Free! is an anime based on Koji Oji’s light novel “High Speed!”. The Light novel was illustrated by Futoshi Nishiya. The first volume was published on July 8th, 2013 and the second on July 2nd, 2013. The anime adaptation was produced by Kyoto Animation and Animation Do, written by Masahiro Yokotani, directed by Hiroko Utsumi and character design by Futoshi Nishiya. The first season aired starting July 4th, 2013 and ended on September 26th, 2013. The second season aired starting July 2014 and ended September 2014.
"Haruka, Rin, Makoto and Nagisa used to be the members of the same swimming club in elementary school. They won a tournament just before their graduation and then they went separate ways. Time passed and now Haruka has been spending the high school days idly. One day, Rin comes to Haruka and challenges him in a swim. Haruka easily gets overwhelmed by Rin's swimming skill. In order to beat Rin, Haruka establishes the "Iwatobi High School Swimming Club" by gathering Makoto and Nagisa again and drafting in Rei."
Haruka Nanase – Haruka is a second year highschool student in Iwatobi High School. He’s the strong and silent type who keeps his composure until he goes into the water. He loves the water so much that he always wears his swimsuit under his regular clothes in case he gets the chance to swim. He only swims using freestyle.
Makoto Tachibana – Makoto is Haruka’s best friend and classmate. He’s more outspoken than Haruka and tries to speak up for him when people have a hard time communicating with Haruka. He is afraid of the ocean because of a fisherman he idolized drowned in the ocean during a typhoon. He’s the captain of the Iwatobi High School Swim Club and specializes in backstroke.
Nagisa Hazuki – Nagisa is a first year highschool student in Iwatobi High School. He used to be in the swim club with Haruka and Makoto when they were in elementary school and desires to relive it by creating the Iwatobi Highschool Swim Club. He becomes the treasurer and specializes in breaststroke.
Rei Ryugazaki – Rei is also a first year student and is classmates with Nagisa. He is intelligent and loves anything with beauty. Regardless of his intelligence, he is somehow manipulated by Nagisa. He used to be in the track team and refused to be involved with the swim club because he did not consider swimming as beautiful. After watching Haruka swim, he joins the swim club even if he didn’t know how to swim. He later learns and specializes in the butterfly.
Rin Matsuoka – Rin used to be in the swim club with Makoto, Haruka and Nagisa back in elementary school. He went to Australia in the hopes of becoming an Olympic swimmer but returns to Japan and enrolls in another school. During his visit to Australia, his personality changed and he considers the Iwatobi Swim Club as his rival. Regardless, he still shows some concern for his former team mates. He specializes in the butterfly but prefers to freestyle to compete against Haruka.
Free! Similar Series:
1. Kuroko no Basket
3. Ouran Koukou Host Club