Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club Review

All I want is to feel the water. With my skin, my eyes, my soul... To never doubt what it makes me feel. Believe in myself. Don’t resist the water. Welcome it. We accept one another.
— Haruka Nanase

English: Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club

Genre: Drama, School Life, Slice of Life, Sports (Swimming) Shojo,bishōnen

Seasons to Date: 2 seasons, 3 short movies

"Free! Iwatobi Swim Club" was originally based on a light novel called, High Speed! There are no  surprises  as to what this anime is about, it's right in the title. This anime falls in a genre that typically appeals to the female viewer/reader as it has what is called “ Pretty Boy” or bishōnen. This is not in any way meant as a bad thing. Whereas a lot of manga have a female that the guys all ogle, this anime has male characters that the female character stares at. Something that stands out about this anime is that all the staring and such is done within the context of swimming. The only female of the school's new swim club, Gou Matsuoka is staring at the guys when they are in their swim apparel. This anime is very relaxing, there is some conflict as the lead character Haruka Nanase has a rivalry with a member of a different school's swim team. Speaking broadly, bishōnen anime tends to be very relaxing because it is aimed towards a female audience. The focus of such anime tends to be more on friendship, and the romanticizing of everyday life. Given this anime is based on a swim club it also helps lend to the relaxing nature, Water in almost all cultures is seen as cleansing and almost spiritual. If you are looking for an anime to help unwind and just relax and not focusing on laser blasts or large fights, I can strongly recommend this anime. Some people may not be interested in this anime as it does fall in the bishōnen genre because some may see this as “weird” or “girly”, but give it a chance. Relax and be Free!

I’ll show you a sight you’ve never seen before!
— Rin Matsuoka