Free! Episode 2: Well That Got Better Quickly

If you do not watch this episode, this woman will put a curse on you.

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I had two series pencilled in for episodic blogging this season based on their first episodes and one of them was Free. Well okay, that one was more for the reaction to the show rather than the show itself, because the first episode didn’t exactly impress me. And since I didn’t want another Valvrave on my hands, I decided to wait until I saw the second episode to see whether or not I would want to blog this. You see, whilst the stuff that Draggle creamed his pants over (don’t even try to fight me on this dude. You sounded like you were having an orgasm on Twitter, let alone your first impression) should in theory get a laugh, the director didn’t get the comedic timing right in the first episode and it came off as trying too hard.

Thankfully, this episode was a massive improvement on that. Whilst Haru is still kind of bland, the relationship between him and Rin was thankfully explored in a manner beyond the usual shallowness of KyoAni’s other SOL stuff, which was a worry I had going in. But most importantly, the director actually got the comedic timing right with this episode and thus I was actually able to laugh at the jokes. Nagisa was actually tolerable despite his futile attempts to annoy me and the whole thing came off better than the first episode of Watamote. Whilst Watamote might be funnier, Free managed to build up the underlying narrative to support any of its failed jokes, which I appreciate a lot. I dig my random comedies and all, but even they need to have some kind of focus or bite in order to rank really high with me, like SZS’s social satire or Ranma’s cast in general.

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So far, I like two characters: Makoto and Go…I mean Kou. Is it a little strange that the girl is my favorite character in a series like this? Then again, my favorite characters in the usual Key stuff are the males, because they’re the only ones the writers put any effort into despite writing for a bishoujo genre, so I guess it’s not that strange. But whilst I like Kou’s snarky attitude combined with her glorification of the triceps, I was surprised the most regarding how Makoto graduated from being an unfunny straight man to a sometimes funny straight man. We don’t actually know about him persay aside from the fact that we got introduced to this family this week, but he definitely comes off as a decent father figure and contrast to the rest of the crazy boys. I can definitely see that going places and hopefully, the other characters get similar treatment. There’s a new guy, whose name is apparently Rei, being introduced next week, and I definitely want to see what he brings to the table.

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Oh yes, and I dug the swimming animation a lot in this thing.

I’ll admit that part of the reason why I chose this series to blog was because I’m hoping that Free will bring a lot of new readers in due to being a massive title and all. There’s a reason that Metanorn’s own coverage of the first episode has so many comments on it after all (besides being a much more popular site than mine). I was worried at first since hype always comes back to bite you in the ass and this show is no Guilty Crown, plus there’s no telling if the show will or will not crash on itself later on; but whilst it’s never going to achieve any real highs unless it surprises me, it’s nice to see another KyoAni project I can get into again.

Now that all that’s said, here’s a sexy shot of Haru cleaning himself.

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Stingers

  • To be fair to Draggle, everyone I follow sounded like they were having an orgasm watching this episode (and Free in general). Since I can’t watch the show until I get off work and this thing comes out about 3-4 hours before I come home…yeah.
  • You’ll see what the other series I have pencilled in is once that show’s second episode comes out. All I can say about it is that it’s another show I know a bunch of people are creaming themselves over.
  • Keep in mind, I’m only referring to the Key TV adaptations when I’m saying the males are better than the females. The movies reverse that.

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