Free! – Gay Swim Club 01

Please welcome the first ever guest blogger on KAB, Atashi (@wordsofsongs)! For this Summer, Atashi will be guest blogging KyoAni’s latest show, FREE! for my blog. Hope you all will enjoy something new and different, I will also be adding my thoughts whenever I can.


Summer 2013 season begins with, appropriately enough, KyoAni’s much-anticipated swimming anime Free!, which is touted to make ovaries explode and vice versa.I’ve always been a fan of KyoAni’s skills, so this show is a must-watch for the fluid animation alone and the half-naked men are just added bonuses.


So water animation. It’s beautiful, sparkly, and overflowing across the scenes, dripping gratuitously down sculpted brawn and sinew. I feel compelled to guzzle H2O just by watching this show.


MC-kun is Nanase Haruka, a man who loves swimming and water so much that no female can ever compare. Given his Yui-level devotion to the wet stuff, I half-expected him to blurt out “Because swimming things are swimming”, but KyoAni might be saving that for a later episode.


Be careful with what you wish for, Haruka. But before then, he must sit in the designated MC chair.


Just to drive in the typical MC-kun position, Haruka lives alone in a spacious place with no parental supervision.


Oh, and he leaves his house unlocked and Makoto just lets himself into the bathroom where Haruka is vulnerable in the tub…
((((o(゚∀゚)o))) ドキドキ♪

Swimsuit X apron キタ━(゚∀゚)━!
Definitely vulnerable. Just look at the subtle bump of his gluteals, almost hidden by the apron straps.
Go for his hind while his hands are preoccupied!!


Haruka abruptly strips. A lot. I suspect that he might be working part-time at a Chippendales when he’s skipping school. I mean, someone’s gotta pay the bills.

Pen…Penguin boxers… I must obtain a pair.


Haruka shows the most emotions around the thought of swimming and…Rin.

Some things…

…never change.

While other things…do?

Haruka’s body is ready.



So the series is shaping up to mainly revolve around the rivalry between Haruka and Rin, but let’s not forget his three merry friends (Makoto, Nagisa, Rei) who will support the MC in his quest and show him the true strength of friendship.


The token female character of the series is Matsuoka Gou, little sister to Rin. Fear not, for she is not a rival for any male character’s affections but rather the character for viewers to self-insert.


Hopefully the Iwatobi Swim Club (+ Rin) will fare better than the Light Music Club in achieving their grandiose goals. I suffered through two seasons of K-ON! fancifully anticipating that the girls might get that Budokan concert in. The Free! boys might not become Olympic champs, but here’s to another trophy by the end of the show!


I love KyoAni, I really do. The boys’ shirts flap up during their dance to flash their toned abs for split seconds oh god
\(≧▽≦)/ きゃーーん♪
And the boys are all symbolized by animals. Haruka = dolphin, Makoto = orca, Nagisa = penguin, Rei = butterfly, Rin = shark.


Let the water flow, baby! If this isn’t symbolism for how wet the loins of fujoshi get while watching this show, I don’t know what is.


Rei looked so serious in promo spreads but he’s practically frolicking in the ED sequence.

End card by KyoAni, just like their Chuu2 end cards


Kurogane says: Haha oh wow, KyoAni. They really didn’t hold back at all for their target demographic for this show. I grew some proverbial ovaries watching this episode which promptly started exploding by themselves. Never knew I was capable of that.

On a more serious note, yes… this is not your usual KyoAni show for sure. The amount of fanservice that went in this one single episode is rather unheard of. I think I counted no less than 5 stripping events…. which is not helped by the fact that the animators really, really love their abs. Also, possibly the flattest chests ever in a KyoAni production too. I can only wish for a male-oriented fanservice show with this level of quality.

My interest is piqued enough to keep on watching this, if only to see how far can KyoAni go in their creative abilities. I’m still not very confident with their track record on original works, so my expectations are appropriately set. This is not definitely a show in my comfort zone… but hey, gotta shake things up sometimes!

25 Comments

  1. Winterblade Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

    So it could be said that a certain famous Submarine captain wouldn’t be out of place here?

  2. Hayate Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

    i cracks at the MC seating part

  3. Hayate Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

    btw, u should have used Commie, they put ‘Gay Swimming’ on top of the Free! icon in the OP. makes me fall every single time

  4. Giorno Giovanna Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

    Honestly the last thing on my mind when reuniting at an abandoned building with an old rival would be to aggressively look into his eyes while running sideways at an empty pool, nor would I expect to see him at night in yet another school.

    Even I’m a tad disgusted at the blatant ending song, where the sexual metaphors are just way too much. I mean, you have him being thirsty, wandering the desert for years and craving for water that only Rin can provide. That is just too much connotation for me.

    Apologies for anything implied but my reaction to a female blogger here writing about wanting penguin boxers that a guy recently wore, would be this video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQPqtJ2XWS8

    Its strange that even I think Rin is moe with shark teeth, it seems he only eats raw meat after all. GOD DAMN I’M BEING INFECTED BY FUJOSHI.

  5. Nikki Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

    “I can only wish for a male-oriented fanservice show with this level of quality.”
    Every single Kyoani show have had male fanservice. Chunibyo OVA being the most recent packed with sexy/moe cosplay like school swimsuit, girl on girl action and overall girls being cute and random. Hell, K-ON’s whole concept is male fanserivce through cute clumsy girls doing cute thing!

    The thing is that when it comes to female fanservice it translate differently because they can’t just put the boys in some cosplay and expect their audience to get off on it. Free has lots of shirt ripping, abs and boys doing sexy winks because that’s literally the equivalent of boobs jiggling, panty shots all the other usual things we see in every single anime ever.

  6. horse Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

    kuro yudodis…

  7. Dakkar Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

    Kuro, just make sure not to get slightly exited over this show while in places like cafes, or you might get shot.

    And looks like I was right about not picking any more KyoAni shows unless everyone gives them 10/10 several episodes in.

  8. Benigmatica Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

    How much bishie-sparkling testosterone will they poison our brain after this show is over?

  9. Saga Darklight Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

    How many fujoshi came while watching this episode I wonder…

  10. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    July 4, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

    Every single Kyoani show have had male fanservice. Chunibyo OVA being the most recent packed with sexy/moe cosplay like school swimsuit, girl on girl action and overall girls being cute and random. Hell, K-ON’s whole concept is male fanserivce through cute clumsy girls doing cute thing!

    The thing is that when it comes to female fanservice it translate differently because they can’t just put the boys in some cosplay and expect their audience to get off on it. Free has lots of shirt ripping, abs and boys doing sexy winks because that’s literally the equivalent of boobs jiggling, panty shots all the other usual things we see in every single anime ever.

    The funny thing for me is that I’ve always felt that KyoAni fanservice, when it happens, is rather tasteful and not in your face kind of thing. Plus it’s usually played a lot for laughs as well. I’d say it’s usually leaning more on cute side of the spectrum rather than sexy.

    Free! however…. is literally quite blatant and shoves it right in your eyes. I agree that’s this the equivalent of boobs jiggling and pantyshots. Coupled with the amount of detail KyoAni puts in….

    So yeah, that’s why I felt like saying that.

    Its strange that even I think Rin is moe with shark teeth, it seems he only eats raw meat after all. GOD DAMN I’M BEING INFECTED BY FUJOSHI.

    Give in to your inner ovaries……

  11. Nikki Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 12:20 am

    @Kurogane Shiroikaze

    Yeah I agree with that! I’m just not sure how an anime, female oriented, with male characters and cute fanservice would be like? Even if they tried to make it like that the audience wouldn’t dig it for while males enjoy cute girls, females would much rather have “hot” guys and therefor sexy fanservice. The appeal between hot and cute are different in the genders. Or I think so at least? Maybe there is a big demographic of females enjoying cute fanservice with male characters as well?

    But yeah, I agree that this is a new side of KyoAni we are seeing here. Free! isn’t for everybody but to quote Lloyds from T&B “If you don’t like it you can quit!”

  12. Giorno Giovanna Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 12:30 am

    @Nikki
    So you’re basically saying men like to watch cute pure and untainted girls with bubbly personalities while women prefer seeing raw flesh and unbridled male on male aggression?

    inb4 Someone mentions about herbivore males and carnivorous females in Japan due partially due to anime viewing.

  13. Nikki Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 12:33 am

    @Giorno Giovanna
    No, I’m not saying anything like that at all. Did you read the message I replied to?

  14. Ana Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 12:37 am

    @Nikki

    I’d say that Ouran HS Host Club was pretty “cute” fanservice. It might have been blatant and self-mocking, but I don’t think it ever even really reached shirtless scene levels of actual “sexiness”.

    Also, one guy’s a butterfly? Isn’t that completely out of place? Does he not swim?

  15. Giorno Giovanna Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    Are you deliberately going to the opposite end of the spectrum, High School DxD, just to cure your mind of viewing this show?
    Oppai Dragon song really is the antithesis of Free!

  16. Fadeway Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 1:16 am

    Grats on finally getting a slave Kuro. Took you way too long to catch up to the modern style of blogging!

  17. Atashi Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 1:37 am

    @Ana:
    Rei’s specialty is the butterfly stroke and he’s the only one in the main cast who wasn’t a swimmer since childhood.

  18. Netami Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 3:26 am

    Was quite amazed by this show seriously first time I’ve witnessed female fanservice shoved into my face as directly as in here :D Tho I did kinda like it…. does it mean I’m gay ? =/

  19. TheVoid Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 4:43 am

    I think fanservice makes sense to a degree considering it is a anime about swimming, but seriously that ending. The other guys are naked playing in a oasis and they’re dancing at a club filled with half naked men wearing gas masks.

  20. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 7:17 am

    Yeah I agree with that! I’m just not sure how an anime, female oriented, with male characters and cute fanservice would be like? Even if they tried to make it like that the audience wouldn’t dig it for while males enjoy cute girls, females would much rather have “hot” guys and therefor sexy fanservice. The appeal between hot and cute are different in the genders. Or I think so at least? Maybe there is a big demographic of females enjoying cute fanservice with male characters as well?

    Yeah, I can’t imagine that. “Cute” males is basically gone in to trap territory. Oh well, I guess it’s due to the traditional gender stereotype we’ve all been ingrained with.

    Are you deliberately going to the opposite end of the spectrum, High School DxD, just to cure your mind of viewing this show?
    Oppai Dragon song really is the antithesis of Free!

    Nah, I’ve been reading Highschool DxD’s novels this week. Nothing to do with Free! I assure you. But yes, I can’t wait for the 2nd season to start.

    Grats on finally getting a slave Kuro. Took you way too long to catch up to the modern style of blogging!

    Oh you!

    Tho I did kinda like it…. does it mean I’m gay ? =/

    EMBRACE YOUR INNER OVARIES

    but seriously that ending.

    I have nothing to say that would convey the WTF’ness of watching the ED.

  21. kyon22 Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 4:39 pm

    i’ll be sobbing in the corner, waiting for Full metal panic season 3..

  22. Himajin Breaker Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    I’m fine with the manservice, but their behaviour feels kinda off. It’s like they just took standard KyoAni girlish actions and made guys do them instead. I know girls don’t behave IRL like they do in anime, but come on, KyoAni, if you’re gonna try and set a new trend, go the whole hog and make up some idealised bishounen behaviour instead of just copypasting moe girl behaviour. Or better yet, just take some cues from shoujo manga. There’s plenty of ovary-explosion-inducing material in those.

    Also, those stripping animations are dramatic as fuck. Both Haruka and Jaws must go through their clothes really quick, the way they just rip their shirts off.

  23. Skribulous Said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 10:05 pm

    Wow, Kurogane broke.

    I was more entertained by this review that by the actual show itself.

  24. Ohnoo Said,

    July 6, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

    I think I was more entertained machinegunning it to pieces with MSTing as the material for my bullets. On Twitter.

    I’m just short of a manual counter ticker on my hand just to count how many fanservice/eyecandy shots are there. But I was glad I didn’t sit through the OP or ED, otherwise I’ll break the counters for every single frame they have.

  25. Ohnoo Said,

    July 7, 2013 @ 12:08 am

    @ Himajin Breaker

    You know, that was what I was thinking too. The characters’ behaviour and attitude makes me think that some dudes who watched the show sure must’ve felt way manlier.

    … Hey, that could work in a sense, you make uber betas watch this and see if they snap out of it and feel like they’re some Saxton Hale.

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