The star swimmers of Free! convened at an event for the High☆Speed! -Free! Starting Days- film yesterday, to announce two anime compilation films as well as that “new screen project” Kyoto Animation have been holding out on since August. The project, it’s finally been revealed, is an all-new anime film to come after the compilations Free! -Timeless Medley- Kizuna (Bonds) and Free! -Timeless Medley- Yakusoku (Promise). These two are slated to open in Japan on April 22nd and July 1st, respectively.
Both compilation films will include new footage, Kizuna focusing on all the boys of the Iwatobi Swim Club, while Yakusoku will follow Rin and Sosuke. The all-new film, titled Free! -Take Your Marks- and slated for fall, will take place after these two preceding films as Haruka deals with his graduation from high school. In the early days of spring, four stories will centre on him and his friends, and what might lie ahead as they set off to freestyle their futures. For now, the trailer below introduces the story of Kizuna.
All three films will have a returning cast from the original anime series, its sequel Free! Eternal Summer and the High Speed! movie. In particular, Asahi Shiina and Ikuya Kirishima from High Speed! are third-year students in the new material for the Timeless Medley films. The full returning cast has been confirmed as follows:
Nobunaga Shimazaki as Haruka Nanase
Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Makoto Tachibana
Tsubasa Yonaga as Nagisa Hazuki
Daisuke Hirakawa as Rei Ryugazaki
Mamoru Miyano as Rin Matsuoka
Yoshimasa Hosoya as Sosuke Yamazaki
Kouki Miyata as Aiichiro Nitori
Kenichi Suzumura as Momotaro Mikoshiba
Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Asahi Shiina
Kouki Uchiyama as Ikuya Kirishima
As for the staff, Eisaku Kawanami, who acted as episode director for both anime series and as unit director for High Speed!, is directing at Kyoto Animation. Scriptwriter Masahiro Yokotani also returns on composition, alongside Futoshi Nishiya as character designer. The group Style Five, formed from the anime’s five main voice actors, will in turn be back in full voice for the compilations films’ theme song ‘Rising Free’.
Just let that sink in for a moment, before we all splash free from excitement. And if you still need something to cool you off, why not reminisce with our review of Eternal Summer.