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.