Anime Review: Freezing (フリージング)


Freezing is about a future when things called "NOVA" show up through dimensional fissures for unknown reasons while "Pandora"(Genetically enhanced women with "Stigma" capable of different powers) and their partners "Limiters" (A younger male who acts as the partner for a Pandora to activate the "Freezing" effect on Nova) are tasked with defeating the NOVA.

This is going to be my review for the 12 Episodes that are the entirety of the anime at the present time; I'll be saying what I liked and did not like about it, what I thought about the concept, and whether or not I think anyone else should bother checking this series out based on the vibe I had.  You can hit the JUMP below to read the full review for Freezing (フリージング)!


-[ WARNING! ]-

My reviews are normally elaborate in what I think and it may give away some spoilers regarding the subject that it covers due to the amount of detail needed for explanation, please keep this in mind and know it may be better for you to watch/read/play the material before reading this review.  Thank you and happy reading!


-[ OPENING ]-











As far as the opening goes I do actually like it, but not as much as I would for some anime.  I think it is quite brilliant how the opening track "True Color" by MARiA goes from light-hearted music to a more rock n' roll type feel midway through.  You will also come to find that it shows the softer side of one of the main characters of the story.   Though, besides these two things it gives really no indication of anything within the story really except the way a Pandora transforms; also a few scenes from the actual anime and a few I have not seen before.

The animation is really good, but I am still against when people combine 3D and 2D animation and I would prefer it to be one or the other.  Luckily it is mostly 2D animation throughout the entirety of the anime.


-[ STORY & PLOT  ]-
Rana Linchen vs Satellizer el Bridget
NOVA are creatures from another dimension that threaten to destroy humanity; the only defense against them is genetically enhanced women called "Pandora" and their "Limiters" who are regular men, though younger age (Due to there being a better synchronization rate when Pandora use Limiters younger than them).  These two together are suppose to put a stop to any NOVA invasion that arises and are trained to do so at one of two Pandora Academy's, West or East Genetics.

Pandora are trained and have access to "Volt Weapons" which changes depending upon the person and their "Stigma", the NOVA-esque cells which grant Pandora their special abilities.  Limiters are the partners of Pandora who accept their partner's Stigma into their body via a "Baptism" to be able to synchronize with them and form an "Ereinbar Set", increasing the abilities of both parties.  The point of Limiters being in battle is to form a "Freezing" effect, which traps low-level NOVA from being able to move and also negates the effect of NOVA stopping all living things around them from moving.

The main story actually follows dual protagonists, which are Satellizer el Bridget and Kazuya Aoi, telling about each of their stories and how they wind up becoming partners.  Telling about Satellizer's harsh background and why she is called "The Untouchable Queen" due to her aphephobia (Fear of being touched) and the reason that Kazuya Aoi is so drawn to her and why he has the ability to use the Freezing ability without performing a Limiter's Baptism with their chosen Pandora partner.  Through their unlikely union in becoming Pandora and Limiter, it opens up Satellizer's emotions where a good part of the story is actually focused (Around their relationship and her trusting him and finally accepting her as the Limiter).

Starting off, Satellizer is greeted by Kazuya Aoi, who transferred from West to East Genetics (Schools for Pandora and Limiters) in the worst of ways, seeing as the Pandora who are in their second year were in a live battle simulation test ("Carnival") to determine their rank.  Because she was hugged and frozen by Kazuya, who mistakes her for his dead sister, Kazuha Aoi, she is unable to retaliate against the assault of Ganessa Roland, which makes her fall down to the rank of 2nd among her peers.  Kazuya tries to apologize to her repeatedly and eventually Satellizer fights to defend him against the assault of Ganessa as he tries to intervene in a conflict between them that happens after the Carnival.

As the story progresses, she gets into many fights defending him as he is an easy target for other Pandora who wish to gain access to the power he possesses because he can use Freezing without the aid of the Ereinbar Set from being paired with a Pandora because he has a "Stigma" body that is able to use NOVA abilities, also because they do not want someone as powerful as him to be teamed up with the already strong "Untouchable Queen". It is also noted that someone named Rana Linchen is after the heart of Kazuya, because she believes him to be her soul mate (Though, you can tell she wants him as her Limiter and this is what she means but in her culture, because she is Indian, it is soul mate).  She comes on to him a number of times and even challenges Satellizer because she does not want to perform the Baptism with Kazuya because she believes it to be dirty and is very uncomfortable, first arriving on the scene to save him Kazuya as he is ambushed when he and Satellizer are to have their first "night together".  Satellizer eventually shows her jealously and tender affections towards Kazuya by eventually wanting him to call her "Satella", similar to how Rana allows Kazuya to call her by her first name without an honorific.

Eventually Kazuya catches the notice of the "Limiter Hoarder" Kannazuki Miyabi "Caretaker of Chastity" after she attempts to take Kazuya for her Limiter and embarrasses Satellizer by having her three limiters take revealing photos.  This escalates to her fighting various other Third Year Pandoras, including those ranked 4th (Arnett McMillian) and 5th (Cleo Brand) respectively (Which she demonstrates she is able to fight on par with them) with the aid of Rana Linchen after she found out she was being tricked by the "Manipulative Schemer" Attia Simmons, the very same one who lured Satellizer to enter the beauty pagent for "Pandora Queen" which she took the title of .  The person behind all of this, Elizabeth Mably, is trying to "keep order" by making Satellizer respect the "Chain-of-Command" and showing that 2nd Years should respect their senpai, she also lost the title of Pandora Queen to Satellizer.  She eventually stops after the President of the student counsel, the 1st Ranked among the Third Year students, the " Unmatched Smiling Monster" Chiffon Fairchild, tells that a Nova Clash could be coming soon via notice of Sister Margaret, the head of West Genetics.

Eventually four S-Ranked NOVA come to East Genetics in what appears as an attempt to attack them and they send out Pandora of their own to attack while everyone else is on standby; though, they call in reinforcement of the Fourth Year students of West Genetics after the NOVA begin to swallow the Pandora into their own body, Third and Second Year students are then placed on standby for battle just in case.  Eventually they are presented with the four S-Ranked Nova that were previously East Genetics and it seems they were using that front as mere distraction to keep the high-powered Fourth Year students all centered in that direction so they can deal with the weaker batch; they release the Pandora they took into their bodies turning them into "Nova-Form" possessing the high-end abilities of both NOVA and Pandora and are controlled by the infected Stigmata crystal that sticks out of their chest which must be destroyed to relinquish control back to the normal Pandora.

Satellizer is being stubborn and does not want help from Kazuya after she find out that he may have only wanted to become her Limiter because she possesses Stigma from his deceased sister who is held as one of the strongest Pandora ever and helped to create a lot of the high-end abilities, such as the Accel Turn.  She eventually realizes that he wants her for her only and not because she initially reminded him of his sister.  Soon Satellizer faces a Pandora who is Nova Form that is 1st Ranked among the Third Year students of East Genetics known as "The Godspeed of the East" Cassie Lockheart; who she had previously lost to after beating down a Limiter after he dared to touch her.  After Ganessa Roland, the girl who took the Rank of 1st among the Second Years away from Satellizer, was though to be dead after jumping infront of her and taking the direct impact of an explosion caused by a Nova-form Pandora and her arm being severed in the process,  She eventually goes into Pandora mode and nearly NOVA form.  She displays her full potential in this fight and at the end of it however she slices off both of Cassie's arms but does not kill her due to Kazuya calming her down and stopping her from going full Nova-form and Cassie's Nova-Form crystal shattering.

"The Smiling Monster" Chiffon and her assistant, 3rd Ranked of the Third Years of West Genetics, "The Hitman" Ticy Phenyl put an end to what was suppose to be the last Nova-Form as they attempted to reach the "Holy Corpse" which is the body of the very first Pandora, Maria Lancelot.  However, the Nova was not entirely defeated and the last S-Ranked Nova appeared there and caused a powerful freezing effect of which Limiters could not break, Satellizer going Nova-form and Kazuya again having to stop it; as even Pandora in Pandora Mode were helpless against the intense freezing effect.  After all was done and they defeated the 4 S-Ranked NOVA and protected the corpse of Maria; Satellizer found herself promising she would have the Baptism with Kazuya.  Ganessa made a full recovery and her Limiter was quite relieved.


-[ THOUGHTS & IMPRESSIONS ]-
Ganessa Roland
Okay, I want to give some of my thoughts and impressions when it comes to Freezing and what it is trying to achieve versus what I think it has done, some of the other stuff I found that is all too similar to a more well-known anime, as well as things I actually liked and enjoyed about the story and how it was executed.

First off, I like how they give back story on both Satellizer and Kazuya (Though, they only really referenced him in regards to his sister and I believe we know more about his sister's life than we do about his own, besides the fact he loved her very much and did not want her to fight in the 10th NOVA clash.).  With Satellizer we get to see what has made her so cold and barren, including the last words of her mother telling her to "Not lose to anyone" and why living by that motto pushes her to accept Attia Simmons challenge in the "Pandora Queen" competition, and why she is so distraught when she feels she cannot win and refuses to give up despite how bleak the situation may come to.  The character development of Satellizer is really the main attraction of this story with its focus of how she turns from a hateful, hermit type person into a more social, warm person in that she actually has the ability to care for someone else and let someone else touch her and be an important person within her life.

Also, I did like a lot of things about the actual fighting that took place in Freezing.  The students had very obvious differences in levels depending upon the year that they were in.  The average Third Year seemed really hard to handle for even that of the 2nd Ranked Satellizer of the Second Year students, with the 4th and 5th being so tough she would have eventually lost even while teamed up with Rana had Chiffon not intervened in the situation, despite using  Rana using Wings of Light and Satellizer being able to utilize Tempest Turn.  Not only that, the whole part of the students fighting until only one is left-standing reminds me a lot of "Battle Royale" and that it occurs during the very first episode.  The ability to transform as well as utilize special moves is something that is trademark in anime and allows you to get into the story a lot more than you usually would, especially with outlandish techniques as presented within this series.

Somethings I am not too hot about is how this copies A LOT from Neon Genesis: Evangelion.  The reason why I say this is look at the very plot of the story itself, putting aside Satellizer as well as Kazuya's involvement.  People in Neon Genesis are scared of the events that happened during the "2nd Impact" which prompted them to utilize the Evangelion Units in order to combat the Angels should they again appear in Tokyo-3; Freezing's people are currently scared of events that happened during the "10th NOVA Clash" which prompted them to utilize the Pandora in order to combat the NOVA them they again reappear.  At the end of Neon Genesis: Evangelion, The Angels are attempting to find the body of the Angel known as "Adam" and infiltrate the headquarters of NERV in order to do so, finding him being kept at the very bottom level; At the end of Freezing, The NOVA utilize Pandoras that are in "Nova-Form" in order to infiltrate the West Genetics teaching facility in order to find the "Holy Corpse" of Maria Lancelot which is at the very bottom of the facility.  There are many other things I could get into that Freezing borrows from, such as how it is apparent Asuka Shikinami (Shikinami as of Evangelion 2.0) likes Shinji Ikari, but he is too busy being obsessed with the "1st child" Rei Ayanami who is a clone of his dead mother; where as in Freezing Rana Linchen likes Aoi Kazuya, but he is too busy obsessed with Satellizer el Bridget who has accepted Stigma from his dead sister.  It makes my head hurt seeing all of these similarities but, hey, it works and it is different in how they carry it out but the theme is still very, very similar.  Though, something to note is how they use "Burger Queen" instead of "Burger King" which I think is pretty funny and a nice addition at least.

Something else that gets me is how they combine all of this with tons of fan service, not the good kind either in my opinion.  In Agent Aika, you get quite a lot of panty fan service, but it is understandable; in here, they are suppose to fight NOVA, yet every time they fight amongst each other their tops rip off first, it sometimes feels like I am watching Ikki-Tousen, which works for that series because they are just students with tearaway fabrics and not battle-attire for fighting extra-dimensional entities; and maybe that is the reason I could not get into Queen's Blade (Though, admittedly, the plot of that anime is not too good in my personal opinion).  Seeing as how Pandora are suppose to be defenders and NOVA have all of these powers which could easily KILL them, you would think they would have light-armor that allows you to move quickly as well as be protected, at least partially; I understand it is an anime but  there is only so much that leans towards sexism.  The Pandora Queen Pageant is exactly what I am talking about.  Normally you will cover various areas, such as talent, evening gowns, swimwear, speeches, and a various amount of other criteria in order to pick who wins; however, in Freezing it seems like the sluttiest and the most sexually erotic is the way to go.  Even though Satellizer won in what appears to be a not-too-revealing gown, people like Attia Simmons (Loli love anyone?) got sexual explicit for the sole fact of being judged by all boys to try and win, just belaying the fact that women are sexual objects.

Another thing I did not really like is how the "Limiters" did not really do anything besides the whole freezing effect.  This part reminds me of Negima! how one person fights and one person can use spells, but they are only a one-trick pony and if that does not work they are useless and must be protected or watch their Pandora die in front of them.  Think about how much more believable Ganessa Roland surviving having her arm severed had her Limiter applied some-type of healing properties or even some type of makeshift tourniquet in order to limit the bleeding?  This is not Star Wars and the wound was not cauterized, so I have no idea how she survived the ordeal.  Limiters are pretty much useless aside from that single freezing effect, and it also does not seem to stack as someone said "Having three Limiters is not anymore useful than having one", not to mention Pandora have a mode which also acts on its own to negate a NOVA's freezing effect, rending the Limiter useless.  I think if they allowed Pandora to work in squads with each Limiter having something special about them, i.e.: Halting the freezing effect of a NOVA, increasing the time which a Pandora can use Pandora Mode, Able to increase Pandora strength, etc. they would be much more of an asset.

Last but not least is the fact that they changed somethings from the actual manga adaption; while I will not go too too far into it, it always ruins the experience but cannot be helped as most movie adaptions of books as well as anime adaptions of mangas are often bastardized in some way, shape, form, or fashion.  The main thing for me was the fact that Satellizer was stopped by Kazuya before she inflicted a fatal wound upon Kannazuki Miyabi from sexual humiliating her in-front of her three limiters; in the manga she originally stabbed her through the chest and turned the blade, Miyabi needing immediate emergency surgery to survive the ordeal.  This type of thing would have really shown how far Satellizer was willing to go against someone who opposed her, rather than them always talking about what she did to the Limiter who touched her from East Genetics.  Not to mention the whole ordeal with Satellizer's brother when she was younger, it may seem not too bad in the anime, but they left out a load of explicit detail from what happened in her childhood and shows the full extent of the psychological damage it has caused for her to be still afraid of being touched years-and-years later.


-[ THE VERDICT ]-
Rana Linchen (She's my favorite if you cannot tell already)
Freezing more-or-less provided a experience that was very unique but borrowed vastly from Neon Genesis: Evangelion to the point that it was pretty cheesy towards the end because you could not get it out of your mind.  But the experience is truly getting up to that point and heart strings are pulled at a number of different occasions regarding Satellizer and Kazuya's developing relationship.  The ups and downs and fights are pretty good, but the fact that people seemingly cannot die unless a NOVA obliterates them with an explosion or beam also takes away from the dynamic of death, kind of how like Goku told Chichi and Bulma that Gohan and Vegeta had died in Dragonball Z because you already know they will be revived sometime later through the use of the Dragon balls.

Though they did change somethings around from the manga (Which anime does not, though?) it is very enjoyable and I actually did not have too much of a problem with it.  I think if you are looking for a decent anime to fill space, it is not bad, but I would obviously not take this very serious and would watch it with an open mind, and not recommended for die-hard fans of the Evangelion series.  It is really not that bad, the girls can be very cute, situations can be endearing, and I would recommend the manga over the anime any day.

I want to thank you for reading this review and stay tuned for others I will be doing in the upcoming future! Sayanara!

Comments

  1. This web site truly has all of the info I needed about this subject
    and didn't know who to ask.
    My website www.khushkhabari.com

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment