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Old 2013-07-04, 02:21   Link #461
YourIdeas
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Overall, Free is essentially a male version of K-On with swimming in place of music. I came in pretty much expecting this to happen. At least, that's my initial impression of it. Not a lot happened in the first episode but it was at least more active than Kimi to Boku, which felt similar in style, but was ultimately a borefest of seemingly gender confused boys. Free at least feels a bit more quirky in a good way and at least attempts to treat their male characters as...well....sort of male.

With Free, Nagisa and Makoto are the only real characters that seem to fall into the Ho, Yay! personas, even if Haruka and Rin are much more suggestive with their actions. Speaking of which, I can already tell there's going to be a ton of fake outs and I can't help but laugh because I'm just that certain that they won't cross the line, despite how many times they've "attempted". It's so weird seeing a show with a large male cast yet it feels so familiar, as the personalities that surround Haruka and Rin are essentially feminine in nature. It's strange, but I don't think KyoAni broke out of their usual mode quite yet. They just replaced boobs and short skirts for some well-defined chests and backs, which quite honestly, I found sort of disgusting in a "these don't really look natural" way.

In any case, the fanservice really wasn't that bad, just a ton of predictable fake-outs. Only thing I found really strange was Haruka's willingness to just randomly strip down and/or be nearly naked in front of other people and/or wear an apron over his swim shorts. (Really KyoAni? Really?)

I'll continue to watch just for the breath of fresh air it is.

EDIT: Just to mention something outside the characters and the fanservice: Holy Fuck, those water effects. Too fucking amazing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zztop View Post
I'm a bit confused about the first naming of the male characters and the female character, Gou.

Some forums have stated the guy's first names are 'feminine/gender-neutral' and the girl has a 'masculine' first name. Could anyone enlighten me on how this is the case?

Anyone who has intimate knowledge of how Japanese naming conventions work, the kanji meaning, and how the kanji give a masculine/feminine meaning to the names are much appreciated.
Here are the kanji for the names.

1) Haruka: 遥

2) Makoto: 真琴

3) Rin: 凛

4) Nagisa: 渚

5) Rei: 怜

6) Gou: 江

Thank you.
Japanese names have a weird tendency to be gender-neutral even when they don't seem like it and meaning doesn't necessarily play a huge part in it. Ultimately, I think it's a matter of perception though some names are just more common among one gender than they are another.

Of the 5 guys' names, Makoto is the only one I really perceive as masculine but according to Jisho, that particular kanji for "Makoto" apparently spells a feminine variant. Haruka, Rin, Rei, and Nagisa are definitely more feminine names though I've known at least one (real life) boy named Haruka in the past.

In the case of Gou, it just comes down to the reading and letter choice. "G" is a bit more harsher than "K" (hence, "Gou" sounds more masculine than "Kou") and for all intents and purposes, you can usually swap both letters without altering the meaning much on a lone kanji.

Last edited by YourIdeas; 2013-07-04 at 02:43.
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Old 2013-07-04, 02:25   Link #462
Lota
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So there is some sort of plot.

Ok, so I kinda liked it. It was fun, nice to watch. Nanase makes a really good protagonist imo, he knows what he wants, he's competitive. I like him. He's like Chihaya minus her cheerfulness.

The two friends... I hope there is something more to them than moe and abs. I mean, they're nice and, well, really easy on the eyes, but... I really really hope they're good swimmers. When Rin insulted them, I was like "go get 'im, guys!" Because now they're kinda... bland. I hope they're secretely competitive or sth and can swim really well.

Rin. So far so... bad. He just seems like a generic antagonist. With a "you-left-the-sport-so-now-I'm-gonna-hate-you-and-blame-you-for-my-misfortunes" mindset. Maybe (hopefully) I'm wrong. Gou is cool though. More of her, please.

Visually, everything is gorgeous. The colour palette is rich, the background is detailed. It's just nice to look at. Music. The opening is cool, and DAT ENDING I love it when the show doesn't take itself too seriously, it's like the creators were goofing off and decided to make the ending as gay and funny as possible. Good achievement, I couldn't stop laughing.

Anyway, looks like I'll be sticking around with this one for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puu View Post
Up next: Figure Skating Anime. With glitter and leotards, frilly shirts, and more sparkles!
Ooooooooh, I'd watch it. Seriously. Well, if the Japanese figure skating team does well in the Olympics, maybe we can actually expect sth like that in the future.
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Old 2013-07-04, 02:38   Link #463
Jun pls
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I really enjoyed the first episode.
I think I laughed waaay too much at the last few bits, mainly because of Haruka stripping and Nagisa going in all naked
The ending, lmao. When Rin was laughing like crazy with spilling all that water.

They were all very cute when they were kids and Nagisa still is, so adorable~
Definitely gonna continue.
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Old 2013-07-04, 02:45   Link #464
Reckoner
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Well that was bad. They took an all girls cast and gave them sex changes. Extremely boring, and very by the book sports show. Not impressed by the visuals either.
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Old 2013-07-04, 02:57   Link #465
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Wat. Well, I like it better than some of their other stuff, but I find it annoying that they can draw man-ass, but I don't remember Kyoani providing any fanservice of the female kind in most of their shows.

Still, bromance is bromance though that Nagisa guy really pisses me off. It's like a retard is mandatory in every case. Nice water, and damn I owned up those Tenhou games when watching.

Also, redhead is best.
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Old 2013-07-04, 02:57   Link #466
Puu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lota View Post

Ooooooooh, I'd watch it. Seriously. Well, if the Japanese figure skating team does well in the Olympics, maybe we can actually expect sth like that in the future.
I seem to remember Japanese skaters doing quite well in the world stage. Or maybe that was in the 90s? :c
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Old 2013-07-04, 03:08   Link #467
Lota
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Originally Posted by Puu View Post
I seem to remember Japanese skaters doing quite well in the world stage. Or maybe that was in the 90s? :c
No, they're still doing quite well. Very well actually, especially in the singles. They have several men and women capable of winning gold and I think they will medal in both disciplines, the question is what kind of medal it'll be. Well, the sport is really popular in Japan, so I don't think that an anime about figure skating is out of the question
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Old 2013-07-04, 03:09   Link #468
MeoTwister5
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This OP is manlier than 70% of shounen OPs I've ever seen.

ALSO DAT SWIMMING.
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Old 2013-07-04, 03:32   Link #469
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It was quite eventless for a first episode, but it did have some cool moments. Haruka and Rin are great, but Makoto and Nagisa are retarded kids with no real presence, or is it just that the other two guys steal the spotight from them Every Single Time? Even as comical relief characters they are weak.

Gou needs at least this much screentime in every single episode to lighten the homoerotic mood.

btw, naked apron and swimsuit on a guy? Does Not Work. Not At All.
It's a cheap copy of the original idea anyway.
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Old 2013-07-04, 04:22   Link #470
kuromitsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puu View Post
Quickly googled :3 But think of the fun it would be if it starred guys! One of them is absolutely manly and is a great figure skater. Except. He has to get over his issues in order to finally go on competitive skating- you know, where people can actually see! Helping him is his cute figure-skating buddy who helps him see how really manly pink and sequins can be!
Otomen, though it's not about figure-skating but All Things Really Girly, from knitting dolls and baking really cute cakes to reading sparkly Nakayoshi style shoujo romance manga.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zztop View Post
Some forums have stated the guy's first names are 'feminine/gender-neutral' and the girl has a 'masculine' first name. Could anyone enlighten me on how this is the case?
Er, it was said in the episode itself... Let's just say that the guys' names could be technically unisex in a "yeah, anime names" way, but actually they skew toward feminine especially with these kanji. (Except perhaps Rei, I think that's fine. But if I was a guy I'd be rather embarrassed to have Makoto's name, what with the second kanji being "koto" as in the musical instrument.)

As for Gou, as one of the guys mentioned she's actually named after a famous historical person (female), but that doesn't change the fact that the reading "gou" sounds manly and doesn't have very feminine connotations (in fact some kanji with the reading "gou" have very masculine connotations), so it's a rather embarrassing name for a girl. Which is why she wants people to read her name as "Kou" which is much better, and is the actual on-yomi reading of the kanji.

(It's a bit like Ichigo in Bleach. Oh sure, his name has very manly kanji, but the actual reading is still girly and embarrassing.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by erhyka View Post
Does anyone know if this is about friendship between the 4 guys or is there actually some yaoi romance lol since I got the impression through some scenes that it might head for the latter?
Dude, this is a mainstream anime, it's not going to have "yaoi romance." In fact I bet it's not going to have anything aside of fanservice and shiptease, sorry to let you down. :P

I find the "oh it's just girls without boobs and more muscle! bah!" and "mizugi apron? oh my god, how awful!" reactions pretty hilarious, though, keep them coming.

Last edited by kuromitsu; 2013-07-04 at 04:36.
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Old 2013-07-04, 05:09   Link #471
rulfo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puu View Post
I guess swimming isn't as big in Japan as those two? Which makes me wonder now: They've made swimming. Up next: Figure Skating Anime. With glitter and leotards, frilly shirts, and more sparkles!
Blades of Glory the anime? Sure... WHY NOT!
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Old 2013-07-04, 05:20   Link #472
Bern-san
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuromitsu View Post
Dude, this is a mainstream anime, it's not going to have "yaoi romance." In fact I bet it's not going to have anything aside of fanservice and shiptease, sorry to let you down. :P
Also, doesn't Mamoru Miyano's presence confirm that this isn't going to be yaoi? since he is forbidden of doing yaoi or something like that


By the way, what's up with the grandma's phrase? At 20 you become ordinary? The grandma sure was an optimistic person
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Old 2013-07-04, 05:59   Link #473
jeroz
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I feel like they are trying too hard to pander to the fujoshi crowd and make the characters too stereotypical in the process. At least UtaPri has the fabulous Wakamoto president, I'm not feeling anything here in this series.
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Old 2013-07-04, 06:10   Link #474
Kirarakim
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Speaking of figure skating anime I remember seeing a manga on that very subject. Anyways Id be all for that.

Anyways it's not so much that the boys don't remind me of boys but at the moment they are just tropes. Hopefully there will be more to their characters.
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Old 2013-07-04, 06:16   Link #475
brocko
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Ginban Kaleidoscope. Someone already mentioned it a page back. Probably the most prominent figure skating series to date. Although that's not really say much for a such a niche category.
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Old 2013-07-04, 06:25   Link #476
Sackett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revan21 View Post

btw, naked apron and swimsuit on a guy? Does Not Work. Not At All.
It's a cheap copy of the original idea anyway.
Is it really that weird?

I had a roommate in college that was a swimmer. In the summer, he worn an apron over his swimsuit all the time when cooking.

He'd get up in the morning, go for a swim (we were right next to the pool) then come back and cook bacon and eggs for breakfast. He didn't change cause we had no AC and it was 90 degress even in the morning. He put the apron on cause hot bacon grease on bare flesh hurts.

So I guess while I know intellectually that it was done to provide fanservice for female fans, I also found Haruka's actions completely believable.
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Old 2013-07-04, 06:47   Link #477
kuromitsu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revan21 View Post
btw, naked apron and swimsuit on a guy? Does Not Work. Not At All.
It's a cheap copy of the original idea anyway.
Oh, but it does work. Just not for you, but then it's not supposed to work for you. :3 But for the actual target audience? Yep. (Also, hadaka apron for guys has been around for ages. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bern-san View Post
Also, doesn't Mamoru Miyano's presence confirm that this isn't going to be yaoi? since he is forbidden of doing yaoi or something like that
I dunno about that (wasn't he in UraBoku, anyway? and IIRC some BL drama CDs), but there's absolutely no way this is a BL show. Like, none. Ever. The most I expect from this is shiptease, and fandom will do the rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bern-san View Post
By the way, what's up with the grandma's phrase? At 20 you become ordinary? The grandma sure was an optimistic person
No, I can see what she meant: you can show tremendous talent as a child, but if you don't nurture it it'll just waste away and you'll be just like anyone else. (Of course it doesn't work like that all the time, but I've seen this happen more than once.)
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Old 2013-07-04, 06:53   Link #478
hoshino_crimsonwings
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As much as I feel like a Fujoshi watching this, I have to say the background music is very nice, I liked the one played when Mako visits Haru's house.

The show gives me a much more "BL" vibe than prince of tennis did.
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Old 2013-07-04, 06:55   Link #479
MrTerrorist
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I am grinning with delight watching this. Delicious, delicious Fujoshi fanservice.



And i'm gonna call it: By the end of the series, Nagisa and Gou will become a couple!
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Old 2013-07-04, 07:00   Link #480
rulfo
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Originally Posted by brocko View Post
Ginban Kaleidoscope. Someone already mentioned it a page back. Probably the most prominent figure skating series to date. Although that's not really say much for a such a niche category.
B-But that's a boy and a girl. A pairs figure skating where all the participants are male is gonna be more interesting to watch.
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