Free! is an anime by Kyoto Animation that is a Sports Story 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 novel was originally entered into the 2nd Kyoto Animation Award contest and received an honorable mention. A commercial released before the series was officially announced gained a sizable fanbase on both Tumblr and Pixiv due to the shirtless Bishōnen featured. The show was quickly dubbed "Swimming Anime" before its actual name was revealed. It is co-produced by Animation DO (a subsidiary of Kyo Ani), and is directed by Hiroko Utsumi (marking her directorial debut) with script supervision by Masahiro Yokotani and character designs by Futoshi Nishiya.When he was young, gifted freestyle swimmer Haruka Nanase competed in an elementary school relay team with his childhood friends Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki and Rin Matsuoka. After winning a championship together they parted ways, with Rin leaving the country to follow his dream of reaching the Olympic level.When Rin returns years later with a nasty new attitude and a major grudge against Haruka, his reappearance sets in motion a series of events that lead to the founding of the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club. Along with Makoto, Nagisa, rookie Rei Ryugazaki and manager Gou Matsuoka, Haruka reawakens his passion for competitive swimming in the hope of getting through to Rin.The media distribution service Crunchyroll is streaming the series under the name Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club.Click here to read the chapter summaries, and the (in progress) chapter translation of the light novel prequel, High Speed!
Tropes present in Free! include: