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Free! The Final Stroke Part 2

Free! The Final Stroke Part 2 Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 3.0 / 5

Free! The Final Stroke Part 2 Movie Review : A formulaic sports anime

Story: The second part of the duology tries to give closure as Haruka (voiced by Nobunaga Shimazaki) pushes himself beyond limits at a global stage to beat his own demons and his invincible rival, Albert.

Review: Friendship, hostility, rivalry, passion, self-doubt and sporting clichés, unravel in a fairly predictable way in this young adult story on competitive swimmers. Haruka struggles to focus on anything else but the champion of his race, Albert and ways to surpass his glory. The coming of age plot chronicles the changing phases of relationships and personal struggles amidst mad ambition to be the best. On the creative front, part liberating and part formulaic, the sports anime follows a template that deprives one of discovering something new. Technically and visually, it does manage to engage you.

PVR bringing Japanese anime to India through their select releases is a welcome move for fans of the genre. However, with limited takers, a standalone movie perhaps makes more sense than getting one of the latter film installments based on a decade old series loosely based on novels. The films are a continuation of Free! anime’s third season. Presented by Kyoto Animation, this movie, like the previous movies, requires you to be familiar with the Free! Series. Though a recap is in store, the film isn’t for you if you aren’t well acquainted with the franchise.

Japanese anime has a certain depth and emotion to it that often observes life in an almost spiritual way. Be it Haruka’s relationship with water or the distance and love between friends, and their changing dynamics. Free! The Final Stroke – the second volume is strictly for the fans of the franchise. The others have too much to catch up on for this to be a therapeutic watch.

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