Continuing from Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! and Tamako Market, Kyoto Animation’s new TV anime Free! was only recently announced, yet it’s already picking up attention. The anime was shockingly announced on April 26 at a presentation by Kyoto Animation. Since then, the anime’s official Twitter account has amassed more than 20,000 followers. In commemoration of this, a Twitter icon of the anime’s five main characters is now available for download on the anime’s official site.
Free! is based on Koji Oji’s light novel High Speed! and won an honorable mention at the 2nd Kyoto Animation Awards. The story follows high school student Haruka Nanase who creates the Iwatobi High School Swim Club along with his friends. This adolescent story depicts the burning passion of these high school boys as they participate in swim races. Until now, Kyoto Animation has raised its esteem with works based on bishoujo games and moe 4-koma manga. It seems possible to say that its subjects break new ground.
Free! is being directed by Animation Do’s Hiroko Utsumi, who is also making his debut with this work. Other staff includes Masahiro Yokotani as series composer, Futoshi Nishiya as character designer, and Yota Tsuruoka as music director.
The opening theme for the anime is “Rage On” by Oldcodex. The ending theme, performed by a unit comprised of the voice actors of the main characters - Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tatsuhisa Suzuki, Mamoru Miyano, Tsubasa Nagayo, and Daisuke Namikawa - seems to be picking up support from female fans.
Free! will begin broadcasting in July on ABC, Tokyo MX, TV Aichi, and BS11. The anime will also be distributed online via Nico Nico Douga and ABC Video Club.
Special articles on the anime have also been published in current issues of the anime magazines Monthly Newtype, Otomedia, Animedia, Monthly Animage, and Pash that went on sale on May 10.
Nanase Haruka © Oji Koji, Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. / Iwatobi High School Swim Club
Tachibana Makoto © Oji Koji, Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. / Iwatobi High School Swim Club
© Oji Koji, Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. / Iwatobi High School Swim Club
Nagisa Hazuki © Oji Koji, Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. / Iwatobi High School Swim Club
Ryugasaki Rei © Oji Koji, Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. / Iwatobi High School Swim Club
Matsuoka Rin © Oji Koji, Kyoto Animation Co., Ltd. / Iwatobi High School Swim Club