37 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Free! episode 1 – BUTTS

vlcsnap-2013-07-03-21h45m53s45Shinmaru is going to AX so I get to steal his butt thunder…wow that came out weird.

Alternative title: I’m not a misogynist, butt…


There are a few things I do like about Free. The ending song, the ending song, the use of dubstep and rap music when shit is going down, the ending song and finally the ending song. That ending is amazing, with its pink butterfly hoodies and Magi cosplay stripping. Asides from that ending, the parts I liked were generally when Free embraced its more ridiculous, gayer side. The rapping when the ginger kid re-appeared was hilarious thanks to its dramatic reveal and drastic shift in tone. Also the dubstep when the characters were ready for a swimming duel was great because dubstep makes everything better, although that may be leftover goodwill from Jojo’s and its Holy Wubstorm.

However when the soundtrack wasn’t dominating the tone, it was mostly just…actually there was a lot of tight asses and crotch shots and stripping as well, which was yet another example of misandry in anime down with those feminazguls pretty great. But yeah, the occasional manservice and great BGM choices aside Free was…wait no, there was also really great swimming animation. I wouldn’t know good swimming animation if it hit me in the face and did a butterfly stoke in my mouth, but I saw Free with someone who used to swim competitively and they told it was accurate. That was kinda expected anyway with KyoAni on board, so nothing new there. That all aside though, Free was terribly dull.


About 70-80% of the show is the dudes standing around making cutesy faces at each other and going “neeeeh Haru-chan”. The characters so far consist of two tsunderes (read: assholes who are dicks to everyone for no real reason) and two cutesy airheads who just dance around commenting on how people haven’t changed and how much they just luuuurve swimming. They are boring people with nothing interesting to say to each other. I know I should have expected this going in, but once you take the genders out of the equation, this is fairly indistinguishable from most of the rest of KyoAni’s stuff, and I dislike Free for largely the same reasons I dislike all their other stuff. I guess people like watching a bunch of cutesy highschool students faff about saying sweet nothings to each other? You guys are weird.


But seriously, that ED is amazing.

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  1. Shinmaru
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink


    • Hanasra
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:29 am | Permalink

      What do you feel when you see your signature title get stolen by Scamp, twice?

  2. Gedata
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m calling this series Swimguys from now on, just soinds good to me.

  3. Fumoffu!!
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    When it comes to Jojo and dubstep I always ALWAYS remember DUBSTEP SQUIRREL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxlJJdh_0Kc

    Anyway, the episode was kinda disappointing, the characters were really dull, much more so than even I was expecting.

    Also the main character reminds me a lot of Shinjirou from UN-GO what with the hair, thinking about it I remembered that in the UN-GO movie it details how Shinjirou used to be in the swimming team at school.

    I am hoping that this somehow becomes a prequel to UN-GO. I think that is the only thing that would make everyone rage even harder.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      …damnit, that Un-Go revelation means I have to watch at least one episode now. Maybe that means the world of Free will eventually go to war

  4. Posted July 4, 2013 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Power ranking:

    1. Rin
    2. Gou
    3. Nagisa
    4. Haruka
    5. Miho-chan-sensei

    Obviously I am the ultimative authority on this.

  5. Erif
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Free! ends up being Scamps favorite anime by KyoAni.

    Goddammit Scamp.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      It’s not more Full Metal panic so bleh

  6. Hanasra
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    If this is the sacrifice needed to bring forth Durarara!! S2, then I’m gladly accept it.

    Anyway, Fall season look really dull. I guess it will be the time to rewatch some old anime.

    • Posted July 4, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Most folks would say they’re looking forward to Kill la Kill. Some more interesting stuff got announced recently too so it doesn’t look too bad. I count about 3-4 stuff that might be good, which works for me.

      Anyways, I’m sticking with the show for now b/c I like the idea but it’d be nice if it had some actual substance.

      • Scamp
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        Fall suddenly got good between Kill la Kill and Pupa showing up. Plus there was that anime about the demon prince that’s looks really good that looks like it will be this Fall, and whatever Noitamina is supposed to be bringing hasn’t been announced yet.

      • Hanasra
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

        Wowo, I don’t really know about this Kill la Kill and Pupa stuff. Guess I have to start searching for them.

  7. aethelwulf
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    If the characters were Rule 63-ed, the only thing that would have been different (besides the obvious skirt droppin’ instead of trouser droppin’) is that Rin would have had a pair of tsundere fangs instead of a mouthful of shark teeth.

    We fangirls want shark teeth. We fangirls terrify ourselves sometimes….

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

      Skirt dropping was in Rinne no Lagrange. That is honestly about all I remember about that show

      • Kioku from Laptop
        Posted July 10, 2013 at 3:08 am | Permalink

        Shit, I was laughing my ass off at the swimsuit apron. Was not expecting that in the slightest. At least not in the first episode.
        The mouth a-la shark reminded me of Viral. Amused. Hoping continuous doses of random amusement can help offset the bromance. Yuri goggles, not Yaoi goggles damnit.

  8. sqa
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    So, Rin is “making it rain” in the ED. :)

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      It’s a metaphor for the KyoAni offices. The water is money

  9. Seppuku33
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    The smexy ED made my heart go all doki doki!

    • Posted July 4, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      something new must have awakened from within the deepest part of your heart

  10. Seppuku33
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    I watched this imagining that they were all girls because of your post. The show could work either way. At ANN they said that there was contraversy over Free! What’s the big deal besides its a fanservice show for girls? Also they sure do love stripping at the drop of a hat. I guess I know how girls feel when they watch a show with loads of male-oriented fanservice.

    • sqa
      Posted July 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      In the run up to the series announcement, KyoAni was willing to play coy with it being another season of FMP, along with a few other things. When a few people try to run with the “fanboy rage!” thought line, they can only do it by ignoring the fact KyoAni was attempting to hype the announcement really hard. That’s what got the fanboys raging, not that they’re making Free!.

      This simply wasn’t a series that needed hype before it was announced, so it really was a bad business move on KyoAni’s part. Hyping something brand new *after* you announce it would have made sense.

      • Scamp
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        Nonsense, the hype they built was beyond perfect. The hype behind the original non-trailer that was then announced to be the actual anime that had sexy men plastered everywhere. This show will sell like gangbusters and dwarf every other KyoAni thing so far

      • aethelwulf
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 1:52 am | Permalink

        The high DVD sales are a given. Even laughably-bad otome game adaptations regularly move three to four thousand DVDs per volume in their first week, and the hype behind Free! has guaranteed the show an insane army of howling fangirls.

        It always baffles me why the anime industry doesn’t try very hard to court their female audience. Hell, the first volume of UtaPri 2 sold over 45K DVDs and Blu-rays last week!

      • sqa
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 2:13 am | Permalink

        You’ll find out why they don’t pretty quickly when you look past the first volume, for female-targeted series.

        Uta Prince-sama is much like the rest of the idol stuff in Japan. It’s big business. But Vol 1 had an “event ticket” *chance*. Volume 2 could see well over a 50% drop. We’ll know in a few weeks.

        But Otome game adaptations aren’t great sellers. They get those massive Vol 1 sales, then drop hard. So, they’re really more advertisements for Live Events. So, for Free!, if there isn’t an event ticket, I don’t expect it to sell well. Plus, there’s actually another series that’ll be fighting for the female audience this season: Brother Conflict. It’ll be interesting to see which sells more.

      • Scamp
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        You ever looked at the sales of Hakuouki?

        Not sure about Prince-sama. I’d be shocked if it really did completely drop off the charts next week, seeing as DVD and BR combined it sold over 50,000 copies

      • Kiraly
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        KyoAni never pretended it would be FMP, that was just some fans (from /m/ on 4chan, I believe) that interpreted the pre-reveal image that way.

        And the thing with Hakuouki was that it had a fantastic VN that focused more on plot and genuine character drama than on colorful (and frankly embarrassing) cliches. It had a large following well before the anime aired, despite the anime in no way doing it justice.

        I’d still be surprised if Free won’t sell like hotcakes.

  11. TheVoid
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Haruka didn’t even seem tsundere at all. He’s basically watersexual and bored with anything that isn’t water, which he unhealthily loves.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

      Haruka X Water OTP

  12. gw_kimmy
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    broke my ignoring anime streak for this…!!

    annnndddd was super disappoint. i wasn’t expecting much but c’mon that teacher out-moe’d everyone by a mile. IM SUPPOSED TO BE SQUEEING OVER THE BOYS ;( but yeah, lol’d at all the kirakira eyes and random stripping and the desert-themed ED (i kept expecting nathan drake to drop in guns ablazin for some reason)

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2013 at 1:08 am | Permalink

      My favourite character was the sister, which I felt kinda bad about. Like how all my favourite characters from Daily Lives of Highschool Boys were the girls

      • Kiraly
        Posted July 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        To be fair, she’s the prettiest KyoAni female to date.

    • abyssion29
      Posted July 6, 2013 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      That teacher out moe’d pretty much most kyoani characters. Even from her background story she seems like a much more interesting character than anyone it that show. A story about a 20 something person not able to pursue her dreams and finding a passion for something else would make a more interesting story than ‘K-ON! the swimming version’.

      That ED was totally not what I was expecting, the way they danced in the club was so cheesy it was hilarious

  13. Seppuku33
    Posted July 4, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Scamp, what shows are you and the rest of TheCartDriver (“TCD Crew” as I just made up) covering this summer season?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 5, 2013 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      Shinmaru has dibs on Gatchaman Crowds, Inushinde has Symphogear and I’ve got Danganronpa. However last winter I was supposed to cover Sasami-san and Valvrave in the spring, so these things are flexible

  14. Mr. Anon
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ll just be honest here, if this show had genders reversed I would enjoy it way more, because I love fanservice, especially when fabulously animated like this show. And the better the plot and characters are, the better fanservice gets. Hard to judge Free’s story so far, but at least it doesn’t seem like it will be terrible.

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