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Crunchyroll to Stream Free! Swim Team TV Anime

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Animation DO/KyoAni's series about high school swimming team to premiere on July 3

The media distribution service Crunchyroll announced on Thursday that it will stream Kyoto Animation and Animation DO's Free! television anime series under the name Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club. Crunchyroll will stream the series starting on July 3 at 3:15 p.m. EDT for premium members in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Turkey, Latin America (Central and South America including Caribbean), Spain, and Portugal. Free users will be able to view the series one week later.

The anime's story revolves around Haruka when he is in high school. After years of separation, his childhood friend Rin challenges him to a swimming match, showing Haruka his overwhelming power. Not wanting it to end like this, Haruka gathers together Makoto and Nagisa once again, and also brings a new member named Rei Ryugazaki to create the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club. Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, Rei, and Rin come together for a story of swimming, youth, and friendship.

Hiroko Utsumi of Animation DO is directing the anime, and Masahiro Yokotani is supervising the scripts. Futoshi Nishiya is designing the characters, and Tatsuya Katou is composing the music. Much of the same production staff created the "Suiei-hen" (Swimming) anime commercial that was unveiled in March. Animation DO had teased "a project in the works" with an image of Haruka swimming last year.

The anime will premiere in Japan on the Tokyo MX TV station on Wednesday, July 3 at 24:30 (effectively Thursday, July 4 at 12:30 a.m.)

Kōji Ōji's High Speed! novel served as the basis for the anime, and Kyoto Animation will publish the novel in Japan next month. The novel follows Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, and Rin during their elementary school days. When Haruka was in sixth grade, he was in a swimming club with his longtime friend Makoto and fifth grader Nagisa. Then their rival Rin transfers into their school.

The novel received an honorable mention in the 2nd Kyoto Animation Award in 2011, and Free! character designer Futoshi Nishiya illustrated the novel.

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