It was inevitable. Free! was bound to make an appearance on this list.
To be honest, I had avoided Free! on Crunchyroll at all costs. I kept thinking it’s about a bunch of bishounen’s in a swim club-how could the story actually be? But it kept popping up whenever I was looking around for a new anime to start, so I decided to give it a shot anyways. Watched 1 episode and thought it was cute. Before I knew it, it was done and I was completely fangirling for Free! But let’s be real, as much as this is advertised as a sport anime – it really isn’t. The focus is really on the friendships between the guys on this show.
I learned the hard way not to judge an anime by its cover with Free!. I really enjoyed this anime for what it had to offer. It got me to care about the characters; even though the drama seemed to be a bit much. Each character was really loveable in their own way; even the ones I found annoying in my first watch of it, I quickly changed my mind later on. Also, surprisingly I found an interesting blog about Free! from a male viewer’s persepective. You should give it a read. The author, Gespenst goes a great job breaking down what’s good, okay, and terrible about the show. I agree with this review, and I also appreciate the section about the “genre-saavy fanservice” its a great small segment. But anyways, here’s the link: Free! – The AniTAY Review.
But what really had me impressed was some of the animation. It was hard to believe some of the scenes were so high level, especially the water movement, and other background scenes. But what would one expect of Kyoto Animation. My favorite animated scene came from Season 2, when Haru’s conflicted with what he wants to do with his future and Makoto confronts him about it at the festival. They’re atop the hill that over looks the ocean and well they get into a fight. The following occurs: Makoto reveals his plans for his future which looks like it completely shatters Haru and in that silence the fireworks start. A few things, and not to be super insensitive because I really really do love this show but I actually laughed really hard at this dramatic scene because it felt so over the top. On top of that- why the fireworks! Typically a scene with fireworks in the background depicts a romantic scene. Okay, I admit I would ‘ship these two but still!! This is where the heavy undertones of BL of this show really kick in. But as ridiculous as this scene is, it is also my absolute favorite of the series because of how well the fireworks are animated and how well it illuminates the faces of the two childhood friends amidst their drama.
I’ve looked into Free! and the light novel it’s based on (High Speed) I wish they had made a true adaptation to the light novel. From what I’ve read the character’s have a much deeper story and background to each of them. I would go into detail about it, but I can forsee the opportunity coming up sometime soon on this 30 day challenge. It’s really mindblowing what they go through in the light novels – it almost makes the show seem superficial since it only scratches the surface in terms of character development.
Anyways, yes Free! is THE anime that I’m ashamed to have really enjoyed because it’s led me to be completely taken by the fandom T_T and introduced me to the world of ‘shipping characters within shows. I’ve also become an avid collector of all things Free! Because well everything that comes out is too damn cute to pass up! *sigh*
Anyways, that’s all for Day 5! Do you guys have a guilty pleasure anime?