Are we in for a Free! Clone?

It’s hard not to see another swimming type anime with a mostly male cast and think ‘oh jees are we in for a Free! clone?’ given it’s immense success. On the other hand, it’s kind of unfair to judge it all like that, so lets take a look at what DIVE!! is all about.

Diving as a sport has always been something I’ve enjoyed watching in the Olympics, since some of the things those people can do is just phenomenal. I decided to give this anime a review primarily for that reason, and also to see if DIVE!! could recapture my enjoyment in a sports anime once again the same way Free! did.

We get a pretty thorough look at the childhood of the main cast, Tomoki Sakai – who both loves and fears diving (although if you ask me he just has a massive man crush on Yoichi, the top diver at the club) – but other than that, there’s very little story to focus on for the first episode. All we know is the club is in dire straights, the former owner died, and they’re getting a new coach. The characters are pretty blagh for lack of a better word – no one really stands out.

If I was to compare to other sports anime that have seen critical acclaim, such as Free! and Yuri on Ice!! – there are a few things that really stand out that make Dive really pale in comparison. We can start wit hthe sloppy animation, the REALLY weird lighting (lol water doesn’t light up the body like that so far away wtf) to the lack of substance in the show. There’s nothing to really draw you in, not even what should’ve been beautiful animation or hot dudes. The dudes have over inflated muscles that don’t make sense, and are way too prominent. The only time one could really get invested in the show is right at the end, when this woman:

And tells them ‘eyyy wanna go to the Tokyo Olympics?’ and by then I’ve already hit the snooze button.

Long story short – DIVE!! doesn’t offer anything new, anything palatable, or fun to the mix. I was hoping at least that even if we got shit animation, they’d be a good story to go with it, but alas, we got neither. Not even the music could save this show.

All in all, rip, we got another Free! clone.

Out of 5;