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Trivia / Free!

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  • The Abridged Series: Watch here. There's also 50% Off, which has its own page. It was quite popular in the fandom's heyday, but only covered most of Iwatobi Swim Club before fading interest in the series led the creators to cancel it.
  • Actor Allusion: This isn't the first time Kenichi Suzumura has voiced an energetic, flirty redhead highschool boy.
  • Career Resurrection: Rei helped Daisuke Hirakawa become more popular with anime fans after he got a lot of heat for voicing the infamous Makoto Itou.
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  • Channel Hop: The first season's license is held by Crunchyroll, but they outsourced the production of the home video releases to two companies; Discotek Media made a set that was subtitled-only, while Funimation, who themselves holds the second season's license outright, did a rerelease with the first season's dub included.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer:
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Female voice actors portray the main characters' younger selves in both Japanese and English. Averted in the Latin American Spanish dub, where the main characters' younger selves are played by their main voice actors.
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  • Creator's Favorite: Director Hiroko Utsumi is not the least bit ashamed to state that Rin is her favorite character.
  • Dawson Casting: In the Latin American Spanish dub, all of the male voice actors playing the main characters also provide the voices of their younger selves.
  • Directed by Cast Member:
    • The English dub has Jerry Jewell (Momo's VA) as the director for the first 2 seasons, while Caitlin Glass (Miho's VA) takes over the directing duties for season 3.
    • The Latin American Spanish dub was directed by Goro Sasabe's voice actor, Enrique Cervantes.
  • Fan Nickname: A number were given to the main cast by the growing fanbase a while before the anime was announced and character personalities established, including:
    • "Tsun" for Haruka, though he turned out to be genuinely more of a Kuudere.
    • "Senpai" or "Sweetie-pie" for Makoto, emphasizing his caring nature.
    • "Shota" for Nagisa, who has the typical (Male) Token Mini-Moe physical aesthetic, if not as exaggerated as some; he's more or less a Cloudcuckoolander, though.
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    • "Pimp" Explanation  or "Cameron"Explanation  for Rin.
    • "Megane" or "Glasses" for Rei when he was first revealed and most were still more comfortable using the nicknames because the anime still had not aired.
    • "Far Left-kun" or "Far Left-kun 2.0" for Seijuurou due to his resemblance to Rei's prototype design.
      • The nickname has also migrated over to Momotarou.
    • The series itself is nicknamed "Swimbros!" or "Gay Swimming Anime."
      • Hilariously enough, if you simply put "free" into Google images, you get pictures of a red button with the word "free" written on it, but if you put in "gay swimming anime" pictures from the show come up, along with the anime Tsuritama.
      • Tsuritama is sometimes referred to as 'The Gay Fishing Anime', so this makes sense.
    • "Anime Macklemore" for Goro, due to their similar look.
    • "Minishiba" for Momotarou, due to being Seijuuro's younger brother
    • "Eternal Suffering" for the second season (especially after Episode 9), due to the series undergoing Cerebus Syndrome.
    • "The Iwatobabies" for the new Iwatobi first-years in Dive to the Future.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: At the series' peak (2013-2014), the fandom was at stage 4. After Eternal Summer ended, a great portion of the fandom seemed to move on, believing the series ended for good, which caused the fandom to enter a cooldown phase at stage 6a. This isn't particularly helped by the movies released afterwards, since they were released in Japan only and made it difficult for Westerners to keep up with the hype. However, since Dive to the Future aired in 2018, the fandom entered stage X.
  • Genre Relaunch: Free!, along with Haikyuu!! has been sited to help revived the interest of sports anime in North American fanbase, especially with FUNimation.
  • I Am Not Spock: Tatsuhisa Suzuki often received messages on Free!'s radio show, FrFr!, some of which contained marriage proposals. While he had no trouble finding roles, he complained about how uncomfortable he was with those messages, especially since he isn't Makoto Tachibana.
  • Irony as He Is Cast: Free! is known to have strong yaoi overtones, yet the English dub has Vic Mignogna in the cast, who is known for his Christian beliefs and his dislike in working in yaoi anime because of his beliefs. note 
  • I Knew It!: Fans were calling Sousuke having a medical problem with his shoulder since episode 2 of Eternal Summer. Fans who suspected a potentially career-ending shoulder injury were right on the nose; fans who suspected that he had a heart condition or cancer were (fortunately) Jossed.
  • The symbolic equation of Haruka=dolphin and Rin=shark is already established (promo art, Rin's teeth); and in the endtheme animation, as Haruka wanders through a desert wasteland, what does he pass the skeleton of? A Chinese river dolphin.
    • Dolphins and sharks don't exactly get on well in the animal kingdom. Then there's Makoto's orca...
  • Marth Debuted in "Smash Bros.": Asahi, Ikuya, Natsuya, and Nao first appeared in High Speed! 2 and Starting Days, but since Take Your Marks and Dive to the Future were legally available to Western consumers first, most of them are loss at who these characters were.
  • The Merch: This franchise is extremely Egregious when it comes to merchandises ranging from figurines to life-size standees. This franchise also loves to produce limited edition one-offs that usually costs triple in auctions. Recently taken Up to Eleven with the release of many merchandises related to the theatrical film right after the film's announcement.
  • No Dub for You:
    • Subverted for the first season. It was licensed for streaming by Crunchyroll, a website that generally streams anime with subtitles and isn't known for dubbing anything into English, or even streaming English dubs period. While Free! was initially streamed with English subtitles at first, they also began streaming an English dubbed version of the show (with the English voice actors from Funimation's dub reprising their roles, no less). Played straight for the sub-only DVD release, which was sub-licensed to Discotek Media (another company not known for dubbing anything into English); a Blu-ray/DVD release by Funimation of season 1 eventually happened in 2017.
    • Averted with Eternal Summer, which was licensed and dubbed by Funimation in 2016.
  • The Other Darrin: When the 2020 movie gets dubbed, this will happen to Rin due to Funimation firing Vic Mignogna. And that is all that will be said on the matter.
  • Promoted Fanboy: The creators of 50% Off voice minor characters Toru Iwashimizu and Shota Nakagawa in the dub of Eternal Summer.
  • Relationship Voice Actor:
  • Recursive Adaptation: In 2017, more than four years after the animated series ended, Free! itself got a novelization. Keep in mind that the series was a sequel to a couple of novels.
  • What Could Have Been: This image shows the Iwatobi Swim Club without Rei, but instead with another character named Kaede. Apparently this character would have been more easygoing than Rei, as well as retaining the "inexperienced newcomer" role Rei eventually got according to this interview.
    • Remember how the hotel Rin and Haru stayed at is a real place, depicted accurately in the anime? Well, Word of God says that they wanted to have a scene involving the glass shower the room has, but could not find the time.


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