Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

TV (12 eps)
4.001 out of 5 from 20,233 votes
Rank #1,347

When Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Rin were in elementary school, they swam together in a relay race and won the match. As Rin was on his way to Australia to train to become an Olympic champion, the gang decided to bury their trophy in a time capsule and retrieve it when they all had grown up. Now, Haruka, Makoto and Nagisa have reunited in high school and decide to dig up the prize. But on the way there, they run into none other than Rin, and he's determined to show Haru who's the best! As a result of this fateful meeting, the three friends decide to start a swim club, along with fellow classmate Rei, and their rival's little sister Gou as the team manager. Can the gang hold their own against Rin and prove their skills at the Prefectural Tournament?

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Reunion at the Starting Block! image

Episode 1

Reunion at the Starting Block!

Memories in the Distance! image

Episode 2

Memories in the Distance!

Theoretical Dolphin Kick! image

Episode 3

Theoretical Dolphin Kick!

Captive Butterfly image

Episode 4

Captive Butterfly

Trial in Open Water image

Episode 5

Trial in Open Water

Shocking No Breathing image

Episode 6

Shocking No Breathing

One Style Final image

Episode 7

One Style Final

Revenge in the Medley! image

Episode 8

Revenge in the Medley!

Hesitant Loosen Up image

Episode 9

Hesitant Loosen Up

Irritated Heart Rate image

Episode 10

Irritated Heart Rate

Furious All-out image

Episode 11

Furious All-out

Distant Free image

Episode 12

Distant Free

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Reviews

4nime4ddict
7.5

This anime is great for various reasons, although by a lot of people it is referred to as 'fanservice' I actually think it has a good plot and even better characters. The story told is of a young boy name Haru, who has an exquisite passion for swimming and water. His friends and hisself begin a swim club, and enter in various contests. Along the way they meet an old teammate, and this opens a whole can of worms which is explored within the 12 episodes of this anime.  The story, although very good at times, isn't perfect and it isn't the greatest. I enjoyed it a lot, however I feel like it was missing something. It is paced over 12 episodes and it does seem a bit rushed but it is still told very well.  The animation scored ten simply because it is beautiful. As it is a water-based anime, the animation needed to be perfect for it to be pulled off well. And believe me they managed it. Every single drop of water is so flawlessly made, it just makes you more attached to the series. Also, for the ladies there is a LOT of eye candy, with perfectly sculpted muscles in every episode you won't be able to resist. The sound was good but nothing amazing or memorable. The opening theme at first is quite dull and not exciting, but after two or three episodes it grows on you and can become quite catchy. The voices are so greatly chosen for each character.  Characters are immense. They are gorgeous to look at and so great to listen to, however especially in Makoto's case their past is pushed to the side and it would be very enjoyable to learn more about each character.  All in all, I loved this anime. I would recommend it to anyone who likes sports, comedy or just some slice of life.

BigDumbOhFace
9

I heard about this when I was listening to a podcast a while back.  They were talking about anime and gave one guy a ton of crap for watching Free!.  It wasn't until much later I watched an episode and just gave up on it pretty quick.  After another long gap I was running out of animes to watch and this was left so I thought I'd give it another honest go. Story Nanase Haruka is an extrodinary swimmer in his grade school days but wished to just be ordinary when he was in High School.  His childhood friends Makoto and Nagisa want to try to help Haruka to regain his love for competitive swimming.  However, along comes an old friend who they swam with as children just moved back into town, Rin, who wants to beat Haruka once and for all. It's somewhat a regular sports anime concept but a decent twist.  For me, it was really compelling as I kept wanting to watch more.  The pacing was a bit weird ending at weird moments like an end of a big race instead of the "found out the result next time".  The ending was really good as well.  It wasn't what I expected and it was perfect for how the show developed.  I also really enjoyed the comedy of the show.  It was exactly up my alley which was funny and weird conversations and interactions. Animation "Female Fan Service: The Anime" can describe the character design.  They really focused on the physique and the musculature of all the characters.  It was great attention to detail and it was always present.  Well it had to be because they were shirtless 90% of the time.  The colors well balance by not being too vivid but not to somber.  I also really liked the dramatic sceneries they had as well. Sound The voice actors did a really good job.  They had great range especially the one who played Rin.  He displayed great emotion when it called for it and he nailed it.  One thing I didn't like is the music which kinda didn't fit the show as a whole.  The opening suggested for some real hardcore action but that's not how I see the sport swimming.  It also didn't show how swimming was treated as a whole by the characters.  There was also the weird dubstep in intense moments which I don't really like. Characters First off they were pretty unique characters.  Haruka is a genius of the sport but couldn't care less about winning and just does it because he loves it.  It so happens that he's great at it.  I haven't seen another character like that in sports animes.  There was also great character development.  The only one that didn't really get much growth is Nagisa but he's like the innocent baby of the group.  One thing I look for in sports anime is to have a group of people to also feel just as important as the main characters.  It was somewhat there for me in this anime but it didn't hurt me from enjoying each character.  Each had a weird quirk that made them lovable. Overall To be honest, I was looking for a reason to dislike this show.  However there was not much of a concrete reason to dislike it in the first place.  It was a really solid show with a good unconventional plot and great characters.  It touched all the bases for me that I want in an anime.

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