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Free!–the Final Stroke–
FS finale visual.jpg
Product Information
Director Eisaku Kawanami
Character Designer Futoshi Nishiya
Production Kyoto Animation
ANIMATION DO
Release Date September 17, 2021 (the first volume)

April 22, 2022 (the second volume)

Running Time 95 minutes (the first volume)

TBD (the second volume)


Free!–the Final Stroke– (劇場版 Free!–the Final Stroke– Gekijou-ban Free!–the Final Stroke– lit. Free!–the Final Stroke– the Movie) is a duology of animated films, titled Free!–the Final Stroke– the first volume and the second volume respectively, produced by Kyoto Animation and ANIMATION DO released in 2021 and 2022. The films are a continuation of the Free! anime's third season and in recent promo materials, the movies are referred to as the "final chapters" of the Free! series.

Overview

The movies are a continuation of the events of the Free! anime's third season, Free!-Dive to the Future-. The original movie was scheduled for a mid-2020 release; however, due to a variety of impeding circumstances, the release dates were changed.

The first movie's new release date, along with the first teaser trailer, was revealed at the end of the Free! Series ORCHESTRA CONCERT 2020. The movie titles, and the fact that they would be released in two parts, were revealed as part of the livestream held for the Free! series' eighth anniversary on April 26, 2021.

Tatsuhisa Suzuki, the vocalist for OLDCODEX and the voice of Makoto Tachibana, announced that he would be taking a temporary hiatus from all singing and acting activities until further notice as of August 4, 2021, due to health concerns. A notice from KyoAni was released on August 19, 2021, assuring fans of the series that due to Tatsuhisa's attachment to the series, his nuanced portrayal of Makoto, and his good relationship with the other cast members and the series' fans, he will not be replaced as the voice of Makoto for the movies.[1]

Plot

the first volume

"Haruka Nanase's new stage is Sydney, the place of his dreams that he once visited.

One day while taking a short break before his departure, Haru has a chance confrontation with a fellow athlete from the All-Japan Invitational.

Carrying all the feelings from those he's swam with in his heart, Haru takes his first step forward into a new world.

Waiting for him there is the unmistakable champion, Albert Volandel.

In the lead up to the Sydney tournament, all the competitors attempt to boost their morale.

What is each competitor feeling, and what do they swim for, as they attempt to compete at the top of the world?

Their passionate struggle against the water begins from here――!"[2]

the second volume

"After his first appearance on the competitive world stage, Haruka is held captive by the swimming of the unmistakable champion, Albert, and feels like he's lost his way.
"What do you swim for?"
With the current state of things, his swimming and what the water means to him are called into question.
Haruka begins to sink to the bottom of the murky water as he struggles on his own.

Pushed on by a restless urge in his heart, Haruka purposefully puts himself through a rigorous and intensive training regiment, relentlessly devoting himself to practice.
In his heart, Haruka knows that he's pushing himself beyond his limits both physically and mentally.
His friends can do nothing but watch over and have faith in him.

Memories of Albert's cold, dry swimming keep replaying in his mind.
I have to get faster, I have to become stronger.
I have to compete against Albert again.

Haruka unleashes his stroke to cut through the heavy, indifferent water.
His friends draw closer to watch.

What scenery will Haruka see at the end of this struggle*──!"[3]

* Translation Note: the exact kanji choice here (泳いだ oyoida) was quite meaningful as it can be read as either swim or struggle depending on the context.

Production Staff

Studio: Kyoto Animation, Animation DO
Director: Eisaku Kawanami

Reception

References


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