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Free! 2021 release date confirmed: Free! The Final Stroke movie ending Iwatobi Swim Club anime in 2022 [Trailer]

Free 2021 movie Olympics
The Free! 2021 movie is officially titled as Free! The Final Stroke. Pic credit: Kyoto Animation

The Free! 2021 release date has been confirmed for late Summer 2021… and Spring 2022! Yes, that means the new Free! 2021 movie, which is officially titled the Free! The Final Stroke movie, will be released as a two-part film.

Not much is known about the Free! 2021 movie but it is apparently going to be a direct sequel. The tagline states, “Let’s go, to the stage of glory,” which seems to be teasing the boys diving into a Tokyo Olympics future.

The 2017 movie Free! Take Your Marks! set up the events of Free! Season 3: Dive To The Future. In this case, the Free! 2021 movie seems unlikely to likely to set up the conditions for a Free! Season 4 anime TV series.

Instead, the movie description describes the Free! The Final Stroke movie as the “final chapter” in the anime series, which probably means that there won’t be a Free! Season 4 anime as an ending to the Iwatobi Swim Club anime.

The Free! The Final Stroke trailer was released in July 2021. The teaser shows Haruka journeying to the Sydney tournament.

The full trailer was released near the end of August 2021. The trailer was delayed by a week due to an issue with the vocalist of OLDCODEX, Tatsuhisa Suzuki. He and his wife, singer LiSA, had gone on hiatus due to various personal problems plaguing the married couple in summer 2021.

The Free! 2021 movie is being produced by Japanese studio Kyoto Animation, which is best known for producing the Violet Evergarden anime TV series and the movie sequel in recent years.

In 2021, the studio is also releasing the Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid Season 2 anime TV series.

The Free! The Final Stroke movie will feature returning director Eisaku Kawanami.

As for the Japanese cast, it’s been confirmed that voice actor Nobunaga Shimazaki will return to play Haruka Nanase.

The first Free! The Final Stroke trailer.
  • Updated October 4, 2021: Added Free! 2022 movie trailer.
  • Updated August 27, 2021: Added full trailer.
  • Updated July 28, 2021: Added new key visual, trailer, and song title.
  • Updated June 25, 2021: Added Free! The Final Stroke Part 1 music artist.

This article provides everything that is known about the Free! 2021/2022 movie (Free! The Final Stroke) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Free! 2021 movie
The key visual for the Free! The Final Stroke movie that was released in July 2021. Pic credit: Kyoto Animation

Free! The Final Stroke release date set for September 2021 in Japan

For the first part of the movie series, the Free! The Final Stroke release date is scheduled for September 17, 2021.

The theme song music “Heading to Over – Version:Free -” for Part 1 will be performed by OLDCODEX. It’s a remake of the Free! Season 3 OP (opening) theme song music. The audio CD will go on sale on September 15, 2021.

The film’s runtime and Blu-Ray/DVD release date are currently unknown. This news story will be updated when the info is announced.

Free! 2022 release date set for April 2022

Anime fans in Japan will have to wait half a year to watch the conclusion of the story. The Free! The Final Stroke Part 2 release date is scheduled for April 22, 2022.

The Free! 2022 movie trailer.

Free! The Final Stroke USA release date predictions

The premiere dates listed above are for movie theaters in Japan. Americans will need to wait until the Free! The Final Stroke USA release date.

While it’s unknown how the COVID-19 pandemic might impact the U.S. premiere schedule, typically big-name anime films will be released internationally within a month or two. Therefore, it’s predicted that Part 1 will release in Fall 2021, and Part 2 in late Spring 2022.

Free! movie
The key visual for the Free! 2021 movie, Free! The Final Stroke. Pic credit: Kyoto Animation

The tumultuous history of the Free! Iwatobi Swim Club anime

The Free! Iwatobi Swim Club anime was originally based on light novels written by Koji Oji. In 2011, the author received an honorable mention in the Kyoto Animation Award contest. Published back in 2013, there were only two novels and a book sequel was never written.

That did not stop the anime studio, which is well known for expanding on the premise of a book and creating rich anime-original stories.

Kyoto Animation followed up the first 2013 season with the 2014 Free! Eternal Summer. If you haven’t already watched the first two seasons, you should watch Free! Timeless Medley since the two-part movie series is simply a compilation of the first two seasons.

The 2017 movie Free! Take Your Marks! told four original stories set in early spring. It’s designed to lead up to the events of Free! Dive to the Future, the third season.

More of a slice of life anime, it told the story of Haruka and Makoto’s high school graduation. Rin continued his training in Australia while everyone else was trying to figure out what to do with their futures.

Looking back, the third season seemed to be setting up the story for Free! The Final Stroke. The boys were reuniting in college and dealing with lingering fears from middle school.

New members were being added to the Iwatobi swim team. The third season was more about setting up their future rather than meeting it head-on, so it appears anime fans might look forward to Olympic swimming in the final chapter.

Free 2020 Movie Anime Teaser Visual
A teaser visual of Haruka Nanase made its debut for the Free! 2021 movie announcement. Pic credit: Kyoto Animation

As everyone knows, the 2020 Summer Olympics was postponed due to the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Worse, the KyoAni arson attack caused the final Free! movie, which was originally known as the Free! 2021 movie, to be postponed for an entire year.

It just happens that the 2020 Summer Olympics is taking place during the Free! 2021 release date. The Tokyo Olympics begins on July 23, 2021, and ends on August 8, 2021.

Hopefully, the anime series will end with the Iwatobi Swim Club boys achieving Olympic glory. Stay tuned!

Patrick Frye is Monsters and Critics' Anime Editor. He considers himself a "Woke-taku", which means having an awareness of the many issues surrounding anime. As such, he enjoys covering all the latest news related to Japanese entertainment. Patrick was a software engineer and business owner

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