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EP. REVIEW: Free! -Dive to the Future-


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#885205



Joined: 20 Jul 2018
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:24 am Reply with quote
I'm sorry but these reviews hold little to almost no value if the reviewer herself has not watched the pre-requisite films. The lack of a North American release is not really justification for not having seen it. It isn't difficult to import the DVD and watch it with a Japanese speaker if the reviewer herself does not know Japanese.

I think it's worth mentioning this because this first review of eps 1-2 is already half speculation, in particular that of Ikuya, which is false. Ep 2. isn't the start of his journey but an addition to High Speed where Ikuya (as well as Asahi and the Kirishima brothers) are protagonists.

It's clear that the High Speed characters are going to be critical this season so the reviewer cannot possibly analyse a character-driven sports drama like Free when they have no knowledge of the existing characterisation, plot developments and dynamics of these characters. Even this review misses out a lot of the Haru and Ikuya developments that has occurred simply because the reviewer doesn't really know what's going on. And this is only going to worsen in the coming episodes no doubt.
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rahzel rose
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:17 am Reply with quote
I feel bad for Lauren and anyone else who tries to review this series because DttF is so reliant on High Speed. And while the person above does have a point about importing the DVD, I also feel like this fandom is being a bit harsh about the whole thing.

Moving on, though. As someone who's seen all of the various Free! movies and extras, this series is so far turning into almost exactly what I want it to be. All of the various strings and plot lines are being connected. First with Kisumi and then Asahi and now Ikuya. I just want everyone to be one big happy family, and while there will be drama along the way, this show has proven multiple times that things will work out in the end. (Watch this is the one time it doesn't, now that I've said that.)

I can't wait to see more of Hiyori. He's got a protective streak a mile wide, and I hope we get to see how he and Ikuya became friends. I also want more of his team and their antics. I'm a little worried that there may be slightly too many characters coming into play this time around since there are still two (three? more? I want to know who the blonde S looking guy is!) that haven't shown up yet. This mostly from a potential lack of characterization standpoint, but I'm excited to meet everyone.

My one tiny sadness is that (so far) it looks like Natsuya will be spending most of his time with Rin in Australia. Which I don't mind! But after watching TYM, I was really hoping Natsuya (and thus Serizawa) would meet up with Sousuke again. I feel like the two of them would be so good for him. Although since Rin and Sousuke are best friends . . .

Basically, A++ so far. Beautiful animation, I love OLDCODEX's new song and the ED makes me smile. Everything in between has been awesome too. I'm looking forward to next week!
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Merida
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:41 am Reply with quote
Personally, i don't really mind that Lauren hasn't watched High Speed!, yet. While most of the "true" fans may have watched it, legally or not, there might still be more casual viewers here who haven't and will appreciate her perspective. Which leads me to my question: are we supposed to put High Speed!-related content behind spoiler tags (asking for a friend since i'll probably return to my semi-hiatus...)?

That aside, i'm glad the boys (and girls) are back in town! Very Happy Looking forward to more pretty swimming friendship/rivalry!
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rizuchan
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Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:20 pm Reply with quote
This could very well change down the road, but as a casual fan who hasn't seen any of the films, I don't feel lost at all. The sheer number of new faces is a bit overwhelming, but I feel like the flashbacks in these first two episodes have done a pretty good job of establishing how these characters relate to each other.

I mean, I'm sorry, but the overall story of Free! isn't that deep and it's not hard to fill in the blanks and figure out what between all these guys in the past. I'm sure there will be nuances that I miss without knowing the details of their backstories, but I'm looking forward to buying the movies when they are released here and seeing how everything ties together then.
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Time Bandit



Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 166
Location: Raleigh
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:19 pm Reply with quote
rahzel rose wrote:
Basically, A++ so far. Beautiful animation, I love OLDCODEX's new song and the ED makes me smile. Everything in between has been awesome too. I'm looking forward to next week!


All this! Everything I wanted to say. So happy to see more Rei and Rin.
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Freyanne



Joined: 06 Nov 2014
Posts: 162
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:02 pm Reply with quote
I like the ED song, but something about the way they "dance" is bugging me. They look a bit... stiff in a few parts? Maybe it's the song itself that is throwing me off since it more upbeat compared to the dance moves.
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rahzel rose
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:02 pm Reply with quote
Well, episode 4 ended with a nice gut punch. I want to like Hiyori, but he's making it hard. I'm sure he has his reasons, and Ikuya is clearly having issues, but the dramaaaa. I'm also curious about the mysterious coach guy. Maybe he'll finally get Haru to swim in another style. That would really interesting to see.

On a more positive note, it looks like I get my wish of Natsuya and Sousuke meeting up again in episode 5. I can't wait!
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pirateaddict



Joined: 20 Dec 2017
Posts: 55
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:55 pm Reply with quote
Aargh, the episodes seem to fly by so quickly. Hiyori is a complete jerk and I think it's more to do with jealousy than friendship. He resents Haru and the bond he had with Ikuya before and doesn't want them to be friends again. Seems a bit childish to me. It's ironic that Ikuya's brother asked Hiyori to look after Ikuya, it was his brother that screwed him up in the past for pulling away from him.
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Merida
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:37 pm Reply with quote
Lauren wrote:
Quote:
The central drama is gripping but the urgency fades as soon as the story pans elsewhere. Just how long is it going to be able to keep up this juggling act?


I feel the opposite way. After the Rin/Haru conflict this drama feels repetitive as hell (and yes, i've watched High Speed!). Just how many guys obsessed with their friendship/rivalry with Haru are out there?! And no, i don't "hate" Hiyori because he barely even feels like a character but more like a convenient plot device to keep the guys from talking because the drama needs to be resolved by some cathartic swimming showdown instead...

So yeah, give me more of Rin striving for his goal, the Iwatobi and Samezuka guys training or even Sosuke on his road to recovery (or some more original melodrama at the very least...), please!
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rahzel rose
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:14 pm Reply with quote
Merida wrote:
I feel the opposite way. After the Rin/Haru conflict this drama feels repetitive as hell (and yes, i've watched High Speed!). Just how many guys obsessed with their friendship/rivalry with Haru are out there?! And no, i don't "hate" Hiyori because he barely even feels like a character but more like a convenient plot device.


This is basically how I feel because it’s almost an exact rehash of when Sousuke was giving Haru crap about Rin. I know everything will work out, but sitting through it until it gets to that point will be tough.
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Miuna



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:53 pm Reply with quote
I think Ikuya is definitely the “mermaid” in this story.
https://twitter.com/halffishharuka/status/1024758951584444416
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BlueOla



Joined: 08 Feb 2016
Posts: 95
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:29 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Makoto gets his own small development when he has a reunion with Misaki, a young swimmer from Free! Starting Days


This is incorrect. Misaki first appeared in Take Your Marks and was a parallel to Haru. spoiler[ Haru and Makoto met him in a park and after talking for a while, all three of them went to the local swimming pool and I think Makoto even coached him a bit. ] Obviously, it's nothing huge, more of a nod to those who have seen TYM, but it's there. Could we get a correction please?

Also I hate to be cynical but most English-language fans have already seen both Starting Days and TYM, and yes, they have done so illegally. Funimation majorly dropped the ball on this one by waiting so long to release both of the films. TYM at least got screenings, but Starting Days got nothing - and it came out in 2015 for Pete's sake. It was released in GERMANY before it was released in the US. Funimation should be ashamed of themselves, truthfully.
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Miuna



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:27 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Also I hate to be cynical but most English-language fans have already seen both Starting Days and TYM, and yes, they have done so illegally. Funimation majorly dropped the ball on this one by waiting so long to release both of the films. TYM at least got screenings, but Starting Days got nothing - and it came out in 2015 for Pete's sake. It was released in GERMANY before it was released in the US. Funimation should be ashamed of themselves, truthfully.


High Speed! from what I have seen in the Free! fandom was seen by a decent number of fans , but was skipped by many as well due to “I heard there was not enough of my ship/favorite character” or lack of interest due to characters not being their buff teenage selves. For those who saw it, a lot streamed it illegally but a good number, including myself, did import all of the Free! movies. A lot also saw TYM in theaters in March in the USA.

That being said, I don’t know why High Speed! has taken so long to come to North America. Several counties brought over High Speed! and many more brought over the Timeless Medley movies before Funimation. It’s a complete shame given how great High Speed! is and how much many fans love this movie.
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KENZICHI



Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 1015
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:03 pm Reply with quote
I'm one of those fans that have not watched the first 2 movies simply because it was never released in America and I don't like watching movies/shows on my computer. Over time I simply just forgot about them. I did watch the last movie since it came to theaters. They should have shown all of them though. And Funi really messed up by not releasing the movies sooner. It kind of lessened the hype for season 3 for me because I was like "omg I'm not prepared! I don't know some of these boys other than from gifs on tumblr!" lol. So I'm kinda holding out on watching DttF until I can watch the movies on an anime website my computer can stand, but if I can't I'll just go ahead and just watch it anyway.

Update: I'm watching Starting Days now lol.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:39 am Reply with quote
Freyanne wrote:
I like the ED song, but something about the way they "dance" is bugging me.

What irks me is Haru winking. It's just way too out of character. But they gave us Sosuke in a three piece suit, so I suppose it evens out. Smile

I'm enjoying Hiyori's dickishness, though I have to suspend a lot of disbelief that these middle school issues are still issues in college, in order to clear the decks for that enjoyment. Smile

I dunno, I think Sosuke's doctor is a quack. If he blows his shoulder out again, it wouldn't be as simple as just "starting over" to recover from it. I think it would likely be career-ending if he's hoping for a competitive career.
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