The ninth episode of Freezing quickly returned to its roots with another formulated episode introducing another new girl and involving her in combat. Unlike the previous episodes, Cathy, the top third-year at East Genetics, battles a Nova who has appeared in some abandoned industrial district. So while the battle was different, there isn’t much to write about. There were no prolonged battles or notable warfare; just some meaningless carnage and close-ups of the Nova themselves. To be honest, the only thing I liked about it was that we finally saw the Nova outside of flashbacks and training sessions.
It was then that I realized how many flashbacks there have been in Freezing, thus far. There’ve already been several flashbacks to previous Nova fights throughout the early episodes when they were being introduced or relevant to a character’s background. We’re always going back to Kazuya’s sister standing naked before him whenever Kazuya reminisce about her. The seventh episode provided Satellizer’s background in the form of a memory. There was also the hilarious recollection of Ganessa and Arthur forming their Ereinbar Set together. And now in the ninth episode, we see another flashback, this time involving Cathy and Satellizer back at the East Genetics academy. That was the flashback that put it over the edge.
While flashbacks do provide an immediate link to background information to a character’s behavior or to a current event, I feel that there’s a saturation point of flashbacks and Freezing crossed it in this episode. The flashback in this episode developed Cathy’s position on retiring from being a Pandora after graduation due to her general fear caused from fighting. It also provided a link between Cathy and Satellizer. That’s nice that they’re connected but the flashback never really helped with the story. Cathy’s fear never came up during the Nova fight that led her to failure and thus doomed her comrades. It was simply the Nova matching her Quadruple Accel and subsequent attack which led to the girls’ death. There was no fear or hesitation on Cathy’s part during the Nova fight, so the point of that flashback never really developed during the episode.
There have also been other flashbacks which have provided information but ruined the pacing of the episode. The seventh episode sandwiched its action-packed and bloody halves with a lame filling of recollections. The whole sequence took a huge chunk of time from the middle of the episode and failed to match the intensity of the fight on either side of the memory. The ninth episode’s flashback also seemed to detract from the episode, too, although in a different way.
My main fault with Cathy’s flashback is that she was just recently introduced and then thrust into a flashback sequence to quickly develop her character. There was no background to compare her old self to her new self besides she was saying how she was frightened by Satellizer during that fight. Was she a tough warrior before that or possibly a weakling before that or what? We don’t know how this flashback really changed her character and why this change was relevant to the story. There is also the problem that there is no real connection with the character yet. Immediately introducing a character and then providing background through memories might leave the audience asking “Who cares?” I know I did. You don’t have these same problems with the flashbacks revolving around Kazuya, Satellizer, the Novas, or others, so this flashback was particularly frustrating to watch, especially with the overrepresentation in the series already.
Aside from the flashback problem, I’m happy to see the plot show its face in this episode. It seems the Nova have decided to make their move after being overshadowed by character introductions and unsanctioned brawls for a majority of the series. At last, the true purpose of these Pandoras is finally brought into focus and we can finally have our war between the humans and the aliens.
Well, except they invaded that other Genetics academy. You know the one with no significant characters? Yeah. So, it’ll be a while before we see our cast forced into battle, requiring cooperation and teamwork, as they fight these gargantuan monsters. I’m looking forward to seeing how the fights go between the students and the Nova and beginning to understand more about the Nova aliens, as well as Satellizer, Kazuya, and their special characteristics. I’m also open to seeing more blood. Please don’t forget/censor the blood from the upcoming battles! Oh, and show more Chiffon, Ticy, and Ganessa, too! They’re awesome!