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FREEZING: It's Like MEAN GIRLS Meets LA BLUE GIRL; for Better or (Mostly) Worse - - DVD/Blu-Ray Review

They promised us “brutally busty bloodletting,” and they weren’t lying.

Who needs the near-future? It seems like every time we let a few years go by, trans-dimensional aliens show up to mess with mankind yet again - - and just when we were starting to all get along. That’s certainly the case in FREEZING, a series where our fate rests on the shoulders of super-powered schoolgirls called "Pandoras" who've been tasked with defeating giant, Earth-threatening beings named "Novas."

No, it’s not the most original premise, but it’s not like they’re going to spend more than a few minutes actually dealing with these Novas anyway. Most of the time, the girls of FREEZING are too busy facing off against each other to worry about anything else.

Satellizer el Bridget is one of the strongest of these girls - - she's a skilled fighter, but also a social outcast. Some childhood abuse has given Satellizer an intense hatred of human contact and made her prone to reacting to any touch with extreme violence. This unique combination of traits has earned her the nickname “Untouchable Queen,” and the other students know to avoid her at all costs.

However, nobody has a chance to tell this to transfer student Kazuya Aoi before he ventures to touch the untouchable... and accidentally start a friendship that will slowly bring Satellizer back into the fold.

However, not everyone is as eager to have Satellizer around as Kazuya is, so the pair have to earn their position among the school’s hierarchy the hard way: by fighting for it. Often.

Were that not bad enough, they’ll also have to endure some seriously creepy stuff, most notably a series of sexual humiliations and painful molestations that push the limits of fan-service and stretch the ecchi genre to its breaking point.

Where other shows titillate through the threat of nudity, FREEZING piles on the full frontal, time and again. Every single fight results in the destruction of a Pandora’s clothes, releasing their comically enormous breasts to bounce and jiggle through scene after scene. None of them seem all that surprised to be naked; and why should they be? It happens so often that it’s a wonder they even bother getting dressed once a confrontation's over.

While putting together this review, it was a challenge to pull a single screenshot of an action sequence without capturing some R-rated exposure. And this show has a lot of action.

Even a guy like me - - who's no stranger to fan-service and in no danger of being called a “prude” - - found the level of frisky business in FREEZING to be unnecessary and, at times, disturbing. It’s simply too frequent, too graphic, and just not fun. Female characters are portrayed as shallow and monstrous, and sex is proudly used as a punishment, resulting in a universe that feels like MEAN GIRLS meets LA BLUE GIRL, without the slightest hint of humor or irony to be found. This isn’t IKKI TOUSEN - - it’s just plain icky.

It’s a shame when so much hard work is put into a show as dreadful as FREEZING. Despite the characters’ improbable proportions, the show has a solid design sense and its animation is high quality. The action is fast and fluid, with interesting effects used to convey the girls’ various special attacks and super powers. Lens flares abound, and the world is soaked in a hazy golden hour glow that does well to convey a fragile, youthful beauty (even as dire circumstances abound). If you can wade through perverse torture of the characters, there are some dazzling visuals associated with the various stages of a Pandora’s evolution.

And if you like cartoon boobs, it has those too. Lots and lots of those.

Alexei Bochenek is a lifelong tech nerd and film buff based in Los Angeles. He writes for various online publications and edits the Los Angeles events website LALookout.com. Follow his Twitter: @alexeigb.

Marshal Victoryon Aug. 30, 2012 at 5:36 p.m.

Yeah its a coulda been great but just meh to ok.Dont think it even made my list of average an above actually.Art is above average story etc detracts so much.Its watchable it would have to be in the under 10 bin for id buy .. even then id second guess doing it.

sickVisionz moderator on Aug. 30, 2012 at 5:52 p.m.

I watched an episode of this on Hulu a while back and it was too much for me. I don't mind fanservice and I don't mind gore, but I think there was one sequence that was a combination of someone getting their arm ripped off while simultaneously flashing their panties. That left me feeling weird and awkward and I haven't gone back since.

ShadowKnight508 moderator on Aug. 30, 2012 at 5:56 p.m.

The anime was meh, but the manga wasn't half bad.

Daniel_Newton moderator on Aug. 30, 2012 at 7:21 p.m.

Sounds like a very fair review. I'm not sure Ikki Tousen is much better though. Personally out of all the ecchi fighting anime I've checked out, I've found Queen's Blade to be the most enjoyable. I suppose there isn't much in it really, but something about the general atmosphere in Ikki Tousen didn't work for me. There's a lot more variety in the characters in Queen's Blade too, both in design and fighting abilities.

Oh, and the girls in Ikki Tousen lose control of their bladders a little too often, if you ask me. From what I remember watching the first season, fighters wetting themselves basically became the confirmation that they had been knocked out cold, it just wasn't necessary at all.

Freezing was somewhere on the edge of my radar so I probably would have checked it out at some point, but...

@sickVisionz said:

I watched an episode of this on Hulu a while back and it was too much for me. I don't mind fanservice and I don't mind gore, but I think there was one sequence that was a combination of someone getting their arm ripped off while simultaneously flashing their panties. That left me feeling weird and awkward and I haven't gone back since.

...yeah, now I'm not so sure I want to at all. If I do check it out, I'll at least be prepared, I guess.

Sonata moderator on Aug. 30, 2012 at 9:40 p.m.
Freezing was a show to me that was OK just to watch all the way through one time then forget about it after that.
sotyfan16on Aug. 31, 2012 at 1:20 a.m.

I haven't received my boxset from RightStuf yet but I have a feeling I'll agree with Chris Beveridge from The Fandom Post in how there was so much editing of the fanservice in the simulcast that watching it unedited makes it better.

I agree with some of the points made here and I was even iffy on buying the series but I like it better than other ecchi/action series. Such a combination is tough to work with and please a wider audience. Lots of fanservice, yes, but the story is there, too. Well, I only just started reading the manga but it's matching up pretty well with the anime story-wise. The anime did amp up the nudity though in comparison.

On a side note, Tom and the rest of you guys, should check out Hellsing Ultimate. FUNimation has OVAs 1-8 on YouTube (in sub, sadly, but still very enjoyable).

@Daniel_Newton:

Ikkitousen is worse in comparison. The storyline is terrible even though the franchise is based on The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Plus, this is much more violent-which makes it all the more enjoyable.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 31, 2012 at 2:27 a.m.

I watched the first episode and just never really went back. I have no problem with fanservice, but the mixture of the violence and gore made it all border on a snuff film.

DocHauson Aug. 31, 2012 at 5:39 a.m.

I wonder if Im Dal-Young really hates women or just thinks that this stuff is what sells to his audience. If you've read any of his stuff they all seem to involve women with gigantic tits beating each other to a pulp, whether physically or verbally, while a beta male MC is there to take up space. I couldn't read the manga of Freezing anymore after the umpteenth chapter of "let's all beat the living shit out of Bridget because we're just total dicks (pussies?) like that."

ImmortalSaiyanon Aug. 31, 2012 at 11:44 a.m.

I seen the first episode and it was awful.

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A 2011 anime based off the Korean-produced manga of the same name.

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