Free! Anime Film Delayed From Summer 2020

The official website for Kyoto Animation’s Free! anime franchise has announced that the planned summer 2020 opening date for the franchise’s all-new anime film has been delayed due to “various circumstances.” The announcement assured fans that the director and the rest of the staff are hard at work to make a film that will “meet the expectations” of fans. The site will announce a new release date for the film once it has been determined.

The franchise’s most recent entry was Free! ~Road to the World~ Yume (Dream), which opened on July 5, 2019, and was a “reconstruction” of the Free! Dive to the Future television anime series, as well as a “bridge” to the new film.

Source: ANN

FUNimation Entertainment Adds Anime Films to Its Streaming Catalog

FUNimation Entertainment has announced that it has added the following anime films to its catalog:

  • Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry
  • High Speed! -Free! Starting Days-
  • Free! The Movie -Timeless Medley- the Bond
  • Free! The Movie -Timeless Medley- the Promise
  • Free! -Take Your Marks-

The Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry anime film will stream in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

The four Free! anime films will stream in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

Source: ANN

Information on the 2019 Free! Compilation Anime Film

Kyoto Animation and Animation DO opened a website for the next compilation film in their Free! anime franchise, and announced that the film’s title is Free! ~Road to the World~ Yume (Dream).

The film will open in Japan on July 5, 2019, and will have a returning cast and staff from the Free! Dive to the Future anime. The film will be a “reconstruction” of the Free! Dive to the Future television anime series, but with an added “new episode.”

The franchise will also receive an all-new anime film in summer 2020. Free! ~Road to the World~ Yume is described as a “bridge” to that film.

Source: ANN

Free! Anime to Get a Compilation Film on July 5, 2019, and an All-New Film in Summer 2020

Kyoto Animation has announced that its Free! anime franchise is getting a compilation film on July 5, 2019, and an all-new anime film in Summer 2020.

The film opening on July 5, 2019 will be a “reconstruction” of the Free! Dive to the Future television anime series, but with an added “new episode.”

The 12th and final episode of the Free! Dive to the Future anime, which aired in September 2018, ended with the message “See you in 2020…” The series premiered on July 11, 2018. Crunchyroll simulcast the anime as it aired in Japan, and FUNimation Entertainment streamed an English dub.

Source: ANN

12 Days of Anime: Day 9

As an anime fan, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that I would have anime items (DVDs, Blu-rays, and soundtracks) on my Christmas wishlist. It’s a rather long list (LOL!), but I thought I would share the items that I’m most hoping to find under the tree this Christmas.

Anime Blu-rays and DVDs

Assassination Classroom Season 1

I really liked the Assassination Classroom anime series when I watched it as a simulcast, and I would love to have this in my anime home video library. I’m grateful that FUNimation Entertainment released complete season sets for the series on Blu-ray earlier this year, so now I can ask for one set for each season instead of two sets.

Free! Iwatobi Swim Club Season 1 Collection

Watching Free! -Dive to the Future- over the summer as a simulcast reminded me of how much I enjoyed the series. I’d like to finally start adding it to my anime home video library.

Haikyu!! Season 1 Complete Collection

I really enjoy the series and want to add it to my anime home video library. I’d love to have it available on physical media to watch whenever I want while I keep hoping and waiting for another season.

Shirobako Collection 1

I really liked this series when it aired as a simulcast, and I would love to add it to home anime home video library. I think my husband and son would both get a kick out of this one if they watched it.

Snow White with the Red Hair: The Complete Series

This was another series I enjoyed watching as a simulcast and would like to add to my anime home video library. I especially loved Shirayuki and how she was a great female character with a lot of agency. To be honest, I think my daughters would enjoy this series.

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 – Part One

This was a fantastic reboot of the original Space Battleship Yamato, and it deserves a spot in my anime home video library. I think my husband would also enjoy this reboot as well.

Yuri!!! On Ice: The Complete Series

This was such a well-done anime. I enjoyed it so much that I binge watched it within a very short amount of time, which is unusual for me. I would love to add this to my anime home video library so I can watch this whenever I want on a bigger screen.

Anime Music

“History Maker” single by Dean Fujioka

This is the opening theme song for Yuri!!! On Ice. This is such a fantastic song, and for me, is among some of the best anime opening theme songs I’ve ever heard. I would love to add it to my music library.

Yowamushi Pedal Theme Song Album

This is a CD that compiles various theme songs from the Yowamushi Pedal anime series. The series has a lot of great themes, and it would be awesome to have them on a single CD.

Yowamushi Pedal O.S.T. 1

This is the first CD of background score music for Yowamushi Pedal. There’s a lot of great score music in this anime, and it’s music I can see myself listening to outside of the series.

12 Days of Anime: Day 2

2018 was a great year for me personally when it came to anime, because five anime series I had followed in the past continued with new episodes this year.

It started in January 2018, with the debut of Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line, the fourth anime season for the Yowamushi Pedal franchise. We got to see more of the 42nd Inter-High, as well as get character development for Yuto and Kishigami. The only downer for this season was the fact that it ended right at the beginning of the third day of the Inter-High. But even with that slight disappointment, it was overall a good season for the anime.

There were no continuations for me to start watching in Spring 2018, but I suddenly had two anime continuation simulcasts for Summer 2018. The first of the two that I started watching was Free! -Dive to the Future-. Even though I hadn’t seen the anime film that led up to this point, I was still able to follow what was going on through flashbacks. I enjoyed most of the season, especially the character development for some of the main characters, but I felt the ending was on the rushed side.

Summer 2018 also brought Attack on Titan Season 3, which picks up exactly where the previous season had left off. Unfortunately, the audience was not provided a recap of what had happened in the previous season in order to remember how we had gotten to this point. Having read this portion of the manga, though, I was able to piece together what had happened. And since I have read the portion of the manga that this season covers, I can say that the pacing was tightened up a bit, which helped to make the anime telling a little more exciting. However, it seemed everyone was caught off-guard when this season ended, because it was already known that there were going to be more episodes for the season and it had been assumed that all of the episodes were going to air in two consecutive seasons. Oh well. The series will continue in Spring 2019, so just a few more months of waiting to see how the anime will adapt the next section of the manga.

The Fall 2018 simulcast season has brought us Sword Art Online: Alicization. At the time I’m writing this, I have seen eight episodes of this season. All I can say is that a lot of the focus is on Kirito and what’s happening in the game world that he’s in. We had a couple of episodes featuring Asuna in the real world, but that the episodes featuring her have been a little on the dryer side. Hopefully in the future, when there are episodes that focus on her in the real world, that she’ll get a little more in the way of action.

October 2018 also saw Netflix release the entirety of The Seven Deadly Sins: Revival of the Commandments on their streaming service. This picks up exactly where The Seven Deadly Sins ended, except it reveals the fact that the final scene of the first series is actually from a dream that Elizabeth has. The series focuses on the revival of the Ten Commandments, but we also get character development for Gowther and Diane. It was an interesting season, although I came to feel that The Ten Commandments are overpowered. While yes, they need to be powerful adversaries, I felt that they were too powerful. But the character development and character stories are engaging enough that it does help to offset the overpowered villains. The story doesn’t end at the end of this series, though, so hopefully there will be another season in the works at some point.

Anime Spotlight: Free! -Dive to the Future

Free! -Dive to the Future is an anime series produced by Kyoto Animation and Animation Do and was directed by Eisaku Kawanami. The series aired on Japanese television from July 11-September 26, 2018. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American license for Free! -Dive to the Future.

Even though there was an anime film between Free! Eternal Summer and Free! -Dive to the Future, you didn’t have to see the film in order to understand what’s going on. Over the course of the series, a several flashbacks are presented to help the audience understand who some of the new characters are and how they fit in with the already established characters from the previous two seasons.

The format this series took was telling stories focusing on specific characters (or one character) in various places. There was a lot of jumping around during the first episode, which at times almost made the viewer feel like they were experiencing whiplash. But after the first episode, the amount of jumping around between stories slowed down dramatically. In fact, it quickly settled down on focusing more on the college age characters who are in Tokyo, with occasional appearances by other characters or groups of characters. Unfortunately, this really affected the high school characters at Iwatobi High. Three new characters were introduced for their team, but because we didn’t spend a whole lot of time with them, we only got very brief character development for any of them. In the end, the development was so brief that I still can’t remember what their names are. While we got to see them compete in two swimming events, their main appearances were to appear on screen for maybe a minute or so and provide narration to show that they’re following what their senpai are doing in the swimming world.

The season’s strength was focusing on Haru, Makoto, and Asahi trying to reunite with Ikuya. The writing for this story arc was very effective, and I found this to be a compelling story. Unfortunately, after Ikuya reunites with the others, the rest of the story leading up to the All-Japan Invitational started to feel a little rushed. We get to the All-Japan Invitational in the final episode of the season, but the audience doesn’t get to see the results of all the races. It just kind of stops during the second day of the event, while in the middle of a race that includes Haru and Rin. While we got a final screen saying, “See you again in 2020,” it didn’t totally ease the sting of feeling a little let down that we end up stopping in the middle of the much-hyped big swimming tournament.

After finishing Free! -Dive to the Future, I find myself wondering if perhaps this could have been a two-cour series instead of one. The extra episodes could have been used to flesh out the new Iwatobi high school swimmers, create more of a buildup to the All-Japan Invitational, and allow the audience to see Sousuke’s surgery and rehab that keeps getting referenced in the dialogue. Or, if they wanted to stay with a one-cour season, have the cour end before the All-Japan Invitational. Honestly, I would have felt a little less disappointed if this season had been used to the All-Japan Invitational, because this is a more natural stopping point.

Free! -Dive to the Future had a lot of potential, and it seemed to overall be living up to that potential in its early episodes. Unfortunately, by the end, it was obvious that the execution for the overall story could have been a lot better. But here’s hoping that 2020 will bring us the rest of the All-Japan Invitational and what’s to come next!