The first part of the two-part film will release in Japan on September 17
The newest trailer for the upcoming first part of the Free!-the Final Stroke- duology was released today, teasing more about the film (including a shot of "NSW Stadium"). The Kyoto Animation film is scheduled to be released on September 17, 2021, inside Japan, while the second part is scheduled for April 22, 2022.
The new film's story follows Haruka as he heads to the new stage at the Sydney Games and competes among the best of the best to show his skills as he faces old rivals. Both parts will be directed and written by Eisaku Kawanami at Kyoto Animation with Masahiro Yokotani (all Free! series) helping with the script. The cast from the entire franchise returns for the film.
The late Futoshi Nishiya (A Silent Voice) worked on the character designs with the character settings by Kohei Okamura (A Silent Voice), who is also acting as the animation director alongside Miku Kadowaki (A Silent Voice). Shingo Kasai returns from Dive to the Future as art director, alongside Joji Unoguchi as the 3D director from the entire franchise, Yuka Yoneda as the color designer, Hiroshi Karata working on the accessory setting, Kazuya Takao as the cinematographer, Yuji Shibata as the 3D director, Yota Tsuruoka as the sound director, and Tatsuya Kato providing the music.
It was also confirmed that OLDCODEX's theme song for the film's first part is titled "Heading to Over - Version:Free -."
New key visual:
Originally, Free!–the Final Stroke– was scheduled to be released around the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in summer 2020, but due to an arson attack on Kyoto Animation Studio 1 on July 18, 2019, which saw 36 of the company’s employees pass away, including High Speed! Free! Starting Days director Yasuhiro Takemoto, the film was pushed back.
Free!–the Final Stroke– is being advertised as the “final chapter” of the franchise with the first part scheduled to be released on September 17, 2021, and the second part scheduled to be released on April 22, 2022. Catch up with the splash on Crunchyroll with all the TV anime seasons of Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club streaming now.
Updated with new staff and poster that was released after the trailer.
Source: Kyoto Animation on YouTube
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.