I said I would do some reviews at some point, and I have decided to pick the first one as the one that I am currently making my way through. The manga of Freezing. I am going to pick up several details of this to talk about, art, characters, story and also enjoyment.
First of all, the story. It is a typical story in the way that with aliens having invaded Earth, a fighting force drafted of young teenage girls has been created across the globe, who are called Pandoras. Pandoras have “stigmata” transplanted into their bodies which gives them accelerated fighting prowess in which to create “volt” weapons, have advanced speed, strength and overall power. These Pandoras are partnered with young teenage boys called Limiters who have the power of “Freezing” in which can render the Nova aliens unable to move so Pandoras can defeat them. The story begins with the arrival at Genetics, an academy for these fighters, of Kazuya Aoi whose sister was a famous Pandora who had been killed in the 8th Nova Clash. He meets Satellizer el Bridget and they immediately form a bond, against the rumours of the “Untouchable Queen.” The story follows these characters as they battle the Nova as the attacks get more frequent, and Pandoras continue to be defeated. As a story, the premise initially can be considered generic, as the typical magical girl fights and saves the world. However, I became more intrigued by the fact that Satellizer is really the girl who everybody loves and backs up, despite being the strongest there. Countless fights have left her beaten and bruised and fighting for her pride against the people who she should be working together with to make the world a better place. Therefore I don’t believe it followed the initial format usually laid out for this genre of story and I respect that. It also doesn’t shy away from dealing with taboo issues, or gruesome fighting scenes. There is also a lot of partial nudity as well, keeping this manga at a mature rating. It is not all smiles and laughter, it rarely is, and I like the gritty way in which this story follows.
For the characters, they are balanced. There is the furiously fired up spunky Rana Linchin to contrast the cool, calm and collected Satellizer el Bridget, who are both vying the partnership of Limiter Kazuya Aoi. The cast of characters are mainly women, with the focus being predominantly on the Pandoras, with only minor details known about their partners. There is an inherent need for attention, out of most of these girls, and they all, as I have discovered so far, keep true to their own moral codes. The Third Years and their superiority over the younger classes, the need for following the rules, the absolute certain principle of refusing to lose. All of these reasons contribute more to the characters, rather than the simple fighting to be the best as a Shonen principle. The characters vary in terms of physical attributes to – Satellizer’s glasses, Atalia’s unique hair, Chiffon’s unopened eyes, the characters can be told apart easily enough. I don’t want to delve too much into the characters and their backgrounds, which are parts and motivations of the story, but you at least feel something for the characters – in regards to their reasoning, why they do what they do, it as at the very least understandable even if you do not connect with them on any level. In one of the later story arcs, I found myself connecting with Elizabeth Mably and her sacrificial stance to connect with her younger classmates and do what she thinks is right for those she considers to be her comrades. Overall, I like the characters – though I have not completely connected with any one of them wholeheartedly.
For the art, I really like it. To the point in which I want to try and draw it for myself. I haven’t actually completed any picture I’ve started in a few years now, and I really want to try and draw some of the characters from the series. There is a lot of accentuation with the figures of the girls, namely boobs and bums, but it is a style that suits the story itself, at least in my opinion. The fight scenes – though sometimes chaotic with all the clones and illusions in the techniques – can be a little tricky to follow at times (see the picture) but are well executed. Easy to follow panels, no overly complicated designs with decent effects. It doesn’t try to be too complex which I think is a good idea, and balances the dialogue and action ratio quite nicely. I also like the tonal contrast as well – it is all very clean. In comparison to other series I have read, which had a rougher and less refined art style, it does itself justice.
As for enjoyment, well, I’m enjoying it! As much as I like this series – and I have not read it all up to date just yet, though very nearly – it is not overly striking too much. It reminds me a lot of Claymore, though I believe Claymore to be the better of the two series. An all female cast, taking in the powers of the foes to enable a chance of human survival, with a varying degree of power style, high regeneration and organisations calling the shots. Freezing gives in to the fan service element more than Claymore and I do believe Claymore has a more evolved story, at least so far. There seems to be more infighting with the Pandoras, then the Novas, but with Claymore, there is more action to the actual enemy rather than squabbling girls.
I give this series a 7/10. Anyone care to comment? Oh yes, I forgot, I don’t think anyone is reading this!
Well, I at least got my opinions of this off of my chest, and frankly speaking, mine does not even compare to rival Satellizer el Bridget’s, haha!