Swimming Anime

Swimming Anime

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About

Swimming Anime is the fan-given name of an upcoming anime TV series Free! announced by the Japanese animation studio Kyoto Animation in April 2012. Despite the apparent lack of details surrounding its development, a promotional trailer featuring a group of competitive swimmers instantly sparked a following on Tumblr and 4chan’s /a/ (anime and manga) board.

Origin

On April 3rd, 2012, Animation Do, a property of Kyoto Animation, announced a new untitled project about a boys’ swim team. The press release was accompanied by two splash images, one of a male character swimming (shown below, left) with the caption reading “I’ll tell you what’s make you and me different!” and another of the four main characters standing in front of a pool (shown below, right).



Spread

Excited by the prospect of a new original series from Kyoto Animation, several Chinese anime blogs and news sites quickly relayed the announcement under the unofficial name “男子竞泳,” roughly translated as “Male Competitive Swimming,” including AcFun.tv[1], CCSX[2], CCC News[3], Mop[4] and PC Games.[5] Also in April 2012, the first 4chan[6] discussion thread about the series was posted to /a/ (anime and manga) board, resulting in dozens of responses speculating what the series could be about.

Flash Fandom

The anime project was eventually introduced to a larger audience on the English-speaking web almost a year later, when YouTuber CureSumika posted a promotional trailer video for the project on March 6th, 2013. (shown below).



Over the course of the day, an Instagram account[10], Twitter account[11] several ask blogs and fan blogs were made for Swimming Anime, despite it still being a concept.[12] That evening, Crunchyroll[13] shared a PowerPoint presentation parody that explains how fans can ship the unnamed characters from the untitled project. They also created a fan petition on Change.org to Animation DO and Kyoto Animation, requesting that the commercial be transformed into an anime[20]. Additionally, the site announced a Swimming Anime cosplay contest on its Facebook page (shown below).[19]



The explosion in fan reaction to the video as well as its lack of name or additional context was discussed on the Adult Swim forums[14], Yahoo! Answers[15], the All Kpop forums[16] the Galaxy Cauldron Forums[17] and 4chan.[18] The project also got dubbed as “Ore to omae no sa o oshiete yaru yo!” (definition: “I’ll tell you what’s make you and me different!”), which was taken from one of the splash images featured in the press release. As of March 7th, 2013, there are dozens of archived threads about swimming anime on Foolz Archive.[7] There are also hashtags on Twitter[9] and Tumblr[8] to discuss the show.

Dating Sim Game

Also on March 7th, DeviantART user fifthdimensional[21] posted a beta version of a flash dating simulation game based on the trailer[22]. In the game, the player assumes the role of new high school student Mizu Oyogu and follows her interactions with different boys she meets along the way. The game garnered positive feedback from fans on DeviantART and Tumblr alike.



Official Announcement

On April 19th, 2013, Kyoto Animation unveiled a countdown[25] event page for a press conference[26][27] about the project in the following, leading to even more hype and speculations among the fans on Tumblr. On April 26th, Kyoto Animation held a press conference via live stream on Nico Nico Douga to announce the upcoming premiere of “Free!”,[23] an anime series about a boys’ swimming team that will begin airing in July 2013.[24] The press conference was followed by a sneak peek at the second promotional trailer[28] for the series (shown below).



The anime fans’ reactions to the news were divided, with some pleased that Kyoto Animation was moving away from their conventional themes, while others argued they shouldn’t have made such drastic changes. Meanwhile on Tumblr, the show garnered a largely positive reaction from fans of the original trailer.

The first episode of Free!! debuted July 4th, 2013. Crunchyroll provided the first episode with subtitles the same day.

Search Interest



External References

[1]AcFun.tv – 京阿尼子公司将推出原创新作 题材是“男子竞泳”?

[2]CCSX120404 – 京阿尼旗下的動畫公司「アニメーションDo」將推出原創的『男子競泳』新作!已故漫畫家「石ノ森章太郎」的未完遺作《サイボーグ009》將從13日網路連載完結篇!

[3]CCC News – 京阿尼推“男子竞泳”新作

[4]Mop – 京阿尼子公司将推出原创新作 题材是“男子竞泳”?

[5]PCGames.com.cn – “京阿尼”大坂工作室可能要制作原创动画

[6]Foolz Archive – New anime by KyoAni’s second studio?

[7]Foolz Archive – Search results for “Swimming anime”

[8]Tumblr – Posts tagged “swimming anime”

[9]Twitter – Tweet results for #swimminganime

[10]Instagram – swimminganime’s Profile

[11]Twitter – @swimminganime

[12]Tumblr – chajasays

[13]Crunchyroll – Funny Fan Reactions to “That New Swimming Anime”

[14]Adult Swim Forum – Swimming Anime

[15]Yahoo! Answers – What is this new swimming anime called?

[16]All Kpop – what the heck is this swimming anime

[17]The Galaxy Cauldron Forums – Swimming Anime

[18]Foolz Archive – I’ve never seen something evolve to such cancerous levels so quickly.

[19]Facebook – Crunchyroll’s Swimming Anime Cosplay Contest

[20]Change.org – Animation DO and Kyoto Animation.: Make Swimming Anime CM into an actual series

[21]DeviantART – fifthdimensional

[22]DeviantART – Swimming Anime Dating Sim

[23]TV Anime “Free!” Official Web (Japanese)

[24]Anime News Network – Kyoto Animation Unveils Swimming Team TV Anime Free! for July / 04-26-2013

[25]Kyoto Animation – Countdown

[26]NicoNico Live – Kyoto Animation New Work Announcement

[27]Anime News Network – Kyoto Animation to Unveil New Anime Next Friday

[28]Anime News Network – Kyoto Animation’s Free! Swim Team Anime Promo Streamed / 04-26-2013

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