Review: “Freezing” [Anime]




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by Marlan Moore | staff editor

I was hesitant to watch this show.

Really, really hesitant.

Freezing is an anime built on gratuity – gratuitous blood and gratuitous nudity. If there was a drinking game based on Freezing, everyone playing’d be knocked out after every episode.

Despite that, I powered through and tried to see Freezing for what it is – an action-filled anime about genetically engineered teens fighting aliens and grappling with personal insecurities.

The plot of Freezing is simple and part of a tried and true formula.

Aliens from an alternate dimension seemingly randomly attack earth time and time again. Our only defense? Genetically engineered schoolgirls with weapons and special powers, and the schoolboys that help defend them. Sound familiar?

In this world, these special ladies are known as Pandoras and learn to use their skills at a school called West Genetics. Pandoras can unlock a special weapon (their Volt Weapons) to fight and kill those nasty aliens (called Novas), but the first two thirds of the series sees Pandoras fighting each other, causing gallons of blood to flow, limbs to fly, and clothes to rip in all sort of embarrassing ways. 

Novas have this ability called Freezing, which freezes anything in its proximity. To counter this, Pandoras must work with male Limiters, that can release the Freezing for short amounts of time and allow the Pandoras to get close enough to the Novas to attack. The bond between a Limiter and a Pandora is a surprisingly sacred one, and strong pairs will have a perfect marriage of offense and defense.

If this sounds a bit overly complicated for a 12 episode series, it is. It takes a couple of episodes to explain everything, and even then it doesn’t make complete sense. It’s one of those things you just have to roll with.

The first two thirds of the show has much more to do with West Genetics and its social, militaristic hierarchy than it does the girls protecting the earth from the Nova threat.

The main character, Satellizer el Bridget, aka the Untouchable Queen, is a second year Pandora at West Genetics with abilities well beyond her years. She’s so good, in fact, she disrupts the social hierarchy of the school and its power structure simply by being such a good fighter. This causes the third years to take action against her. 

The drama between the students didn’t interest me all that much, but the battles caused by the drama did. There’s lots of different types of weapons and fighting styles in use here, from bare-knuckled brawling to spears and chains. Watching characters bring out their weapons and go at it was probably the best part of the show.

Even in the last few episodes, when all hell breaks loose, the fighting doesn’t compare to those between the students at West Genetics.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with Freezing. It’s an enjoyable enough show and can sometimes even be engaging. Unfortunately, it’s just not that original.

Freezing is available now as a Blu-Ray/DVD combo from FUNimation and episodes can be found streaming free on their website.

Have you seen Freezing? Agree with our review? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!

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