The first part of the upcoming two-part Free! The Final Stroke movie has halted the September 15 release of its theme song, “Heading to Over -Version:Free-.” The decision was made following discussions between the production committee and performing band OLDCODEX’s label.
It was also announced that the August 19 release of a new trailer, which makes use of the song, will be put off as well. The announcement says that changing the song or amending the trailer at this point would be difficult.
Both decisions are tied to OLDCODEX’s current hiatus, which is attributed to the poor health of lead singer Ta_2 (Tatsuhisa Suzuki, who also voices Free‘s Makoto Tachibana). Tachibana’s wife, the singer LiSA (Risa Oribe), is also on hiatus, with mental and physical fatigue being cited as the reason.
A few weeks ago, Bunshun Online alleged that Suzuki had cheated on LiSA, whom he had married in January 2020. The article also claimed that Suzuki had allowed his mistress to listen to yet-to-be-released music. On August 6, Suzuki offered to step down from his role as Ultraman Taro in the upcoming second season of Netflix’s Ultraman anime.
Free! The Final Stroke Part 1 will still proceed with a separate information release on August 20. Additionally, it will repurpose its illustration countdown to the August 19 trailer release in the wake of this new development.
The first part of Free! The Final Stroke is currently set to release on September 17, while the second part is set to release on April 22, 2022.
Update: Added sentence about Suzuki allegedly allowing his mistress to listen to yet-to-be-released music.