I wasn’t going to watch this show. I mean this was primarily catering to otome (young girls). Yes, young otaku girls, or if not otaku, then anime fan girls. I mean, from the PV, it’s already showing its cheesiness that girls would typically jump onto. Yeah, when I saw the PV, I was like, “My Gosh, that explains everything.” All of them are tall ikemen looking like fashion models (only Nagisa is short). I checked the website and their character section, they listed boy’s height and weight, but not for girls (check Gou), not even surii-saizu (three sizes, BWH, Bust, Waist, Hip). So, this is totally for otome. Oh yes, it’s done by Kyo-ani (Kyoto Animation), so to be honest, indecisive for a moment since I love Kyo-ani stuff, but eventually I didn’t go for it. I would never have dreamed that I would watch this show. But I got into a situation where there was no way to avoid watching Free!. So, it must be Providence.
So, I watched it, and surprisingly not bad. Not bad at all! The story is pretty good. Childhood best friends become enemies in high school. Yeah, rather a typical drama, but they put a lot of comedy in it. And the jokes they’re employing are what women would enjoy.
For example, to form a new club, they at least need 5 people (my high school also had the same rules). but they only had 4 people, so Nagisa was scouting Rei, an intellectual over-analytic sportsman, who was already in a track team. It almost looked like Nagisa stalking Rei. First, rejected, but finally Nagisa convinced (or conquered) Rei to quit the track team and join the swim team. But the line Rei said to Nagisa was like, “whaaat?”After decided to join the swimming club, Rei said to Nagisa, “Since you made me join this club, you need to take responsibility.” What the hell was that??? That’s when a girl got into unexpected sexual situation and/or got pregnant, then she tells a guy that he must take responsibility. Yes, that means he needs to marry her. A girl demands him marriage. But this cliche female line is applied to a dude! I never heard a dude saying that in my entire life, so it is so weird, caused me Gestaltzerfall. “You got to marry me!” Rei to Nagisa. I bet all fujoshi went, “Kyaaahhhh!!!”
And that swimsuits episode (ep 4). Oh yes, it’s anime’s cliche summer episode with girls in swimsuits. But guys in swimsuits? Totally Gestaltzerfall. And too many service shots, www. Wow, Kyo-ani… Is this the same studio that made K-On? But, still, that butterfly suit on Rei was a fusen (伏線 “hint”) actually, so it wasn’t just a filler or fan service BS.
And then, the ED, this song is totally… This heavy dance beat, and ikemen boys with great voices singing in sync in an exotic Middle Eastern outfit, totally a boyband. Reminds me of Blue Exorcist’s first ED. Man, if the story wasn’t good, I would immediately have stopped watching this show. But anyway, as long as the story is good, who cares if this is pandering to the female audience? I will still watch it. I mean, targeting the female audience is great, in fact Makoto Shinkai also said he wanted to target the female audience. So, I applaud Kyo-ani isn’t only catering to moe pigs with shows like Chu2Koi, so I respect them for that. Yes, Kyo-ani is currently working on the new audience, outside of us moe pigs, yes, moe sows…or to simply put, mesu-buta (sows).