You know I knew it. Quite frankly when there is an anime series of this type like Free! which is very adorable but also pretty emotionally gutting at times you can never go wrong. It will always give you 100% to you as an anime fan.
The reason decided against blogging while the series aired/simulcasted was not over any actual belief that the anime series was not in any way one of the shining beacons of the Summer 2014 Anime Season but more of it being a given had an inkling it would be dazzling for whatever it was worth. I believed in Free! Eternal Summer. Believed it would deliver and actually close with a memorable way since it is that type of care-free, non-serious anime series that just cannot go bad. My faith in it was , of course, rewarded. Winning it a place in my anime fan heart as the top stand-out anime series of 2014. Particularly as a faithful Free! fan. I mean Free! (super cute and emotional) is just one of those anime series that reminds me why I am still even a fan of anime. That and Psycho-Pass (quite intelligent).
Free! Eternal Summer continued where we left off and in many way was almost a direct mirror of instances seen in Season 1, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club. A lot of things did change particularly with the swim team of Iwatobi having its more senior members such as Haru and Makoto soon graduating. It brought into the storyline that our favorite characters would be seeing a transition into the real world or the adult world. So for Haru and Makoto it would finally be time to decide their futures and what they planned to do as a career option. Even toward the end nobody knows exactly what they want to do but trying to sort through their emotions and eventual dreams is more of what is important, so eventually they can make up their minds.
This all paved the way for the second season of Free’s story which deals more on how many of the other swim team members handle the departure of their elder seniors be it Iwatobi or Samezuka. Free! Eternal Summer is giving you more backtstory here as well as on the lives of its many characters but also ingraining new memories. Such as Haru actually showing his real thoughts out loud.
If that wasn’t enough there is a scene of or rather more like an episode that can recall that further cements Free! Eternal Summer as an anime giant worthy of recognition. Almost as if Lost in Translation. Haru and Rin encounter their first moment of being outsiders in a foreign land but while Rin handles himself pretty well given he has had some exposure to the English language from being a visitor in the country–Australia– before. Haru in contrast struggles to understand and or speak English. That might have been singly the most important portrayal in anime in clashing cultures or difference in language. It also neatly connects the anime series’s main themes of how the world is so big and how the characters of Free! will have to eventually venture out into that wide, wide world.
Voice acting had pretty much all the fan favorites with Nobunaga Shimazaki as Haru, Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Makoto, Tsubasa Yonaga as Nagisa, Daisuke Hirakawa as Rei, and Mamoru Miyano as Rin. All the main voice actors really gave great performances but none was more surprising as when Nobunga Shimazaki portraying Haru gave a passionate and heated outburst in Episode #9. Mamoru Miyano also actually continued to personally astound me with his English speaking skills in Episode #12.
I am not sure what can further say about the animation except you truly would not find any other animation that is this amazing of this type out there. Free!’s animation is literally probably the most beautiful out there and of excellent quality. The only others that could rival it maybe are Guilty Crown, K, Gatchaman Crowds, Code Geass/Code Geass R2, and Psycho-Pass. In other words if you have an eye for animation Free! and Free! Eternal Summer’s animation is perhaps the most astounding animation you will find out there especially if you have been a longtime anime watcher.
If anyone should have had worries over how Free! Eternal Summer would lead the anime series Free! further on then those worries should have never even existed. This sequel shuts the Free! chapter cleverly and finally concludes the Free! anime series.
NOTES: Continuing on from Free! Iwatabi Swim Club the anime series. The Opening Theme Song was also performed by OLDCODEX in Free! Eternal Summer. Known as Dried up Youthful Fame by OLDCODEX in Free! Eternal Summer. Another great song by OLDCODEX for this anime series.
Also continuing on from Free! the anime series. The Ending Theme Song was performed by Style Five. Style Five being the main voice actors to the lead characters in Free! Eternal Summer! The Ending Theme Song is known as Future Fish by Style Five. Future Fish perfectly foreshadows events in the Free! Eternal Summer anime series. Bringing this latest ED song to be a worthy successor to Splash Free also by Style Five.
Recommendation Level: Phenomenal anime series. Very Highly Recommended.
* Free! Eternal Summer Rated on AnimePlanet 5/5*
So-So. Probably should be passed up.
Good anime series. Well recommended.
Phenomenal anime series. Very Highly Recommended.
Free! Eternal Summer (13 episodes)
Director: Hiroko Utsumi
Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation, Animation Do
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Friendships, Swimming, Sports, Bishonen, Fanservice
Licensed streaming and home video rights in North America: FUNimation Entertainment
Free! Eternal Summer has now completed simulcasting. If possible, please, watch on your favorite anime online streaming site. FUNIMATION has all 13 episodes available for both Free and Premium users.