Free! from the Moe (Swimming Anime Aimed Towards Females and Fans of Muscle)
Free! from the Moe
Tired of fanservice anime that feature cute girl mostly doing cute things? Kyoto Animation, known for their massively successful “cute girls doing cute things” anime, “K-On!”(Which has been the focal point of many serious arguments on the internet that attribute it to the “moefication” of anime for a long time) has decided to go in the complete opposite direction in fanservice and have decided to animate Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, an anime about young men who swim and have very defined muscles.
Based on a light novel called High Speed!, Free!, has joined the league of many other recent borderline boy’s love anime such as Kuroko no Basuke, and Tsuritama. While not explicitly yaoi, (guy-on-guy), animes like these follow character archetypes that women usually find moe (Moe is a whole different ordeal that will be defined at a later time. It doesn’t specifically just mean cute girls doing cute things but I had to make some sacrifice some things for that amazing punny title.)
Here are the archetypes crudely defined by me:
Mr. Straight Lace- Usually the “leader”. He is a no-nonsense kind of person and usually the climax in the character’s development is when he does something OUT of character.
The Bad Boy– He follows his own rules and is usually a kind person under a rough exterior. Likes having fun more than anything and is usually the reason for conflicts within the group.
Glasses– No defining characteristics other than his glasses. Sometimes shows characteristics of a father figure of the group or the smart one but all these attributes are contributed by the stereotype that comes with wearing glasses. So he only gets defined as “Glasses”.
The Kid– The “baby” of the group that usually doesn’t know better and is coddled by the rest of the group. In terms of stature, is typically smaller than the rest of the group.
This list is by no means the end-all to all archetypes of BL anime, but is just a superficial list of typical ones that anybody can determine from watching a couple of these animes. Even so, this list can be easily changed to describe a ton of anime aimed towards a male audience. So all the complaining of Free! being homoerotic fanservice for fujoshi are not unfounded but no one has the right to complain when there are constantly fanservice for male being pumped out of the anime industry like turkey juices being squeezed out of a turkey baster (gotta keep it PG for the kids). Besides, everybody deserves an anime that they can just “watch for the plot” and not just the ones that only interested in some T and A.
Ignoring my monologue, if you’re interested in the anime, check it out! It’s animated very well and is reportedly decently funny. Plus it’s a swimming anime and we don’t have many of those.