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Free! TV Anime Gets Novelization With New Side Stories, Art

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Franchise's script supervisor Masahiro Yokotani pens novel for June debut

Kyoto Animation announced on Monday that its Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club television anime is getting a novel adaptation that will debut in June. Masahiro Yokotani, the script writer and supervisor for all the anime in the Free! franchise, is writing the novel. Futoshi Nishiya, the franchise's character designer, is drawing the illustrations. The novels will include new side-stories and illustrations.

Kyoto Animation's KA Esuma Bunko label will publish the novel.

Kyoto Animation announced a "new screen project" for the franchise last August, but did not indicate the new project's medium or format.

Kyoto Animation's first Free! anime about the Iwatobi High School Swim Club 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 in July 2014, and Funimation released the second season for streaming and home video in North America with an English dub. Crunchyroll streamed the English dub of the first season in December 2015, and it plans to release the season on both Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

The High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- film is directly inspired by the High Speed! novel by Kōji Ōji 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 in July 2014. The film opened in Japan in December 2015 on 120 screens, selling 67,829 tickets for 95,546,400 yen (about US$774,000), and ranking #5 in attendance during its opening weekend.

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