First Impressions – Freezing

Wow, that was really… Really something. Yup, that’s what it was.

I was squarely on the fence with this one coming in – the premise seemed quite shallow and derivative, but something told me there was sleeper hope here. I think if I had to choose one word to describe the first episode, it would be “inelegant”. The service, the exposition, the humor, the animation, the violence – all had the subtlety of a sledgehammer wielded by a gorilla.

At first glance this seems closer to Seikirei than anything else. And indeed, we have the busty combat females – here called “Pandoras” – in various stages of apparel-crisis mode all through the episode. Here, they must apparently mentally pair with a young boy called a “Limiter” to achieve a kind of synchronization that will allow them to resist the “freezing” attacks of the Nova, a kind of giant mecha invasion force. Into all this steps Kazuya Aoi, whose older sister sacrificed herself in combat four years earlier to save a group of Pandoras. And Kazuya has clearly never let this go, judging by the flashbacks and the ending of the episode.

You know, for all the clumsy fanservice and grotesque violence than would put Seikirei to shame what bothered me more than anything was the episode structure. The method used to provide background was so stilted and unnatural that I was simply shaking my head in dismay. Random characters ask a question they know the ansnwer to so someone else can explain it to the audience… Someone pops in a video that literally plays the flashback that says what’s going on… I mean, really? Can’t you even try to weave this into the plot without that kind of cheap gimmick? For all that, if I’d enjoyed the look of the show or the characters I would’ve probably forgiven that. But the animation from A.C.G.T. is nothing special, old-school but not in a good way, and none of the characters really stood out. Everything played as if it were staged, and nothing about the episode felt natural.

My own expectations compel me to give this one more episode next week, but it’s hard to see this one staying in the rotation.

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