Asian film distributor ODEX has teased the Southeast Asian release of Free! – The Final Stroke – by changing their cover photo to a key visual of the film, with the words “Coming Soon.” ODEX previously teased the release of Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya Licht – Namae no Nai Shoujo (Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Licht – Nameless Girl) in this manner as well.
Free! – The Final Stroke – is a two-part film series. The first part, titled Free!-the Final Stroke- the first volume, sees its characters heading to Sydney, where the champion Albert Volandel awaits them. It was released in Japan on September 17, while the second part titled Free!–the Final Stroke– the second volume will be released on April 22, 2022. The first ten minutes of the first volume was released by Kyoto Animation’s YouTube channel on October 1.
Free!-the Final Stroke- the first volume‘s staff includes Eisaku Kawanami (Free! -Dive to the Future-) as director, story composer, and scriptwriter; Masahiro Yokotani (Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World Season 2) as co-scriptwriter, the late Futoshi Nishiya (Free! -Dive to the Future-, Liz and the Blue Bird) as character designer, and Kouhei Okamura (Free! -Dive to the Future- assistant chief animation director) and Miku Kadowaki (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S character designer) as chief animation directors.
Other staff include Shingo Kasai (Free! -Dive to the Future-) as art director, Yuuka Yoneda (Violet Evergarden: The Movie) as color designer, Kazuya Takaoka (Free! -Dive to the Future-) as photography director, and Tatsuya Katou (Shōjo☆Kageki Revue Starlight movie) as music composer.
Meanwhile, the cast of Free!-the Final Stroke- the first volume includes Nobunaga Shimazaki as Haruka Nanase, Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Makoto Tachibana, Mamoru Miyano as Rin Matsuoka, and Kouki Uchiyama as Ikuya Kirishima.
Other cast members include Yoshimasa Hosoya as Sosuke Yamazaki, Ryouhei Kimura as Hiyori Tono, Tsubasa Yonaga as Nagisa Hazuki, Daisuke Hirakawa as Rei Ryugazaki, Daisuke Ono as Kaede Kinjo, and Jeff Manning as Albert Volandel.
The Free! anime franchise, which is loosely based on the light novels by Kouji Ouji, began in 2013 under Kyoto Animation and includes three TV series and multiple films. KyoAni’s Osaka branch Animation Do, which merged with its parent company in 2020, had a prominent role in the production of most of the Free! installments.
Crunchyroll describes Free!‘s first season as:
Nanase Haruka loved to be in the water – loved swimming. In elementary school, Nanase Haruka, Tachibana Makoto, Matsuoka Rin, and Hazuki Nagisa attended the same swimming class together. Time passed, and as Haruka was living an uneventful high school life, he suddenly encountered Rin again. Rin challenged Haruka to a race and showed him how much stronger he had become. Soon enough, Makoto and Nagisa also rejoined the group, and along with a new classmate, Ryugazaki Rei, they established the Iwatobi High School Swimming Club.