This review is going to talk about Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club and Free! – Eternal Summer
I don’t see the reason to separate the 2 seasons of Free! like I do with most animes because the story lines directly follow each other. There is no manga series to accompany this anime, but there is a prequel movie that I haven’t watched.
Now I will admit that I am not a sports anime fan, however, this anime is the furthest from a sports anime you can be while still being in the same genre. We follow 4 childhood friends, Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Rin, while they work hard in their respective swim clubs. Haruka, Makoto and Nagisa do end up running into a problem of needing a 4th member to join their club. The manage to recruit Rei, a boy who can only swim the butterfly.
Throughout the anime, they deal with personal issues, tournament and have a tonne of fun. It does also have a nestalgic aspect to me due to my time in a swim club. This anime bridges the gap between sports anime and slice of life nicely with out forcing down the swimming terms down your throat. I really like this anime and it is a definite watch.