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High Speed! Free Starting Days Film Unveils Story Intro, More of Cast & Staff, Visual

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Tatsuhisa Suzuki returns as Makoto with TV anime's music composer, art director

The official website of the High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- anime film updated on Monday, revealing a story introduction, more of the cast and staff, ticket and theater information, and a new visual:

The text in the visual reads, "Another story on the border between the past and the future."

The website describes the film's story:

Haruka Nanase feels something special when he touches water. The medley relay was the last competition he was able to participate in during elementary school. Haruka, along with Makoto Tachibana, Nagisa Hazuki, and Rin Matsuoka, saw something they'd never seen before.

In spring, with the cherry blossoms in full bloom. Haruka moves on to Iwatobi Middle School with Makoto and starts a new life. Both enter the swim team, and plan to compete in the medley relay together with Asahi Shiina and Ikuya Kirishima.

All four students have different objectives and ways of thinking, and different baggage they're carrying, and so their practice for the relay hasn't been going well.

What is required to make a team? What does Haruka, whose heart is trapped in the medley relay of the past, think during this new event?

High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- depicts these boys trying to find the answer, and discovering new ideas about swimming.

The boys' sparkling youth, and the future they've bet on swimming, begins.

The website also confirmed that Tatsuhisa Suzuki will reprise his Free! role of Makoto Tachibana in the film.

The website reports that Masahiro Yokotani, the head writer for the earlier television anime seasons, is credited with film's story composition, and Maiko Nishioka (Free! Eternal Summer episode 5) is writing the actual screenplay. Joji Unoguchi is returning from the television anime as art director, along with color key artist Yūka Yoneda, prop designer Seiichi Akitake, director of photography Kazuya Takao, sound director Yota Tsuruoka, and music composer Tatsuya Katou.

As previously announced, Yasuhiro Takemoto (Amagi Brilliant Park, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya) will take over as director for the film, while Futoshi Nishiya will return to design the characters from the television series and serve as chief animation director. Nishiya was already credited for original character design. Nobunaga Shimazaki, the voice of Haruka Nanase, is returning from the Free! television anime.

Those who pre-order tickets for the film will also receive one of six clear file character illustrations, starting this Saturday while supplies last. Regular tickets will cost 1,500 yen (about US$12), and will cost 900 (US$7) yen for children.

Text and Haru: At that moment, the future started.
Text: Spending your youth swimming
Text: Recalling a passionate memory
Text: TV anime "Free!'s" origin "High Speed!" A completely new film adaptation!
Haru: A scene you never saw before when you swam with your comrades.
Text: Director: Yasuhiro Takemoto / Character Designer: Futoshi Nishiya
Haru: And, crossing over a new line.
Text: Animation Production: Kyoto Animation
Text: Performance: Nobunaga Shimazaki as Haruka Nanase
Haru and Text: Film High Speed! -Free! Starting Days-
Text: Opens countrywide on December 5

The film is directly inspired by the High Speed! novel that was loosely adapted into the original Free! television anime. Whereas the Free! anime centers on Haruka and the other swimmers during high school, High Speed! followed them during middle school. The second volume of the novel series shipped last July.

The first Free! anime from Kyoto Animation premiered in July 2013, and Crunchyroll streamed the anime as it aired in Japan. Discotek released the first season on DVD in North America. Free! Eternal Summer, the second television anime season, premiered last July, and Funimation is releasing the second season for streaming and home video in North America with an English dub.

Image © 2015 Kōji Ōji, Kyoto Animation/High Speed Production Committee

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