Kyoto Animation Postpones New Free! Film Indefinitely

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club has always been destined for success. Even before the series went to the small screen, fans fell for the series' swimmers. Time and again, fans watched the viral promos released for Free before Kyoto Animation gave it an anime adaptation. These days, the series is one of the best sports shows out there, but it seems the anime's future releases are slowing down.

Taking to Twitter, the official page for Free went live with a big update. The account, which Kyoto Animation helps oversee, gave an update on the anime's awaited 2020 film. It was there the page announced a change to the movie's release as the project has been postponed.

According to the article, Free has delayed the release of its 2020 film until further notice. The indefinite premiere may still take place in 2020, but that release window is not set. It was said the movie would debut in Summer 2020 originally so Winter could be on the table still.

For fans, the delay isn't wholly unexpected. This year saw the release of Free's latest anime film, but it was overshadowed by tragedy. Just weeks after Free! Dive to the Future was released in Japan, Kyoto Animation was targeted by an irate arsonist. The attack has since killed 36 staffers at Kyoto Animation while injuring dozens more. The deadly attack was covered by news outlet around the world, and Kyoto Animation has since confirmed several victims had worked closely on Free. The attack has undoubtedly affected the anime's schedule, and fans want Kyoto Animation to take all the time they need with this new Free film.

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Free! follows a group of high school students who were introduced as children on a local swim team. The anime’s primary lead Haruka is a prodigal swimmer who can think only about swimming but does not wish to turn his passion into a profession. When the boy teams back up with his friends Makoto and Nagisa on a swim team, Haruka is stunned when their third childhood friend reappears in his life. Rin, who had gone to hone his swimming skills abroad, is back in their hometown and holds plenty of bitterness towards his former friends. And, as the series goes on, fans watch as swimming rekindles the friends’ once-tight bonds.