All these anime and nobody's mentioned Freezing
? What manner of madness is this?
In a nutshell: Freezing
is a sci-fi panty-fighter anime centered around genetically-engineered highschoolers who train to fight extradimensional monsters known as "Nova". It's interesting for a number of reasons. For one, it's a lot darker than most of its contemporaries: The characters are hard-nosed and well-written (if occasionally quite cruel), and it revels in its gratuitous violence. Arms get severed, torsoes slashed in half, and pretty faces beaten against the concrete. No one ever seems to get a crooked nose or a black eye, though.
I also like it 'cause the male characters aren't completely useless. In this universe, girls (Pandora) do the fighting, while the guys (Limiters) take on an essential support role. This lends itself to a symbiotic relationship, which means significant romance elements. Granted, the male characters are still a wee bit flat, but at least they're not total milquetoasts like in every other show. It helps that they've actually got personalities in this one... >>;
That said, the real reason I'm recommending Freezing
is the writing. The characters actually have some substance to them; you don't simply think of them as "Set of Boobs One"
and "Set of Boobs Two"
, or as "Cow Tits"
and "Psycho Bitch"
. Blondie up there has some serious psychological issues due to a long-unresolved trauma in her past, and her rival to the left is downright obsessed with our male MC. The second season is even better, delving into the hidden depths of one old character and several new ones. The plots for each arc are also pretty good as well, with the former focusing on the personal struggles of our main trio, and the latter season exploring the implications and political intrigue surrounding the Pandora project.
All told, Freezing
is a well-written partial deconstruction of the panty-fighter genre. It really benefits from its sci-fi setting, partially because it's never been done, and partially because the advanced medical tech means no one dies. It ain't depressing, it's chock-full of action, and despite a middling first episode, it's definitely worth the watch.
Let's see, did I forget anything? Oh right, the fanservice!
Try not to look at 'em too long, though. You don't want spoilers for this series.