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Freezing Complete Collection Essentials Blu-ray Anime Review

8 min read


What They Say
At West Genetics Academy, buxom heroes known as Pandoras are genetically-enhanced with enough sex appeal to cripple a man and the strength to slaughter aliens by the dozen. Newly-enlisted Limiter Kazuya sets his sights on partnering with the beautiful, yet deadly Satellizer el Bridget. But rubbing this babe the wrong way could have dire consequences. Can Kazuya forge a bond with Satellizer, or will he fall victim to the bloodlust lurking within her.

The Review!
The audio for this release is done in both English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1) and Japanese (Dolby True HD 2.0) for both the regular series and its special features. The sound is much cleaner in the Blu-ray than it was the DVD release. Voices are crisp and clear. They also were not overpowered by the soundtrack, which shows the creators for this Blu-ray understood the importance of making sure viewers can actually hear what the characters are saying. The opening and ending theme songs were also very nice. This series makes good use of audio to enhance its storytelling.

The 1080p High Definition 16:9 video quality is outstanding. The animation and artwork do not suffer at all during the play through, which is good because the art style for this series is one of my favorites. This series is one in which high-quality artwork is essential for the story presentation—being a story where the primary focus is high-octane action and busty beauties in various states of undress. Had this series not featured such nice production quality, it would be harder to justify buying.

Freezing Essentials does not come with a sleeve. The packaging is done in a standard Blu-ray cover featuring the main heroine, Satellizer el Bridget, with some “battle damage” to her dress. Some of her cleavage is showing, her panties are revealed because her skirt is flipped up, yet she’s wearing a very serious expression as she stands in a typical action pose like she’s about to unleash a can of whoopass on the viewer. It’s very in your face. However, it also tells you exactly what this series is about. The back features a simple pink background with the series description, some screenshots, and the same pose Satellizer was in but off to the side.

The menu screen is a lot more dynamic than most menus, which often feature a static image of one or more of the characters, followed by a number of options. While the options you can select from are the same (play all, select episodes, extras, and options), the background shows clips from the series. The clips repeat themselves in a loop and are accompanied by a piece of dark and ominous music that lends itself well to the violent nature of this anime.

This series has some of the best extra features of a lot of anime. Where some series will only feature promotional videos, textless OP and ED, and maybe trailers, this one has episode commentaries with Josh Grelle, Jaime Marchi, Caitlin Glass, and Luci Christian—all voice actors who played a major role in this series. It also has 6 OVA episodes. The OVAs are my favorite part of the extras. Each one features a silly but fan service-y little short that serves to present a counterpoint to the very serious (and equally fan service-y) violence of the actual series itself.

Content: (Please note that this portion of the review may contain spoilers):
Have you ever loved and hated a series in equal measure? This seems to be something I’m finding myself doing a lot lately when it comes to the harem genre of anime, light novels, and manga.

Freezing is another harem anime in which a boring protagonist with a special power (but a terribly dull personality) ends up having two buxom babes fighting for his affection… and a few other women who express mild interest in him because his sister was famous. Of course, this series does not begin with Kazuya Aoi—our protagonist. It starts off with a fierce and bloody confrontation between big-breasted women fighting in a free for all battle royale to determine who is the strongest Pandora at West Genetics Academy. In this battle, the strongest contender is Satellizer el Bridget, a woman so vicious and powerful she has been nicknamed the Untouchable Queen. Sadly, Satellizer loses due to the interference of Kazuya, who somehow runs into her during the tournament and shoves his face into her bosom because she looks like his dead sister… even though she really doesn’t.

Satellizer el Bridget is one of the shining lights on this series and a large reason for why I enjoyed watching it so much. I like badass female characters who are strong but also vulnerable. Their kickass nature leaves you in awe, while their more vulnerable side garners sympathy and makes you want to cheer for them and protect them at the same time. Satellizer manages to mix strong and vulnerable in such a way that her personality seamlessly switches between the two, making it feel natural instead of forced. It helps that we learn a bit about her backstory as the series continues. It seemed Satellizer was sexually and physically abused by her younger half-brother. She put up with it because her mother was sick and needed the el Bridget family’s wealth to survive, but when her mother was on her death bed, she had Satellizer promise that she would never lose to anyone ever again. This is how she transformed into the badass, sword-wielding Pandora we know and love in the series.

Satellizer is a Pandora. They are genetically-enhanced women who have had stigmata placed inside of them. According to the anime, stigmata are basically like cells that are taken from a woman named Maria Lancelot. The stigmata are fragments of her crystallized body.

Pandoras, we learn through a fairly cliched but well-done lecture-like info dump, are beings who were created to fight the Nova—extra-terrestrial life forms from another dimension that have invaded Earth. We don’t know what these creatures are or why they suddenly showed up. We only know they want to destroy humanity. However, while a Pandora was made to fight for humanity, they cannot do so without a limiter, which is the male partner of a Pandora, whose primary role is to neutralize the Freezing field emitted by a Nova so the Pandora can attack. While this is the basic description of what the Pandora and Limiters primary purpose is, we don’t get that many Nova attacks during this season. In fact, a good portion of this series plays out like a really raunchy and violent high school harem drama, which I don’t mind since harems are kinda my thing.

However, there is something about this series that I do not like.

Kazuya Aoi.

Being the titular protagonist of the series, we see a lot of Kazuya, which is sad because I really don’t like him. Spineless and wimpy for much of the series, Kazuya proves himself to be fairly useless for a good portion of this anime; I would even go so far as to say that many of the problems Satellizer faces can be laid directly at his feet, especially in the beginning.

Within the first episode, Kazuya was directly responsible for Satellizer’s loss during the competition. Later on when he tried to apologize, he and Satellizer ended up getting attacked by fellow Pandora, Ganessa Roland—who ironically enough was the victor who defeated Satellizer thanks to Kazuya’s interference. While Satellizer manages to win against Ganessa, she is sentenced to a week in isolation because she assaulted her fellow Panora. Of course, all of this could have been avoided if Kazuya had stood up for her and informed the professors that Satellizer was only fighting defend herself and protect him from Ganessa’s violent and unsanctioned attack. I’m pretty sure they would have let her off since she wasn’t actually at fault.

Sadly, he didn’t do that. Satellizer suffered thanks to his cowardice.

The biggest issue is that this doesn’t happen just once or twice. I can forgive the beginning because he was a newbie and probably didn’t know what was happening, but when this happens several times and Kazuya doesn’t seem to understand what he’s doing, I have to draw the line. I’ve always had a problem with spineless protagonists in harem anime, but I can generally forgive them because harems are silly and not something you take seriously. Freezing is not what I’d call a silly series. Unlike To Love Ru and Monster Musume, this series contains just as much violence as it does fan service. I’ve seen women getting their arms cut off, being ripped in half, eaten whole, and their lives violently ended in the blink of an eye. Thanks to the violent nature of the show, it is much harder to forgive Kazuya for being a total wimp. This is even truer since Kazuya’s spineless nature is directly responsible for the many times Satellizer gets punished, either physically or mentally, by her fellow students and even the professors.

In Summary:
Freezing is an anime that I really like but also wish had been done differently. I think the idea of dimensional monsters fighting against buxom babes is an interesting one, but the execution of this series in regards to some of the drama—and Kazuya’s weak personality in particular—is really off-putting. If you can ignore the fact that the protagonist is pretty spineless and much of the drama could have been avoided if he’d just said something, this series is actually pretty good. It has a lot of action, a lot of fan service, and a lot of great female characters that are strong but broken. As Spike Speigel once said, “I love the kind of woman who can kick my ass.” This series, if nothing else, has plenty of those.

Content Grade: B
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: B+
Extras Grade: A+

Released By: Funimation
Release Date: March 19th, 2019
MSRP: $29.98
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen

Review Equipment:
55″ Class AQUOS HD Series LED TV LC-55LE643U, LG blueray/DVD player

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