Funimation Licenses All 4 Free! Anime Films, Screens Take Your Marks in Theaters
posted on by Karen Ressler
Funimation Films announced on Tuesday that it will screen the Free! -Take Your Marks- anime film in United States theaters on Wednesday, March 14. Funimation also announced that it has acquired the home video distribution rights for the Free! -Timeless Medley- Kizuna and Free! -Timeless Medley- Yakusoku compilation films, as well as the High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- prequel film. The company has not yet announced home video release dates.
The one-night screening for Free! -Take Your Marks- will be in Japanese with English subtitles and will be accompanied by an "animated greeting and introduction to the film by the Free! characters" that screened in Japanese theaters. The pre-show will also include a movie photo session. Tickets will go on sale on February 13.
Free! -Take Your Marks-, a sequel to the second anime series, opened in Japan on October 28. The film depicts four stories set in the days of early spring, before the characters advance to the next starting blocks of their futures, and what lies ahead.
Both compilation films cover the events of the second television anime series with new segments. The Free! -Timeless Medley- Kizuna compilation film, which follows the Iwatobi swim club, opened on April 22. The second compilation film, Free! -Timeless Medley- Yakusoku, follows Rin and Sousuke, opened on July 1.
High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- was directly inspired by the High Speed! novel that had been 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 the characters during middle school. The second volume of the novel series shipped in July 2014. The film opened in Japan in December 2015.
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 with English subtitles in North America in May 2015. Crunchyroll streamed an English dub of the first season in December 2015, and the company released the season with Funimation on both Blu-ray Disc and DVD last May.
Free! Eternal Summer, the second television anime season, premiered in July 2014. Funimation streamed the second season as it aired, and released the series on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in North America with an English dub in February 2016.
A third television series will premiere this summer. The anime's "episode 0" will have event screenings in Japan.
Update: Compilation film descriptions corrected. Thanks, ultimatemegax.
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