Free!: Season One Review

Free season 1 - OP

Summer is upon us and along with Summer 2014 is the return of Free! (I seem to have a penchant for exclamation points, hmm..). Anyway, before diving into the reviews for season two, what better way to celebrate the return of our much loved Iwatobi swim team than with a walk swim down memory lane, featuring some of season one’s most tantalising moments? That’s right, it’s a one stop feast for the eyes as we recap with screencaps of summer’s hottest show *fans self* try not to drool fangirls and fanboys, you have been warned~

Free season 1 - image 01 Free season 1 - image 02 Free season 1 - image 03 Free season 1 - image 04 Free season 1 - image 05 Free season 1 - image 06 Free season 1 - image 07 Free season 1 - image 08 Free season 1 - image 09 Free season 1 - image 10 Free season 1 - image 11 Free season 1 - image 12 Free season 1 - image 13 Free season 1 - image 14 Free season 1 - image 15

What was initially intended to be no more than a 30-second KyoAni cm made such a splash and amassed such a huge following on tumblr, that KyoAni (being the marketing guru that it so obviously is) jumped on the opportunity to produce an ENTIRE series. If there ever was any series that was purely for the fans, that would be Free! (yes, evidently I haven’t seen that very many, okay?) I mean, the fanservice was as shameless and blindingly obvious as it could get. If you missed it, no worries because we are celebrating with screencaps after all ^^

And if you still have any doubts whatsoever, then maybe a few more screencaps might change your mind.

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Alright, let’s take a slight pause from the picture parade to actually get to a review of the series.

Characters. Free! was not lacking in this department. The series had all the usual suspects – the stoic one (Haru aka Swishy, voiced by Shimazaki Nobunaga); the responsible nice guy type (Makoto aka Captain, voiced by Suzuki Tatsuhisa aka Tattsun <3); the cutesy one (Nagisa aka Blondie, voiced by Yonaga Tsubasa); the tsundere type (Rei aka Glasses, voiced by Hirakawa Daisuke); and the wannabe rebel wounded bad boy type (Rin aka Shark-teeth, voiced by Miyano Mamoru).

Free season 1 - MC 01 Free season 1 - MC 04 Free season 1 - MC 05 Free season 1 - MC 07 Free season 1 - MC 09 Free season 1 - MC 02 Free season 1 - MC 03 Free season 1 - MC 06 Free season 1 - MC 08 Free season 1 - MC 10

However, the one character whom I definitely related to and really appreciated was Free!’s token girl. The writers did good deciding to include a resident fangirl in the mix, as Gou Kou-chan (Watanabe Akeno) was the one who provided so much entertainment. In fact, her blatant fawning over the boys and their muscles and triceps and biceps and abs (and include other muscle components) was a source of encouragement. Why bother hiding it? Just fangirl/fanboy to your heart’s content!

Free season 1 - Gou 01 Free season 1 - Gou 02 Free season 1 - Gou 03 Free season 1 - Gou 04 Free season 1 - Gou 05 Free season 1 - Gou 06 Free season 1 - Gou 07 Free season 1 - Gou 08 Free season 1 - Gou 09 Free season 1 - Gou 10

Swimming might be the featured sport for this series, but at the heart of it all Free! is about friendship. Throughout the series, we watched as our main characters bonded over getting involved in the swimming club, swimming training, swimming camp, swimming competition.. Yes, swimming was what brought them all together (good choice of sport I say!). Fanservice might have been the name of the game in Free! but it did have its heart warming and aww-inducing moments. Like when Rin was yearning to swim with Haru, or when glasses offered Rin his spot in the relay. Free! might have laid on the sappiness but you’ve got to remember that this was initially not planned to be an animated series. And with that in mind, I think that Free! did good with what (little) story that it had.

Free season 1 - ED

Really, with this show, don’t bother thinking. Just watch~

~The review of Free! is in response to a challenge (otherwise known as the KyoAni Challenge – in light of Akatsuki’s review of Chuunibyou and Komorebi’s review of Kyoukai no Kanata) issued by fellow writer Akatsuki. All shamelessness and audacity are unabashedly made as a result~ *nods*

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