Title: Freezing
Genre: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi
Rating: 6.5/10

Summary: Set in a slightly futuristic world where Earth has been invaded and is at war with aliens from another dimension called the Nova, the story follows the adventures of a Japanese boy named Kazuya Aoi who enrolls for training at a special school for genetically modified girls called Pandoras who battle the aliens, and their male partners, called Limiters, who use a special power called “freezing” to limit their opponent’s mobility. The protagonist makes the acquaintance of an unusual older girl named Bridgette L. Satellizer who appears to be the most powerful Pandora in her class, but has not yet chosen a male partner to be her Limiter, and in spite of the warnings of all his friends, he decides to be her Limiter.

Review: I can’t believe I completely forgot about my Freezing manga/anime comparison review! I feel so ashamed. But worry not my loyal readers, for the time has finally come.I want to start off by saying that this comparison review doesn’t really affect the rating of the anime. I tried to judge the anime as best I could solely  on what was aired on television, not what was written in the manga. It was quite difficult since there are a few differences, some I liked and some I didn’t. So I’ll just be mentioning tidbits here and there about the key differences!

First off all the art for the anime wasn’t what I expected. After reading the manga I realized that the 4:3 ratio the anime was aired in did not do the series justice. The art style in the manga and awesome fight scenes were meant for widescreen, high resolution shots. This was probably the biggest disappointed I had with the anime. The series could have been a lot better if they put more money in the anime. While the fight scenes and character design were exactly as expected, I felt like I was watching a low quality .flv rather than an .mkv. Other than the annoyance of 4:3, I still enjoyed the animations. It wasn’t top quality art but the choreographed fight scenes were. Many of the fights followed the manga with additional scenes to fill the gaps, the usual for an action manga to action anime. One thing that bothered me was as Chidori3souske mentioned in her review, were the camera angles. I don’t know what perverted old geezer was manning the camera, but they seriously needed to take it away from him. On top of that, the excess clothes ripping we could have done with out. The manga can be considered ecchi because it does have a few key scenes, but this is a typical Highschool of the Dead case. I understand that manga can’t illustrate the visuals of bouncing body parts, so that’s all well and good, but at least the manga let the Pandora’s keep on some of their clothing. It seemed like the anime ripped it off when a gust of wind went by. I was afraid that if a Pandora tripped their entire stocking would get ripped, and that’s only if they were lucky enough to land in grass. God forbid they land on concrete or else they would need a completely new outfit. Another disappointing thing about the changes in art from manga to anime was the Pandora mode. While the manga creates a cool metallic suit in Pandora Mode, the anime simply repairs the Pandora’s clothing (most of the time). I actually really liked the suit designs, it made Pandora Mode a lot more distinguishable. However, I do see why they might have changed a randomly materializing suit appearing to flashy lights, but come on it’s an anime, who cares about realism?

The overall story for the manga and anime isn’t that great. The fights between the Nova and Pandora aren’t well explained. It seems like this alien race just wants to wipe out humanity for whatever reason, and they aren’t the best at it despite their seemingly superior weaponry. While the action side of the series’s story isn’t well done, the character development is a bit better. Most of the Pandora have interesting (often tragic) back stories. There are still a few that I’m itching to know more about (hoping they come up in later chapters), but it mostly comes back to Satellizer. Not only is she my favorite character in Freezing, she is also one of my favorite characters of all time. Learning more about her past and why she is so determined to keep on fighting is cliché yet enjoyable. Her problem with being touched was due to quite a typical past trauma. Even so, the present self they show in the manga and anime is what I enjoy. The determination in her eyes and actions is empowering. Her strength of always standing up against her enemies despite a clear disadvantage can be considered stupidity by others. But in the end she always burns bright and will at least go down swinging. The way they portrayed that trait of hers has set her higher than many other character designs I have seen so far. Now here is where things started to get a little different. The anime changed the storyline a bit toward the  end, but I actually enjoyed some of the changes they made. Since the manga is still ongoing, they didn’t really have to worry about making a solid climax at that point in the manga. The anime on the other hand isn’t guaranteed a second season. The ending left me with a satisfied feeling that could suffices as a series end while still allowing room for continuation. Plus the additional fight scenes were very fun to watch and proved that the anime didn’t need to just copy scenes that have already been drawn in the manga to be cool. Although the biggest differences occurred toward the end of the anime, there were a couple changes in the middle as well. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I will say that the manga seemed to have a lot more intense atmosphere. Introductions of new Pandora seemed to be much better in the manga. The manga offers a lot more background which I also like. However, the opening to the anime I would say was superior. The anime throws you in the middle of the Carnival so you can actually see Satellizer in action. The beginning manga simply hints at why she is the such a fearsome opponent and briefly mentions the Carnival, bringing you in basically at the end. Overall I feel that the story didn’t’ suffer as compared to most manga to anime adaptations.

In terms of characters I would say that Freezing isn’t the best. This goes for both the manga and anime. Other than Satellizer I don’t care much for any of the other characters. I’m sure that their deaths would be sad, but I’d get over it rather quickly. I’d probably be thinking, “Man that was one crazy battle” rather than “Oh no [insert name here] died! Why oh merciful God why?!” The main male lead is especially annoying. While Kazuya’s Freezing ability is strong and very useful, his personality is irritating. I can’t stand male leads who are babies or whimpy with only a couple shining moments. For most of the series he is pretty much worrying about Satellizer or getting beaten up. I understand that his beloved sister died, but man up a bit please. I’m hoping that his character turns around later in the manga; sadly hope is a dim light on the verge of going out. The other Pandoras are exciting to watch because they all have unique Volt Weapons, but again personality wise I’m not a huge fan. It’s strange how one of my favorite characters comes from a series with nearly zero worth-while characters.

The soundtrack was also amazing. Obviously I can’t do a comparison with the manga unless you count the sound of a mouse clicking or sound of a page turning. The opening by Maria – Color was my favorite of the Winter season as you may have been in one of our previous posts. The vocals and bass combined were heart pumping and intense. I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a fan of the rock genre, you wont regret it. The ending wasn’t bad either. Electrical isn’t one of my favorite genres but I did like the animations they matched with it. The neon lights in the background and beautiful girls sets you into a nightclub of sorts. Yet another song you might want to check out out if you are a fan of the genre. I’m sure I’ve tapped my foot a little while listening to it on my MP3 player at least. Other than that I’m pretty sure the only other noises consisted of weapons clashing together, which is always neat.

Final statements: I would highly recommend checking out the manga because it is ongoing and far less ecchi. The anime wasn’t bad and I liked the modifications they made with the story, but the ecchi and art killed its rating, dropping it to a low priority watch. Still, at least check out the opening and ending themes because those are a good listen outside the anime as well.

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