The grammar thing keeps trying to correct “More Free” to “Freer” and if that is not the name of the next season then they really missed out on an opportunity.
The summer of 2013 was a lot of things for me. First of all, it was my last summer of high school and the next summer I would have to get ready to go to college. Second of all, it marked the year of babysitting where I was so underpaid that I did not make enough money to pay for gas. Which also resulted in me getting chewed out by the mother of the said child when I told her I started watching other children when I was not watching hers to actually have a positive cash flow that summer. Otherwise, I was losing money. But that is not why we are talking about 2013. July of 2013 was the month I became a constant viewer of seasonal anime when a little show called Free!: Iwatobi Swim Club came out, and I fell in love with the idea of “sports anime”. So, today for Day 6 of 12 Days of Anime we are going to talk about Free! and its most recent sequels.
So far Free has managed to come out with a sequel the two times I needed them most in life. Eternal Summer aired prior and during my first semester of college and watching Haru struggle with not knowing what to do with his life helped me deal with being away with home and having no idea of what I wanted to do in life. Then, as I searched the job market and dealt with a lot of rejection, Dive to the Future was there to give me a laugh every Wednesday to get me through the hard times. Hopefully, 2020 will not be stressful and it will be there just for overall enjoyment. Fingers crossed.
It is weird to look back at the original show and see how few characters we had. Aside from the five main boys, the supporting cast was small. Then during Eternal Summer Sousuke (who deserves more screentime in 2020) shows up and some people were ticked off. Along with Sousuke we got to see more of the Samezuka team and make the show beyond just one swim team. That was followed by High Speed which gave us Asahi, Ikuya, Nao, and Natsuya who I honestly never thought we would see all grown up. Especially since the prequel came out after the two seasons did there really was not the opportunity for them to be there. Which was upsetting but was ultimately solved when Free!: Take Your Marks was released.
At that point, it seemed like that was how the story was going to wrap up. What more was there to do. We know Haru and Rin go on to the world stage. Everyone was happy. They were all going places in their lives, our baes were growing up. What more could you ask for?
That all changed when Dive to the Future was announced and something rarely seen in anime was featured as a focal point. College. Now I know that Dive to the Future was not a perfect season by any means, and if we had not been told Free was coming back in 2020, I would probably have been furious with the way that it ended. Many plotlines were solved halfway through and the rest of the time was pretty much spent building up to the next season. Which is infuriating, yes, but I still loved every minute of it. Getting to see Haru and Asahi compete together, Makoto debating his career path, Natsuya traveling the world, Rei being the new captain, I could go on and on about things in this season that I loved.
Plus, we got to see Haru’s real character development when he actually swam more than just freestyle in a competitive setting AND yelled. Yes, that counts as character development for Haru.
Most of our main boys had a storyline either related to them specifically or that they were involved with in some way. Some definitely deserved more screen time *cough* Sousuke *cough* but in the end, we got to see everybody do something. Our now large supporting cast help flesh out storylines and add their own hilarity and view to situations. There are so many of them, and I think it is fun to see how some character that had been in the show since the beginning really come more to the forefront and be actual people. They also tied into the story well and some helped to answer some questions that we had from previous seasons/films. The new additions were really nice as well, and I cannot wait to see more of that fine Swedish man…and the others too I guess. There is also the fact that the soundtrack and animation remain my favorites of any show I have seen, and anything that has the Style Five in it immediately goes on my iPod to jam out to.
So much Free! has been released since back in 2013 that I can honestly tell you I never would have expected half of the stuff that happened in Dive to the Future. We had a girl actually swimming for crying out loud. The characters really just continued to grow in this season in a way that did not have to circle back to issues that they had in prior installments. I know some may say that KyoAni is beating this story to death, but I always felt like this was a story that could keep going if they thought it through enough. The seasons are natural and are progressing through the stages of life. Now, I am not saying that there needs to be a season 11 where its Haru contemplating getting ready to retire from swimming, but I am also not saying I will not watch it if that happens. If I had one complaint it would be that some characters featured in the opening did not show up until very late in the show, but if that is the only thing I am complaining about then that is pretty good.
I love Free, always have and always will. This is a show for me that, at this point, could do anything and I would never not watch it. I like every single one of the characters, yes some more than others but everyone does that. It is a show that never makes you feel bad for liking a character. There may be some who need some…help to get you to like them but I have come around to like every character in this show. Even Hiyori. Which I thought would be impossible. I hope they keep making more Free, but if the 2020 series is our last one then I will cry for a week following the last episode and move on.
And by move on I mean watch everything again through my tears.
Well, that is all that I have for Day 6 of 12 Days of Anime. Let me know what you guys think though! Are you a Free fan? What did you think of Dive to the Future? Who is your favorite character? For me, it is an ever-changing list but my top three are probably Haru, Sousuke, and Asahi. And Natsuya. Dang it! Anyway, let me know your thoughts down below!
See you tomorrow!
- You can check out the original 12 Days of Anime post here: 12 Days of Anime 2018, where you can get more information and get links to more posts!!
– You can also check out the master list of participants and posts here.
– You can also check out all of my 12 Days of Anime posts here.
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– Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Twitter: @Kachan_Anime