Kyoto Animation Studios released a second trailer, a new promo image, and information on the main theme song for the first film in the new Free! Franchise film project, entitled Free!: The Final Stroke. The video shows Haruka’s anticipated trip to the Sydney championship.
The main theme song will be performed by OLDCODEX and will be titled “Heading to Over – Version: Free -“. As its name suggests, it is a remake of the opening theme of the third season of the animation project, and will be released on CD on September 15. On the other hand, the first film of the project will be released in Japanese theaters on September 17, 2021, while the second is scheduled for April 22, 2022. Since its announcement, the description of the project indicated that it is the end of the franchise in general.
The franchise is based on a series of light novels written by Kouji Ouji, which received an honorable mention at the second Kyoto Animation Awards, held in 2011, and which were published in July 2013. The first twelve-episode season premiered in July 2013, followed by a thirteen episode second season in July 2014 and a twelve episode third season in July 2018.
All seasons have been produced by Kyoto Animation studios, however, the first two were directed by Hiroko Utsumi, while the third by Eisaku Kawanami. The next film in the franchise was scheduled to be released in 2020, in parallel with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed both events.
Synopsis of Free!
Haruka Nanase loves water and is passionate about swimming. In elementary school, she competed and won a relay race with her three friends Rin Matsuoka, Nagisa Hazuki, and Makoto Tachibana. After claiming victory in the tournament, the four friends went their separate ways. Years later, they meet again as high school students; However, Rin couldn’t care less about going back to the way things used to be. Not only does he attend a different school, but the only important thing to him is proving that he is a better swimmer than Haruka.
After the bitter reunion, Haruka, Nagisa, and Makoto decide to form the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club, but they will need a fourth member if they hope to participate in the next tournament. Enter Rei Ryuugazaki, a former member of the track team whom Nagisa recruits. As the time to compete draws near, the four of them develop a close bond as they train intensely to emerge victorious and settle things between Haruka and Rin once and for all.