Review is solely opinion so please don't hate
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.