|Abbreviation(s):||Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club (English)|
|Creator:||Kyoto Animation, Animation DO, Koji Oji|
|Date(s):||July 4, 2013 (season one), July 2, 2014 (season two)|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
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Free! (Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club) is a sports anime by Kyoto Animation surrounding the lives of High School swimmers. It premiered on July 3, 2013 and it is based on High☆Speed!, a novel by Kouji Ouji. The show follows a group of four male swimmers, all in high school, who start a competitive swim club at their high-school.
The first season of the show started on July 4, 2013, and had a twelve episode run, ending on September 26. A second season, dubbed Eternal Summer! was later confirmed and aired on July 2, 2014, completing the series in September.
The show also has several extras/side stories, light novels, and a prequel film titled High Speed! -Free! Starting Days-' which aired on December 5, 2015.
The fandom for Free! sprung up literally overnight. In March 2013 a commercial by Kyoto Animation, which had been created to try out animating 2-D water, aired during episode 10 of Tamako Market. It quickly spawned a fanbase on Tumblr, Pixiv and elsewhere within 48 hours of its release, due almost entirely to the attractive shirtless Bishōnen featured in it. The fandom was quickly dubbed "Swimming Anime" before it was an official show and its actual name was revealed.
Responses to the commercial, and show, have included role-playing blogs, fan art, videos, and fanfiction. Like many anime shows with a predominantly male cast, it has garnered a large following of yaoi fans. The series is know for it's fanservice focusing on male characters, which appeals to a female audience which technically being a shounen anime.
In Ocotber 2014, Free! reached 5,900 works on Archive of Our Own, becoming one of the top 5 most tagged Anime & Manga fandoms on the site when it surpassed Kuroko no Basuke. The fandom stayed in the top 5 until October 2015, when it was surpassed by Haikyuu!! reaching over 10,800 works.
Significant supporting characters:
- Makoto/Haruka - MakoHaru
- Rin/Haruka - Also known as RinHaru.
- Rei/Nagisa - Also known as Reigisa or NagiRei. They have around 2,000 works on Ao3. This is a generally uncontroversial ship and is often featured as a background ship in fics for other pairings.
- Sousuke/Rin - SouRin. Gained popularity during Season 2.
Other Common Pairings
- Sousuke/Makoto - SouMako
- Rin/Nitori - Rintori
- Makoto/Rin - MakoRin
- Sousuke/Haruka - SouHaru
- Rin/Rei - RinRei
- Haruka/Rei - ReiHaru/HaruRei
- Haruka/Water - HaruH2O
- Seijurou/Gou: SeiGou
- Haruka/Gou - HaruGou
- Seijurou/Makoto - SeiMako
- Kisumi/Makoto - KisuMako
- Kisumi/Haruka - KisuHaru
- Haruka/Nagisa - Harugisa
- Momotarou/Nitori - MomoTori
- Ikuya/Haruka - IkuHaru
- Hiyori/Ikuya - HiyoIku
- Isuzu/Gou - IsuGou
- Makoto/Haruka/Rin - MakoHaruRin/Marinka
- Sousuke/Makoto/Kisumi - SouMakoKisu
- Kyoto Animation: Suiei-hen the commercial that first excited fans of a possible new anime
- FREE! trailer the trailer released for the official anime Free!
- 50% OFF Episode 1 - Prologue / 50% OFF by Octopimp - is an abridged/spoof fan series on youtube that became massively popular
Archives & Fannish Links
- Free! kink meme community on Dreamwidth
- Free! anon meme on Dreamwidth
- Free! 400m先の未来へ LiveJournal Community
- Free! at AO3
- Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club on FF.Net
- FREE Iwatobi Swim Club a FB fanpage
- Free-IwatobiSC fangroup on DA
- Tumblr tags: Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club, Free!
- Free! cosplay blog
- A Tumblr fanblog
- Texts From Gay Swimmers, a text blog devoted to Free!
- , "Free!" 2nd Season Confirmed At Official Event
- , Anime: Free! (TV Tropes Wiki)
- , Kyoto Animation: Suiei-hen on MAL
- The Daily Dot, "Fake Anime Series inspires real fans on Tumblr," March 11, 2013.
- The Mary Sue, "Tumblr Invented Entire Anime Based on Thirty Second Promo? Must Be Monday", March 11, 2013.
- , Most Favorite Free! Pairings
- Archive of Our Own, Works tagged Hazuki Nagisa/Ryuugazaki Rei.