Monday, October 21, 2013

Anime review: Free! [spoiler free]

Sorry about this review, I'm just not that into sports anime. I had to watch this though, because of all the hype.

Haruka meets up with his childhood friends Makoto and Nagisa, whom he knew from having been in the same swimming team as kids. There is also a fourth member to the group, Rin, but unfortunately he turned sour and declared himself too good of a swimmer to hang out with the rest. No, Rin wants to participate in the Olympics, and goes off to Australia to study at a swimming school. Upon returning and seeing his boyfriend Haruka again, they are all forced to face their pasts. 

Wait a minute, this scenario sounds awfully familiar, have I seen this anime before or something? Oh yeah, it’s called Chihayafuru.

Is this supposed to be hot? Sorry, not really doing it for me...
Let’s take a look at the story first, shall we? But, uhm, just exactly what IS the story? I don’t know. There isn’t any. There’s just a bunch of high school boys swimming and showing off their abs. There’s some crying in there and whining over who’s the best swimmer but really, a lot of this is just fan service. Which would have been all right, had it not been for the fact that these guys are so muscular it looks kinda painful, despite not even exercising regularly.

Ok, but what about the characters? They’re alright. There’s Haruka-senpai (exsuse my habit of calling the characters whatever nickname I hear the most often) and I have to admit I like him a lot, simply because he IS my definition of a nerd. He loves water so much he can’t stay away, and I admire a quality like loving something that much. 
There’s someone called Makoto, but I don’t really know what his function is, apart from having a massive crush on his best friend Haru.
Nagisa is the loli boy, while Rei is the laughing stock of the show. They’re kinda cute, especially together.
Also Rin, who’s a jerk most of the time. Despite this fact, his ex-friends seem to be attracted to him, and they refuse to leave him alone. 
There is some development though. A lot, actually, and I guess that counts for the story progression.

This is probably the first anime I’ve seen that included dubstep in its original soundtrack. So that was a refreshing change (this is half-irony. I’m not a fan of dubstep). Didn’t quite see how it was relevant though. Other than that there’s a variety of musical additives to this anime and some of it is not so bad. The end credit is pretty amusing, I would say. 

To be honest, I find Haru-chan's love for water more of a turn-on than his body.

I’m not even gonna bother to talk about the animation. Ok, a few words. It’s pretty, almost too good, except that everyone are way too muscular. But that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? 

My final words on this show are... I think it’s absolutely possible to enjoy this, but don’t expect to be able to take any of this seriously. At least I couldn’t. It’s a good anime to just relax with, have a few laughs, and it’s not story-heavy. The amount of fan service should have bothered me, but after High School of the Dead I think it’s safe to say it’s about time we ladies and gays got something equivalent. Gender equality is approaching! 






Pros:
- Funny and cute, sometimes.
- Animation is pretty. 
- Characters are adorable.
- Character development.
Cons:
- Where is the story?
- Everything is so unrealistic (like their bodies and skills).
- Dramatic scenes are embarrassing to watch.
- Is this show supposed to be a parody? I'm not sure cause it takes itself too seriously.

Not entirely my cup of tea though. 6/10.


                                               (Here's the ending theme for you guys.)

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