Note: There are spoilers for the first episode of the anime in question in this article.
You have been warned.
Welcome back folks. As a quick reminder for those who are new or have forgotten, the idea of these “At First Glance” things is that I watch the first episode of an anime I’ve never seen and give my thoughts on it.
Simple, right? With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
So, I finally have an excuse to watch the “cute boys swimming” anime, do I? Interesting. Of course, had I not been made aware that this specific show is the first one, and not Free! Eternal Summer, then I would’ve been reviewing that instead. Thankfully I found out Eternal Summer is a sequel/second season, so here we are.
As far as the first episode is concerned, the episode follows four former members of a local Swimming club, Haruka Nanase, Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki & Rin Matsuoka all reuniting for the first time since they were kids (Though Makoto & Haruka had still been in touch/remained friends). The reuniting with Rin specifically is a tad rocky, as his attitude seems to have changed drastically since childhood. The episode itself ends with Haruka and Rin about to race in Rin’s new high school, leaving us on a cliff hanger.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s onto talking about what you’re all expecting me to comment on. The fact this is an anime with muscular guys who are constantly taking their clothes off. Which, I guess I don’t blame you, but they are high school guys after all, so it’s kind of iffy territory for me. Someone who is currently 26 as of writing this. Also, let’s face it. This was made for women, not gay/bi/pan men, so I’m not even the target audience.
That aside, there is some character stuff I’d like to talk about. Mainly Haruka’s obsession with water. And I do mean obsession. This guy is almost late to school in this episode because he’s submerging himself in his bathtub, and apparently missed a bunch of the prior day due to the same thing. He also wears his swimming trunks wherever he goes, so he can strip down and jump right in if the opportunity to swim presents itself.
It’s even a running gag in the show that he outright strips in front of the other guys in public because they’re planning to go into the pool at Rin’s new school, but they have to stop him because they’d be caught if he just ran right in there, and they were mainly only trying to spot Rin at the time. When they do go into the building he pretty much throws his clothes in seconds and is in the pool before they can stop him.
The other characters mostly just fall into normal high school anime tropes really. Makoto is easily scared, Nagisa is the younger naive/happy-go-lucky one, and Rin is the jerk. Not too much to say about them really, based on first appearances anyway. Well. Aside from the fact Nagisa is a little too eager to get naked in front of these two, which I found to be funny more than anything. He didn’t have any swimming trunks on when they went into the pool so he just stripped naked and jumped in.
I will say this much; I don’t hate any of the characters yet. Not saying I won’t hate any of them, just I don’t right now. I also feel Rin’s younger sister Gou was added so they have someone to fawn over the boys, but I could easily be wrong. Again, first impressions. Plus, her bio says she has a muscle fetish or something. So, there’s that.
So, will I keep watching this anime? Definitely. If nothing else I got a good laugh out of it, but I do want to see where the story goes. Especially since episode one ends on a cliff hanger. For those who are interested, Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club consists of 12 episodes, with a second season, Free! Eternal Summer consisting of 13 episodes and an OVA. All of which are available in subbed and dubbed formats. There is also a prequel movie called High Speed! Free! Starting Days, though I’m unsure of if it has a dub or not. As of this year, 2017, there will also be two movies based on both seasons of the show, along with a third movie based after the events of the show.
Well, that about covers it. If anyone has any suggestions for anime I should watch for this in the future, give me a shout and I’ll put it on my list. If it’s already on my list, I’ll bump it up in priority. However, if I’ve already watched it then I’m obviously going to have to decline.
I’ll see you next time folks.