“Free” Prequel Film Coming (to Japan)!

Based on the light novel entitled High Speed, the film will serve as a prequel to the anime series, “Free! – Iwatobi Swimming Club” and it’s sequel series “Free! – Eternal Summer.” For those of you who are unaware of the series, “Free!” is the story of four friends from elementary school, who reunite after several years when they all end up at the same high-school.

Following their reunion, the boys reconnect over their love of competitive swimming and after a race, they decide to start a swim team at their high school.

While the animated series follows the boys through their time as high school students, the upcoming prequel film, titled “High Speed! -Free! Starting Days-” will take place while the characters are in middle school.

The novel, a work by Koji Oji and Futoshi Nishiya, that would be the inspiration for the anime series received acclaim and an honorable mention award at the 2nd Annual Kyoto Animation Awards. In an excerpt taken from an interview conducted by Mantan Web with one of the editors at Esuma Bunko (the publisher of High Speed,) they explain a bit about the book, and it’s appeal.


—What attracts readers to this novel?


Cool and edgy characters, an intricate storyline and the dialogue between the boys that Ooji creates. Ooji himself is surprisingly not aware, but the interaction between Haruka and Makoto shocked many readers in this title. His characters hold the innocence of a child and a mature mentality together and that gives depth to the characters. His technique of effectively using both the dreamy feel of being underwater and the articulate swimming descriptions in the swimming scenes makes the novel very interesting.


— How did the novel came about?


The novel High☆Speed! was sent to enter the 2nd Annual Kyoto Animation Award in the novel category. It received an Honorable Mention award and that’s how the project started for publishing. Even when the novel was being evaluated, many staff members were attracted to the interaction between the boys and their mature-for-their-age attitude and it received lots of support [from KyoAni].


“High Speed! -Free! Starting Days-” will hit Japan on December 5th, 2015.

For more information, (if you’re able to read Japanese,) you can follow the official twitter account as well as the official website (again, if you can read Japanese.)

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