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Live Blog Dance The Masochism Tango! Let's Watch Freezing
KSPAM2011-01-09 18:04:03

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Episode 1: Fanservice, Blood And Fanservice

Well, time to start another liveblog. Despite my previous experiences, I still face many questions when doing a new liveblog. For instance, why am I watching another probably-gonna-be-shitty fanservice/action series again?

Well, on to business. We start in some sort of underground complex, where the lights are dim, the walls are gunmetal grey and the women are improbably attractive. Wait, that last one didn't quite fit, did it?

She takes off her glasses... and every article of clothing she's wearing. Yup, it's another one of those series. She says some kind of key word, undergoes a Transformation Sequence and looks into the mirror determinedly. Ladies and Gents, our main female protagonist, Satellizer El Bridgette. Her cause is just, her will is strong and her breasts are very, very large :P

The OP starts and my premonitions of gratuitous Fanservice are slowly being realized, as pretty much no one but Satellizer (in a skimpy white dress) appear in this opening. At all.

We switch to outside the military base, where a girl with twin katanas is getting into a fight with some spear wielding chick and owning righteously. Another challenger appears, this one carrying a chain sickle. She too is ambushed, by an archer, no less. They wreck up the scenery and the archer retreats to the skies. Normally that would be an advantage but as we all know bladed weapons are destined to win over projectiles and she gets pummeled mid-air.

Yet another girl, this one wielding a battle ax, is getting ambushed and surrounded and she too defeats them all. Okay, I've got a few questions. Firstly, why are these girls trying to murder the crap out of each other? Two, why are the ones actually using stealth losing?

A bunch of creepy looking old dudes watch the catfights from afar. But wait! This "Carnival", as they call it, has just gotten a new attraction. Satellizer struts onto the battlefield and is immediately surrounded by eleven people. Well shit.

Apparently Satellizer doesn't want you to tell her the odds, as she pulls out a bladed weapon that looks less like a sword and more an impractically large combat knife and kills nine of her opponents in under a minute. Presumably her other opponents ran away from the mass of concentrated batshit in front of them.

Back in the classroom, we and the students are subjected to a large volume of made up Techno Babble about something called stigma. Apparently it's what gives the girls, known as Pandoras, their superior physical capabilities and weapons. They explain that stigma can provide weapons, armor and even heal injuries.

Please don't give us an example- Oh, no, no, there we go. You had to do it didn't you? The hospital is filled with screaming victims, all of them Pandora. The doctors race for zero casualties in this year's Carnival, which I've come to equate with dodgeball. If dodgeball were played with oversized lethal weapons. And everyone was improbably attractive. So basically Final Fantasy-ball.

The teacher, Yumi-sensei, continues to say that even missing body parts can be regrown with stigma. It happened to her four years ago. One of the students, Arthur, asks to hear the story of when she was active as a Pandora, during the Eighth Nova Clash.

Heheheh. Well ya see kids, back in my day...*pointless old person monologue incoming*

A fleet surrounds an object, an incoming enemy force called a Nova. A large statue-esque being that looks quite like an Angel rises from the sea and begins to sing, blasting everything in the vicinity into so many little pieces. Past!Yumi looks outwards from shore. At the current rate it's moving, the Angel Nova will reach shore in twenty minutes. Then it is in the hands of the Eva Pandora.

Yumi rallies the troops. She asks where Aoi Kazuha is. Back to present, she says with remorse in her eyes that she only participated in the conflict. Kazuha was the one who saved them.

At her grave, a young man finishes praying. Flashback time! The boy, four years ago, barges into his sister's room. My powers of clairvoyance tell me more fanservice is on the horizon. Lo and behold, I am again correct! He pleads her not to fight and die. She only responds that she won't die because she has a cause worth fighting for.


Back to present and the young man is picked up by a helicopter. He meets the Student Council President of Genetics, Shiffon Fairchild. They then launch into more thrilling exposition!

God, when is this going to be over?

Apparently Pandoras select guys from the year below to serve as their Limiters and partners in battle. Why? Ereinbar, which is fancy-speak for "every guy likes older women". Back to Yumi's flashback, we see Ereinbar in action, as they Pandoras and Limiters sync. The Limiters deploy an ability called Freezing, which is pretty mcuh self-explanatory.

So, the women are the fighters and the men are the Barrier Maidens? Neat. But since the men are essential in neutralizing the Freezing of the Nova and therefore are some of the most important pieces of any encounter, this still comes off as a little unequal. Still, better than most Shonen.

The Pandoras begin to fight the Nova and the Nova begins to whip it good. They crack open the Nova's casing, exposing its core. The Nova decides fun time is over and the Ereinbar Set begins to lose effectiveness, freezing the Pandora. And the Nova shows them that those tentacles are decidedly not of the naughty variety.

The dust clears. Everyone's on the ground, some are missing limbs. Yumi gets back up and then the rules of Clean Cut come into effect and her arm falls off like it was on a delay timer. Bringign the viewers back from the land of anime-injury-assuredness, she falls over and screams. Because, y'know, losing an arm hurts likes shit.

They are collected paramedics and rushed out. The Nova keeps wrecking everything's shit until *gasp* Kazuha arrives! Yay! That wasn't totally expected! She rushes in headfirst and plunges her blade into the exposed circular opening in the Nova's armor.

Apparently losing its virginity causes a Nova to self-destruct and everything decides now would be a good time to blow up. And thusly, Kazuha dies because everybody else was just Too Dumb to Live. Or was that her?

They land the helicopter. They start to exchange pleasantries with another ember of the Student Council but more stuff decides to explode as Satellizer finishes business in the Carnival. She cuts all their throats because that's just how she rolls, until one is left. That one tries to touch her. Bad, bad, bad idea.

Satellizer breaks her arm and stabs her in the throat. She likes to go for the jugular, don't she? Also, some Fridge Logic. Accepting stigma can heal such injuries, there's still the matter of getting them the attention they need before they bleed out. Which, for the jugular, is twenty minutes or less.

They continue walking and ignore the execution going on only meters away. Satellizer isn't quite content with the current level of carnage and gets into another fight Genessa Roland, a particularly loudmouthed Pandora who reminds me quite a bit of Saya Takagi. The crash through the wall, which apparently had the effect of stripping Genessa, who lands right in front of Kazuya.

Y'know what sucks about this series? Accidental Perverts can now be punished with death. It's like To Aru Majutsu No Index except with more death and less Touma!

It is at this moment that Kazuya decides to do the creepiest thing in this show yet and confuses Satellizer for his dead sister. How? Why? Well, whatever. He runs up and grabs her form behind and starts rubbing his face in her chest, saying how he's missed her. Consider for a moment that he thinks she's his sister. Yeah.

But instead of going batshit insane like everyone is expecting and breaking every bone in his body along with all of his major arteries, Satellizer blushes uncharacteristically and starts to protest, asking the audience's question, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

Unfortunately, this is just the opening Genessa was waiting for and she sends her chain sickles straight at Satellizer's face. A splash of blood and we fade out.

Well, that's episode 1. Still not quite sure what to think of this series yet.


Jan 10th 2011 at 8:59:42 AM
If you get the chance (probably after the next episode so you are not spoilered for anything), check out the first chapter of the Manwha. Different (and, in my opinion, better) tone/order of events/perspective on events.

And I agree with all the comments about inappropriate fanservice and the bad timing of exposition.
Jan 12th 2011 at 8:06:12 PM
Actually, they're Barrier Warrior, not Barrier Maiden. Barrier Maiden is a completely different trope.
Jan 13th 2011 at 5:42:34 AM
Woops. *goes off to march The Long Wiki Walk*
Jan 17th 2011 at 1:56:31 AM
Yeah, that confused me too, it was up for a rename but it got kept because it's a pre-existing name/trope.
Jan 17th 2011 at 1:58:08 AM
Also, in the original manga, they apparently had Power Armor, which they sacrificed for gratuitous fanservice. Now, I'm not opposed to gratuitous fanservice by any stretch of the imagination, but sacrificing the mother fucking Power Armor to do it is unforgivable.