Monday, April 25, 2011

Freezing - Review

Title: Freezing
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance, Ecchi
Rating: 7/10

Set in a slightly futuristic world where Earth has been invaded and is at war with aliens from another dimension called the Nova, the story follows the adventures of a Japanese boy named Kazuya Aoi who enrolls for training at a special school for genetically modified girls called Pandoras who battle the aliens, and their male partners, called Limiters, who use a special power called "freezing" to limit their opponent's mobility. The protagonist makes the acquaintance of an unusual older girl named Bridgette le Satellizer who appears to be the most powerful Pandora in her class, but has not yet chosen a male partner to be her Limiter, and in spite of the warnings of all his friends, he decides to be her Limiter.

Story: 8/10
Characters: 7/10
This series follows the adventures of Aoi Kazuya who enrolled in a special school where Pandoras, genetically modified girls that battle inter dimensional enemies, are being trained. The partner of these Pandoras are guys who uses the ability called 'Freezing' that either limits the opponents mobility or neutralize the 'freezing' ability of the opponent. Unfortunately, on the day that Kazuya entered the school there was an ongoing 'carnival' in which all of the Pandoras of a certain year battle each other to determine whose the strongest among the group. Our protagonist, having a sister complex, suddenly hugged the beautiful 'Untouchable Queen' Satellizer El Bridgette (notorious for being the 2nd year's #1 Pandora and of course as her alias implies, doesn't want to have contact with anyone) mistaking her as his sister during a battle and accidentally activated his 'freezing' that caused her to lose to her opponent. That encounter draws Kazuya's attention to the upperclassman who looked beautiful, strong, independent and cold on the surface but as he began to get to know her more he found out that she's actually shy, caring and quite sensitive.

The story isn't as complex as some of the shows last season but at least it got me hooked with the flow of the story and let's not forget Satellizer's character. The story didn't focus on the battle between the inter dimensional aliens on the first few episodes but instead focused on getting to know the main characters as they battle out their upper classmen who want to punish and humiliate them for disregarding the 'order'. Yes, the battle between Satellizer and her senpais are really engaging specially when she suddenly turn the tide by executing an unexpected attack to the enemy or when she was about to lose she then stands up and says "I won't lose!" and then finishes off the enemy in a very impressive manner which showcases her determination. Then on the climax of the series, we got introduced to the real antagonist the inter dimensional aliens that wants to invade earth though unfortunately there was little to no explanation on what those being really want and why they are after the corpse of the 1st Pandora and also they didn't explain much on what Pandoras really are. Well, the battles are also engaging in the last few eps as the viewers could see that the battle is LOT tougher compared to the first few battles as we were introduced to Pandoras whose Nova side have been let loose. Honestly speaking, the story is really forgettable even though its interesting in the first few eps.

I like how this series was able to be loyal to the manga though they tweaked some parts of it like the appearance of Rana, the ending and they cut off some back story of one of the characters but despite that it was pretty loyal to the source material. I even like how they ended this since they added more scenes to make it look like there's 2 climax at the ending.

What really hooked me with the series is how we unfolds Satellizer's past and how the viewers got to know her better with the help of Kazuya's actions. Actually, I don't like Kazuya 'cause he's mainly useless despite him having powers beyond your typical limiter but I have to say that he had a moment of manliness in the last few episode and also thanks to him, we were able to get to know Satellizer. Yes, this is an action oriented show but that's not the main focus of the series but instead the relationship of Kazuya and Satellizer. Thanks to Rana Linchen's character the battle between Kazuya's attention is much more fun to watch specially with her quirky personality. She's next to Satellizer as one of my favorite character in this series since not only is her personality likeable but how she accepted the fact that Kazuya likes Satellizer than her but still she didn't gave up. However, the other characters due to their numerous number and limited number of episodes, was left out and wasn't able to develop unlike the main characters.

Overall, memorable main characters, engaging action but forgettable story with a lot of plot holes as if its wishing to have another season to explain things properly.

Animation: 5/10
This is the part that pissed me off since this was aired in 4:3 ratio and coupled with the way this was colored and the palate used it just look old school. Actually there's a widescreen version of this but its unwatchable since 75% of the screen is censored so you don't know what's happening on the screen. Since this is an ecchi show, I already braced myself for a LOT of panty shots and fanservice but what the hell's wrong with the camera angles it felt like it was shot by a perverted old man that even made me look away from the screen despite knowing what I've plunge myself into. Ugh….the fanservice isn't really tastefully done but I think to those people who like to see a lot of breast and panty shots as the girls rip each others clothes during battle, I think this show is heaven for them. Despite the lackluster animation, I have to commend the character design since all of the characters are oh so gorgeous. I almost forgot to mention that the action is quiet engaging and was well choreographed.

Sounds: 6/10
I just love the OP song of this series since its exciting the way it was quite slow at first then it speeds up and the fact that its catchy, I'm totally sold. The ED song on the other hand has grown on me and I found it catchy and makes me want to go dance to the beat but still I like the OP better. We have a big names in the cast of this series with the likes of Noto Mamiko, Inoue Marina, Kana Hanazawa, Rie Kugumiya, Eri Kitamura and Ami Koshimizu. I think all of them performed really well despite that some of them have limited screen time. I'm surprised that they chose Noto Mamiko to voice Satellizer since when I was reading the manga I imagine a different voice so I was surprised that Mamiko's voice really fit Satellizer. What turned me off in terms of the sound department is the use of old school sounding effects specially the one they used when Pandoras call on their weapon.

Enjoyment: 7/10
Despite its flaws, I definitely enjoyed Freezing and its mainly because of the characters and their relationship like I said earlier. This show is not everyone's cup of tea so I won't recommend this to everyone but if you enjoy fanservice, action and a bit of romance I suggest you try watching this but don't expect much from it or else you'll be left disappointed.

Overall: 7/10 (Low Priority Watch)

until then…


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