It has been four years since the ladies of West Genetics have graced our screen, but we now have the second season. “Freezing: Vibration”, however, has taken a page from the “Maken-Ki II” playbook. For those of you who have forgotten (and who don’t want to take the time to read my original review for “Freezing”), the world is beset by these strange creatures called Nova. They are as large as a Gundam and wherever they land, they cause untold destruction.
There are these special women, called Pandoras, who have the power and ability to fight these aliens with their Volt Weapon. They have a male limiter who can project an energy field that ‘freezes’ the Nova in place, allowing the Pandora to dispense a huge amount of damage.
The conclusion of the first season is now called the 10th Nova Battle. Although we secured a victory, many Pandora were killed (as is the nature of war). To combat this personnel problem (as only about 2% of women worldwide are even compatible with the Stigmata that give a Pandora her abilities), Chevalier, the organization that oversees the Pandoras, has come up with a series of experiments that could make even common women able to be Pandoras. The “E-Pandora Project” is taking place in their secret base in Alaska, where the world’s Pandoras are sent to help with this experiment.
So, the story has three plotlines: the E-Pandora project, the clash between the E-Pandoras and the original Pandoras and the ongoing struggles of Bridget and Aoi. Who? Go read the original “Freezing” review. I’ll wait. Ooops, the room isn’t booked for that long. I’ll press on.
Pandora Satellizer el Bridget, one of the strongest in the world, and her Limiter, Kazuya Aoi, have problems. You see, she has commitment issues and they still have not had his baptism. This rite now binds Pandora and Limiter together, but she can’t do this, so he is not much more than an independent contractor. The problem is that, aside from needing that bond to really bring out their powers, he can be taken by anyone else who can and is willing perform the baptism, and that comes in the form of friend and rival Lana Linchen, who feels that Kazuya is her soul mate and she can forge a better bond with him than Bridget can or will. Lana is also very anxious to drag him into the sack, so we have a lot of pervy humor derived from those interactions.
So far, so good; we have a good solid story basis. Too bad it is undermined by unrelenting, over the top, unfettered fan service, like above. Hello!
The facility is located in that part of Alaska where it blows blinding snowstorms 800 days a year. Inside, however, it is like a marvelous resort, so the ladies cavort about in their skimpy swimsuits, gurgling down fruity drinks. Well, all except Elizabeth Mably, who finds swimsuits confining, so she is as naked as a jaybird and just as proud. I managed to find this series on a site that let it all hang out, so there were no modesty bars to stand between you and Hello!
Then, somewhere around episode six or so, it took an “Ikki Tousen” mid-course correction and that was the end of the show. You see, fan service ratings for me are more than mere levels of nudity; it is also sexual implication. I am going to suggest that if you are coming to this blog late, check out my “Listing the Lust” commentary that explains my rating of fan service. With “Ikki Tousen”, it implied that there was some degree of shenanigans going on, putting things right at the border of hentai (heavily hinted at, but nothing really seen). In trying to give back story to Satella (as she is called), we learn that her younger brother was/is a sexual sadist and would torment her, potentially assaulting her to the point where she was a sex slave to him. Rich people; what a bunch of drooling perverts! Hello!
So now, aside from having that “Ikki Tousen” influence, we also have that “Muv-Luv” approach, where the big enemies appear to have gone on holiday or are sightseeing or perhaps taking a dip at the local hot springs gurgling down fruity drinks, so that the threat is completely out of the picture. The ladies, for the most part, spend their days at the pool, taking endless showers or hitting up the gym and doing the Butterfly exercises (“We must. We must. We must increase out bust”). I assume these workouts give them the strongest ninnies in the world, as you have that caliber of fight destruction where clothing is shredded, but they don’t fully fall off. There are held in place by those little points of flesh. Hello!
Oh, there is a transformation sequence where they start out naked and THEN get clothes put on them. Satella is upset that the skirt is too short, but not that her blouse can barely contain her upper body strength. The half-time portion (that is when they have the splash cards where, if this was on TV, the ads would be inserted) is stills of the Pandoras in very suggestive positions, bordering on yuri. And don’t miss the closing credits, where more naked hijinks can be observed. Hello!
It’s just it turned into “Maken-Ki”, where we jettison the plot for the window-fogging nudity. It’s hard to take anyone seriously, as they comment about the practicality of the project when the ladies parade about in their birthday suits. And the actual end of this season is the sappiest, tear-wringing pile of malarkey this side of the Hallmark Channel. I also can’t tell how many people were actually killed. Maybe not that much, but some of those folks took some severe-grade damage. Yet, we see them all, happily gurgling down more fruity drinks, as their bathing suits have less and less fabric. Hello!
It flopped for me, like a trout on the riverbank. Whatever story you wanted is not there, as we await the next season (and that coupler point DEMANDS another season). You may want to see it, to stay on top of things, but it really is nothing more than eye candy and too much candy is bad for you. Goodbye.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Could have been better, considering all that nudity)
Plot 5 (Common plot treated commonly)
Pacing 6 (The ending arc fights slow it all down)
Effectiveness 4 (Was there even a story to relate?)
Conclusion 2 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 10 (A similar show would be “Ikki Tousen”)
Overall 4 (Collapsed at the end)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Hello!