Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

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Ashlex's avatar By Ashlex on Jul 4, 2013

Anime: Free!

Story: Well I love the story contrary to popular belief there is plot line. This anime revolves not only revolves around the boys friendship issues but as well as actual issues the group faces trying to start a club and get members which some highschoolers can relate to. This anime also carries lots of comic relief and Im sure that most girls were pleased to have an anime that does revolve around alot of manservice and for boys who are annoyed by that... just stop I mean look at the girls in almost every anime and how much fan service there is just give the girls this one :D. It is actually though a funny and interesting anime to watch for everyone.

Animation: So, the animation itself was about average and pretty typical. The characters all have a unique look and it was very easy to find high quality versions of this episode on many free viewing anime websites, as well as tumblr. The colours in this anime and the aimation style flowed very well together and the theme songs included all the main characters.

Sound: The sound quality was good and the theme songs were really awesome! The beggining and ending theme songs were catchy and worked really well with the animation. The characters had appealing voices and yes I watched it subbed. The voices suited the characters in my opinion.


Characters: Where do I start? So the focus of this anime is on 5 boys. 4 of which were introduced in the first episode.  From closest to furthest you have : Haruka Nanase, Makoto Tachibana, Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, Rei Ryugasaki. Haruka is the typical boy of few words, the anime appears to focus on him more so than the others. Makoto is the friendly and calm type who is very nice but tends to talk to his friends more so than others. Rin is the more exotic character that studied abroad and is pretty lively. He actually has qualities of both a friend and enemy at points and appears to be crucial to the plot. Nagisa is the fourth boy introduced in the first episode. He is a year younger than the others and plays the very energetic, chibi, cute, little brother type that is adorable. Rei is a very smart, stubborn boy who calculates everything and actually develops an admiration for Haruka since he can swim so freely and really enjoys what he does without thinking. Rei also shows some admiration for Nagisa as he is his classmate and the one who actually convinced him to join the swim club. There is one girl named Gou/Kou (Kou is a nickname she prefers to her real name) who becomes the club manager. She is Rin's sister and wants Rin to go back to his cheery self that he was when he was younger she believes that the main characters can do this since they were all best friends in middle school. All of the boys seem to have their own typical anime qualities that can entice wider variaties of viewers since it appeals to more personal favourites.

Free! Main Characters

Overall I scored this anime an 9(not gonna lie  partly scored high because this anime is super funny and was made to appeal to girls) and am personally excited to watch future episodes!

8/10 story
8/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
Juhiro7788's avatar By Juhiro7788 on Jul 21, 2013

I followed this anime before it was even out! From the meme of swimming anime all the way to Kyoto Animation actually creating an anime from their 30 second advert. It's basically genderbended K!ON on steriods, quite literally, but not in a bad way. I'm not going to lie that there is a lot of female oriented fanservice and possible shounen-ai themes, but yet again fangirls can give shounen-ai themes to any show. I do feel that the incredible and detailed animation for this show is often overlooked, so I shall aim to review it in that sense. 

As it in only in it's third episode, the storyline has yet to develop fully and still poses certain ambiguities, however in a nut shell it centers around an eccentric ex-competitive swimmer (Haru, and if you watch the anime I reckon you'll laugh at how seriously I describe him)and his friends, who used to swim together when they were young, but fell out of their passion and wished to re-start competitive swimming in highschool by forming a club. It's a typical slice of life-esque anime about friendship and passion for a particular sport that doesn't rely on medals or titles. 

As far as the animation is concerned, swimming is a difficult sport to animate due to the flowing movement, and the factor of the characters being in the water, I must say that this is the largest underratted aspect of this anime. The movement in water is amazing, the flip turns on the pool walls especially. The cuts in the swimming scenes are also brilliantly done to build up the tension in what otherwise would be a pretty dull sport to watch on an anime. The angle of which the scenes are drawn also play a huge part in making swimming look like the most intense sport in the world. character wise, if you look closely, the bodies of the characters are also identical to those of actual swimmers (the muscles built are all in the right place), that is to say that they are not just randomly ripped guys.

The sound is not amazing, but it isn't bad. One thing I would say though is that the same music is repeated over a large number of scenes, the music nevertheless fits the scene but I do find it uncreative. The opening and ending though are very solid in two different ways. The opening is slightly metal mixed with some light verses, wheras the ending song is very dancy and catchy, a k-pop like type of song. Personally I think the animators put more effort into drawing the ending than the opening. 

Ahh... The characters, the part of the show everyone's on about. I do admit they are predominantly a bunch of bishies going half naked for the viewers some of the time. But applying a general rule in many animes the fanservice starts to decrease as episodes progress, as a larger percentage of the viewers start watching the anime for it's storyline (example: Air Gear), so for any who are irked by fanservice, there is still hope! Back to the characters though, they are individually designed and have very well shown personalities, from the eccentricly cold but childishly cute main character to the mama-bear gentle giant to the shouta with a dark side. The girl characters created also deserve praise, as in animes like this the girls are often hated on, the creators did a great job in potraying strong yet realistic women that not only blush in the half naked men's presence, but hold their own and bring comedy in their own way to the show. 

So if you're a fujoshi, yaoi fangirl or like 1st class animation, this anime is for you, it presents itself in a light, comedic sort of way. Characters are an aspect of the show most viewers come to love more than the plot (for whatever reason), but to be fair, the plot still needs time to show it's true potential. 

7/10 story
9/10 animation
6.5/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
Moparty's avatar By Moparty on Sep 25, 2013

Review is solely opinion so please don't hate


STORY: 5

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club introduces a new sports anime that involves three friends creating a swim club and then training for a competition. That is basically what the whole story is about. I love the fact that a swimming anime has been introduced but it isn't exactly what sports fans are looking for. The story is very bland and there really isn't much depth or profound thought put into this anime. It is also hard to even consider this a "sports" anime considering the fact that there is a lot of talking and training most of the time. The plot also seemed very choppy. It would take sharp turns into the competitions or training rather than easing its way in. Swimming is obviously a very short sport as well. Swimming usually takes less than five minutes so I would understand how it would be tough to represent this in an anime. This anime also focuses on fan-service most of the time. It's not a bad thing, but it can hinder the anime in many ways. The story seems too engulfed in fan service rather than actual story. There are some cliffhangers and some drama to notice, but you just end up hopping along with the anime regardless. The plot wasn't too disappointing, but you won't see anyone go...Dude Free! Iwatobi Swim Club has the best story. It really isn't anything special. It can be a lot of fun, but it feels like the writers had a hard time finding the right structure for the anime. It's like they tried to complement comedy, drama and sports into one but couldn't succeed as much as they had hoped. The story overall is a bit shaky.

Animation: 8

The animation is sweet on the eyes. Girls will have a blast watching this anime, and the extremely toned bodies of all the swimmers. However, guys will not care too much about the animation in that sense, but it will be easy on the eyes. The animation is smooth and crisp due to the advancement of technology nowadays, and you can't expect less from KyoAni. KyoAni has some of the best animations in animes to date. KyoAni animates really well, and their overall dominance in the animation industry is definitely represented in this anime. However, there are some images that seem a bit plain and dull when I look at them, but they don't affect the overall feel and animation too much. Overall, the animation is fantastic and whether or not you enjoy looking at boys' bodies, you will admire the animation in Free.

Sound: 7

The sound in Free is interesting but lazy at times. The opening and ending songs are a lot of fun and really set you into the mood and overall feel of the anime. The opening gives off a sense of urgency and excitement which leads you to continue to be intrigued. The ending is a lot of fun, leaving you content after every single episode, and keeping you curious about the episode to come. The OST however is noticed about half the time. I hardly recognize the soundtrack in the background of scenes unless it is the soundtack used for the pool clean up scene. I also noticed that the Tatsuya Katou used basically the same song that was in Mirai Nikki to be present in Free. The song in Free is just slightly altered. Mirai Nikki OST 9 Track 11. The track isn't bad whatsoever but because of the fact that it was slightly altered, I found this to be extremely lazy. 

Characters: 7

The characters are very interesting, and they are some of the most likable characters in the anime world. The fact that all of the characters have girl names sets the playful mood of the overall anime. The characters are what make this anime so much fun to watch, but there were some issues in the dialogue at times. Some of the narrative came to be a bit cliche or corny. I constantly felt like some of the lines in this anime could have been worded in a better way to be honest. However, this is the only flaw I had with the Characters. All of the characters will keep you fully engaged in this anime, and the characters will constantly make you laugh and smile as you keep strolling through this anime. 

Overall: 6.75

6.75 isn't really a bad score. At least I don't consider it to be. I found this anime to be a lot of fun, but there could have been more added to it. The average anime watcher will have a lot of fun with this and girls will always have a blast with this anime. Guys on the other hand, it depends on your tastes and interests. This anime is mostly girl targeted, but many guys may enjoy it as well. I for one enjoyed it. It isn't anything spectacular but at the end of the day it will leave you pleased and content. 

5/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
6.8/10 overall
snivets's avatar By snivets on Sep 25, 2013

Despite the fact that KyoAni never intended for Free! to be anything more than a 30-second studio promo, I think they did an excellent and interesting expansion of the original clip. After the attention it got online they'd've been dumb not to take advantage of what was clearly a potential market--but it's still great to see a studio delivering such a grand product purely because the fans asked for it.

Brief Summary: Childhood friends Haru, Nagisa, and Makoto realize that their other childhood friend, Rin, is back from Australia. Rin doesn't seem to want to relive their glory days of swimming together in elementary school, but the other 3 decide to create a swim club at their school so they can all "swim together again." Cue various drama and a dramatic ending.

Story: Simple, yet refreshing. High school boys swim team is such a good setting for so many reasons--locker rooms, swimsuits, glistening muscles--I'm surprised that it's not a more common vehicle for shows appealing to the female audience. There's oodles of fanservice opportunities, and KyoAni takes advantage of many of them, but it never seemed to take itself seriously, or be unanatomical. (Although high school boys usually aren't quite so muscular, but I'll forgive them on that).

Animation & Sound: Bright and sparkling, good use of color, and smooth action scenes. I'm not picky about sound, but I enjoyed the voices & music.

Characters: They're not stunningly deep, but they work well with the plot and are consistent. The female characters were present, developed, and not completely goo-goo over any specific male characters (just Gou's muscle fetish, lol).

Overall: 7.9/10. This is a really solid anime, with much more depth of plot and character than is usually present in any show that even borders on shounen-ai. The fanservice is fairly tongue-in-cheek and not ecchi, which makes Free! a good choice for almost anyone who likes a good sports anime.

If you really despise anything with deliberate male fanservice or shounen-ai overtones, or are just not a fan of light school/sports shows, then this show is probs not for you.

7/10 story
8.5/10 animation
8/10 sound
7.9/10 characters
8/10 overall
TallyCrow's avatar By TallyCrow on Mar 6, 2014

(My opinion everyone) 

This being the first ever sport related anime I watched, I was thinking the worst...

I really shouldn’t have as I enjoyed all of it, though it was hard to get into it at first. 

The storyline is nothing I've ever watched before and was almost perfect in my eyes. At times I just wanted something magical to happen but of course this isn’t my normal magical shows (haha). 

The Animation and sound were perfect and amazing. 

The characters were unique as each character had something different and strange about them. They were also strong in different ways as they clearly are all strong/ish in strength as they SWIM but I mean some are strong in the fact they can cope well with hard situations. Then there’s the point that all of the guys are pretty god damn hot!  

Overall I really enjoyed this anime and can't wait till I watch the second season. 

9.5/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9.5/10 characters
9.5/10 overall