After his first appearance on the competitive world stage, Haruka is held captive by the swimming of the unmistakable champion, Albert, and feels like he's lost his way. With the current state of things, his swimming and what the water means to him are called into question. Haruka begins to sink to the bottom of the murky water as he struggles on his own.
Pushed on by a restless urge in his heart, Haruka purposefully puts himself through a rigorous and intensive training regiment, relentlessly devoting himself to practice. In his heart, Haruka knows that he's pushing himself beyond his limits both physically and mentally. His friends can do nothing but watch over and have faith in him.
Memories of Albert's cold, dry swimming keep replaying in his mind.
I have to get faster, I have to become stronger.
I have to compete against Albert again.
Haruka unleashes his stroke to cut through the heavy, indifferent water.
His friends draw closer to watch.
What scenery will Haruka see at the end of this struggle＊──!
(Source: Free! website, Translated)
Free! Movie 5: The Final Stroke- Kouhen ⇢ An In-depth Anime Review by The Anime Critic
In the wake of generating an unshakeable bond among its fans, the “Free!” series has returned one last time, immersing us in the alluring world of competitive swimming once more. The fifth and final film, “Free! The Final Stroke – Kouhen,” ushers a thrilling end to the inspiring saga of Nanase Haruka, Makoto Tachibana, and their charismatic troupe.
The plot unravels around Haruka’s unprecedented decision to leave college to compete in World Competitions, marking his first official entry into the professional swimming world. Meanwhile, Makoto, who has always been Haruka’s most unwavering supporter, sets himself apart to explore his identity and career outside the realm of swimming. As they battle their individual struggles, the duo’s extraordinary friendship remains unfaltering, forming the backbone of this heartfelt narrative.
Storyline and Character Development ⟶ The Crux of “Free! The Final Stroke- Kouhen”
In terms of storyline, this film writes the perfect climax for a beloved series. It magnificently captures Haruka’s journey in professional swimming that’s doused with challenges and victories. Moreover, it applauds Makoto’s self-discovery, using his exploration to delineate a strong message of individuality.
The movie continues to garner attention is character development. The creators have made an excellent job of fleshing out the characters, making them interesting and relatable, which is no easy feat in a movie format where screen time is limited. Yet, every character has shown growth in meaningful ways that resonate with the audience.
Graphics and Animation Artistry ⇢ The Mastery Unleashed
“Free! The Final Stroke – Kouhen” showcases a stunning visual spectacle. In terms of animation quality, the strokes are clean, the character models are consistent, and the colors are stunningly vibrant. The film continues to ace depicting water animation, capturing the raw beauty of the aquatic element in the most enchanting way.
Soundtracks play a crucial role in setting the emotional tone and grounding spectators in the narrative’s world. Commendably in this regard, this film achieves a harmonious balance of both.
Is it worth to Rent, Buy, or Stream “Free! The Final Stroke- Kouhen?” ⇢ The Verdict
The question on your mind right now is undoubtedly, is “Free! The Final Stroke- Kouhen” worth your time? Well, if you’ve followed the series so far, this movie is a must-watch. It beautifully ties the loose ends, offering a fitting conclusion to the gripping tale of friendship, competition, and self-discovery.
Considering the cinematography, the narrative depth, and heartfelt character growth, it’s absolutely worth renting, buying, or streaming. This film is a worthy addition to your anime collection and a testament to Kyoto Animation’s exceptional storytelling abilities.
So, grab some popcorn, dive into this exhilarating universe of swimming, friendship, and rivalry, and enjoy a rewarding cinematic experience as you bid adieu to the series with “Free! The Final Stroke- Kouhen.”
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