The fate of the world hangs in the balance as young Pandora warriors fight back against the alien Nova invasions.
What They Say:
Satellizer el Bridget is the top-ranked Pandora at the West Genetics academy, but her status as the 'Untouchable Queen' is jeopardized by a strange encounter with young Kazuya Aoi.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the manga by Dall-Young Lim and Kim Kwang Hyun which began back in 2006 and is up to nine collected volumes at this time, Freezing is the latest series from studio A.C.G.T. that brings the manwha creators work to the animated world after the less than successful Kurokami. The setting for this series is slightly ahead of present day where it has a near future design to it and a very dark look with a lot of detail that's reminiscent of Kurokami, but it plays things with a mixture of aliens and fantasy elements combined with schoolgirls and uniforms.
The series starts its focus off on the character of Bridget, the apparent Untouchable Queen who excels at the Carinvale event that has various students going against each other with swords and skills to prove who is the best warrior. She attends to the West Genetics academy along with quite a few other students and we see her skills early on as she takes on a large group that goes after her. The students there have that fantasy sort of feeling with the use of swords and the general look of them in their school uniforms, but the kids that operate out of the academy are bonded with a Stigmata that enhances and changes them internally to make them capable of becoming Pandora warriors where they can even regenerate body parts of it.
All of this is done to allow them to deal with the alien invasion by a race known as the Nova, who are apparently dealing with their eighth invasion of Earth. The small info dump used here to cover the setting is done rather quickly but effectively, even if it keeps the appearance of the Nova a secret for the moment, but it highlights the kind of battles that are fought and the losses that have happened that have scarred those who now teach and train the next round of Pandora warriors. Naturally, there's a heralded warrior that died before whose name is now important, and we see the younger brother arrive at the Academy to follow through on what she started. Kazuya is the type who by his presence alone could cause a lot of trouble since he brings a lot of emotional baggage to the table for some.
Freezing has a straightforward look to it in this first episode where the characters don't come across as too young and there's a number of sharp angles to it that lets them look a bit older. The character designs all look pretty good and there are some creative moments to be had as we see what the Freezing ability is about with the combat and through the encounter between Bridget and Kazuya. The action itself is better than I expected, though we are obviously getting the TV version of the show as it has a lot of dark areas that hide the heavy blood and the couple of spots of nudity. There are some nice moments of choreography to be had with the fights, but the use of the dark moments waters it down a bit since they cover not just the blood but the flow of the action itself. Freezing doesn't stand out hugely, but it avoids being an overly bright and inviting show by instead having a darker look that feels more appropriate for the material.
The opening episode of Freezing does a decent job of establishing the setting of the series and that it is for the most part going to be a straightforward serious action piece with lots of blood and violence, made easy by the fact that the Pandora warriors bodies can regenerate. It also looks to have a somewhat naughty side, though that comes in more at the end, largely through the introduction of Kazuya and the way he gloms onto Bridget. It's hard to tell where the show is going to go as it could easily turn on a dime in the second episode, but so far the serious feeling and darker edge works in its favor and could lead to something interesting once it settles down a bit from trying to hook everyone with the first episode.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.