What’s it about ?
The future. The world is at war with alien creatures called “Novas”, whose powerful “Freezing” fields prevent conventional warfare. The only thing that can get close enough to them is a “Pandora”, a magically empowered girl sensorily paired with a “Limiter” younger guy. The series starts in the middle of a “Carnivale”, a battle-royale training exercise/exam at the Pandora/Limiter academy.
Also, boobies and panty shots. Lots of them.
Bridgette L. Satellizer, the current top Pandora at the academy. Very, very badass (she dispatches #3, #4 & #5 while barely breaking a sweat, and before that wins a 1-against-11 fight). Not exuding much personality, and voiced by Mamiko Noto, of all people.
Kazuya Aoi, a new male freshman at the academy. Spends much of his screentime angsting about his dead sister, an elite Pandora who died heroically 4 years ago. Or did she ? When he stumbles onto Bridgette, he’s convinced she’s his sister. And thus dives head first into her chest, because that’s what brothers do. While the Carnivale’s still going, which obviously distracts her and causes her defeat at the hands of #2. (Well, it’s slightly ambiguous in the cliffhanger, but the next-episode-preview suggests that’s the result.)
Lana Linchen, a ditzy female freshman, whose chief role is to get exposition delivered to by her teacher (who fought alongside Kazuya’s sister way back when).
For some reason the version I watched is at a 4:3 ratio, which is presumably a mistake (there are various shots that are clearly truncated).
Overall, it looks okay, although the action scenes don’t flow that well. And the character designs are very generic.
While the OP has a decent moody song, it looks very cheap, with tons of static shots and scenes recycled from the actual series (including Bridgette’s transformation sequence, which we saw in detail two minutes ago in the pre-credits sequence). The ED song is pretty bad, and playing to candid shots of the various girls. Urgh.
And wait, this is a daytime show ? (Seriously, the information I can find says it airs at 9:30am on Saturdays.) But… we actually see naked tits at one point ! WTF ?
Well, the good news is that it’s better than Infinite Stratos. It managed to make me give a toss about the plot and the world-building, there’s an urgency and stakes to the fights (there’s some technobabble about how Pandoras can regenerate from near-fatal injuries and amputated limbs, but the hospital manager “would really like to have this Carnivale with zero casualties”, so it ain’t a sure thing), and if you like some fanservice and gore there’s plenty of it. And it obviously does have some ambition.
On the other hand… Well, it’s still a fanservice-fuelled “panty fighter” series, and you can really hear the plot gears grinding as the premise is forced into a harem setup towards the end. Also, the non-linear storytelling is sometimes a bit disorientating, between the Carnivale, the lesson scene, Kazuya’s subplot and the flashback to his sister’s last stand.
I’m really not sure about this one. There’s a somewhat decent story that compels me to watch another episode to check whether it’s going anywhere, but I fear it’s going to be smothered by the fanservice and the harem hijinks. I’m fearing a new Daimao, here.