If the first episode of Freezing was considered its hook, then this is the episode where the fish struggles against the fisherman.
I still am not entirely sold on Freezing yet. Sure, the animation is respectable, the character designs are tasteful, and the voices are appropriate. But it’s not these particulars I’m concerned about. I’m just not sold on how Freezing will eventually turn out. This is mainly because I’ve seen many promising shows with a similar approach to Freezing decay as they progressed. My skepticism toward these various action/fanservice animes usually derive from the fact that they drift away from what was working for them in early episodes.
Freezing has the ability to follow two paths depending on the next couple of episodes. On one hand, Freezing could continue with a frequent amount of fighting, gore, and panties, explore the various Pandora and Limiters at the school, and conclude with a well thought-out (and not rushed) Nova Clash and end up being an alright series. On the other hand, Freezing could focus too much time on its uninteresting characters and play the harem card like its an ace in a game of War, develop a lackluster romance between the incompatible Bridget and Aoi, center itself too much at their humdrum school (but it’s really a futuristic training academy!), or perform a circus of clichés that most generic fanservice animes achieve under the ‘Big Top of Mediocrity’.
Due to my pessimism, I’ll focus on the latter hand:
- I’m worried that the cast of girls, seen currently only in the ending sequence, will turn out to be an entire gang of clichéd stereotypes or a cookie-cutter harem. I pray they provide some substance to the series with their backgrounds and fighting. At worst, I hope they can at least provide an arsenal of Volt Weapons and different patterned panties without the slightest hint of any romance.
- I’m not against the idea of a romance between Bridget and Aoi (especially since it’s guaranteed to happen) but the way it has progressed leaves me with a sinking feeling. The first and second encounters between the two have that sense of ‘suddenly girlfriend’ with Aoi being the first one Bridget doesn’t murder when there’s physical contact. That and the whole breast hugging in the first episode still haunts me like a specter ready to kill my enjoyment from this show. The relationship developing between Bridget and Aoi has been done a tiring amount of times before and only brings a fetid stench to the series.
- The school setting appears in every anime like it’s a requirement by the Japanese government. This environment is so widespread in anime that I tend to dislike anything that happens at school, even if it’s extremely well done or one of my favorites. It is not like anyone enjoys seeing schools, so I don’t understand why it’s the predominate setting for shows.
- I don’t see the point in a fourth bullet since the previous three highlight the clichés that might disease Freezing. There are obviously other possibilities that would damage the series but you probably know them from their prevalence in these types of shows.
And that’s why I feel I’m a fish struggling against a fisherman. I took the bait after the first episode, full of action and ecchi which stimulated the barbaric subconscious of my brain. The follow-up episode had me rethinking my situation a bit with the decreased amount of fanservice. Sure, it’d be tough to keep up that level every episode but I worry the opening episode might have been the peak and the rest will only be downhill. Still, that doesn’t discount the fact that the brawls are enjoyable to watch and there was still some blood, albeit less. I could turn to the source material and find out if Freezing will be enjoyable or dreadful in the end but I have never liked that idea. I prefer having myself flailing around in the water, deciding whether to stay on the line and let myself get reeled in or release myself and test the waters somewhere else. I’ll probably end up being pulled up closer to the surface and get a clearer view of the fisherman… I mean series, before making a final decision. I only hope I’m not netted and hung out to dry in the end.