Well, I didn’t see this one coming. This one, against all expectations, was actually pretty cool (HAHAHA PUN). But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning, and dive right into Freezing.
Freezing follows the exploits of Kazuya Aoi, a first year student at West Genetics Academy, a school for genetically enhanced girls (known as Pandoras) and boys (known as Limiters) specially trained to combat an extraterrestrial threat known as Novas, giant terrifying robot-like monsrosities capable of destroying cities and pretty adept at murdering Pandoras as well. This sets the stage for a lot of short skirts and what the ESRB would refer to as “strong bloody violence”.
Kazuya instantly takes a liking to (by which I mean ‘buries his head in the busom of’) the second year’s most skilled Pandora, Satellizer el Bridget, owner of the coolest name and longest hair in the academy.
Her nickame is ‘The Untouchable Queen’ due to her extreme aphephobia, which Kazuya violates almost immediately. Unfortunately, since the students were in the middle of a battle royale, he causes her to be horribly maimed and ousted from her number one spot.
Luckily for Kazuya, Pandoras can heal pretty much anything given the appropriate medical attention, and Satellizer is a shy, reclusive sort despite her bloodthirsty fighting style. This means that he has the whole season to make amends and try to work with her to become the greatest tag team in the academy!
That’s the basic premise, and thanks in no small part to some excellent voice acting on the part of the show’s English dub actors (including Caitlin Glass, voice of Fullmetal Alchemist’s Winry Rockbell) and legitimately interesting characters, it all works quite well. Kazuya and Satellizer are likeable and for once the male lead in a show like this isn’t completely useless all the time – in fact, Kazuya is often the game changer in the show’s many, many inter-student fight scenes.
At this point, I’ve probably said enough. I’m not here to describe the plot, and in this case it would contain spoilers. The only thing I will say is that while the series is at face value a show heavy in fanservice and violence and light on plot (the commercial bumpers are the girls in their underwear, for corn’s sake) once episode 7 hits, things get dark, and things get dark FAST. To an extent where it becomes uncomfortable to watch. Dark back stories and intense beating occur.
Graphically and musically, the series is pretty good. Fight scenes look dynamic and cool and the opening and ending themes are enjoyable to listen to (you’d be surprised how grating some shows’ themes can be – looking at you, Ghost Hunt).
Overall, I’d rate Freezing reasonably highly. I like the characters, and the story definitely has potential. However, things only really start flowing after episode 6 and even then the plot is very confined. Definitely something that was explored more in the manga, and would have continued in a second season of the anime.
Freezing is shaky on its feet, but a cast of interesting characters and realistic motivations saves it from mediocrity. Just.