Is Free! on HULU a worth watch?

Free! is a Japanese anime television series produced by Kyoto Animation and Animation Do.

The series revolves around members of a high school boy’s swimming team. The youngsters participate in a swimming tournament right before they graduate from middle school and go their separate ways.

Years later, they are brought together when a swimming challenge comes their way.

1. Quick Review

The protagonist Haruka Nanase possesses a deep-rooted passion for swimming. As a middle-schooler, he took part in and won a relay race with his three friends Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, and Makoto Tachibana.

Is Free! on HULU a worth watching?
Free! | Source: Amazon

After this victorious event, the four friends went their separate ways. Many years later, fate brings them together as high school students.

However, the relationship between the characters is no longer how it was back in high school, especially Rin.

Rin now attends a different high school and his only goal in life is to prove that he is a better swimmer than Haruka.

After the awful reunion between the childhood friends, Haruka, Nagisa, and Makoto decide to form the Iwatobi High School Swim Club.

In hopes of taking part in an upcoming tournament, the three friends recruit Rei Ryuugazaki, a former member of the track team.

As the day of the tournament approaches, the team of four trains intensely while forming a close bond with one another. The tournament will serve as a means to permanently settle the dispute between Haruka and Rin.

Free! narrates a story revolving around the concepts of teamwork, friendship, and rivalry. The series focuses on swimming as a sport and through that aspect depicts a tale about what goes into exhibiting good sportsmanship.

2. Info Card


Air Date: July 4, 2013 Status: Finished Studio: Kyoto Animation, Animation Do No. of Seasons: 3 No. of Episodes: 37
Watch Free! on:

3. Is It Worth Watching?

Free! consists of some amazing animation and sound, especially in the scenes involving swimming.

「Free!」完全新作劇場版 ティザーPV
Free! PV

The crisp sounds of the characters diving in the water and their movements as they swim are both a visual and auditory treat. Free! is a worth watch, watch it on HULU now.

I. Plot

The story follows the life of high school student Haruka Nanase, a gifted swimmer. Many years after middle school, he comes face to face with his childhood rival, Rin Matsuoka.

The story progresses with Haruka and his childhood friends working on bringing Iwatobi High School’s swim team back to life.

Free! captivates its audience with a unique plot and interesting characters that portray human emotions and the value of friendship and sportsmanship beautifully.

II. Characters

Haruka Nanase

Haruka Nanase is the main protagonist of the anime series Free!

He has a deep-rooted passion for swimming and specializes in freestyle which amazes all those who witness it.

Is Free! on HULU a worth watching?
Haruka Nanase | Source: Fandom

His character is described as a strong yet introverted person who finds it difficult to express his feelings to anyone.

Despite displaying a cool and uninterested persona on the outside, Haruka is very protective of his friends and cares deeply for them.

Rin Matsuoka

Rin Matsuoka is one of the main characters and Haruka’s rival in the series.

He is a freestyle and butterfly swimmer. When he was in middle school, Rin was passionate and competitive when it came to swimming as well as teamwork.

Is Free! on HULU a worth watching?
Rin Matsuoka | Source: Fandom

As the years went by, his attitude towards swimming changed drastically as he became obsessed with competing and winning against Haruka.

Makoto Tachibana

Makoto Tachibana is one of the main characters and a backstroke swimmer.

He is the captain of the Iwatobi High School Swim Club. Makoto is a pleasant and caring person who is always concerned about the well-being of others.

Is Free! on HULU a worth watching?
Makoto Tachibana | Source: Fandom

We can see significant development in Makoto’s character as he becomes more confident when defending the name of his friends and swimming team.

Nagisa Hazuki

Nagisa Hazuki is one of the main characters of the anime series Free!

He is a breaststroke swimmer and on the Iwatobi High School swim team along with Haruka Nanase and Makoto Tachibana. Nagisa’s character is optimistic yet straight-forward.

He is known to be a guy who speaks what his on his mind. It was his strong determination and his enthusiasm for swimming that kick-started the current Iwatobi Swim Team after being abandoned for quite some time.

Rei Ryugazaki

Rei Ryugazaki is one of the main characters and a butterfly swimmer on the Iwatobi High School Swim Club.

Rei’s character is a man of logical thought and he calculates distance, angle, and other factors in his mind even when it comes to sports. 

Is Free! on HULU a worth watching?
Rei Ryugazaki | Source: Fandom

He also acts as comic relief in between the series scenes involving competitions and training.

Rei is a hard-working and determined individual who hopes to improve his swimming despite the number of times that he has failed to do so.

III. Setting

Free! series is set in Iwatobi, a town in the country of Japan. This fictional town is based on Iwami, Tottori.

The artwork and character design add depth to the show and highlights the emotions portrayed by the characters as well as the current mood in the series.

IV. Theme Songs

The opening theme of the series is “Rage on” by Oldcodex and the ending themes are “Splash free” (eps 1- 11) and “Ever Blue” by Style Five (ep 12).

Is Free! on HULU a worth watching?
Free! Cover | Source: Fandom

Both the opening and the ending fit the anime very well and focus on the concepts of teamwork and the spirit of competition.

4. Grade

Free! 4/5

Story: A+

Cinematography/Animation: A+

Art: A+

Music: A

5. Final Thoughts

Free! has a unique concept by using the sport of competitive swimming as their focal point. The animation, art, and sound used in the series complement the story well.

The characters are designed well and their character development is seen in the way they interact with one another. Free! Is a wonderful and nostalgic inducing slice of life anime that you do not want to miss out on.


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