FREEZING – 04
I was anticipating some content to be skipped if this adaptation was going to make any headway with twelve episodes, but I wasn’t expecting five chapters to be sped through in a mere twenty minutes. It was a furious and pace and came at the cost of a lengthy flashback, which is unfortunate because it showed a lot more depth to Ingrid’s character. In addition, it would’ve provided another taste of the gruesome side of the series where Pandoras and Limiters are mutilated by Nova. From a production standpoint, I can understand why it was taken out given the limited time frame though. After all, Ingrid’s adamant enforcement of hierarchy between Pandora isn’t the main focus of the series, nor is her misinterpreted way of honoring her friend Marine Maxwell (Kasahara Akira).
Admittedly, I did find it unusual to see Ganessa filling Kazuya in on what happened a year ago, since there hasn’t been any indication she’s had a complete change of heart. It definitely seemed a bit out of place to see her so nice all of a sudden, especially when Kazuya’s friends Hiiragi Kaho (Ookubu Rumi) and Arthur Clipton (Okamoto Nobuhiko) were present just like the manga and could have explained it to him. If I were to guess, I suspect the decision to add Ganessa to that incident and tell the story through her was to put more weight on it. In lieu of seeing a bunch of nameless first-year students get slaughtered from a surprise Nova attack, hearing about it from someone who was there and lived to talk about it changes the perspective ever so slightly, especially when it’s a character I’m already familiar with. It also increased the impact in some scenes and helped offset the brevity of the one and a half chapters of flashback to a certain degree.
Much like the previous episode, one aspect of this adaptation that I continue to enjoy is the action. The manga’s artwork is really nice and depicts the Pandora fights really well, but there’s nothing like seeing it all in motion with the sound effects and voices. Even with the animation inconsistencies and the quality taking a noticeable dip in various scenes, it didn’t affect my overall enjoyment all that much. This is taking into account how Satellizer’s fight with Ingrid at night didn’t help that cause, seeing as AT-X’s broadcast never seems to look all that great contrast-wise. Still, from the use of Accel Turns and Tempest Turns to the anime’s version of Pandora Mode, there were enough flashy high-speed clashes going on to keep the tension up when it was supposed to be.
As the subtle purpose of Satellizer’s fight against Ingrid was to edge Kazuya closer towards becoming her Limiter, it was naturally his time to shine by leaving everyone in awe with his Nova-like Freezing ability that completely neutralized Ingrid’s Limiter, Leo Bernard (Shiibashi Kazuyoshi). While there’s still a mismatch between his character voice and character development in that the former doesn’t match up to the latter, Kazuya has started showing signs of becoming a reliable male lead in the series. Granted, that’s primarily attributed to his unique Freezing ability, but he deserves some credit for offering to be Satellizer’s Limiter when no one else would. In comparison, Noto Mamiko has finally started using her meaner-sounding voice for Satellizer, which has been quite a treat to listen to. It contrasts nicely to the one she uses for the Untouchable Queen’s girlish side and is why I gather she was cast for the role.
Anyway, next episode sees the arrival of Rana Linchen from Tibet, whom I wasn’t expecting to see until episode six or seven. Her relatively late appearance is why I found it kind of weird to see Hanazawa Kana with Mamiko during those promotional videos; however, “late” no longer applies given how quickly the anime’s covering the material. It’s already time for the love rival to make her grand entrance.