For those of you who don't know (although if you're bothering to read this then you probably do), Anime is Japanese hand drawn animated productions, and is one of my favourite things to watch no matter what the subject, if not just for the visual quality as the drawings are amazing. Anime is the abbreviated version of animation, and I think that my favourite kinds would be Shōnen and Shōjo, but I always like an anime/manga that features some kind of fantasy element. What's the fun in watching a "cartoon" if it's based on real life?! Well, apparently there is some fun in real-life themed anime, and that's where my most recent addiction comes in.
Free! is a shounen anime that revolves around four high school students who are obsessed with swimming - absolute no fantasy themes involved, so this is a first for me. They all met at a public swimming pool when they were kids, where they joined the swim club and win a relay tournament together as a team. However, one of them then left for a swimming school in Australia to train as an Olympic swimmer. The show is set in high school, and the main character, Harakua Nanase, is a peculiar guy; very quiet, and literally OBSESSED with water and swimming - he wears his swimming trunks under his clothes 24/7, takes really long baths, jumps into any volume of water, and his best friend's (Makoto Tachibana) reactions to him constantly taking off his clothes in public is hilarious, I'd watch it for that alone.
So far I'm only up to episode 5, as this anime is currently airing, which I'm not too pleased about because I hate waiting for new episodes of things!! The basic premise is that three of the four all go to school together, and the fourth who went to Australia (Rin Matsuoka) comes back home to attend a different swimming school. This sparks an old rivalry between them (mainly from Rin's side, as Haru doesn't care for racing and just likes to swim), and as the trio's old swimming pool has been shut down they start their own swimming club at school, with a new member. That's the basic gist of it all :)
It's all about SWIMMING (obvs), rivalry, friendship and making new friends, and boys taking off their clothes, kind of ahahahaha. I realllyyyyyyyyyyyy like this one, I was gutted when I realised not all the episodes had aired! It's really fun to watch, it looks incredible, and it's just generally quite a happy show. I've become quite attached to the characters, which is impressive considering I've only watched four episodes, and I've found myself really rooting for them when they're trying the best, like when they cleaned up the school swimming pool, and when Rei was learning to swim. It should appeal to most people (mainly those that like anime already ahaha), and to be honest, I'd highly recommend it!
Plot: ♥♥♥♥ (only up to episode 4, so can't judge plot too much)