But, it's not beautiful!
— Rei Ryugazaki.
Rei Ryugazaki
Rei Dive to the Future
Kanji 竜ヶ崎 怜
Rōmaji Ryūgazaki Rei
Also known as Rei-chan (by Nagisa)
Speedo Glasses (by Rin)

Big Brother Butterfly (by Ren and Ran) [1]

Gender Male
Sign Sagittarius
Birthday December 14th
Age 15-16

17 (Dive to the Future)

Height 177 cm (5'10") (Free!)
179 cm (5'10") (Dive to the Future)
Weight 65 kg (143 lb)
Professional Status
Occupation 3rd year High School Student
Affiliation Iwatobi High School
Track Team (former)
Swimming Team
Function Captain
Swim Style Butterfly[2](specialty)
Freestyle (crawl)
Events 100m butterfly
4x100m medley relay
Personal Status
Relatives Father
Older brother
Anime Episode 2
Voice Actors
Japanese Daisuke Hirakawa
Yōko Hikasa (child)
English J. Michael Tatum

Rei Ryugazaki (竜ヶ崎 怜 Ryūgazaki Rei) is one of the main characters of the anime series Free! He is a butterfly swimmer and a 3rd year high school student at Iwatobi High School. Rei was once a member of the track team of Iwatobi High School before he joined its Swim Club. After Haru and Makoto graduated he became the new captain of the swim club.


Rei Full

Rei is a muscular young man with short, dark blue hair and purple eyes. He wears red-framed glasses. His usual school uniform consists of light brown trousers, a white shirt with a red necktie, a dark gray buttoned up jacket and black and white sneakers. During the spring and summer, he wears his summer uniform that consists of gray trousers, a white shirt with short sleeves and a dark gray collar, a red dotted necktie and the black and white sneakers. The best features on his body are his deltoids and biceps muscles.

While swimming, he wears black long-legged swim pants that have blue patterns on them.


Rei is considered handsome and intelligent because of his looks and good grades. He also has a penchant for beautiful things and the thought of exuding anything but beauty through his actions causes him to dramatically lose his cool.[3][2]

Rei may initially seem like a calm and composed character, but he is in actuality quite comical in the sense that he sometimes lets his confidence get the better of him. He is, however, depicted to be a hardworking and determined individual, unwilling to relent to his inability to swim despite several failed attempts.[2][4][5]

Rei has a theoretical approach when it comes to sports,[3] as he usually calculates distance, angle, and other factors in his mind before actually making an attempt. Because of his rigid nature, he has a tendency to overlook the fun and enjoyment that comes with the activity. As Haruka told Rei, he needed to be "free" in order to swim properly, because he is constantly calculating and underestimating the water.[2]



Main article: Rei Ryugazaki/Plot


Is that supposed to be butterfly? Pathetic!
Rin Matsuoka, about Rei's stroke.[6]

Current stats:

Mental Strength
Water Repellency

Expected stats:

Mental Strength
Water Repellency


Main article: Rei Ryugazaki/Relationships


Main article: Rei Ryugazaki/Music

Creation and Conception

Rei Sketches

Hiroko Utsumi said in one of the interviews that Rei initially felt cool like Haruka did, but as soon as he opened his mouth and started to frolic, that similarity ended immediately. She added that he was the type of person girls would complain, “he looks so cool, but it’s such a shame he had to open his mouth…”. He’s said to be a quibbler in the theory side of things, but have a problem in the heart of things. His face immediately expresses whatever he feels, so he’s easy to read. He loves beautiful things, so his appreciation of beauty is very high. His sense of beauty overdoes it to the point where he always tucks his shirt in. Utsumi said to look closely and you will see he does everything properly, even ensuring the straps on his backpack are perfectly tight around his uniform.


  • Like all members of the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club, Rei has a female name.
  • During a field trip in fifth grade, Rei accidentally left his underwear in the bath.[5]
  • Rei is the only member of the Iwatobi Swimming Club that has his body hair shaved (done by Nagisa).[7]
  • Rin described Rei's stroke pathetic.[6]
  • Rei owns a black and white mobile phone.[8]
  • Rei likes eating sushi.[9]
  • Rei likes reading, running, calculating and pole-vaulting.[9]
  • Rei's best subjects are Math and Chemistry, while he's bad at Art and Music.[9]
  • According to Rin, Rei has horrible English pronunciation.[1]
  • According to Rei, the Ryugazaki family has been pairing melon bread with barley tea since his grandfather's time.[10]
  • His motif animal is a butterfly.
    • Rei's animal is unique compared to the other characters' as his is the only non-aquatic animal. This is commonly interpreted to be due to the fact he was not originally a swimmer.
  • He apparently suffers from mild motion sickness.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Episode 11 Preview
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Episode 4
  3. 3.0 3.1 Episode 3
  4. Episode 5
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode 6
  6. 6.0 6.1 Episode 8
  7. Iwatobi High School Swimming Club's Diary 1: Track 1
  8. Episode 9
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Free! TV Animation Guidebook
  10. Episode 11
  11. Episode 30


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