The official website for the new two-part anime film project Free! The Final Stroke announced on Tuesday that due to the group OLDCODEX‘s hiatus, the September 15 release of the first film’s theme song has been put on hold. As a result, the planned release of the film’s new full trailer this coming Thursday at 11:00 p.m. (10:00 a.m. EDT) has also been canceled.
The Free! franchise‘s production committee explained that the decision to halt the song’s release came after multiple discussions between the production committee and OLDCODEX‘s label staff. The anime’s staff made the trailer with the theme song, and it would have been difficult to change the music at this stage before Thursday. Instead, the staff will announce other new details about the film on Friday.
The film project’s official Twitter account has been posting illustrations to count down to the new trailer on Thursday, but the countdown will now promote the Friday announcement.
Tatsuhisa Suzuki, the vocalist of OLDCODEX and the voice of the Free! franchise‘s Makoto Tachibana, announced on August 4 that he is going on hiatus from entertainment industry activities due his poor health. OLDCODEX announced a hiatus on the same day. Five minutes before OLDCODEX‘s announcement, singer LiSA, who is Suzuki’s wife, also announced a hiatus “from some of her activities” due to mental and physical fatigue.
LiSA and Suzuki announced their marriage in January 2020. The Weekly Bunshun magazine reported on July 30 on an alleged extramarital affair between Suzuki and a female work associate.
The first film for the project is slated to open in Japan on September 17, and the second part is slated to open in Japan on April 22, 2022. A previous teaser trailer’s description teases that the films are the “final chapter” for the franchise. The project’s tagline is, “let’s go, to the stage of glory.”
The title of OLDCODEX‘s theme song for the film is “Heading to Over – Version:Free! -“, and as the name indicates, this is a remake of the opening theme song for the third television anime season.
Eisaku Kawanami is returning from previous installations in the franchise to direct the film at Kyoto Animation. Nobunaga Shimazaki is returning as Haruka Nanase. OLDCODEX is performing the theme song for the first film.
The franchise‘s most recent entry was Free! ~Road to the World~ Yume (Dream), which opened on July 5, 2019, and was a “reconstruction” of the Free! Dive to the Future television anime series, as well as a “bridge” to the new film.
The Free! franchise about the Iwatobi High School Swim Club includes three television anime seasons that aired in 2013, 2014, and 2018. The High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- prequel film opened in 2015. The Free! The Movie -Timeless Medley- the Bond and Free! The Movie -Timeless Medley- the Promise compilation films opened in April 2017 and July 2017, respectively. The Free! -Take Your Marks- omnibus film of short stories then opened in October 2017.