This is the anime that introduced me to sports anime. I had no idea that that sort of anime existed until my friend showed me Free!. I also only watched it for muscles.
This is my favourite sports anime so far, it’s the only one that’s really interested me (I really like muscles). Yuri on Ice is slowly catching up, but compared to Kuroko No Basket and Haikyu, Free! Is definitely my favourite.
It was interesting from the first episode, and it does take a few episodes for the swimming to kick in, it’s still interesting up until that point. It surprisingly has a story line and there’s character development taking place. All the characters are very interesting too, especially Haru (he’s my favourite).
The friendship between the characters develops throughout, and becomes stronger. Especially the Iwatobi team and Rin, who had previously fallen out prior to the show (with Rin leaving). It also shows how they progress as swimmers (especially Rei) and their team as a whole.
The races are very intense as well, and I found myself really getting into them. They weren’t predictable so I was able to really enjoy them as I wouldn’t know the outcome.
The animation is also decent (there were moments where the characters looked funny, how this isn’t noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for). The angles shown when the characters were swimming made it a lot easier to get drawn into what’s going on.
The second season is also as good as the first, so I wasn’t disappointed. I watched the second season as it aired, and I was always excited for the next episode. However, the ending made me cry. Mainly because it made it almost impossible for there to be a continuation, even though it showed a clip which made me believe that they’d somehow make another season. Instead we got a film which I have yet to watch.
The ending was satisfying and wasn’t disappointing at all, and I really enjoyed it despite it feeling very final.
A downside is that there was only hinted yaoi, and any pairings weren’t confirmed. This was extremely frustrating at times when there was an opportunity for something to happen and it didn’t. However, hinted yaoi is better than none, so I can’t complain too much.
So what are your thoughts on Free!? Leave a comment below!