Free! #01 — Manservice

July 3rd, 2013


At least it didn’t surprise me by being watchable.


Let’s cut to the chase. Yes, the only reason to watch this is if you want to see sweaty, wet, glistening boys explore their bodies and friendships together. I’m not even sure that I’d say it’s particularly well animated either. All the effort seems to have gone into water effects, drawing their muscled bodies, and the creepy pop idol ED. If nobody’s naked and wet, then apparently the animation budget gets cut in half, and sure as hell does not have any kind of artistic direction going on despite its awful water hand-holding attempts to the contrary. They also like to play the game of "How many times can we surprise the audience by suddenly filling the screen with rippling pecs." It sure as hell did not go into the voice acting. I hate to play this card, but I usually don’t give a crap about VAs. These stood out within seconds with how godawful they were. They did get a little less bad once they stopped trying to sound like prepubescent philosophizing, but that’s a very long way from competent.

But let’s not let manservice, unimpressive production, or terrible voice acting get in the way when there’s the writing tanking things too. The lead here is of the sullen put-upon genius type, who opens up the show complaining to the audience about how awesome he is and spends the entire episode looking annoyed to be here. Boy, now that’s a character I sure want to care about! His antagonist/the top in the relationship is almost comical in how over the top he is in a show without a single trace of irony otherwise. He even has goddamned shark teeth. And he’s mad! Rrrrarrr! Again, the awful voice acting, not helping. Nor was the corny music that kept cutting in. It was mostly unremarkable, but there were two tracks, the electric guitar around 14 minutes in and the stinger music for the ‘cliffhanger’ at the very end, which were just utterly ridiculous.

I think I actually got more annoyed sitting down and writing this out than I did just watching it. I was mostly only bored after the grimacing from the awful start wore off. It’s a rather generic sports show. Better animated than most (which is a low hurdle to clear), and likes to jar the audience with sudden closeups of naked male bodies, but that’s kind of about it. Unless you’re counting "Giving awful voice actors work" as a positive trait.


Next Episode:


More wet boys.

Posted in Anime | 15 Comments »

15 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Kitsu says:

    Godany attack again

  • Anonymous says:

    You have to blog this, you have to

  • Embok says:

    Hahaha wow you really should not try to talk about voice acting if you think the rival was bad. He’s pretty much the most talented VA in the industry.

    • Aroduc says:

      And Dustin Hoffman was spellbinding in Little Fockers.

      And Michael Caine would have never phoned in a performance for Jaws 4.

      They’re Academy Award winners after all.


  • Trent says:

    You are destined to blog this aroduc, you know you are ;x

  • Catz says:

    Very, very gay!

  • Di Gi Kazune says:

    It is Kyoani! It cannot be bad! It *MUST* be good!


  • Anon says:

    Miyano bad? Come on, Arc…

  • The Phantom says:

    “the only reason to watch this is if you want to see sweaty, wet, glistening boys” stopped reading right there.

    Glad that you make the sacrifice for us of sorting out all the shit that comes with each season.

  • Di Gi Kazune says:

    Okay, on a serious note here… Free! (willy – bad pun)has basically polarised people into two camps, you like it or you don’t, ie. the typical love/hate relationship shows have in the internet.

    However, what is disturbing is the segment that has basically altered their principles so that the ultimate principle “Kyoani can do no wrong” prevails, ie the diehard fanbois zealots. I am basically sick of this standard excuse for “must watch kyoani” even when the premise of the show is weak. As put forward before infinite times, if kyoani animated bovine excrement, the core fanbase would still say it smells sweeter than a rose and is delicious.

    Indefence of GARness, GARcher and Broskandar/IskanGAR are excellent pieces of manliness, not because of their animation but because of their character and conviction. Hell, Gil is smexier than these bunch of free willies.

    The current stance here is: giggling like a psychotic angel here at how the current views and situation is panning out as I have predicted.

    PS. You should never cook in Hadaka Apr0n. Yes, it’s erotic but seriously, it’s a hazard. Aprons provide a layer of protection from hot spills/splatter for the wearer and their clothes. Hadaka Apr0n should be kept in the bedroom.

  • Killer Queen says:

    Free! won’t be that much different at all if they replace men with abs with cute girls with a banging body. I mean, if you replace the male voices with female moe ones, that would have been just as believable.

    Yes, KyoAni decided to cater to the female audiences instead of the usual otaku men, but one thing it lacked was the fact that, it’s not that different to any other school Slice O’ Lifes that had girls in it.

    Overall… Free! is nothing special.

  • CTT says:

    I wanted to see beautiful men glistening with sweat, so I’m absolutely pleased with the first episode.

  • slicendice says:

    You can practically taste the chlorinated semen.