Free! Iwatobi Swim Club Will Not Recast Makoto’s Voice Actor

The producers of Free! Iwatobi Swim Club have announced that voice actor and musician Tatsuhisa Suzuki will continue to provide the voice of Makoto Tachibana.

As reported by Crunchyroll, the show's production committee made the decision to keep Suzuki due to his long involvement with the series and his rapport with the other cast members. The announcement was made on the official Free! website, which Crunchyroll translated:

Tatsuhisa Suzuki, who plays the role of Makoto Tachibana, has been an important character in the series since it began 9 years ago, and we believe that Suzuki's fine performance, the relationships he has built with other cast members, and staff members are important for this work. Because of this, the production committee has decided to continue to have Suzuki play the role of Makoto Tachibana.

Suzuki is also the lead singer of the band OLDCODEX, which has provided several songs for the Free! series, including its original theme song, "Rage On."

Suzuki announced a sudden hiatus from public appearances and performances on Aug. 4, shortly after Japanese celebrity news outlets began reporting on an alleged affair between Suzuki and a staff member. Suzuki is married to Japanese pop singer LiSA, who may be best known to anime fans for singing the opening theme songs to shows such as Demon Slayer - Kimetsu No Yaiba and Fate/Zero. Following the publication of the reports, LiSA also announced that she was going on a hiatus, though she has since resumed public activities. Suzuki's talent agency also recently announced that he was stepping down from his role in the second season of Netflix's Ultraman anime series.

In addition to his role as Makoto in Free!, Suzuki has appeared in many other anime shows and movies, including Tokyo Revengers, My Next Life as a Villainess and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. The other anime productions he is involved in have not yet commented on the actor's continued involvement.

A new trailer for Free! The Final Stroke movie was supposed to be released earlier in August, alongside the premiere of OLDCODEX's new theme song for the movie, but both releases were delayed due to Suzuki's hiatus. Free! The Final Stroke is currently scheduled to be released on Sept. 17 and will be directed by Eisaku Kawanami, who directed the prior three seasons of the anime. The Final Stroke is part 1 of the grand finale to the popular sports anime, with the second part scheduled to premiere in April of 2022.

Source: Crunchyroll

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