This month, FUNimation is offering up some truly fantastic anime titles in the sports drama category. That’s a genre you normally find in live-action series and movies, but the anime medium does just as good a job at delivering compelling stories and characters as their flesh-and-blood counterparts. Leading off this category this month is two seasons of the Free! franchise, a story that centers on a boys’ swim team and their deep and meaningful (and super-dramatic) relationships. This is one series that not only treats its characters like actual people with hopes, flaws, and fears, it brings viewers along with them as they grow up over time. And if a swimming series isn’t your speed, there’s the equally entertaining free-running drama series Prince of Stride, which has a similar conceit, just one that’s focused on a Parkour-like sport called “Stride.” (These are the first anime I’ve watched that actually make me want to get up off the couch and exercise alongside them!)
But there’s much more from FUNimation this month as well. For the uninitiated, FUNimation is a U.S. company known for their dubs and domestic distribution of Japanese anime. So all of the reviews you’re about to check out are for the dub version of each anime, though some Blu-rays/DVDs have a Japanese audio option as there are some exceptions to the rule. Below, you’ll find the official synopsis for each movie and series, along with a link to pick up your own copy at FUNimation’s online store, should my review convince you. Sometimes, it’ll be an easy thing to suggest you buy it, other times, it’ll be just as easy to go in the other direction.
For more of my reviews of FUNimation’s home video selections, be sure to check out the following links. You might just find a favorite you overlooked or a new addition to your catalog you might have missed!
- Funimation’s Summer Selections Offer Anime for All Ages and Audiences
- Funimation’s Fall Selections Feature High School Romance and ‘Black Clover’s Magic
- Funimation’s Winter Titles Include ‘Iron-Blooded Orphans’, One of the Best ‘Gundam’ Series Ever
- FUNimation Features Over-the-Top Fan Service in ‘Testament of Sister New Devil’
- FUNimation’s February Dubs Include the Sadistic ‘King’s Game’ & Optimistic ‘ReLIFE’
- FUNimation’s March Anime Titles Include Three Live-Action ‘Death Note’ Movies