Free! -Eternal Summer- – 01
OP: 「Dried Up Youthful Fame」 by OLDCODEX
「嵐のダイブダッシュ!」 (Arashi no Daibudasshu!)
Everyone’s favorite swim team is back in action!
Iwatobi Swim Club!
After last season’s anti-climatic ending with Rin and company getting Iwatobi’s swim team disqualified from the competition that they spent the entire season preparing for, I was happily surprised as the story skipped over the rest of the school year and started fresh with a new school year. What I wasn’t happy for was what felt like Kyoani pushing the reset button as Makoto made his typical trip to pick up a habitually late Haru.
Luckily after the eerily similar opening sequence, the show wasted no time getting us back into the gist of things. Throwing the idea of recapping last season to the wind, this first episode quickly setup the new challenges that everyone will need to tackle all while giving off a sense of urgency. While I can’t put my finger on it, it just feels like time and its scarcity is going to play a factor this season.
Why so Serious?
While it may be a little too early to say since we’re only one episode in, I am really hoping this second season takes itself a little more seriously and really becomes the swimming anime I know it can be. Sure there will always be a bunch of shots for those who watch the show just for the muscles but I’m praying that Kyoani does something more with this show then just pander to its huge fan following. I can get behind all the new cosplay possibilities after seeing such a corny ending sequence but I hope we get things that follow a bit closer to the opening — awesome swimming sequences that really show off just how cool swimming is.
MUSCLES, MUSCLES, and MORE MUSCLES!
This is a bit obligatory but aren’t we all happy that Gou made her fabulous reappearance by going crazy over the muscles she loves? Sure she’s a side character who probably won’t get as much screen time as she deserves but it’s nice to see her get a little of the spotlight. While I’m not sure if I approve of her wanting Rin to rip his shirt off so he could display his muscles for all to see, I’m just going to chalk that up with Gou just going with the flow of things.
Overall, a pretty decent episode. With the main cast from last season all returning, a new rival for Haru just waiting for an introduction, and Rin getting super serious about the future, I’m really hoping it all adds up to a slightly more serious Free!. While it remains to be seen whether or not we can stomach another childhood story where a long lost bro tries to rekindle the old flames of friendship (or maybe competition in this case), I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see. All I know for sure though is I really hope Rei doesn’t end up getting shafted this time around :/.
Hope you enjoyed the post! A couple of the shows I’m previewing / covering may come out a little later than usual this week since I’m currently in LA for #anime-expo. If you’re here I’d love to see you! Thanks for understanding and I’ll see you later!
ED: 「FUTURE FISH」 by STYLE FIVE (Iwatobi High School Swim Team)