Anime: Freezing Vibration
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: April 21st, 2015
Retail Price: $64.98
In a futuristic world, with aliens and fan-service, a group of genetically altered warrior-women are the key in maintaining society during an all out war. These women are known as Pandora’s, with male partners known as limiters who are used to help slow down the alien species known as Novas. Freezing Vibrations begins with primary Pandora’s Satellizer el Bridget, Chiffon Fairchild, Elizabeth Mably, among other select powerhouse Pandora’s arriving under false pretenses to a research lab in Alaska, which specializes in genetic modification that alters women without original Pandora genes to aid in battle. The characters quickly become emotionally accessible to viewers as you find yourselves attached to both groups entirely. The E Pandora’s come to the realization that they are no match for the original Pandora’s, and their pride is slightly shaken with a desire to prove as a proper adversary. What begins as volunteer contributions becomes mandatory experimentation to push the limits of these developing E Pandoras thus making them expendable to the corporation responsible for manufacturing them.
While Freezing Vibrations is laced with extreme fan-service moments (these ladies are definitely depicted in a sexual light) but does also give enough to draw you to the characters that the story introduces, along with the horrors they have been through in their past. It could serve as a stand alone series for those who haven’t seen the first season, or can expand on the already built up tensions between Pandora’s and Novas that leads to shockingly emotional losses for both sides. One thing the show should be credited for is that despite putting the women in sometimes frustrating scenarios, it builds up strong characters that develop over the course of the 12 episodes, and fleshes them out in different ways dependent on the character.
Aedan: At first glance, one could assume that Freezing Vibration is geared towards male audiences, with busty and beautiful women, but a deeper look into the series exhibits the immense levels of characterization the Pandora’s can attain, such as the E Pandora Gina. Gina was only featured in 3-4 episodes at max, but credit to the anime, is one of the more memorable characters included. I felt sympathy for the E Pandora’s as a whole and their constant search for strength and a will to help humanity entirely, and was placed in a predicament that they try to overcome against the overwhelming odds. The core three original Pandora’s are each shown with drastically different personalities, and by the end of each characters plot arc, you will feel more aware of how layered each one of the women are. Freezing Vibration manages to tell a contained series arc without being viewed as dependent on your knowledge of the first season, which is not usually the case for most anime sequel series. In the end, Freezing Vibration actually surpasses its fan-service premise, and somewhere along the line builds on a story of very different women.
Of all of the diverse women in Freezing Vibration, Elizabeth Mably is a quintessential figure in the development of the Pandoras. Serving as leader, she is forced into a stoic persona that initiates whatever is required to complete a mission. Elizabeth doesn't just take orders as she begins to question motives Elizabeth makes moves that show off her intellect and moral values, placing herself in scenarios that risk her safety and image for what she views as justice. By the series end after persistently executing these acts, Elizabeth becomes a true hero of Freezing Vibration. Bridget, who I naturally assumed was the series biggest badass, brings a wholesome value to the series and a more level headed approach as opposed to the consistent battles that play out. Bridget is additionally exposed to harsh and gruesome treatment throughout Freezing Vibration, which was beyond frustrating to witness, however the sliver lining being that she always manages to come out on top (but far from unscathed by the cruelty of others). What makes her a powerful protagonist it the fact that you are constantly rooting for her - and the other Pandoras- even as you see examples of un likability from time to time. Looking past the fan driven sex appeal used to lure in male audiences, there is a deeper exploration of various individuals and the relationships they have with others in their situation and some who don't quite understand their hardships.
Between the Pandoras and the E Pandroas, strong driven characters are aplenty, but the fan service moments sometimes overpower the development. When watching an important scene where motives may be revealed, or an intense battle over the span of two episodes, random shots of female garments will be shown multiple times within a single conversation – slightly distracting. If Freezing Vibration were to receive a sequel series, my only request would be to utilize the interesting plot lines they’ve arranged, and a little less on the fan service. To conclude, if you can bare to witness overt fan service moments, and enjoy an array of interesting characters mixed with action, it would be fair to try watching Freezing Vibration and experience the peculiar and sometimes perplexing series for yourself!
Amrita: My overall thoughts on Freezing Vibrations, as a whole, are positive. The series contains strong characters and an engaging storyline that can suck you in in a matter of minutes. However, the fan-service shown in Freezing was more often than not, distracting and oddly placed which hindered the tension and enjoyment of a particular scene. I’m all down for fan-service, but when you constantly use it in every fight sequence or character interaction, it distracts from the plot and characters making it pointless and terribly overbearing. Was it really necessary to show a character in a sexual light almost consistently? Freezing Vibrations is a continuation of the exhilarating first season; both of which would have been equally interesting and intriguing without the addition of the unnecessary fan-service. Regardless of my immense irritation and displeasure of Freezing’s constant “bust-show”, I found myself taken with the characters above all else; taken enough to put up with the ridiculous amounts of fan-service presented to me. The characters in the Freezing series are what kept me interested in the anime; if not for them, I wouldn’t even have watched past the first episode, that’s how quickly Freezing attached me to its characters. Freezing Vibrations is loaded with interesting characters, but the ones that captured my attention most were Amelia Evans, Elizabeth Mably, Chiffon Fairchild and Satellizer L. Bridget. These four also happen to be my favorites!
Amelia is the only one out of the four to be introduced in Freezing Vibrations; the rest have had a fair share of character development in the first season. That being said, although Amelia’s character growth was limited to 12 episodes, I give the series major kudos for establishing and making me love a new character, so rapidly. Amelia’s determination and love for her friends is what makes her shine as a character. Plus, she has a kick-ass character design! Elizabeth Mably, the ice queen, isn’t as cold as she appears to be; Freezing Vibrations emphasizes (especially towards the end) Elizabeth’s bond with her limiter Andre and Amelia, giving her something to fight for, a goal to strive towards making her one of this seasons stand-out characters. Behind Elizabeth’s façade of nonchalance, lies a kind woman who cares more deeply about everyone than one would think. The same applies for Chiffon Fairchild, who is hands down the most mysterious character of the anime. Not much is known about her other than the fact that she always wears a smile on her face and she’s downright powerful. This season, fans finally get to see how powerful Chiffon truly is and the results are far from disappointing, but the endgame for Chiffon had tears rolling down my cheeks. Who knew the sweetest individual of the bunch, could pack such a punch (See what I did there?). Last but not least, is our protagonist Satellizer L. Bridget who, admittedly, is victim to most of the shows cringe-worthy fan-service. Regardless, she’s a smart, likeable female lead and that’s all there is to it. She evokes emotions of sympathy quite easily due to her past, but she also triumphs over her fears and comes out a fierce warrior willing to risk her lives for the sake of her comrades and friends. That’s one hell of a character!
Freezing Vibrations restricted its characters with its fan service however; as the show went on, these characters “restrictions” slowly fell away the more a character was developed, to the point where these women became more than just a group of characters whose only purpose was to cater to the fans. The characters established themselves to the point where the fan-service seemed hardly noticeable. This is what makes Freezing Vibrations such a stand-out in my eyes. Did the fan-service still bother me? Heck yeah, but the layered characters and engrossing plot, overshadowed my annoyance. Plus, Freezing Vibrations musical score was absolutely phenomenal! Give Freezing and Freezing Vibrations a fair shot; it is certainly one hell of a ride!