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Overview


Iwatobi Town
Iwatobi scenery
Location Information
Kanji 岩鳶町
Rōmaji Iwatobi-chou
First Appearance Episode 1


Iwatobi Town (岩鳶町 Iwatobi-chou) is a fictional location where the Free! anime series is based. Several characters hail from Iwatobi or its environs.

Overview

Iwatobi is a rural, seaside port town on the southwest coast of Japan. It is considered a small town with an average-sized population with local traditions and customs. It is based on the real-life town of Iwami Town in Tottori Prefecture, Japan.

Locations

Iwatobi High School

Main article: Iwatobi High School
Iwatobi High School
Iwatobi High School is an upper secondary school attended by many of the main characters of the anime series Free! The school building is divided into north and south buildings located near the seashore, where the smell of ocean water is always present. The school building itself bears a resemblance to a ship moving on the sea with a backdrop of blue sky.[1] The outdoor pool used to be used routinely, but became rusty and overgrown with weeds when the original swimming club disbanded. Haruka Nanase, along with his best friend since childhood, Makoto Tachibana, and underclassman Nagisa Hazuki take it upon themselves to patch the cracks in the cement and scrub away the rust and mold in order to make it usable again. Under guidance from club advisor Miho Amakata and club manager Gou Matsuoka (Rin Matsuoka's younger sister), the pool becomes a hub of activity for practices, meetings and socializing.[1]

Iwatobi Junior High School

Starting Days (15)
Main article: Iwatobi Junior High School  

Iwatobi Junior High School is a lower secondary school attended by several of the anime characters when they are younger.

Iwatobi Elementary School

Classroom
Main article: Iwatobi Elementary School

Iwatobi Elementary School is a primary school attended by several of the anime characters when they are younger.

Iwatobi Swimming Club and Iwatobi SC Returns

Iwatobi swim club
Episode 14 58
Main article: Iwatobi Swimming Club
Main article: Iwatobi SC Returns

Iwatobi Swimming Club, also known as ITSC, is the original community-based sports club where Haruka, Makoto, Rin and Nagisa used to practice during elementary school. The club was closed some years ago and was ultimately demolished.[2] Goro Sasabe, the boys' former coach, restores the community building into a recreation center and swim club which he re-names Iwatobi SC Returns, also known as ITSCR.

Iwatobi Station

Iwatobi Station

Haruka and Makoto waving goodbye to Gou, Nagisa and Rei.

Iwatobi Station debuts in Episode 3 when Nagisa tries to convince Track Club member, Rei Ryugazaki, to join the newly re-formed Iwatobi High School Swim Club by following him around the station, with Rei refusing his requests. Finally, the bespectacled boy joins the swimmers and becomes friends with the members. Nagisa and Rei are often seen traveling on the train together, using the train as transport to and from school.[3] It's likely that they live in an outer suburb or nearby town along the rail line while Haruka and Makoto live in Iwatobi and walk to and from school together every day.[4][3][5]

Iwatobi DolphinS

Iwatobi Dolphins

Iwatobi DolphinS

Iwatobi DolphinS is a general merchandise store in Iwatobi where Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Miss Amakata go to buy supplies needed for the renovation of Iwatobi High's outdoor pool. The store carries a variety of goods, including operating fishtanks which entice Haruka to enter, being prevented from doing so by Makoto and Nagisa.[2]

Sports ZERO

Sports ZERO is a sporting goods store where Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa, Rei and Gou go to buy Rei a new swimsuit that will help him learn to swim. Haruka runs into Rin Matsuoka and Gou runs into Seijuro Mikoshiba, the captain of Samezuka Academy's swim club, who reveals to her that their entire team came to buy swimwear.[5]

In the light novel, TV Animation Free! Novelize, this scene is recalled in a chapter titled, Toraware no Orca (also known as Trapped Orca). Makoto recounts the story about becoming trapped in one of the changing rooms in only his underwear, but lucky enough to overhear a conversation between Rin and Aiichiro Nitori as they shop with the Samezuka Swimming Club. Nagisa and Rei eventually rescue the "trapped orca" and Makoto texts Rin a message saying they should swim together again. Rin doesn't answer, but it doesn't matter because Makoto now knows that the Rin he remembers is back.

Iwatobi Port

Starting Days (13)
Iwatobi's main industries are fishing and tourism. Its identity as a port town is particularly important in the lives of several characters, inlcuding Rin, who loses his father when a typhoon sinks his fishing boat and Makoto, who develops thalassaphobia after another typhoon takes the life of an old fisherman he knew as a child. It is sometimes seen when Haruka and Makoto walk home after school, but isn't actually used as a location until Episode 5 when Goro uses his squid fishing boat to transport the group to the island where they hold a summer training camp.[6]

Nearby Iwatobi Town

Samezuka Academy

Samezuka gateplate
Main article: Samezuka Academy

Samezuka Academy is an upper secondary school attended by several of the anime characters when they are younger.

Sano Junior High School

Starting Days (198)
Main article: Sano Junior High School

Sano Junior High School is a lower secondary school attended by several of the anime characters when they are younger.

Sano Elementary School

Classroom
Main article: Sano Elementary School

Sano Elementary School is a primary school attended by several of the anime characters when they are younger.

Trivia

  • Many of the animated locations of Iwatobi are directly taken from actual locations in Iwami, Tottori.
  • Travel between Iwatobi and Tokyo requires two hours by plane.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Free! TV Animation Guidebook
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode 3
  4. Episode 1
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode 4
  6. Episode 5
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