High Speed! Free! Starting Days

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High Speed! Free! Starting Days
High Speed! Free! Starting Days poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byYasuhiro Takemoto[1]
Written byMasahiro Yokotani[2]
Maiko Nishioka[2]
Based onHigh Speed!
by Koji Oji
Starring
Music byTatsuya Kato[2]
CinematographyKazuya Takao[2]
Production
company
Distributed byShochiku
Release date
  • December 5, 2015 (2015-12-05)
Running time
110 minutes
CountryJapan
LanguageJapanese
Box office¥691 million[3]

High Speed! Free! Starting Days (映画 ハイ☆スピード!-Free! Starting Days-, Eiga Hai Supīdo! Free! Starting Days) is a 2015 Japanese animated film produced by Kyoto Animation and Animation Do. The plot is loosely based on the second volume of the High Speed! light novels by Koji Oji, the series that inspired the Free! animated series. The film centers on Haruka Nanase as a junior high student, where he and his friends learn the meaning of teamwork as they join the swim team.

High Speed! Free! Starting Days was released nationwide in Japanese theaters on December 5, 2015 to moderate success, ranking #5 on its opening weekend and being nominated for Best Picture in the Newtype Anime Awards. Funimation has licensed the film for North American release in 2018 along with Free! Timeless Medley and Free! Take Your Marks.

Plot[edit]

Haruka Nanase begins his first year at Iwatobi Middle School. After discovering that Haruka and his childhood friend, Makoto Tachibana, had once been part of the Iwatobi Swim Club, Asahi Shiina urges them to join the swim team despite Haruka's lack of interest, while Kisumi Shigino suggests they join the basketball team. Natsuya Kirishima, the captain of the swim team, visits their class and successfully convinces Haruka, Makoto, Asahi, and his younger brother Ikuya to join.

At the first swim practice, Haruka ties Natsuya in a race for the right to swim only freestyle. Asahi, however, loses confidence in swimming. Ikuya, frustrated over Natsuya's admiration of Haruka's skill, begins to imitate Haruka in hopes of gaining his brother's attention again. Nao Serizawa, the vice captain, asks Makoto if he enjoys swimming or is only in the club to be with Haruka, confusing Makoto and putting distance between the best friends. The team's individual struggles affect their performance, especially during the team medley. Later, Haruka's mother leaves for a week, leaving Haruka on his own.

During a joint practice with Sano Middle School, Sosuke Yamazaki challenges Haruka to a duel, having heard about him from Rin Matsuoka, Haruka's rival. However, Iwatobi loses the team medley, leaving him disappointed, and he gives him Rin's letter. As Iwatobi's swim team mulls over their defeat, Haruka confronts Makoto about his uncharacteristic behavior, to which Makoto realizes that he loves swimming and Haruka equally, restoring their bond. The next day, Ikuya threatens to quit the team and confides to Haruka, Makoto, and Asahi about feeling lonely and abandoned by Natsuya. After affirming their friendships, Ikuya makes amends with him. When the four visit Nao, who is getting surgery for a detached retina, he offers them advice on their strengths as individuals and as a team, giving them hope. On the way home, however, Haruka faints, leading Makoto, Asahi, and Ikuya to stay at his house until his mother returns.

At the prefectural tournament, Haruka, Makoto, Asahi, and Ikuya place first in the team medley. Afterwards, Sosuke tells Haruka that while Rin's letter was addressed to him, it was probably meant for Haruka instead. The letter details the setbacks Rin faced in Australia and his desire to swim like Haruka. With this in mind, Haruka becomes determined to become a better swimmer with his team.

Production[edit]

On March 22, 2015, Kyoto Animation announced that a film for High Speed! (ハイ☆スピード!, Hai Supīdo!), the original light novel by Koji Oji that had inspired the Free! animated series, had been green-lit during the Free! Eternal Summer Special Event.[4] The film is a loose adaptation of the second volume,[1] which was also penned by Oji.[5]

Several cast members from the television series returned to reprise their roles, including Nobunaga Shimazaki[6], Tatsuhisa Suzuki,[2] Mamoru Miyano, and Yoshimasa Hosoya.[7] Yasuhiro Takemoto was announced as the director of the film,[1] while several staff members who had worked on the television series returned, including head writer Masahiro Yokotani, art director Joji Unogochi, soundtrack composer Tatsuya Kato, among others.[2] In September 2015, the film's official website had announced new additions to the cast, including Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Asahi, Kouki Uchiyama as Ikuya, Kenji Nojima as Natsuya, and Satoshi Hino as Nao.[8] Nagisa Hazuki and Rei Ryugazaki, two characters from the main cast of the original Free! series, appear in the film with minor roles.[8]

High Speed! Free! Starting Days was released in theaters on December 5, 2015.[1] The film's theme song, "Aching Horns", was performed by Oldcodex.[9] The song was released as a single on December 18, 2015. It debuted at #10 on Oricon and charted for eight weeks.[10][11] Funimation acquired the rights for High Speed! Free! Starting Days for distribution in North America, along with the Free! Timeless Medley movie trilogy, including Free! Take Your Marks.[12] All films were released as a set in October 2018.[13]

Reception[edit]

High Speed! Free! Starting Days opened at #5 in 120 theaters nationwide, selling 60,729 tickets in the first two days and earning ¥95,546,400.[14] The film made ¥691 million at box office.[3]

The home release debuted at #1 on both Oricon's DVD and Blu-ray charts.[15][16] The limited edition of the Blu-ray release sold 14,642 copies on its first week.[17] The limited edition of the DVD release debuted at #1 with 9,677 copies sold on its first week, while the regular edition debuted at #13 with 822 DVDs sold.[18]

High Speed! Free! Starting Days ranked #5 in Best Picture in the 2015-2016 Newtype Anime Awards.[19] The film also ranked #3 in Animation of the Year by fans for the 2017 Tokyo Anime Award, with a total of 16,094 votes.[20]

Soundtrack[edit]

High Speed! Free! Starting Days Original Soundtrack: Pure Blue Scenes
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedDecember 16, 2016 (2016-12-16)
LabelLantis
ProducerTatsuya Kato
Tatsuya Kato chronology
High Speed! Free! Starting Days Original Soundtrack: Pure Blue Scenes
(2016)
Free! Timeless Medley Original Soundtrack: Bond and Promise
(2017)

The original soundtrack was produced by Tatsuya Kato, and it was released on December 16, 2015 under the name High Speed! Free! Starting Days Original Soundtrack: Pure Blue Scenes (『映画 ハイ☆スピード!-Free! Starting Days-』オリジナルサウンドトラック「Pure Blue Scenes」).[21] The soundtrack debuted at #42 on Oricon and charted for three weeks.[22]

All tracks are written by Tatsuya Kato.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

To promote the film, a manga adaptation of High Speed! was released, with artwork provided by Shiori Teshirogi.[6]

No.TitleJapanese release dateJapanese ISBN
1Hai Supīdo! Komikaraizu Ue-maki (ハイ☆スピード! コミカライズ 上巻)August 14, 2015 (2015-08-14)[23]ISBN 978-4907064358
2Hai Supīdo! Komikaraizu Shita-maki (ハイ☆スピード! コミカライズ 下巻)August 14, 2015 (2015-08-14)[23]ISBN 978-4907064365

Drama CD[edit]

A drama CD titled High Speed! Free! Starting Days: Drama CD: Iwatobi Middle School Swim Team Activities Diary (『映画 ハイ☆スピード!-Free! Starting Days-』ドラマCD「岩鳶中学水泳部 活動日誌」, Eiga Hai Supīdo! Free! Starting Days: Dorama CD Iwatobi Chūgaku Suiei-bu Katsudō Nisshi) was released on February 17, 2016, with cast members reprising their roles. The CD debuted at #13 on the Oricon Weekly Albums Chart.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Nelkin, Sarah (April 24, 2015). "High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- Film's Staff Unveiled". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pineda, Rafael Antonio (July 19, 2015). "High Speed! Free Starting Days Film Unveils Story Intro, More of Cast & Staff, Visual". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "キネマ旬報 2017年3月下旬". Kinema Junpo (in Japanese). No. 1740. Japan: Kinema-Junposha.Co.Ltd. March 4, 2017. p. 42. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Loo, Egan (March 22, 2015). "Free! Anime's Novel Predecessor High Speed! Gets Film". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  5. ^ Loo, Egan (November 30, 2013). "Free! Anime's Predecessor High Speed! Gets 2nd Novel". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Loo, Egan (March 22, 2015). "Free! Anime's Predecessor High Speed! Gets Manga, Nobunaga Shimazaki in Cast". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  7. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (November 1, 2015). "High Speed! Free! Starting Days Film's Trailer Previews Theme Song". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Hodgkins, Crystalyn (September 21, 2015). "Kouki Uchiyama, Toshiyuki Toyonaga, More Join High Speed! Free! Starting Days Film's Cast". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  9. ^ "映画『ハイ☆スピード』史上最多!?の前売りペアチケット発売". Oricon (in Japanese). September 21, 2015. Archived from the original on July 24, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "『映画 ハイ☆スピード!-Free! Starting Days-』主題歌「Aching Horns」【アニメ盤】". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  11. ^ "オリコン週間 シングルランキング 2015年12月14日~2015年12月20日". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  12. ^ Ressler, Karen (January 16, 2018). "Funimation Licenses All 4 Free! Anime Films, Screens Take Your Marks in Theaters". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  13. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (July 6, 2018). "Funimation Reveals Home Video Release Details for Free! Anime Films, ReLIFE OVA". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "【国内映画ランキング】「007 スペクター」がV、「杉原千畝」2位、「I LOVE スヌーピー」は3位発進". Eiga (in Japanese). December 7, 2015. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  15. ^ "【オリコン】『映画ハイ☆スピード!』BD総合1位 アニメ『Free!』の原点". Oricon (in Japanese). July 26, 2016. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  16. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (July 27, 2016). "High Speed! Is 4th Free! Blu-ray to Top Weekly Chart". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  17. ^ Loo, Egan (July 26, 2016). "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, July 18-24". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  18. ^ Loo, Egan (July 26, 2016). "Japan's Animation DVD Ranking, July 18-24". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  19. ^ Loo, Egan (October 9, 2016). "Shinkai's 'your name.,' Kabaneri Win Top Newtype Anime Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  20. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (February 22, 2017). "Yuri!!! on Ice Voted as Tokyo Anime Awards' Animation of the Year". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "劇場版『映画 ハイ☆スピード!-Free! Starting Days-』オリジナルサウンドトラック Pure Blue Scenes". Lantis (in Japanese). Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  22. ^ "『映画 ハイ☆スピード!-Free! Starting Days-』オリジナルサウンドトラック「Pure Blue Scenes」". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "Books - 『ハイ☆スピード!』コミカライズ公式サイト". Kyoto Animation (in Japanese). Archived from the original on July 24, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  24. ^ "『映画 ハイ☆スピード!-Free! Starting Days-』ドラマCD「岩鳶中学水泳部 活動日誌」". Oricon (in Japanese). Retrieved July 22, 2019.

External links[edit]