So. We meet again swimming anime.
Chances are, if you’re reading this review, you fall into one of four camps as shown by these 4 reactions
1. The Yaoi Worshipper – You came here for guys in skimpy swimming suits and gratuitous amounts of abs. The sheer amount of GIF’s and ship worthy material will keep you occupied until next year.
2. The Unfortunate Heterosexual/Lesbian – You’re the boyfriend who was dragged to the Magic Mike premiere or the lesbian anime fan. These scantily clad youths do nothing for your nether regions
3. The Slice of Life Animu Fan- You’re here for the story. No. Really.
4. The Tsundere- You’re pretending to not like what you’re seeing but let’s be real. I’m pretty sure you have a Haru-chan boyfriend pillow under your bed.
I’m here to tell you that Free! Eternal Summer will satisfy 3 out of those 4 people (Sorry group #2). Let’s get this out of the way first, there is a lot of gratuitous shirtlessness, muscle flexing and speedo close ups. So if you’re a fan of the first one, just go ahead and watch this second one. They increased this reverse harem with 3 extra members so that’s brings up the possible shipped pairs from 10 to 28! That’s 180% more potential yaoi. Alas, if you’re expecting anything remotely gay or sexual, you will not find it here. Do not expect it. Sex and relationships are foreign concepts and the only thing that matters is bromance and camaraderie.
As for the animation, Free! Eternal Summer is one of those rare animes where they manage to be completely gratuitous but don’t go into vulgar territory. Plus, the animation quality is really quite impressive. They manage to showcase musculature and movement very nicely and they manage to make swimming races seem even more dynamic and fast paced with their editing and scene compositions. You get the sense that it’s very well produced. No wonky or irregular animation quality here.
Story-wise, the anime series actually deepens the story from the first one. It’s very much still a Slice of Life anime that’s set in high-school. Now, however, they’re dealing with the concept of graduation and colleges. It does nicely to capture the youthful confusion at that stage of life without being too overly indulgent. Not only that but they managed to fully flesh out their main rivals into a full team. I would say that the story is a marked improvement over the whole “Friendship is Magic!” circle jerk that was the first season. Mind you, that is still one of the main themes but it’s half a circle jerk instead. The rest of the story is about moving on, self-discovery and personal growth.
So conclusion? Watch it if you were already a fan of the first one. If the concept of a slice of life anime with a metric ton of shirtless dudes appeals to you then watch it as well. This anime is probably the best of its genre right now but it will not convert people who are not anime fans nor will it convince anyone who isn’t a fan of dudes.
Watch it? YES
Gay Content? NO
Gay Eye Candy? YES
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