There may have been less story in season two, but that just means there was more free time to spend focusing on…
Torrent: Nyaa. Seeders needed! Please seed for as long as possible when finished.
Production Company: A.C.G.T
Vintage: Fall 2013
Nipple sightings from other A.C.G.T produced anime:
FREEZING, They Are My Noble Masters, Lime-iro Ryukitan X
Other notable / recently relevant mainstream anime from A.C.G.T:
Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun, Dual Masters, Giant Robo, Initial D (seasons 3, 4)
Mamiko Noto as Satellizer el Bridget
Mamiko Noto is also well known for her roles as:
Kana Hanazawa as Rana Linchen
Kana Hanazawa is also well known for her roles as:
Marina Inoue as Chiffon Fairchild
Marina Inoue is also well known for her roles as:
Rie Kugimiya as Cathy “Cassie” Lockharte
Rie Kugimiya is also well known for her roles as:
Yuko Kaida as Elizabeth Mably
Yuko Kaida is also well known for her roles as:
Satsuki Yukino as Dr. Ohara
Thoughts on the anime
Back in season one, every character had a sinister side, and the overall theme of the story seemed to be survival of the fittest. There were obvious parallels in both plot and atmosphere to the classic action anime Claymore, and if FREEZING had nixed the fanservice I have little doubt it would have been among the better shows of 2011.
The problem was, FREEZING didn’t want to settle for just being a shocking thriller. It also wanted to show boobs, lots of them. Gratuitous changing and shower scenes weren’t enough, even battles needed to be showcases. It got to the point where showing boobs became more of a focus during battles than anything else.
Granted, this tendency was evident in the manga as well, but nudity and fanservice was several magnitudes more prevalent in the anime. The manga definitely put the story first, the anime put boobs first.
It’s one thing to have girls exposing each other with tactically placed destruction of certain areas of clothing in anime like Ikkitousen or Sekirei. It’s another to have it happen in the middle of a life and death battle, with no shortage of blood, dismemberment, and death.
That’s why I’ll always have mixed feelings about season one, despite having a good story, strong atmosphere and a surprisingly great soundtrack. I love a gut wrenching thriller, and I love boobies, just not at the same time. This combination of elements was discordant, though it did make FREEZING a very unique anime.
FREEZING Vibration backed off on the thriller aspect almost completely. At no point did it ever really feel like any of the characters we cared about were in real danger (even though in the manga, Rana gets fucked up pretty badly by Chiffon at the end). This suspense was replaced by a slow, drawling and predictable theme of the same old mad-scientist experiment cliche plot that we’ve seen a million times. Story-wise, the first season was much better.
On the other hand, because there was less story in the second season there was more time for guess what? Boobies! Every single episode found ways to service, less so in the bloody and bruising way and more in the wet and naked manner. The second season was better as a fanservice vehicle, although the first season still had the better disc specials.
Poor sales of season two will probably prevent a third season from being animated, which is a shame because the next arc in the story is when things really start to get intense.
Both seasons were directed by anime veteran Takashi Watanabe, who debuted as a director with the late 80s classic Black Lion and made a name for himself directing every season of Slayers, as well as Shakugan no Shana, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimao, Aria of the Scarlet Ammo, Senran Kagura, and the first season of Ikkitousen. He was also involved in anime such as Death Note and Full Metal Panic, and was the executive producer of Accel World.
Interestingly, he also directed the recently aired ecchi-mecha anime Fuun Ishin Dai Shogun which coincidentally was produced by A.C.G.T as well. I didn’t cover Shogun here but it probably has at least as good a chance of nudity on blu-ray than Blade and Soul does.
Thoughts on the fanservice video
Previously I had released a full series compilation video based on the TV episodes and the first blu-ray. The compilation I’m sharing today was made from scratch and has several changes beyond the obvious 1080p BD upgrade:
- The video now includes specials 2-6.
- The “Non-nude” section has been replaced with an “All Fanservice” section.
- Some nudity is only found in the “all fanservice” section. Basically, if you could barely see it, I left it in the video, but didn’t include it in the nudity section so as to not water it down.
- Dozen of edits were changed or replaced.
- All camera-click style frame freezes were removed, instead I went with more of a slow-mo or slow pan effect or a montage set to music.
- Added a section in the middle for all the post-episode artwork.
Unfortunately, the FREEZING blu-ray rips did not compress easily leading to extremely large file sizes. Raw provider [Reinforce] had this issue, their full 1080p BD rip package was nearly 70 GB. I actually didn’t use theirs, I used the much more reasonably sized Arearaw rips. Unfortunately, when it came time to compress the video, the file size problem remained. I don’t know if it was the grainy style of the animation or what, but whatever it was, it caused the final product to be roughly twice the size it would normally be at one hour length. It also encoded much slower than usual.
For some mysterious reason, the 720p version wasn’t impacted as much. Normally 720p is about 50% – 55% of the size of the 1080p version, but in this case the 720p version was only 40% the size. It’s still too big, but whatever issue is boosting the file size in this case is less evident in 720p.
This is another show where picking a favorite character is really hard to do.
I liked that Satellizer and Kazuya seem to have an actual fostering relationship which isn’t something you see much of in ecchi.