Free! Iwatobi Swim Club (2013 anime review)


Series: Free! Iwatobi Swim Club
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Year: 2013


I opted to watch this series because I had yet to watch a sports anime that didn’t involve violence. I personally am a sports fan and love anime, so why not? If an anime series that centers around swimming can tell a story for enough episodes, then it should be decent. I felt like I should give it a chance since it’s pretty popular.


Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rin were all childhood friends that swam together at their local club. They were also all part of a relay team, and once it ended, they went their separate ways. Rin ended up continuing his competitive spirit by enrolling in a powerhouse school for swimmers in Australia while the others continued to live their lives.

The others ended up in the same high school later on while Rin came back but went to a rival school in the same town. One day Rin and Haruka had a race which reignited Rin’s will to want to level up his abilities. That also inspires Haruka, Makoto, and Nagisa to start their own swim club and later on recruited Rei from the track team to the swim team.

During the course of the series, they all discover their love of swimming and find their passion to want to swim together as a team.


I felt like it was good to try something different. I believe this marks the first anime series with a mostly male cast that didn’t involve death or injury which is refreshing. I never thought that there was an art form of swimming. It really did put an emphasis on the sport which often gets overlooked by those in other competitive ones.


Even though it was something different, it felt pretty stale. There were quite a few dull moments with Haruka having the emotions of a cyborg. As the lead character, it was hard for me to like or hate him while the other characters each had unique personalities. By no means will this particular anime make me want to become a competitive swimmer or even want to go take a dip.


I did like some of the lessons it taught like the power of friendship by way of a common goal and hobby. Some people share bonds in team sports while these guys formed it in a traditionally individual sport but did it by way of the relay team. I enjoyed it and did go through the next series of this anime, but that’s for another time. I would recommend it for those that watch the same kinds of anime and need a curveball.

Overall rating: 3.5/5
Reviewed by: Timtastic

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