OP Sequence

OP: 「Dried Up Youthful Fame」 by OLDCODEX

「嵐のダイブダッシュ!」 (Arashi no Daibudasshu!)
“Stormy Dive-Dash!”

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.

Looking Ahead

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 Sequence

ED: 「FUTURE FISH」 by STYLE FIVE (Iwatobi High School Swim Team)

Preview

End Card

51 Comments

      1. Typical sexist and homophobic dudebro who’s butthurt that Kyoani’s latest anime doesn’t have cute girls doing cute things.
        Cry me a river dude; it’s basically K-On! but with dudes swimming dumbass.

        It's K-On! but with dudes swimminf
      2. @It’s K-On! but with dudes swimminf

        Not really, K-On! never put as much emphasis on sex appeal. Not that there’s anything wrong with this being the way it is; it’s just not the best comparison.

        neemz
      3. To add to that, what’s with this pompous attitude that anyone who dislikes Free! is automatically a sexist homophobe? What does that make people who dislike fan service shows catered to males? Those get plenty of shit as well if not more but you don’t see fans starting a riot over it every freaking time.

        Nothing against Free!; just pointing out that the double standards are coming from both sides.

        neemz
  1. You bet Takaii it’s great to see Gou-chan again. Hoping to also see more of Ama-chan-sensei, and maybe more details of her Marin-chan days. In terms of the story, it’s good to see Rin being more friendly since last season he was more of the bad guy, and he’s doing a pretty good job taking over as captain. I’m guessing the antagonist role this time is gonna be filled by this Sousuke character.

    Zhinvu
  2. While I like Gou, and she is a good female character, I’m female and I’m here for the guys! LOL

    I loved the last season, and I can already tell I’m going to love this one as well. And while as a girl, it’s nice to see a bit of manservice instead of the tons and tons of fanservice going around, but all and all, I really look at Free! because of the relationships between all these guys, with the awesome swimming competition as an excellent backdrop. I loved last season’s ending, since even though they were disqualified, my interest was on the relationship between Rin and his former friends, rather than the competition itself. And now that they’ve patched things up, I’m looking forward to seeing what new drama will enter their lives now, as well as what they will end up planning for the future. I’m just hoping they do something different with Sousuke and he doesn’t end up being Rin 2.0.

    I really loved this first episode, and this summer season has already started out on a high note!

    Also, the OP and ED were good, while the songs of last season were better, the images were awesome here. I mean, merman Haru and policeman Rin? Be still, my beating heart…

    Irenesharda
  3. Just in comparison IMO, this seasons pilot was a lot stronger than the first season pilot (though songs are currently tied). I got to say…..MIKOSHIBA Noooo!!! I have a feeling that this fearsome new swimmer he’s talking about is his (little brother?) aka: that one guy in the op with NItori that looks like Miko’s freaking son, because I’m having my doubts that Miko actually knew who Sousuke? was.
    I do agree takaii, they do need to step up the serious meter a little bit, but not with a bunch of teenage melodrama angst. This is just to prove to others that this show can be taken seriously enough on its own merits.

    SDFGS
  4. High Speed! LN vol 2 has just been released, and will cover Haruka’s middle school years.
    http://sunyshore.tumblr.com/post/90532872132/all-high-speed-2-illustrations-in-order-of

    Sosuke makes an appearance there, together with new characters Kirishima Ikuya(black hair), Shiina Asahi(red hair), and Serizawa Nao(gray hair,also Iwatobi Middle’s swim manager).
    http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-804753/free-discussion-thread-season-1-2?pg=99#46731501

    Hopefully the novel gets web-translated soon.

    zztop
  5. I really enjoyed the OP and ED last year but the animation for this year’s ED is just so hilarious but fun. I love ALL their outfits =3 especially Rin’s (and Makoto’s)… it’s so stereotypical of me to love a man in a uniform =X

    I’m not too much of a fangirl for this show, but it is nice to see some familiar faces =) I’m surprised by how much I remember even though I didn’t follow this show too closely last year.

    1. Either you have something against people who do not share similar interests as you do, or you are a homophobic sexist prick. Either way, you are wasting your time stating your dislike for this anime when all you can simply do is just simply ignore it.

      Heroman010
  6. Ahhhhhhh Free! is back!!! Thanks for the review and screenshots!
    OMG Sosuke’s voice is Hosoya-san….LOVE IT <3

    As always, Kyoto Animation never fails the beauty of artwork!!!
    Pretty hilarious on the club introduction when they appealed their muscles.lol (especially the reaction of the students)

    So excited for next episode <3

    berrish17
  7. It never fails to amuse me that the biggest amount of wank over this show comes from the dudes who get off on harem shows and little sister porn. Seriously, get over yourself.

    sosbrigade1991
  8. Honestly speaking, despite being a girl thi sshow is boring. I only watch it for muscles, since I’m a freak like Gou. More like, watching the series for Makoto, Matsuoka, and Mikoshiba xD But no script in the first season, and I doubt there wil lbe a decent plotline in the second season. Fanservice only. Oh, and the soundtrack’s not bad.

    Kanade
  9. Hosoyan and Mamo being on the same show again is giving me Chihayafuru feels.

    MAKOTO. BABY GOT BACK. :DDDD Uniformed Rin has fulfilled half of my fantasies for the season, da-yum!

    Murasaki
  10. Will I be expecting another review post for the 2nd episode next water time, Takaii? Because this made my day. ;} Oh and I can’t get enough of Free’s OST.

    random viewer
  11. It’s kinda funny how some people are so homophobic about shows such as this, yet they are fine with shows like wrestling, which feature oiled guys in trunks, groping each other.

    drifters
  12. You will make it appear simple together with your display even so to find this matter to become genuinely something that I do think We would hardly ever recognize. It sort of feels far too complex and extremely huge for me. We’re searching ahead of time with your up coming article, I most certainly will try and find the hang on of computer!

  13. I’m not sure Sosuke will be Haru’s rival just saw the episode but don’t get those vibes. I’ll be fun to see what actually does happen with him being introduced. I get the feeling he’ll cause Rin more problems than anything else.

    The ED, oh gosh, it got even more hilarious than last year’s ED. So cute. Thanks for covering.

  14. Swiming animation is looking good. The skycam like follow of Rin and Haruka is dope (Was that effect in s01? Cant recall). Love the water animation, HAruka basically gripping water in the first race against Rin. Brilliant.

    That ED. LAWL

    Miaminights

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