A few months ago, the announcement came that High Speed!, the light novel that serves as the starting point to the swimming anime/abdominal exercise motivator Free!, was being adapted into an animated theatrical feature. Unfortunately, the movie’s not scheduled to open until December, but that doesn’t mean fans will have to spend the whole summer without the tautly toned team of aquatic athletes, as a manga adaptation of High Speed! is set to go on sale before the fall.
Kyoto Animation, the studio behind Free!, broke the news through its Kyoani Shop Twitter account.
京アニショップ！ (@kyoanishop) June 03, 2015
The tweet reads:
The manga version of High Speed! is scheduled to go on sale summer 2015! We’ve released a commercial for it, so check it out!
Okay, you’re the boss, Kyoani!
Being set in the characters’ junior high school days, Rei, whom Haruka, Makoto, and Nagisa befriend after enrolling in Iwatobi High, isn’t present. Also currently unaccounted for are the cast’s washboard abs, which makes sense since it’s hard to develop that sort of musculature before entering one’s late teens.
Still, the video does promise a continued focus on the franchise’s official raison d’être, billing it as “A tale of these boys’ earnest devotion to swimming.”
Shiori Teshirogi, artist for Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas will be drawing the High Speed! manga, working off of character designs from Futoshi Nishiya, designer for the Free! anime and also veteran of such Kyoto Animation productions as Clannad, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Lucky Star as an animator and animation director.
The video doesn’t give a specific release date for the manga, but the promise that it’ll be on sale this summer means the wait probably isn’t long. Just be careful not to get too close to the pool while reading. You wouldn’t want to get your copy all wet, would you?