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Episode Review: Free! Eternal Summer


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Tanteikingdomkey



Joined: 03 Sep 2008
Posts: 2105
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 3:45 pm Reply with quote
question to those still watching does the show ever go back to the pre -rei ( can't swim, glasses guy) in terms of its humor and pacing. because I enjoyed the first to episodes but 3-7 were just very dry, not that funny, and really not interesting enough for me. However if the show went back to being more sports oriented that would also be a huge plus for me.
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ehh123



Joined: 07 Jul 2010
Posts: 31
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:10 pm Reply with quote
ehh123 wrote:
"Free! doesn't like to portray its characters under pressure through dialogue. It prefers to zoom in early and often on their brooding expressions and their trembling, unnaturally vivid eyes. This episode found both Haru and Sousuke in different kinds of pain, and for the most part showed their anguish visually instead of relying on exposition."
Well, anime is a visual medium, so I would prefer a "show, don't tell" approach.
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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 253
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:40 pm Reply with quote
I'm really enjoying Free so far, and I actually really enjoyed the upsurge in drama in Episode 9. I do agree that Sousuke's injury drama was a little heavy-handed, but for me the main reason for that was because we haven't gotten too much character development from Sousuke, so it's harder to care. Not to say I don't care at all, because I do, but the impact would be greater had the previous episodes focused on him more.

I also dislike how every new character introduced has ties to the main 5. With both Sousuke and Kisumi, the moments where "Oh I remember you as my best friend from elementary/middle school!" feel suspiciously convenient. The authors' puppet strings show at those points.

Those are minor quibbles, though. I'm looking forward to more Free and I hope after this there's a third season announced. Very Happy
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musouka



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 598
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:46 pm Reply with quote
Raneth wrote:
I also dislike how every new character introduced has ties to the main 5. With both Sousuke and Kisumi, the moments where "Oh I remember you as my best friend from elementary/middle school!" feel suspiciously convenient. The authors' puppet strings show at those points.


A lot of those characters were from the High Speed novels. Sousuke actually showed up in the first one (and was indeed Rin's best friend) and Kisumi was in the second one, and had ties to both Haru, Sousuke, and Makoto.
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laureninspace



Joined: 29 Aug 2014
Posts: 46
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:35 pm Reply with quote
musouka wrote:
A lot of those characters were from the High Speed novels. Sousuke actually showed up in the first one (and was indeed Rin's best friend) and Kisumi was in the second one, and had ties to both Haru, Sousuke, and Makoto.


That's really good to know! Is there a way to get the High Speed novels legally? I have only seen fan translations and I'd really like to find a way to purchase them.
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MsDreadedFate



Joined: 01 Sep 2014
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:58 am Reply with quote
Raneth wrote:
I'm really enjoying Free so far, and I actually really enjoyed the upsurge in drama in Episode 9. I do agree that Sousuke's injury drama was a little heavy-handed.

I also dislike how every new character introduced has ties to the main 5. With both Sousuke and Kisumi, the moments where "Oh I remember you as my best friend from elementary/middle school!" feel suspiciously convenient. The authors' puppet strings show at those points.

Those are minor quibbles, though. I'm looking forward to more Free and I hope after this there's a third season announced. Very Happy


Sousuke in the shower at the end of episode 9 was a bit over the top, but his injury was foreshadowed quite a lot during the first few episodes. I kinda guessed there was something wrong with his arm when he didn't compete in episode 6 and lol it was true.

I agree, that the way they introduce new characters is so stupid and cliche but they are actually in the novel: High Speed (set in elementary and middle school). Sousuke was in the first novel but was never introduced in the first season but seen in pictures whereas Kisumi was in the second novel and is introduced this season.

I'm want season 3 too! Hopefully it ends with them making it to nationals or something and then we get a continuation from there Smile
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MsDreadedFate



Joined: 01 Sep 2014
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:05 am Reply with quote
laureninspace wrote:

That's really good to know! Is there a way to get the High Speed novels legally? I have only seen fan translations and I'd really like to find a way to purchase them.



It's a shame but the High Speed novels haven't been licensed - so there's no way to purchase them legally in English. Only fan translations are available.
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SailorTralfamadore



Joined: 25 Feb 2014
Posts: 497
Location: Keep Austin Weeb
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:08 am Reply with quote
I liked this episode a lot! It works as a good two-parter with the previous episode, since like you said, it builds on that drama expertly. (Though, kinda weird that a lot of the Haru stuff felt dropped, but I guess it was just out-of-focus to zero in on Sousuke.)

Poor Sousuke! I watched this a few hours later than my friends and I heard the show did a number on him this week, but I never expected to this degree. Now we know why he's been so gruff and avoidant this season! Awww, I want to give him a big hug (but hopefully Rin will give him a lot of big hugs in my absence).

Free! really is great at exploring these kids' personal dramas and how the swimming ties in with that, even when it gets a bit after-school-special-y like with Nagisa's dilemma this season. It's episodes like this where when I think back to how I've seen some critics (not here, but elsewhere) say it has bad character-writing, I have to wonder if we're watching the same show. Free! really knows its characters and develops them well within the constraints of its genre as a sports anime and fujoshi show. I don't even find the boys that attractive (other than Sousuke and Makoto) so I don't think it's just that I'm in the intended demographic for this kind of fanservice. It's just that good of a show, and it should appeal to anyone who was big into extracurriculars as a student (as I was, only with music instead of sports) and understands these kinds of dilemmas the boys are facing.
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KENZICHI



Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 1053
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:49 am Reply with quote
I was just saying on tumblr how I thought episode 10 was so lame during some places, but it still made me feel those feels and left me with a bucket of tears on my lap lol. What I like about a show is when I get so into it I start screaming and cheering along with the characters. I had mixed feeling about the race. I had such a heavy heart watching it, but I couldn't stop cheering them on Anime hyper What I didn't like was how spoiler[ pretty much everyone was conveniently at the right place to hear Sousuke's back story. ] Maybe it'd make sense if it was a place that they regularly went to settle their feelings, but as far as I can remember it's not. I still like Free! a lot even if it's lame in some places (like a lot of sports anime can be). I'm not ready to see the last two episodes. I just know I'm going to be left with a bitter sweet feeling, but I'm excited!
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totofree



Joined: 04 Sep 2014
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 6:38 am Reply with quote
But I think that Haru is not the main character because in the first season it's all about Rin and how he wants to swim with his friends and also the second season it's all about Rin as he tries to combine both his friends and helps Haru to focus on his future !
Idea Idea
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1080
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:45 am Reply with quote
Episode 10

The comments are pretty confusing without episode markers, so maybe people could start their comments off with some indication of which they're talking about?

I loved the new episode. I was a bit surprised they already had the relay but that shows where the important focus of the season is. Now they can concentrate on everyone's futures. (The relay was incredibly exciting to watch, and I too noticed the individual swimmers styles. The animation is wonderful.)
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KENZICHI



Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 1053
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:49 am Reply with quote
sunflower wrote:
Episode 10

The comments are pretty confusing without episode markers, so maybe people could start their comments off with some indication of which they're talking about?

I loved the new episode. I was a bit surprised they already had the relay but that shows where the important focus of the season is. Now they can concentrate on everyone's futures. (The relay was incredibly exciting to watch, and I too noticed the individual swimmers styles. The animation is wonderful.)


You can also tell by the date they are posted btw, but I agree it would be nice if there was a divider Smile
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Ashen Phoenix



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 2681
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:46 pm Reply with quote
I absolutely loved this episode, tear-fest and all. So thank you for this review!

I'm really dying to own Free! on BD and I've got my fingers and toes crossed for a season 3. Given how monetarily successful the series has proven to be thus far I think the odds are in the fans' favor at least. Very Happy

I came for the cute boys, I stayed for the feels.
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laureninspace



Joined: 29 Aug 2014
Posts: 46
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:47 pm Reply with quote
When you're commenting before my review's up, I know I'm not doing my job X_X. But I turned it in and it should be live soon! I was actually a little cool on Episode 11 myself. But OMG 12 is bound to be crazy.
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KENZICHI



Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 1053
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:56 pm Reply with quote
I liked episode 11. Haru's dilemma may seem 'predictable', but it's relatable and well executed and that's what I like about it. All around him are these people rooting for him and expecting great things, but all Haru wants to do is stay still in time. No one cared about his future until they started noticing him due to swimming. Now that all the adults (and his friends) are all pressuring him to make a decision with his life he can't cope with it because he's never had to think about it until now. It must seem so unnatural for him. The only thing we're missing is his head exploding. And I definitely cried when Makoto did his heart to heart with Haru at the end. I just gotta know what happens now, but I'm afraid haha;; But I think spoiler[his new character song and Neo Blue Breathing] ultimately says what'll happen to him at the end (which is inevitable anyway). We all move on somehow. It's just a matter when.
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