Are you familiar with the glorious Tumblr phenomenon known as Swimming Anime? If not, Susana covered it in-depth when it burst onto the scene in a cloud of chlorine and homoerotic tension last month. But for tl;dr purposes, the basics are these: A company called Kyoto Animation (or KyoAni) created a 30-second promo for an anime about four male members of a swim team. It wasn’t a real anime; they were just showing off their animation skills. But Tumblr latched onto it, creating characters, ships, fanart, fic, and in-depth meta within 48 hours, all for a show that was never going to exist.
Until now. Congratulations, Tumblr. Swimming Anime is being made.
In addition to a new name—Free!, much catchier than Swimming Anime—the show now has a 90-second trailer (below), and a website featuring images and pictures of the main characters (five of them now). The canon will be expanded even further this July, when the show is expected to debut.
The Swimming Anime fandom on Tumblr is freaking out, and predictably so, because the power of their fannishness has literally taken the show they want to see—yaoi, hot dudes, fanservice geared toward the female gaze—and made it reality. Granted, there’s a high potential for the entire fandom to be Jossed when elements of the show as they created it on Tumblr don’t match what the show actually is.
But you can cross that bridge when you come to it, Swimming Anime fand—I’m sorry, Free! fandom. For now, bask in your success. My hat is off to you.