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Freezing: Vibration - Season 2
Freezing debuted in 2011 and in the same vain as Sekirei, Ikki Tousen, and Maken-Ki!, is yet another shameless fan service anime that's light on story and high on animated T&A. After the huge success of the first season, Vibration was put into production and instantly became one of FUNimation's most anticipated releases of the year. Does the second outing of the robust series meet expectations?
Note: This review is not based on the final product, only discs were provided.
For those who don't know the background of Freezing, I'll fill you in. The series revolves around the invasion of Earth by an extraterrestrial force called the Nova, and a special force of genetically engineered young women called Pandoras, and their male partners, called Limiters, who are created to combat them.
The series focuses on two students at the prestigious West Genetics Academy, Kazuya Aoi (voiced by Josh Grelle), a teenager whose late sister was a Pandora, and Satellizer el Bridget (voiced by Caitlin Glass), a powerful Pandora, nicknamed the "Untouchable Queen", for her cold and ruthless personality and the fact that she has an intense hatred of being touched by anyone, something that stems from a traumatic experience from her past. Despite warnings from his schoolmates to keep away from Satellizer, Kazuya attempts to befriend her, and asks to be her Limiter. After helping her through several fights against various school rivals, Satellizer still turns away, only agreeing to partner with him when she realizes that Kazuya is the first person that's been able to touch her and not make her fly off into a violent rage.
The primary story of Season Two revolves around Satellizer and Kazuya joining a handful of West Genetics students to a research lab in Alaska, where they are to help with the Evolution Pandora (E-Pandora) project, which will able ordinary girls to undergo Stigmata transplants to become a Pandora. When one of the test subjects breaks out into a rage, the others question whether the drugs in the experiment are safe, but despite their objections, are forced to comply by the Chevalier (an organization dedicated to fighting the Nova's, developing the Pandora's, Stigmata's, and Limiter classes, and founding the Genetics academies.) Upon discovering that they are to be used until they are expendable, the E-Pandora, led by their strongest, Amelia Evans (voiced by Whitney Rodgers) charge head first into a rebellion against the Chevalier which escalates into a Nova war.
As far as depth goes in a story like this, it's only skin deep. You get a brief glimpse of Satellizer's past, and continuation of the relationship between her and Kazuya. Everything else is pretty much cut and dry including the main story of the season. My problem with the main story is that it does absolutely nothing to stand out, you know everything that's going to happen before it does... Suspicious project. Project goes bad. The primary antagonist is created because of said project. Big fight and then all is well by the end. It doesn't get simpler than that.
Outside of the E-Pandora project, there are a couple of subplots littered throughout the season as well with the most important and annoying as Satellizer's past. Vibration goes in a bit of a darker direction when it takes a detour from the primary story for a couple of episodes around the half way point as we're reintroduced to Satellizer's half brother who used her as his personal sex slave when they were younger. I honestly thought this was a fantastic chance to interject some much needed development that could add a huge layer to the show, but much like the season as a whole, it feels like a total waste of time by the end.
+ Beautifully animated.
+ The action sequences are excellent.
+ If it's your cup of tea, there are glorious amounts of fan service.
+ Better than Season One, but only because it actually has a story. Still not much better though.
- The 2 episode arc with Satellizer's brother had an a pretty big build up with ultimately no payoff.
- Not much in terms of story.
- Weakly developed characters. But who cares, right? Cuz boobs!
- Yet another fan service show joining the dozens that are saturating the market.
Extras: - Episode 7 commentary with Caitlin Glass and Austin Tindle. - Six OVA episodes which do nothing more than add 18 extras minutes of fan service. - Textless opening and closing themes. - US Trailer for the dub. - Standard FUNi trailers. Overall:
Echoing the same opinion as one of my fellow reviewers who tackled Season One for DVDTalk, Freezing: Vibration is a waste of time unless you're only here to watch animated boobs. While there are some saving graces, like the gorgeous animation, the stellar action sequences and the typically well done English dub via FUNimation, the story is generic (though it's admittedly better than Season 1), character development and plot. Freezing Vibration is an overall dud. At the very most, Rent it, but personally I'd skip it, there are far better anime out there to spend your time on.
- Episode 7 commentary with Caitlin Glass and Austin Tindle.
- Six OVA episodes which do nothing more than add 18 extras minutes of fan service.
- Textless opening and closing themes.
- US Trailer for the dub.
- Standard FUNi trailers.