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Freezing: Complete Series
In the first ten seconds of Freezing you know exactly what you're in for. Like Queen's Blade, Ikki Tousen, Sekirei, and so many others that came before it, Freezing isn't ashamed to pit female against female and disrobe them in the process. Heck, those first ten seconds of the show feature the main character, Satellizer, completely nude for essentially no reason other than to give fans some eye candy. Fan service? Oh yeah, Freezing has it in droves.
As far as a plot is concerned, frankly, you should already know the drill. Aliens have attacked earth in the future and only hot large-breasted can save the day with their super-powers invented by flaky science. Oh look, there's a hapless boy that just happens to wander into the scene and finds himself an object of desire by many of the girls in the show. Queue up sci-fi mumbo-jumbo, cliché gags like "oops my face fell into your breasts", and ubiquitous gal fights resulting in exposure of frilly undergarments. Freezing basically lacks everything but the Jell-o pit to through its bevy of babes into.
In a distant alternate future, creatures from another dimension known as Nova appear and start killing people for the hell of it. These Nova are imbued with a super-natural ability to freeze everything in an area, preventing people from fleeing or moving. To counteract these effects some genetic bending has taken place that has spawned the Pandora, an elite modified group of ladies with the ability to create weapons out of thin air, materialize clothes onto their bodies, and go all Super-Saiyan when the going gets tough. Like I said, there's really no rhyme or reason to the science, other than saying these things on their backs called Stigmata give them the ability to do it - so why the frig not?
To train these young ladies a group of schools was created. Here they hone their battle prowess in duels to the near-death call Carnivals. It's a test of sorts, but rather than answer questions you remove clothing from each other with swords and try to finish without winding up in the infirmary. For those unlucky enough to do so, it's fortunate that the pseudo-science also grants these girls with a powerful healing factor making it possible to regrow arms and whatnot.
The aforementioned nude lady at the beginning, Satellizer, is a star pupil at West Genetics. In the opening moments of the show she's taking part in a Carnival for her second term and is on track to destroy the competition. She's garnered the nickname, The Untouchable Queen, but that flies out the window when she's tackled and motor-boated by a kid named Kazuya who mistakes her for his dead sister. Apparently he liked to motor-boat her too. Satellizer loses the Carnival and winds up in second place thanks to Kazuya, but what's most shocking is the fact that she didn't kill him for touching her.
Satellizer earned the term "untouchable" not only for her fighting prowess, but also for the fact that she doesn't want anybody to touch her. It all stems back to a trauma at another school where a boy basically forced himself on her. It's an unusual twist that adds depth to her character and builds conflict in her relationship with Kazuya. As far as depth goes in Freezing, this is about as good as it gets. Though compelling as a proverbial wedge in their relationship, it's handled lightly and takes too long to see fruition. Satellizer realizes that Kazuya can touch her and she doesn't seem to mind. End of story.
The girls in this world are the ones with the power, but the boys aren't completely useless themselves. They have the ability to sync with the Pandoras and unleash a freezing field that allows for movement when combating a Nova (or other Pandora) and can even have the same effect as what the Nova do. The catch is they can only do it with a Pandora and can't do it themselves. The result is a psychic sort of bond that leaves the girl "oo-ing" and going flush red, so yeah...thanks for the unnecessary fan-service. But wait, Kazuya can create a freezing field all by himself! Apparently in this world of busty genetic freaks he's a freak among freaks like his sister was. Sufficed to say he's simply more mutated than everyone else.
A few episodes in and there's a new girl introduced to West Genetics and she sees Kazuya as her "chosen partner". She's used as a way to create a rift between Kazuya and Satellizer, though really it doesn't do much other than create awkward moments, panty shots, and allow for more opportunity to see Satellizer's funbags. As if fighting over Kazuya wasn't reason enough for the girls to slash each other's clothes off, the upperclassmen pick up a grudge with Satellizer that carries over for a while as well.
The show more or less meanders around for the majority of its twelve-episode run. Random school girl fights, stuff about Kazuya's mutation, and extrapolation of the concept just goes on and on for far too long. Thankfully towards the end things turn around a little as a bigger plot starts up and the Nova come more into focus, though, frankly, it's too little too late.
I always say that when I approach anime, I always have an open mind. After the first episode of Freezing I dare say that my mind immediately went to "ah, not this sh*t again", and it was valid reasoning. Fan-service shows are a dime a dozen and I'll be damned if Freezing isn't the same as all of them. Small character touches and fancy animation from time to time aren't nearly enough to differentiate this from the rest of the boobies out there. It's horrifically generic and frankly not worth your time if you're looking for something original and serious. Then again, you're not always in the mood for that. If breasticals are your goal then look no further than this one.
Freezing is presented on Blu-ray with a 1080 transfer utilizing AVC encoding. The picture quality in the anamorphic widescreen presentation is pretty good with some fine details. Colors pop, lines are clean, and all around there's really no artifacting or aliasing to speak of. Contrast is bold and the show is pleasing on the eyes in just about every way. Some scenes come across as being a little too soft for their own good, but that looks like a byproduct of the production rather than an effect of the transfer. These moments don't detract from the series in any way, really, but they just stand out amidst the sharpness of the rest of the scenes.
For audio tracks Freezing's blu-ray release offers up Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and English TrueHD 5.1. Each tracks offers solid fidelity and the English in particular stands out for its quality. The soundstage is much more dynamic with the English presentation and the dub is actually quite good, especially considering the material. Action sequences stand out with great presence, though dialogue is a bit on the flat side. Rear channel activity is good on the English and expectedly non-existent on the Japanese stereo track.
Two episodes here receive audio commentaries with members of the English cast. There's also clean animations, promo videos, commercials for the show, and six OVA episodes to complete the package. Overall a decent spread of material and the commentaries are certainly appreciated.
Freezing simply doesn't cut the mustard when it comes right down to it. The characters might be interesting in some respects, but the lack of originality in the concept and plot really drags the whole experience down. Meandering about for far too long, the show manages to get good towards the end, but it's pretty much too little, too late at that point. I'd say it's a rental at best, but if fan-service anime is your bread and butter and you don't mind brainless doses of chicks fighting chicks for no other reason than to show some nipple, then by all means. This won't disappoint in the jollies department.