Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club - Reviews

HiddenNugget's avatar
Sep 20, 2014

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.

8/10 story
10/10 animation
6/10 sound
7/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
BigDumbOhFace's avatar
Jan 30, 2015

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.


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.


"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.


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.


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.


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.

9/10 story
9.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
Elven's avatar
Sep 30, 2013

I have to say it out first. If you think, that this anime looks like Yaoi, also known as ‘boys love’, and I agree, it does look like it, you are wrong. But everything in this anime, does lead into there, while it never reaches its destination.


Well, basically it’s about 4 dudes, who want to swim together, while one of them only swims free style. He loves water; he would marry it, have children and live happily ever after. But since he cannot do that, because of obvious reasons, he simply goes inside it every day. It sounded so dirty…

So, the story involves also his love, err, I mean best friend, who he swims with, takes part of one tournament and then his boyfriend… err, damn I mean best friend forever, whose name is Rin, leaves to Australia, to get even better in swimming. Haruka boyf… I mean Rin goes retard mode though and starts bitching.

So, the old members of group, Haruka, Makoto and Nagisa, start swimming club and try to earn Rins trust back.

Story itself is damn basic, but they have made that story into good story, with all the humour between. You really must love anime, to understand those jokes. And I must admit that I, who hates animes what is almost fully about boys, also enjoyed it. Also, it teaches you to love your friends, physically.

It gets 7/10 from me.


Well, there wasn’t that much Animation, to think about. There were lot of swimming and then they travelled to different universe in the middle of swimming. Also they had a lot of drama in same spot a lot. Oh, and I better not forget about love drama, between Makoto and Ocean, which was rather interestingly animated. But there wasn’t anything amazing either, which would leave my mouth dropped for a while. Also, Rin mouth is funny. I mean it.

Have you ever seen shark in Anime, human shark, if we count One Piece out. You will see it there.

It gets also 7/10 from me.


Ha, if I listen to the music, first thing I think about is Yaoi, which it isn’t. It was interesting thought.  I am most happy about that, they had plenty of soundtracks for the whole anime. More than I would ask from 12 episode anime.

So, well done!

Go listen playlist here!

I give it 8/10.


Now, I must say, characters were rather well built, while there were obviously things to whine about. I mean, why Rin was all the time so bitchy. And why his teeth are like that. Seriously, I think his grand-grand-grand-grandfather was married with shark and I won’t comment what happened after that.

And how the hell Haruka is so water obsessed? How can he be so dull? Makes me feel like he is robot.

And how the hell Makoto hasn’t had sex with Haruk… oh wait, it isn’t boys love. Ignore that sentence.

Why Gou hasn’t fallen in love with Haruka yet? It would give so much more for this anime. I would had actually enjoyed it more.

I am certain Aiichiro loves Rin. Now that is obvious…. Hah, gayyy.

Basically, characters were interesting, but even then, they missed some obvious elements. I guess they simply were punch of weirdos.

Thus, without other boy-love notice, I give it 8/10.


So, if you like boy-love, err I mean, if you like swimming and sport anime and you love how boys have fun together, then it is for you.  If you hate it, give it a chance, you might like it, as it has nothing to do with boys love. I promise.

Total score: 7.5/10.

7/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
UnicornExecutions's avatar
Sep 6, 2014

Yeah I watch sports  

Sorry but there is just no way I can not make fun of this 

it is utterly and completely a Fanservice for girls 

The plot is pretty lame

Why girls would watch 

  • FANSERVICE( guys in skin tight bathing suits)
  • pretty much a yaoi ( they pratically show no interest in girls)  

Side note: 

I saw a pic that actaully describes this anime( couldn't find it tho :*-(   ) 

Haru-h2o Sexual

Rin- Gay for Haru

Makota-Maybe staight but mostly likely gay for haru

Nagaisa- mostly likely Gay for Rei

Rei- Book sexual

Why guy would watch 

  • casue your sister or girlfriend forced you too
  • you like swimming 

Unicorn out~

3/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
5/10 characters
4/10 overall
Ashlex's avatar
Jul 5, 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