I've GOT to ask, since we've had numerous examples of the other option (show about cute middle school girls, targeted to guys) and they're often derided as "creeper" material. Do we not have "oogie" vibes about taking a show clearly targeted to women and now "de-aging" the characters down to middle school? Especially considering that we're talking about a show where the guys all prance around in speedos?
I'm not a fan of "Free", but I can understand the appreciation it received especially in light of the ratio of it compared to say the "K-On"s of the world. But K-On (in the manga) actually followed the girls into college rather than making a prequel back in middle school. Are we happy hypocrites? Or are we all fine with using underage characters to fan-pander as long as it's available to both sexes?