| September 17, 2012

Based on the seinen manga by the same name, this Blu-ray/DVD compilation of the anime Freezing consists of two discs with 12 episodes and several OVAs filled with all manner of exposed breasts and panty shots.  The packaging says “scintillating,” and they’re not kidding.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything quite so blatant, so it took me a moment to not laugh at the way in which the anime is drawn to continually emphasize the girls’ breasts, with the camera effectively at breast level or just below looking up at them over and over.  If you’re a fan of seinen, you won’t be disappointed.

Besides the softcore erotic nature of the artwork, there are the not-unusual insinuations of incest and child molestation that are somewhat glossed over, at least until you’re about eight episodes in, where at least one aspect of them is made more explicit.  In that sense, the story reminds me a bit of an inverted Gunslinger Girl, wherein it’s now older girls taking on young boys as their companions and battle partners.

The anime starts by introducing Satellizer el Bridget, a powerful Pandora or girl genetically modified to have superior fighting skills in order to combat aliens from another dimension (aliens known as the Nova).  Pandoras are most effective when they are paired with a younger male Limiter.   Satellizer has not selected her Limiter yet, and during a school-sanctioned battle demonstration, she is distracted by and interrupted by an arriving transfer student named Kazuya Aoi, a young man who has just learned that his Pandora sister died in battle and who seems destined to be Satellizer’s Limiter, whether she wants him or not.

The story becomes a type of love story between Satellizer and Aoi, as each has to overcome their own fears, awkwardness and traumas.  This is the arena in which the story excels and engages.  And as it becomes more and more apparent to his new schoolmates (and instructors) that Aoi, though a boy, has many attributes considered unique to Pandoras, his and Satelli’s bonding seems more and more likely.

When the episodes are watched back to back, it can begin to feel a bit like this is a boarding school from hell with everyone out to get Satelli – this girl has a knack for making lots of enemies among her classmates, and Aoi has to continually come to her defense.  There are a lot of battles, most basically superpower-filled girl fights.  But when this was parsed out episode by episode, that feeling was probably less prevalent.

Funimation has done a great job with the packaging and transfers, and if you’re a fan of teen romance, anime/manga or seinen in particular, you’ll probably enjoy this.

About the Author:

Josef Steiff Joe Steiff would gladly spend his days and nights watching movies and TV with a little writing on the side. Oh, and teach at Columbia College in Chicago. And maybe play Mass Effect. But sleep gets in the way. He's made a few films. edited Popular Culture and Philosophy volumes on Battlestar Galactica, Anime, Manga and Sherlock Holmes for Open Court Books, wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Independent Filmmaking and is a co-author of Storytelling Across Worlds: Transmedia for Creatives and Producers.
Filed in: TV on DVD

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.