Free! Season Wrap up

tumblr_mtsf60fAE51sfid2fo1_1280

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

Free! Ep 5 – Review

tumblr_mr8636jYj91sbbj9jo1_500

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

 

Free! Ep 3 – Review

tumblr_mq5p12mtCk1rq9aiyo1_500

Delts, pecs, and six packs: a new episode of Free! must be out! I know we’re a few days late getting this out, but better later than never, right?

Starting out shortly after where Episode 2 left off, Haru has a cold from swimming in the pool in April. His passion for swimming is admirable, but he seems willing to let nothing, even his health, come in the way of him swimming. The trio is working on getting a 4th member so they can do relays, but the task seems to be a little harder than they expected. Nagisa has his heart set on Rei Ryugazaki, a member of the track club who is very intelligent. Rei’s calculations turn into his downfall, however, when the coach praises him on his form, but says that’s all he has, which upsets Rei. He also becomes the main focus of the episode.

Then, Kou/Gou arranges a joint practice with Samezuka, the private school that Rin attends. She says, however, that they need to have at least 4 members in order to do this though. This leads Nagisa to run with Rei in the morning on his way to school, getting to know him better, and trying to convince him to join the swim club, which he agrees to, but only as a trial member.

When they get to Samezuka, they start doing individual time trials. When it’s Rei’s turn, he starts calculating, and when he jumps in, he immediately sinks to the bottom because…wait for it…he can’t swim! The fact embarrassed him so much that, even after getting talked into swimming, he doesn’t tell anybody he can’t swim. After getting rescued from the pool, Rei watches Haru swim, and is suddenly full of admiration for him.Rei finally agrees to join the swim club as a full time member, wanting to be able to swim like Haru.

This episode definitely set up a lot of further plot points, and set up some great storylines. It was fun to watch, and kept me wanting more. Can’t wait to see what happens next week!

– Gates and Tyler