Winter 2011 – First Impressions (Freezing & Beelzebub)
Lots to review tonight – getting started with blood & fanservice in Freezing and naked babies & delinquents in Beelzebub!
Ok, I’m a bit confused by what this show wants to do. On one had the alien fighting business all feels very Evangelion/RahXephon (even the Nova aliens character designs seem vaguely Angel/Dolem like), and the girls with their materialising outfits/weapons makes it seem like a much more srsbns Mai Otome given the amount of bloodshed/gore……but then there’s the huge amount of fanservice and the male protagonist (who is another of those cookie cutter losers) diving headfirst into the lead female’s massive cleavage! It doesn’t really seem to gel right and I’m left wondering if I’m meant to be taking Freezing seriously or not. I really wasn’t expecting to come out of the first episode feeling like this – I fully expected to be completely dismissive of Freezing in a similar way to Queens Blade & Ikkitousen, but instead I feel like I have to watch another few episodes to judge just what Freezing wants to do…….although given the fanservicey OP & ED and the way the camera is glued to crotches/boobs I think I already know.
On the production front it’s fairly solid. The character designs are fairly generic, but pretty, and I quite like the alien designs & world setting. As I mentioned the camera is determined to either show us boobs/arses but it’s also fascinated by the copious amount of blood being sprayed all over the show…..which gets annoying fast. The soundtrack is good and there’s talent in the cast, wasn’t much fussed on the OP or ED though.
It’s a good start to the show over all though, whether you like plot in your fanservice show, or fanservice in your plot Freezing is probably worth checking out. However this episode was largely devoid of the lead male, and judging by how he instantly soured the show at the end by glomping the lead girl and sobbing, I’m really not expecting great things from him. I will be giving Freezing the 3 episode test to determine how big a liability he’s going to be.
Ah this is off to a good start – it’s every bit as stupid, overblown and juvenile as I was hoping; Beelzebub is a lot of fun! There was an over reliance on baby Beel’s electro-shock gimmick (making him seem more like an irritable Pikachu than a potential demon lord), which got old pretty quickly, and Furuichi is much more highly strung than I recall him being in the manga; but overall it was a very faithful adaptation of the start of the manga. It’s all very run of the mill shounen, but it’s good for a laugh. I’m quite looking forward to adding Beelzebub to the plethora of Shounen Jump series I’m currently watching weekly.
In terms of production, well it’s not going to bowl you over with stunning visuals, nor is it eye cancer – its middle of the road in terms of quality, but there are some great reaction faces and plenty of power aura’s flying about the place already. The OP was fantastic – song was perfect for the show (sort of reminded me of the 1st Welcome to the NHK ED), and the animation pretty fun too – ED was pretty decent as well! Voice cast is pretty decent – Katsuyuki Konishi pretty much nailed Oda’s hot-tempered personality and it was pretty hilarious to hear Miyuki Sawashiro voicing Baby Beel’s limited vocabulary of ‘Daaa!’ ‘Buuu!’ and ‘Waaaah!!’
So a solid start to Beelzebub, I’ll definitely be keeping it on. It’s not going to set the world alight with originality, but it’s good for a laugh.