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Basic Info

Free!–the Final Stroke– the first volume
FS group key visual.jpg
Product Information
Director Eisaku Kawanami
Character Designer Futoshi Nishiya
Production Kyoto Animation


Release Date September 17, 2021
Running Time 95 minutes

Free!–the Final Stroke– the first volume (劇場版 Free!–the Final Stroke– 前編 Gekijou-ban Free!–the Final Stroke– Zenpen) is an animated film. produced by Kyoto Animation and ANIMATION DO. The film is the first in the Free!–the Final Stroke– duology and was released on September 17, 2021.


The movie is the first of the Free!–the Final Stroke– duology that appears to be a continuation of the events of the Free! anime's third season, Free!-Dive to the Future-. The film's release date, along with the first teaser trailer, was revealed at the end of the Free! Series ORCHESTRA CONCERT 2020. The movie's title was revealed as part of the livestream held for the Free! series' eighth anniversary on April 26, 2021.

On June 25, 2021, it was announced that OLDCODEX, who has provided the opening themes for the anime, as well as the ending theme for High☆Speed!-Free! Starting Days-, would be in charge of the theme song for Free!–the Final Stroke– the first volume. On July 26, 2021, it was revealed, alongside a new trailer for the movie, that the new theme will be a remake of Heading to Over titled Heading to Over - Version:Free -. The single was scheduled to release on September 15, 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. As such, KyoAni announced on August 17, 2021, that the movie's theme song CD, Heading to Over - Version:Free -, would be postponed for the time being.[1] A second notice 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.[2]

In place of the remake of Heading to Over as the movie's theme song, a new main theme was chosen, though no official announcement was made prior to the movie's theatrical release. The theme song for the first volume is now We could be free.


"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――!"[3]


Production Staff

Studio: Kyoto Animation, Animation DO
Director: Eisaku Kawanami


Main article: Free!–the Final Stroke–/Image Gallery