Free! Iwatobi Swim Club is a fantastic anime in its second season that follows a group of four boys who love swimming and start a competitive swim team at their school. 🏊
I, for one, had a ginormous little girl crush on my very first swim teacher, who was probably as old as the high-school guys in this anime are supposed to be. But to 7-year-old me, he was so cool, and so buff, and could swim, and held all my pool floaties. It was love, I’m telling you. ❤️With Free! I’m able to relive a little of my childhood past.
Ostensibly, the series is about this:
But most fans can tell you the series is actually about this:
These boys are fiercely competitive underdogs with a rival school, so you can expect lots of emotionally-charged drama with collar grabbing, clothes ripping, and other fine instances of the “totally-just-competitive-about-swimming-and-not-sexual-tension” variety. It’s a treat to watch 🍭!
This anime is great because it has a typical sports anime story which is engaging enough to keep you (and whatever hetero men who may live in your house) interested in whether the boys will win or lose, but also lots of silly stuff, and embarrassing squee with half-naked buff guys. It might even make you want to work out and go swimming this summer. 💦
Below, I’ll introduce the boys and provide a link for your watching pleasure. Enjoy!
Haruka is the main character of Free! and most of the story centers around his development. He starts as an introverted, stoic, somewhat tortured individual who only cares about swimming free-style and eating mackerel🐟. Soon, he begins to learn the importance of
manservice friendship and begins to participate in tournaments and build the Iwatobi Swim Team. His symbol is the dolphin. 🐬
Makoto is the gentle, easy-going neighbor of Haru and they’ve been friends since childhood. It’s obvious that Makoto
is crazy in love with cares deeply for Haruka, and wants him to be happy as well as grow as a person and an athlete. He seems to lack confidence in his own abilities as an athelte, but prefers the backstroke because of his big, strong arms 😍. It is also shown that Makoto is great with kids and animals. His symbol is the whale. 🐳
Nagisa is the group’s “Boy Lolita” (Shota) character, with his short stature, cheerful disposition, and love of food of all kinds, but especially sweets🍬🍰🍧 . Of course, because he’s quite childish, he gets along very well with Makoto. The swim club was Nagisa’s idea in the first place, because he wanted an opportunity to
smooch swim with Makoto and Haruka during high school. His preferred stroke is the breaststroke and his symbol is the penguin. 🐧
Rei is the final member of the team, and was originally on the track team until he was forcibly scouted to the swim team by Nagisa. Like a true glasses man, Rei is obsessed with theory and relentlessly pursues beautiful form. Of course, most problematic for Rei is when he joined the swim team, he couldn’t swim at all. It wasn’t until he saw the beauty of the butterfly stroke that he was able to put his theories into practice, earning him the title of “The Most Beautiful Butterfly”.
(Meanwhile, I can’t believe they don’t have a butterfly emoji, and I doubt Rei would be pleased with a caterpillar, so here are some sparkles. ✨)
Okay, now I know you want to watch, so here’s a quick link to it on Crunchyroll. Please keep in mind that there are two seasons, so you’ll probably want to start on the first one if you want to know what’s going on. (I’m so so bad about this, I always get too excited and just start watching whatever pops up and then am so confused.) 😅
As always, enjoy the squee!
Currently Drinking- 🌿❄️ – Iced Mint Matcha Latte