Free! Eternal Summer: Episode 1 – Review & First Thoughts

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Water Is Alive. 

My favorite hit of last summer is back! A whole year has has past for this anime it is feels like it never went away!

The new series sets it self up nicely. The Iwatobi Swim Club is desperate as ever for new recruits, while Rin has been promoted to Captian of the Samezuka Academy Swim Team. Also ‘Ole Captain Goro has bought and rebuilt the childhood swim club of our familiar cast, and has let Iwatobi use it during the winter season to prepare.

After the usual swim competition between Haru and Rin that leads to a tie, The gang meets (Rin … kind of forced) back up at Iwatobi to reveal their opening of their pool. Far too cold to swim, Rin then reveals his dreams of swimming professionally is determined by nationals this year. The episode then ends with us, and Rin, being introduced to a new character, Sousoke. Will this be a new rival for Rin ?

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Thoughts

This was the best possible way to bring back the series for another summer. It felt as if the series never ended. In away I am glad we are not watching the usual “Rin’s battle against Haru”, and we get to see that the characters have moved past that… but of course we will see some friendly competition.

The series is setting it self up for some interesting conflict. Will Haru ever act as seriously about swimming like Rin does? How is Rin going to make it this year being Captain and trying to achieve at Nationals? WHO IS SOUSOKE!?  … and those muscles.

More than ever am I glad to be able to watch Free again, and I look forward to this Eternal Summer!

-Gates

Oh … and hey internet.

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Free! Season Wrap up

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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

Our Hiatus

So, this whole college adjusting to college thing is a lot harder to handle what Tyler and I thought it would be, and yes the blog will take a hit from it. We will no longer be posting reviews for the summer season n here. BUT what we will do is tweet and tumble about the anime we are watching, and then at the end of the summer season we will write up a recap and announce the 2 shows we will review for the fall season.  We will start regular posting in the fall!

So! What anime series are you looking forward to watching this fall??

Follow us on TWITTER Twitter: @Otakuiius TUMBLR: Otakuiius 

-Tyler and Gates

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Free! Ep 5 – Review

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Story, foreshadowing, and floaties! This episode takes a slightly different route than we’re used to. It’s a lot more story driven than previous ones, and there are a few darker themes throughout. On top of all of that, there was surprisingly little fanservice. The focus was entirely on the characters, their pasts, and preparing for prefecturals.

The episode leads off with Gou/Kou finding an old flier for a past Iwatobi Swim Club chapter. It describes their training regimen, which included swimming 1 kilometer between several islands, running circuits of the islands, and then swimming back. Gou/Kou suggests that they use this training regimen to prepare, and; in agreeance, they set off, preparing for the trip. They’re short on funds though, so they have to borrow a lot of camping supplies from Mako and his family. They also have to recruit their ex-swimming coach-turned-pizza-deliveryman Goro to take them using his squid fishing boat. He also supplies them an ice-chest full or pizza for free.

While they were on the island they saw that Samesuka swimming club, including Rin, were also there. And even though it was just a coincidence, it inspired the Iwatobi Swim Club  to train as hard as they could.  On their first day they only completed half of their training regimen with everyone swimming and Rei using a paddle board. Rei couldn’t keep up with the rest and he thought he would be the one slowing everyone down.

At the end of the day they made pizza and the boys head to the tents as Gou/Kou and Miho head to the lodge.  While coming out of a convenience store, Gou/Kou runs into Rin and his friend, and they start talking about the rest of the group. Rin seems surprised that Mako is okay with swimming in the ocean, some heavy foreshadowing that gets more serious as the episode draws to a close. After their conversation, we’re taking back to the boys, who are sleeping in their tents on the beach. That is, all but one of them is sleeping.

Rei has taken it upon himself to go out on the ocean by himself with a paddleboard at night, and the water quickly begins to get rough. It starts storming, and Mako wakes up, and when he goes outside, sees Rei in the water. He then runs and jumps in to save him, and the screen fades to black.

This episode was one of the more suspenseful episodes, and actually lacked that fan service all those girls crave (Gates…). So more suspense = less fan service :p. There is also alot of back story that’s about to emerge from Mako. Is Free! really going to be okay with the fans if there is a lack of fan service? We think that the story of Free! will be more than enough to please, at least us.

-Tyler and Gates

 

Update – Tokyo in Tulsa, anime, and life

So! There has been a lack of reviews from the past week, which Tyler and I are sorry about. This week was Tyler’s last week of his summer job, and I had a lot of overtime this week. So, we weren’t able to watch that much anime.We were also getting ready of Tokyo in Tulsa which was a BLAST! We met up with some pretty awesome people and did our favorite thing, talk about anime. Maybe there is A-Kon in our future ? Ay? 

Tyler and I are also getting ready for college to start up again. So our lives will be full of packing and buying expensive textbooks for the next two weeks. We both go off different weeks so you will see post only by me or him so we don’t get behind again. August will just be an interesting month of an adjustment for both of us! 

Just to catch up right now, we are going to post all of our reviews for the past week in one big post! They will be not as detailed and shorten, but this will make it easier for us to write and for you to read! 

– Gates 

Free! Ep 2 – Review

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Splashing water, swooning teenage girls, rippling muscles, random stripping, and swimming. We could only be talking about one thing: Free!

Episode 2 begins right where episode 1 left off, the race between Rin and Haru. You are left hanging and not knowing the results of the race. BUT at the beginning of the show it is assumed that Rin lost the race as he says “Does this mean I will never beat him?!” Then it flashes to the scene where Haru and the boys are being scolded by school faculty for breaking in to the school’s pool.

Gou (Rin’s sister that attends that same school as the other boy’s) ends up expressing our feelings when it comes to ALL the fan service for the ladies… We aren’t suppose to look, but we love it… maybe too much.

Later the boy’s come up with the idea of forming a school swimming club to make use of the old pool on the grounds. They get their teacher , Miss Ama, to sponsor for them who use to work for a swimsuit designer. The swimming club is approved under the condition that they clean up the old pool for use. While cleaning up Mako and Gou get in the conversation of why Rin and Haru don’t swim anymore. It is revealed that Rin goes to the academy, but isn’t part of the swim club. Gou suspects that Rin has lost to Haru at the race at the academy, but Mako tells the real story. Rin had won the race against Haru. At this point you realize Rin is competing with the idea of winning while Haru doesn’t see winning as a factor, he just wants to swim.

You end up seeing Mako’s home life between his family and siblings and you also see a flashback to the their childhood when he runs in to an old instructor that tells a story about when Rin came back for the first time from Australia in the winter and ran into Haru and they to their old club to race. Rin is defeated and breaks down, after going to study in Australia he still can’t defeat Haru. this is explained why Haru stopped swimming because he hurt Rin by winning.

At the end of the episode you learn some much about the inner and outer conflicts of the characters, by the end Mako sees that Haru is returning to his “old self”. As they are opening the pool for the first time, even though it’s too cold outside, Haru strips down to test out the pool.

AND NEXT EPISODE WE GET TO MEET PURPLE HAIR GLASSES GUY!

– Tyler and Gates