Fans of Free! are going to have a great 2018. Not only is the series returning for its third season, but Funimation is going to provide a great way to watch the films previously unseen in the United States.
Funimation has announced that both the new film, -Take Your Marks- and the prequel film High Speed! Free! Starting Days to the United States.
SWIMMING BOYS ARE COMING TO THE BIG SCREEN! FunimationFilms is bringing Free! -Take Your Marks-, the new sequel movie that just released in Japan, to theaters! It's a one-night-only theatrical event on 3/14 in Japanese w/ English subtitles.January 16, 2018
Free! -Take Your Marks- the sequel film which follows Haru and Makoto preparing for college after the events of -Eternal Summer-, will be available in theaters for one night only on March 14.
Funimation also announced they acquired the rights to the two prequel films in the series. High Speed! Free! -Starting Days- and Free! -Timeless Melody-, which explore the pasts of Haru and Makoto, and Kizuna and Yakusoku respectively, will both be available to purchase on Blu-ray and DVD some time in the near future.
If you are not familiar with Free!, then you have time to catch up. The anime made its debut in July 2013 after it was adapted from a light novel by Koji Oji. Before the show was ordered, a short animated PV featuring the novel's cast was released. Fans from all over the world flocked to the video, buzzing over its animation style and concept. So, when Kyoto Animation green-lit the project for a full season, few were surprised.
When the anime's first season aired, the show became a success with international fans despite its sports content. In 2014, a second season of the anime was released before an animated film debuted in December 2015.
As for its story, Free! follow 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.