|Free! The Movie -Take Your Marks-|
|Character Designer||Futoshi Nishiya|
|Release Date||October 28th, 2017|
|Running Time||105 mins|
Free! The Movie -Take Your Marks- (特別版Free!-Take Your Marks- Tokubetsu-ban Free!-Take Your Marks- lit. Special Edition Free!-Take Your Marks-) is a 2017 animated film produced by Kyoto Animation and Animation Do based on the animated television series Free!. It is a sequel to season 2, Free!-Eternal Summer-, and takes place directly before the third season, Free!-Dive to the Future-. It began airing in Japanese theaters on October 28th, 2017, and in the US on March 14th, 2018.
This film consists of all-new stories that serve as direct continuations of the previous two compilation films and is told in four episodic parts. The four short stories take place in March as Haruka Nanase is about to graduate from Iwatobi High School.
- Choice of Fate! (運命のチョイス！ Unmei no Choisu!):
Haruka Nanase, joined by Makoto Tachibana, looks for an apartment in Tokyo as he prepares to enter college. Kisumi Shigino, whose uncle owns a rental agency, helps him lease an apartment close to a pool. While visiting the apartment, Haruka and Makoto find a boy named Misaki Kuramoto, a young swimmer who was coached by the previous tenant, Nao Serizawa.
- Cooling Down at a Secluded Hot Springs! (秘湯のクーリングダウン！ Hitou no Kuuringu Daun!):
While Aiichiro Nitori decides on a graduation present for Rin Matsuoka and Sosuke Yamazaki, Momotaro Mikoshiba wins tickets to the Anago Hot Springs, which they present to the two through an elaborate scavenger hunt. During the trip, Momotaro gets into a heated competition with the captain of Soufukan High School's swim team over a capybara plush toy and hurts his shoulder. Natsuya Kirishima, an alumnus of Soufukan High School and chaperone to their training camp, offers wise words to Sosuke over his shoulder injury.
- Butterfly of Promise! (結束のバタフライ！ Kessoku no Batafurai!):
Rei Ryugazaki, Nagisa Hazuki, and Gou Matsuoka create a recruitment video for the swimming team for the upcoming school year. While filming, Gou finds an old recruitment manual left from the previous members of the club with the strategy "PKH Higashi" which they believe to be resourceful for the video. They investigate to find out that it was the nickname for "Perfect Killer muscle, Handsome Azuma" a member of the swim team who had attracted many female members onto the team with his appearance. Though disappointed, the event inspires Rei to complete the video. Asahi Shiina makes a cameo in this segment during their investigation.
- Eternal Blue of Setting Off! (旅立ちのエターナルブルー！ Tabidachi no Etaanaru Buruu!):
While the Iwatobi High School and Samezuka Academy swim teams plan a surprise going-away party for Rin, who is leaving for Australia soon, Rin sees Gou and Momotaro together and assumes they are dating. He discovers that Momotaro plans to challenge him to a relay along with his older brother, Seijuro Mikoshiba, making him even more concerned about losing Gou. When Rin enlists Haruka for help, he reveals that Momotaro had wanted a toy Rin had gotten at a burger restaurant. Nevertheless, the two race against the Mikoshiba brothers. After winning the relay, the swim clubs celebrate Rin's departure. Meanwhile, Ikuya Kirishima and Hiyori Tono prepare for the upcoming time trials at their college.
Free! The Movie -Take Your Marks- opened at #8 on its opening week. The film made ¥346 million at box office. The limited edition of the Blu-ray release debuted at #1 on Oricon and sold 6,336 copies on its first week, while the regular edition debuted at #7 and sold 1,991 on its first week. The DVD release debuted at #2 and sold 3,592 copies on its first week.
Spencer Dakos from Anime News Network praised the film's comedic approach in revealing sides to the characters that were never seen before and noted that the film took a step away from the dramatic storytelling in High☆Speed！－Free! Starting Days－ and Free!-Eternal Summer-. Jacob Chapman from Anime News Network cited the film's strengths as an "enjoyable comedy" that helps "ease fans gently into season three," but claimed that the film seemed like an original video animation and the change in director from Hiroko Utsumi to Eisaku Kawanami greatly affected the "atmosphere, drama, and fan service." Nick Creamer from Anime News Network praised it for integrating the comedic style of the show's first season, but felt that the narrative was not cohesive.