Recommend : 100% YES
Free! was the first sports anime I ever tried. I went into the original series thinking I’d hate it. It was one of the first Anime Seasons I decided to do completely so I had to watch Free! whether I wanted to or not.
Here at the end of Season 2 and I’m heartbroken its gone.
Therefore no one can be surprised I say EVERYONE should watch this series.
Free! isn’t just a swimming anime (or The Swimming Anime as its known) its about the team, the characters as individuals and their bond as friends.
The second series spread out the drama. It didn’t just look at Iwatobi but Samezuka too. When I say that I don’t mean it just focused on Rin it actually focused on them becoming a team as well. I think it was important to open that focus up, with the tension between Rin and the others destroyed in the final episode it was able to take on a more fun feel attitude then before but it needed something.
That something came in the form of Sosuke.
He was as broken a character as Rin had been in season 1. He had a injury, he was hiding his pain and he was angry at not understanding. He was Rin MK II just without the bond with the others to motivate anything.
It still had its dramatic moments and Sosuke stepped up to fill the angst quota.
What always made the anime for me was just how much love is poured into everything. The team continued to grow and the bond between Samezuka’s team also grew. You felt like you were attached to both teams and cared for them all and the sad thing was that those characters were going into the real world after this ends. The groups had to figure out what they were going to do next. The second the series ended the teams were being split up and that was the sadness that hounded the whole series.
I couldn’t bring myself to be too sad though, emotional yes but not sad. Knowing the team will never be back together hurt but also being able to see a bit of their future was nice.
Why I think people should watch the series (remembering I’m writing this recommendation like a year later) is because it honestly makes you part of it all. You become part of their lives and it is their lives you are following. This is their hope and their futures and everything else. You saw them growing and the final episode felt like saying goodbye to friends.
I won’t lie that there was something about the first season that I loved but it wasn’t till part way that I understood why but by the final of this series I just was in love.
You don’t have to be a fan of sports animes to enjoy this one. It is about the swimming but it also isn’t. It doesn’t matter if you like the sport aspect because 90% of it is about the people behind the swimmers, their struggles to overcome whatever barrier is in front of them and their troubles as teenagers growing up.
It is a beautiful anime as well, absolutely every scene is beautiful. There are certain scenes that before you even get into the emotional part of it already are emotional by just the beauty of them.
The characters are wonderful. Even someone like Haru who emotionally isn’t the most open make you care.
A anime with a big heart that lets you in and it rarely disappoints. Of course it can’t all be perfect and there are times where I get fed up or just don’t understand the decision taken but they are far and few between and just a difference in opinion.
It is one of the first anime I recommend to people especially to change their mind on sports anime and just one of the best there is.