Saturday, July 4, 2015

Freezing Anime Review

Freezing
Furijingu
Funimation
Complete Collection - 4 discs
300 mins. - 12 episodes + 6 OVAs
$39.98 (2014) Blu-Ray/DVD
$64.98 (2013) Blu-Ray/DVD
$69.98 (2012) Blu-Ray/DVD
ISBN 704400095177
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Takashi Watanabe
Studio - ACGT

Synopsis: Humanity is being attacked by powerful alien beings called NOVA and have developed the Pandora program as their best line of defense.  The Pandora are young women implanted with special nodes called Stigmata granting them superhuman abilities of strength, speed, durability, healing, and manifesting objects (like clothing and weapons).  The NOVA usually attack in the form of giant floating statues with massive whip-like tentacles and the ability to generate Freezing fields to immobilize targets.  Despite the Pandoras great powers they are still no match for the NOVA in single combat.  Pandoras are paired with male Limiters who can generate their own Freezing fields to counter those of the NOVA.  The combination of Pandora and Limiter in sync are able to overcome the NOVA.
Kazuya Aoi (right) is a new first year starting at West Genetics Academy
Kazuya Aoi is a freshman at West Genetics Academy, a special school for Pandoras and Limiters, and training to become a Limiter.  His older sister Kazuha was a premier Pandora who gave her life defeating a wave of NOVA and protecting a group of younger Pandoras.  She was one of the greatest Pandoras and very close with Kazuya.  The current top-ranked second year Pandora at West Genetics is named Satellizer el Bridget, also known as "The Untouchable Queen".  She is a ruthless, feared fighter and utterly despises being touched by anyone.
Satellizer el Bridget is the top-ranked second year student at West
Genetics Academy and also known as "The Untouchable Queen"
Much to Satellizer's horror, Kazuya actually gives her a hug on their first meeting.  She normally reacts with extreme violence to any physical contact, but for some reason Kazuya's touch feels different.  Her emotions become conflicted around Kazuya who treats her respectfully and tries to be her friend.  He even defends her when other students (particularly upper-class Pandora) try to violently humiliate her.  West Genetics Academy has a ruthless hierarchy with upper-class students frequently abusing underclass students through brutal duels.
Kazuya's first meeting with Satellizer is more than awkward - he
actually hugs and touches her
Will Satellizer thaw to Kazuya's positive influence or is she too traumatized from her tragic upbringing to let anyone close to her.  A rival appears in the form of Rana Linchen, second-year transfer student from Tibet.  She immediately befriends Kazuya and puts a wedge between he and Satellizer's chances at a partnership.  Kazuya exhibits unusually strong Limiter abilities, but who will he choose?  The cold yet undeniably powerful Satellizer or the hot-blooded and eager Rana?  The NOVA continue their onslaught and time is running out for West Genetics.
The upper-class girls plot to put Satellizer in her place
Pros: Great opening and ending theme songs (OP theme Color by MARiA rocked pretty hard), animation quality is decent with good effects, tons of fan-service for those ecchi perverts, surprisingly violent with actual limbs getting cut off later in the series, heartbreaking origin story for Satellizer validates her character, Rana was a fun character and refreshingly carefree, eyecatches (before/after commercial breaks) were good and focused on different characters each episode, the OVA is totally shameless cheesecake with tons of nudity
Satellizer battles a fellow student who can use Accel Turn for
blindingly fast speed attacks
Cons: Story and plot are pretty bad, NOVA are boring and unexplained foes, most of the girls are really vicious to Satellizer, this series completely objectifies women with repetitive combination of sex and violence, Cathy Lockharte's dream of being a novelist

Satellizer suffers humiliation at the hands of brutally sadistic upper-class
students before Kazuya steps in and helps her turn the tide
Mike Tells It Straight: I didn't know what to expect from Freezing when I first started watching it.  All I could tell from the cover was a beautiful girl was battling and her clothes were ripped in a provocative manner.  I've seen other battle girl shows like Sekirei, Queen's Blade, and Master of Martial Hearts.  I guess my expectations were a little too high and the series kind of let me down.  It was more like Master of Martial Hearts which was a bland series.
It's not a fight at West Genetics unless you get your shirt torn
Satellizer was not a compelling heroine (although her character is justified by her tragic upbringing) and her relationship with Kazuya felt contrived.  It's anime after all and this show fits in the harem genre so expectations can't be too high.  The NOVA were totally unexplained and boring.  The series fell into repetitive fight arcs with Satellizer brutalized by ruthless upperclass girls only to pull out a last minute win.  It got old and the plot never really delivered anything unique.  The OVAs were released with the complete collection (you can find them pretty easily on the internet too) and were unrepentant cheesecake.
New student Rana Linchen immediately becomes Satellizer's
 rival for Kazuya's attention
Kazuya was a decent male protagonist and Rana the transfer student injected a much-needed lightheartedness to the series.  Overall it was violent and sexist, completely objectifying these girls.  The fan-service and nudity were consistent across every episode and definitely caters to juvenile fantasies.  This show was kind of a disappointment and not something I would highly recommend.  Other series do it much better (i.e. more plot and characterization) although Freezing is high up there when it comes to nudity/violence.  There's a second season called Freezing: Vibration and I'll check it out to see if the story actually redeems itself.  Look for the upcoming review and let me know your thoughts on this series!
Rana and Satellizer find themselves battling over Kazuya frequently
TO BUY and Recommendations: