The Nova are back and they're using some very different tactics than in the past.
What They Say:
Satellizer confronts Kazuya over his interest in becoming her Limiter, and the Nova turn fallen Pandoras into an unstoppable attack force headed straight for the precious Ravensborne Nucleochede.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Freezing doesn't shy away from its main point even at times of great duress, such as the opening here with a Nova has arrived at the academy in the late evening when all the girls are in various states of undress or baths, which means lots of foggy or heavily light-covered sequences to give balance to the potential for action and destruction that's about to befall the academy. The Nova do get exploed a bit more here with how they acted in the past, where they'd been able to only stay for a few hours before the dimensional pressures would catch up to them and they'd explode. It's also revealed that they moved and acted as if they were searching for something. This incursion feels very different as they're moving with a definite purpose to them and multiple ones at that.
Of course, personal issues enter the fray very early on as Satellizer is intent on going into battle, even though second years like her aren't supposed to, and she intends to do it without Kazuya after the issues that they've had recently. Kazuya definitely wants to go with her, but she's intent on not taking him. What makes the situation worse is that Rana sees it as an opportunity to get closer to Kazuya and she eggs on Satellizer about it. Which goes back to the core problem of the series for so long in that there's almost no adult supervision and the kids are allowed to beat the crap out of each other when there's such a serious threat facing them from the outside. That these two young women would fall into this trap, again, at this time is almost insulting, especially after things started to thaw a bit and they were becoming more interesting characters.
When the show focuses on the action outside, it's decidedly creepy as the Nova de-fuses the Pandora warriors it captured before and they're not willing slaves to it with their stigmata's burned into their chests. There's something very disturbing about the visual as the West Genetics kids now find themselves having to fight their own kind that were twisted against their will. The show spends a good bit of time on the action as the girls go against each other and it's pretty brutal as the Nova-twisted Pandora warriors are straightforward and not fooling around. They have a goal in mind and are intent on achieving it, which does have the few adults we know about pretty much figuring things are going to go badly. Sadly, in the middle of all of this, there's an extended piece of character drama between Satellizer and Kazuya over her belief that he sees her as little more than a replacement for his sister. Timing, timing, timing. None of these kids have it.
Freezing starts to reveal a bit more of itself with this episode but it's definitely information and material that's coming too late in the series. So much of it has been spent with mean girls action when there's a global threat being faced that has left it hard to care about the characters. There is a good sense of despair that's starting to hit here with the way the Nova have worked their attack and we're offered up some interesting tidbits about what they're after, which continues to be the saving grace for the series. While I dislike that so much of it happens at sunsets or in the dark, the action side of the show continues to be its strong point and it has some decidedly good moments here, especially as the kids are being manipulated. But it's still not enough to save the show from its weaker material.
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.