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[Anime Review] Free! (Iwatobi Swim Club 2013- )

Official Website (Japanese)

Plot Summary: Four boys named Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Rin all participated in a swimming tournament shortly before graduating elementary school and later parted ways. Years later, they reunite when Rin challenges Haruka to a race and wins. Not wanting to be defeated so easily, Haruka gathers Makoto and Nagisa and a new recruit named Rei to form the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club.

Director: Hiroko Utsumi

Writer: Masahiro Yokotani, Kōji Ōji (based on novel by-High☆Speed!)

Music by: Tatsuya Katō

Runtime: 12 Episodes / 25 Mins

Main Cast:

  • Nobunaga Shimazaki, Megumi Matsumoto (young) as Haruka Nanase
  • Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Satsuki Yukino (young) as Makoto Tachibana
  • Tsubasa Yonaga, Satomi Satō (young) as Nagisa Hazuki
  • Mamoru Miyano, Akeno Watanabe (young) as Rin Matsuoka

Review: by Lee and Nena

What started as a 30 second commercial, meant only to promote Japanese animation company Kyoto Animation, went on to grow a large internet fan base that created names and backstories for the characters, relationship pairings, and fan art -- all for an anime that was never intended to be a full series.  After seeing the huge demand for the fan-named "swimming anime," internet streaming website Crunchyroll created a petiton to have the series created in full.  Kyoto Animation heard the internet's pleas and happily granted their wishes.

Listen Here:

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

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