Free! Dive to the Future – Anime First Impressions

Studio: Kyoto Animation x Animation Do

Episodes: 12

Director: Kawanami Eisaku

Genre: Sports, Slice of life


Haruka, who is attending college in Tokyo, meets Asahi again and reawakens his memories from his middle school years, including those of Ikuya. Makoto is working toward a new dream while he is in Tokyo together with Haruka. Rin has an unexpected meeting in Sydney.

Source: Free! Dive to the Future ep.1

What you need to know about Free! Dive to the Future

1. It’s the 3rd season of Free!, taking place a few months after the events of season 2.

2. It definitely isn’t suitable for viewers who are completely new to the Free! series. The first episode doesn’t really spend any time introducing characters and explaining roles/relationships for the benefit of any new viewers, and almost the entire episode is built on references to the events of the previous two seasons.

3. On the other hand, it’s terrific for seasoned fans as they’ll get to see what their old favourites have been up to and how they’ve been getting on with their lives since the conclusion of season 2.

4. There’s a lot of interesting new plot threads to follow, but new viewers will be left mostly confused as the narrative jumps from one set of characters to the next.

5. Haru is still very much the main character of this show, but with the cast expanding to more than three times its original size since the first season while simultaneously being split up to multiple different locations, the narrative of season 3 may end up lacking the intimate charm of the first two seasons.

Source: Free! Dive to the Future ep.1



1. Haru, Makoto and Rin have all graduated high school, with Haru and Makoto just starting unversity in Japan while Rin has gone to train with a swim team in Australia.

2. Rei, Nagisa and Gou are still in high school and their story arc will revolve around their efforts to keep the Iwatobi Swimming Club alive by recruiting and training new members.

3. The overarching plot of Dive to the Future appears to center around Ikuya Kirishima, a mysterious figure from Haru’s past who first appeared in the prequel movie: High Speed! – Free! Starting Days

Source: Free! Dive to the Future ep.1

4. Kisumi Shigino, one of the supporting characters from Free! season 2 is another returning character who appears to have a more significant role this time around as he will be one of Haru’s teammates on the university swim team.

Verdict: Watch it!

It’s been almost 4 years since we last saw our beloved swimming boys (for those of us who weren’t able to catch the movies anyway), and the summer of 2018 is as good a time as any for us fans to finally catch up with Haru and the gang.

Free! Season 1 was brilliantly immersive because the show could devote a great amount of care and time to develop each of the 5 original cast members and build up their relationships with each other until the eventual climax.

Season 2 kept things interesting by introducing a new rival school with a bunch of likable new characters and fleshing out Rin’s character and backstory.

Season 3 might just have a bit too much going on. All of the characters from season 2 have returned, along with the addition of a whole new set of characters from the university swim teams, which brings the number of unique swimming boys up to…. almost more than any one fujoshi can handle.

Source: Free! Dive to the Future OP

If you’re the type that can appreciate every single character and is equally in love with all of them, then you’ll be able to enjoy all of their appearances and interactions. But if you’re the type of fan that mainly enjoys the show when your favourite character is in the spotlight, then you may find the sheer size of the cast somewhat disconcerting.

Despite the possible issues, there’s still plenty for fans to enjoy as the swimming boys truly are back and are just as lovable as ever. And if you’re the kind of person who watches this show just for the swimming… we’re pleased to announce that the swimming scenes are exhilarating as ever right from the get-go.

Here’s hoping that Free! Dive to the Future can keep a tight and engaging narrative while providing adequate screentime for all fan favourites!

Source: Free! Dive to the Future ep.1
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