To summarize the first season of Free! up in two words: “feels hurricane”. The last half of the show is what really brings it all together. The build up to and participation in the regional and national tournaments. You see that everything they’ve striven for has come to fruition.
Free! starts off with four of the main characters, Haru, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rin, in their young swimming club days. Then it quickly flashes to the future when the boys are now in high school and their swimming together is in the past. Rin has came back from Australia and has sworn off swimming and attends a school away from Haru and the others. One day Nagisa convinces the boys the swimming again, and then other characters new and old join along the journey. Rin then sees his old friend and rival swimming again, and has to do everything to beat him, so he joins his school’s famous swimming team.
The past bonds of theses characters are explored through out the season. Rin and Haru’s relationship with is the main focus of the show. “Something” had happened in the past and their reason for swimming was lost. With the help of Haru’s new teammate Rei (essentially the noob trying to replace Rin’s spot in the group), the reason of conflict becomes clear. The group then spends their club time preparing for the tournaments, while Rin spends his trying to one-up Haru, something he thinks will give him the happiness he wants.
This last episode ties together and resolves most conflicts that came up during the show, and the tensions between Rin and the guys is finally closed as well at the National swimming competition.
We really enjoyed watching this anime this season. This was defiantly a new genre for us to get into, but it wasn’t that hard to enjoy. How all the characters and themes of the show are wrapped together in the end is great. There are so many cute and heartfelt moments in the show that we would recommend Free! anyone. Yes, yes there are SO FREAKING MANY moments you can scream “GAYYYY!” at, but really after you turn off that weird fangirl side of yourself… the show, the STORY is amazing. Also watching the community and memes that came out of this show were hilarious, but after a while you just need stop looking at Tumblr…. And come on .. please have a second season!!!
Anyway, this concludes our wrap up review of Free!. We plan to get back to regular posting as soon as the fall anime season rolls around.
-Tyler and Gates