Thursday, July 17, 2014

Anime Review: Free!

In celebration of summer, I decided I needed a series that celebrated all things summer.  Free! seemed to be an easy choice (with a couple of people recommending it previously, and tons of swimming).  I was pleasantly surprised with what I found when I started watching it.  So let's go swimming!

The series revolves around a group of boys who were on a swim team together in elementary school.  In middle school, one of them leaves and goes to Australia to train to be an Olympic swimmer.  The rest stop swimming.  In high school, they take one final trip back to the old pool they would practice at in elementary school, and learn it is going to be torn down.  While there, they run into the boy who went to Australia, since he has now returned to Japan.  He challenges one of the other boys to a race.  In order to race each other again, the boys start up a swim team at their own school.  The series follows the boys as they attempt to get their club up and running so they can meet their other friend in the prefectural tournament. 

The characters all seem to have their own personalities.  The most unusual of these is Haruka, who loves swimming.  Not all that surprising in a show about swimming, you say?  He takes it to the point of ridiculousness.  One of the characters is convinced that the most important shared trait among the characters is not swimming, but the fact that they all have "girly names". 

Overall, this series is pretty neat.  It gives interesting backstories to the characters.  The animation is very smooth, and the blue color they use for pool water is really pretty.  I've never been really into sports anime (and haven't watched one since Prince of Tennis was on Toonami), but this one tells a pretty compelling story (and is also really funny).  If you're looking for a series to watch this summer, Free! might be a good choice. 

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