Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Freezing Vibration Review

Freezing Vibration Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the second season of Freezing. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Wow, that was fast! O_O It's been a month since I published the first season review for Freezing, and bam! Here's the second season review coming on the scene. Now I must say that I was looking forward to this season, as I've mentioned before. I saw some parts of the first few episodes on Youtube out of curiosity, and overall, this season looked like it would have a better story then the first season did.

But there also some comments on how this season wasn't as good as the first one. I wasn't sure exactly why, though it mainly had to do with mentions of Kazuya being shoved to the side, and the show not being as interesting overall. Of course, I had to see for myself to properly make an opinion. So, what did I get?

First off, to the people who I've seen constantly bashing this season on the MyAnimeList forums, I actually really liked this season, so:

I understand that the manga may be better than the anime adaptation, but I'll just have to wait and read it. But that aside, this season was again quite surprising and managed to be very good. The first half is certainly better than the first half of Freezing, not shying to get dramatic and make the viewers feel things. The second half does slip up a bit though, due to its pacing and not having as much of an emotional impact. Though overall, at most parts, this is another great example of a fanservice show that manages to not be annoying and can be quite enjoyable.

Some of the more negatives reviews of this season were right about Kazuya, but I'll address that more later. Let's start off with the story of this season:


Kazuya, Satellizer, and Rana, our fabulous main 3 from the first season, are off on a helicopter to Alaska to help out with an new project headed by the organization Chevalier. This project is called the E-Pandora Project, or Evolution Pandora Project for its long name. This project allows girls who were not born with any Stigmata compatibility to have artificial Stigmata implanted inside of them to become Pandora. Kazuya and his Pandoras are invited to the base along with several other students from West Genetics and from other Genetics schools around the globe.

During the flight, they are called to defend an oil field from a Type S Nova who mysteriously appeared on the ground. After help from Chiffon and Elizabeth in defeating the creature, the girls discover that the Nova was a fake that was sent to test them. During the first press conference, Scarlet Ohara, the head of the E-Pandora project, confirms why Chevalier called Pandora and Limiters to the base. The purpose is for the scientists to collect data from the original Pandora to use to put into the E-Pandora.

So as you see, we have a rather interesting beginning, but more comes. Pretty soon, some of the Pandora question the treatment of the girls who volunteered for the project, and more comes when one of the main 3 E-Pandora, Jina Purpleton, turns into a Nova after the Mark IV experiment and has to be killed. Let's also include how the Secretary of Chevalier is pushing for Scarlett to keep on testing, even if she doesn't approve it.

Elizabeth decides to investigate into the matter, and asks her family to look into things. Satellizer feels the same way, though Elizabeth lets her know that it isn't her business to intervene. Due to Scarlett using her data to be inserted into Jina for the Mark IV test, Satellizer finds herself partially at fault because of this, and wishes to get her family involved. During a short spat, Elizabeth purposely shoots Satellizer in her arms and legs, and says to "go and cool off outside." This allows Satellizer to be able to go to Bali where her family is staying, even though she is supposed to get treatment back at West Genetics.

When Elizabeth's investigating goes haywire, Satellizer finds it her duty to get her family involved since Elizabeth failed. However, while at the mansion in Bali, Satellizer encounters someone she never wanted to see again, and that person is her half-brother Luis. Luis pressures Satellizer into being his toy again to have him talk to their parents, and Satellizer agrees, due to Luis's power over her. This leads to Luis trying to get Satellizer to stay at the mansion, and involves his Pandora, who is pretty much a replacement to Satellizer for his abuse, to fight her in a battle, which Satellizer wins. I'll discuss the outcome of this a little more when I talk about Luis later in my review.

Yeah, me neither Koko. But I don't want to give away TOO much per say. Besides, the outcome after the battle is a bit on the "Um, what?" side of things.

Meanwhile, back in Alaska, the Mark IV tests are still planned to go on. After them getting upgraded without Scarlet's authorization, Rattle is scheduled to be the next test subject. Since Amelia doesn't want any more of her friends to die, she asks Scarlet if she can be the subject again. Scarlet refuses, which then leads to a revolt at the lab between the E-Pandora and others. Which side will the Pandora take? Are they against the cause or for it? Who is right, and who is wrong? What are their reasoning for it? All of this leads up to some pretty entertaining fights, and one half climatic and anti-climatic battle. What will happen in the end?

Well, probably not something you expect. But overall, this was another great story for this season, especially in the first half. This season of Freezing isn't afraid to go darker than Season 1 went, but it actually does well with this. Most of the time, dark storylines don't work well with me, except in rare cases. This is one of those shows that manages to pull through with it in the right way, and doesn't overdo it to the point of scaring the s**t out of me,

After the Sibling arc wraps up with a lackluster defeat, the Rebellion arc doesn't go over as well in most moments. Don't get me wrong, some of these episodes I did really enjoy, but as a whole, this arc wasn't as good.

Some of the specifics behind a couple of the reasons will be discussed more later on, but a couple of the fights weren't really that engaging and interesting besides Cassie vs. Julia, and a bit of the Elizabeth vs. Charles one. The animation falls a bit in the second half, and some glaring errors aren't fixed in the finalized version. The pacing of Episode 11 is horrid at parts, often going WAY too fast in order to move the progression of the plot along, and it just generally doesn't have as much as a punch. Finally, Kazuya does pretty much nothing in this arc besides one thing.

These problems don't bury this show in a grave though. There were some great qualities to these episodes that I really liked, but this wasn't the best ending. All in all, the story was enjoyable yet again, and I was fascinated by most things.

Character time!


Among the returning characters that make a reappearance, some of the ones who didn't have as much screentime do get more development. The main person who doesn't get this is poor Kazuya the pushover. And as such, the anime treats him like this:

This isn't as bad for me, considering that I find the Pandora far more interesting than I do Kazuya. The majority of the people I've seen pretty much despise Kazuya to the moon and back, besides the video review that inspired me to watch this series in the first place. But because of this, his bond with Satellizer isn't as strong as it could be, though it hits its peak in Episode 7. Let's not forget that besides doing a couple of things to assist Satellizer, he pretty much does jack squat this entire season. 

Like I said earlier, not as big of a problem to me, though it makes his bond with Satellizer weaker. Also, we have some of the more interesting side characters that debut this season not appearing as much, such as Roxanne. But I rest my case.

First up is the most developed character out of the ones reintroduced, Elizabeth:

Probably one of the few screenshots where she isn't swimming naked or is just in the nude. But hey, I did my best. :)

Known at West Genetics as the Executor of Ingenious Schemes, Elizabeth is well-respected among the third-year students, and acts somewhat like a leader. She was the one who wanted to keep a close eye on Satellizer, but later dropped it after Arnett and Creo failed their fight against Satellizer and Rana.

In this series however, we see more of Elizabeth than what was displayed before. We see her in a more positive light here, and she plays a very important role in the overall story. Even though she has a tough stance for authority, she still feels the need to help out others who don't have as much power, otherwise known as noblesse oblige. She befriends Amelia, and eventually supports their fight to not be treated as guinea pigs. When she tries to get her family involved by investigating and doing a report on what's going on, it gets tracked by Chevalier and she is tortured through electroshock therapy. Chevalier also taints her family's name by getting them involved in a scandal.

Her Volt Weapon is known as the Stigma Satellite System, a pair of drones that are able to fire energy beams or create barriers. She also has a very strong relationship with her Limiter Andrei, who nearly sacrifices his life in her fight against Charles.

Over the course of the season, it's quite hard not to start to really like Elizabeth. There's many things about her that aren't shown in Season 1, and seeing them here was great. I really liked how she knew the risk of investigating Chevalier and what would happen to her and her family, but she still did it anyway. This take a lot of guts, and it wouldn't be something I would do. I also enjoyed it when she and Satellizer shared a little argument in Episode 9 after Elizabeth thanked her for her help. I honestly think that she was one of the best parts of this season, and it's easy to see why.

Amelia's up next to the plate:

Amelia Evans is the core girl out of the E-Pandoras, and acts as their leader. She, according to herself, is three times stronger than the other E-Pandora when asked about it before her mock battle with Elizabeth. Unlike Rattle or Jina, she is able to produce a Volt Weapon and fight with it. She is much like Satellizer with her determination, and how she wouldn't back down until she became unconscious during the mock battle after sustaining several blows to the head by Elizabeth.

The main reason why Amelia joined the E-Pandora program is to help out her younger brother, who is currently in a wheelchair back at home. Amelia was also the first E-Pandora to volunteer herself for the Mark III test that barely kept her alive, and deteriorated her hair color from red to silver, though she has a part of her hair that is still red. After Jina turns into a Nova from the Mark IV test and she learns that Scarlet is planning to continue the testing of it, she decides to lead a rebellion later on in the story. Their goal is to try and expose what's been going on in the lab by taking test doses of the improved Mark IV drug.

Amelia was my favorite out of the 3 main E-Pandora girls that we meet. Not only is she the one who gets the bulk of the speaking lines, but she is also a very responsible leader, and has trust for her fellow comrades. Elizabeth and Satellizer grow to respect her for her personality, and her effort in trying to showcase what's been happening behind closed doors. Also, she has a nice look.

Up next, Scarlet:

Scarlet Ohara is the founder and the head researcher of the E-Pandora Project. Even though she disapproves of the E-Pandora being treated horribly, she has to follow orders anyway. This is because she believes her work will redeem the girls who had to die during testing.

Besides working on the E-Pandora project, she is also developing clones of the original Pandora Maria Lancelot. She has always believed in using Marie's genes to create artificial Pandora, which back in the day, was outed by Gengo Aoi, who she used to work for. After being asked to leave, she still decided to develop the project on her own. It is only when they start activating in Episode 11 where she recalls something that Gengo told her when she brought it up to him, about this work being like the building of the Tower of Babel. The way she realized this too little too late made me have a deep eye roll.

Scarlet's not a bad character, but she's clearly not the standout of the new characters. I found her to be a little robotic at times, and I kind of wanted her to take a little more defiance to Spencer regarding the treatment of the E-Pandora, and finding out that she was doing another experiment along with the E-Pandora Project kind of feels like a slap in the face to the E-Pandora, and it doesn't really feel like she cares about them. Anyways, moving on.

Okay, Luis is last. Are you guys ready for the pitchforks?:

This symbolism, all of the symbolism in this arc. Those chains doe! More will come with that in the Animation section. But now, let's talk about Luis, and why he's a bit of a conflicting character.

Now, Luis first appeared in Episode 7 of Freezing in Satellizer's flashback sequence before she kicks Arnett's ass afterwards. Luis is the younger half-brother of Satellizer and the youngest in the El Bridget family. Immediately after seeing Satellizer, he loathes her, and beings to torment her. This tormenting leads to sexual assault, thanks to Luis threatening to tell his mom to kick her out if she doesn't follow what he says. After Violet asks Satellizer to leave the mansion for a bit, she winds up back there due to the E-Pandora project, where she reencounters her worst nightmare.

Luis may look nice and friendly in his first appearance, but this doesn't last long at all. After assaulting Satellizer again to break her, he tries to wedge Kazuya and Satellizer apart, and keep her at the mansion. It's after the assault where Luis's outer appearance starts to change, with him looking way more sinister than at first glance, and donning a chain-like necklace (LOLwesopunnymoresymbolismya'll!). Of course, we have to remember the bond between Satellizer and Kazuya since it's kind of been left in Aisle 2 for a bit, so it's not going to be THAT easy Luis.

Overall, Luis does have good tactics. Despite being a complete douchebag who only views Satellizer as a puppet (this is also true with his Pandora, Holly), he knows Satellizer's weak points, so that's a plus. But let's be real, he isn't supposed to be a likable character, and he sure isn't one. During Satellizer and Holly's fight, he constantly mentions about how Satellizer is weaker than Holly (then again, Satellizer is able to fight despite the injuries Elizabeth inflicted in her. Perhaps fast healing?), and how she won't even beat her. It's fine if he did this once, but oh no, he does it several times to the point of annoyance.

And that's not even the worst part. The worst part is when he realizes that he can't control Satelizer anymore once she beats Holly. Then, knowing he is now alone (OF COURSE HE IS! *sarcasm*) he pitches himself off a cliff. Holly jumps off with him in order to save him, and then he realizes that Holly's been by his side the entire f**king time, and now they're both going to drown. Thankfully, Kazuya and Satellizer manage to rescue both of them, and BAM! Complete 180 redemption! YAY! CUPCAKES AND ROOT BEER FOR EVERYONE!

*deep sigh* Seriously?  At least it's better than Laxus's redemption, since he is boring to tears and no reason was given at all for his new bright light and how we can respect him now. But still, I don't understand how Satellizer can instantly forgive Luis after they rescue both him and Holly. It's going to have to take time, considering the torment that Luis put her through. So the redemption was just unrealistic.

Other characters include Holly (Luis's Pandora), the return of Dr. Gengo Aoi and his assistant, Roxanne Elipton, my favorite out of the new Pandoras of this season, Charles Bonaparte, Julia Munberk, Marks Spencer, and the 2 other lead E-Pandoras, Jina and Rattle. We also get to see Satellizer's half-sister and mother in the present, and her half-father.


The animation for this series was once again produced by A.C.G.T, also known for Seven of Seven, Koi Kaze, and Kino's Journey.

For the most part, the animation is on par, and if not better at moments than it was in Season 1. Facial expressions are very good up close, and there's a lot of pretty backgrounds. The chain symbolism in the Siblings arc is probably the stand-out of this season for me, as it looks really cool and had a great impact on me. I really liked it when they rattled when Luis first showed up.

Of course, there's moments in the latter half where the animation starts decreasing in quality, even more in far away shots. Hair looks horribly detailed, faces look odd or off model, and it doesn't feel as polished. There is also moments where a character's hair is a color it's not supposed to be, and only Chiffon's is fixed in the final DVD version. Looks like Julia's Limiter didn't matter that much.

FUNimaton released their simulcast version onto Netflix, which I'm pretty sure is a mix between the censored and the uncensored versions. And if that's the case, the censoring for the most part is MUCH better and far less distracting then what I saw in Season 1. The censoring is mainly directed to bare breasts, which are most often covered by white clouds, slashes, or diamonds. An example is below:

Though there are some very odd censors in this that did make me laugh, mainly with the 2nd one that's shown here:

Yeah, that looks lovely. I mean, it's best to cover her head while you're at it too, right?

And also, this anime got a little something wrong that made me laugh so hard, and that would be a spelling mistake. This one's pretty hilarious too. I hope you're all ready for this:

I can't, I can't even with this. Even though I make typos in my videos all the time, those are accidental. I get this probably was too, but this should have been fixed. FAIL!

Overall though, another great animation effort from a mainly unknown studio.


The score was once again composed by Masaru Yokoyama, also known for his efforts via scores to Your Lie in April, Queen's Blade, and Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation.

Once again, the OST for Freezing is one of my favorite parts of this anime in general. It slays, has great emotional impact, and is just so enjoyable to listen to on its own. While some of my favorite pieces from Season 1 make a reappearance, some new pieces do as well. Here are some of my favorites out of those:

And now onto the topic of acting wise. This time, I was able to watch more of the English dub for this season, which has an ADR director switch and Jaime Marchi's voice as Rana pitched slightly higher. Besides a couple of things again, such as reaction sounds and some actors preforming poorly (well, mainly one), the dub is again quite good, as with the Japanese. The new arrivals do pretty well for the most part, some of course better than others depending on the language, with a few sounding awkward or a bit robotic at parts.

New highlights in the original Japanese are Aimi Terakawa (also the singer of the The Ambition of Oda Nobuna theme), Rikako Yamaguchi, Hisako Tojo, Takashi Matsuyama, Fuko Saito, Suzuko Mimori, Izumi Kitta (another character for her! First a third-year at West Genetics and now an E-Pandora. Also, there's a scene where she and Suzuko talk to each other as their characters, and I kept on getting serious Japanese Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash vibes), and Yuuki Kawahara.

New highlights in the English dub thus far are Tia Ballard (officially credited in this season as such. She's fantastic as Elizabeth), Keith Kubal, Austin Tindle (brought more of the nastiness that Kenji Nojima didn't have so much of to light), Felecia Angelle, Angela Chase, Megan White (who might also be credited as Megan Vanderpluym in D-Frag, considering Charles's voice sounds like Sakuragaoka from that show), Sarah Wiedenheft, Krishna Smitha, R. Bruce Elliot, David Wald, Whitney Rodgers (who does FANTASTIC at showing more of her emotional range since Yozora and Chitose are more dry characters who don't have that), Megan Shipman, and John Swasey.


I do get why some people would say that this season of Freezing is weaker, but I think some are to quick to bash it because they view it as a horrible adaptation. In my opinion, without reading the manga, I would say this season is on par with its first. Yes, this season does have its problems, more mainly in the latter half, but it doesn't make a full impact unlike other second seasons I've seen.

If you were a fan of the first season, I would recommend watching this one as well. With that said, I'm curious to see if there is going to be a third season, since I hear there's more exciting stuff coming up.

Score: 8/10


Story is quite good once again.

Side character development for people introduced in first season.

Score is fantastic, as always.

Symbolic animation in Sibling arc.

Close-up animation is nice.

Very enjoyable first half.


Luis's "redemption" is unrealistic.

E-Pandora Rebellion arc not as strong.

Dip in animation quality during E-Pandora Rebellion arc.

Kazuya does jack squat this entire season.

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