim together in their primary school swimming club. Just when a great friendship starts to form, they are notified that Rin will move to Australia to pursuit his dreams of becoming an Olympic swimmer. Years later, the three reunite in high school to form the high school swimming club. However, they meet Rin who has come back from Australia, and has become a totally different person. After Haruka beats Rin in a race, Rin declares war on the swimming team at the Nationals. The Iwatobi Swimming Club now must face head to head with Rin in both the race and on a sociological level.
The anime is known for its splendid visuals and animation and characters that girls get wet over
The anime contains 12 episodes ( and 1 OVA to this day) and aired during the Summer 2013 Anime Season (July 2013 – September 2013, ending today to the date of this writing). The anime is based off a light novel series called High Speed! written by Ouji Kouji. The anime is animated by Kyoto Animation (created modern day masterpieces like Clannad, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi and Lucky Star) and Animation Do Studios.
There are some well known voice actors that make an appearance in this anime including Suzuki Tatsuhisa who voices Makoto (and is also known as the voices of Sugata Eishiro from Sora no Otoshimono and Yoshida Haru from Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun), Yonaga Tsubasa who voices Nagisa (and is also known as the voices of Niiya Teiichi from Dusk Maiden of Amnesia and Komano Tsutomu from Chihayafuru) and Miyano Mamoru who voices Rin (and is also known as the voices of Light from Death Note and Okabe Rintarou from Steins;Gate).
All in all, I was quite surprised at how descent this anime turned out to be. If you guys watched my “Summer 2013 Anime Season: First Impressions” video, I explain this series as a “24 minute cock-fest”. But this anime actually turned out to be a lot more than that; credits to Kyoto Animation as always for the splendid visuals and animation (you never let us down KyoAni) and for myself for continuing to watch this anime until the very end because as a whole, this anime was very enjoyable. It wasn’t excellent; like a lot of sports anime, it had its flaws. But I think anybody can watch this anime and enjoy it. And ladies, I think you should all watch this anime especially (if you know what I mean *wink).
The Final Judgement:
Recommendation Level: 3/5 – Recommended
Final Score: 7.5/10