21
Mar
09

Freedumb

Generic 15 year old bikers from the future.

Generic 15 year old bikers from the future.

Everything about Freedom screams mediocrity. It rips off countless, better sci-fi stories to create a hodgepodge, nigh-unenjoyable series. If you take a quick look at the fan-ratings for this series on Anime New Network you’ll see that the majority of people reviewed it as Excellent or Very Good, with a few Masterpieces thrown in there, as well. Since otaku rarely watch or read anything outside of anime and manga, then they are unlikely to notice that everything here is recycled. Freedom offers absolutely nothing new. While that might be okay if the execution was good, well, it isn’t. It’s trite and boring, and generally a waste of time.

Freedom is a seven part original animation advertisement for Nissin Cup Noodles. Originally I had high hopes for this short series, because I thought it was written/directed by anime legend Katsuhiro Otomo, the genius behind Akira, Memories, Metropolis, Steamboy, and Mushishi. Unfortunately, it turns out he only contributed the character and mecha designs. So, while this looks like something that he would do, it is actually rather generic unlike his previous, good works.

The story centers around a group of woefully generic teenage characters. They come from the bottom of the anime stereotype barrel. Each one is already a battle-hardened underground street racing god by the age of 15. They are all orphans and live alone, without parents or adult supervision of any kind. Wow, I’ve never seen that in an anime before, what an original concept!

Yawn.

Yawn.

They live in a cliche, futuristic Utopian society on the moon. Everything is hunky-dory, and everyone is happy. They believe that Earth is uninhabitable after a series of natural disasters. Because of this, these Mooninites are grateful for their perfect, mundane, stupid Moon lives. The government, however, is aware that Earth is actually fine, and they are hiding this information from the Mooninites. Why? Well, that isn’t really explained. Okay, actually it is explained, but only in the sense that they are an evil totalitarian power, so of course they must be up to no good. Why they would give a shit if people left the moon to live on Earth is beyond me. Earth is really shitty and desolate, and the moon is a lot better. The Mooninites would be stupid to leave. Obviously, none of this is addressed in the show, because it would have 1.) required brain power to think of that, and 2.) there would be no conflict for the series. Anyway, the basic idea is that the government is evil and the Utopia they control actually isn’t so great after all. Wow, I’ve never seen that in an anime before, what an original concept!

Eventually, one of the 15 year old hot-heads manages to escape to Earth. He lives there for a couple of years, in what is basically a sexless paradise. It’s an oxymoron, I know. However, he decides he should return to the moon to rescue his friend. In order to do that he has to act rashly, put countless innocent people in danger, destroy the perceptions of reality of the blissfully unaware Mooninites, and generally act like a buffoon. Wow, I’ve never seen that in an anime before, what an original concept!

Get ready to see lots of this in Freedom.

Get ready to see lots of this in Freedom.

Because this show was sponsored by Nissin Cup Noodles, that product shows up everywhere, whoring out the series. Now, I’m not one to get upset when my favorite celebrity/artist sells out. In fact, I am waiting patiently for the day I can sell out. Selling out rules. But the selling out here is ridiculous. All the characters eat Cup Noodles, without exception. Are there no other food sources in the future? Does Nissin own a monopoly on all foods? The most ridiculous part is that people on the moon eat Cup Noodles, and so do the people on Earth. This implies that Nissin is alive and well, operating on both planetary bodies. Clearly, this defies all logic, and is also completely retarded. Then again, it’s anime, and should be held to a lower standard.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about Freedom is the animation. It does not use traditional pencil and paper animation, and it does not use full-on CGI either. It uses some kind of goddamn hybrid that makes it look like a Flash cartoon. You know, like the kind you used to see back in the day when Newgrounds was relevant (circa year 2000). While the “animation” looks really clean, it is incredibly distracting. I could never get past it. I was always focused on how artificial, shiny, and smooth everything looked. It’s just wrong. They should have either put up the cash to afford traditional animation, or grown a pair of cajones and gone full CGI; none of this middling crap.

Overall, this series brings nothing new to the table. It doesn’t have a unique story, it doesn’t have interesting characters, and it doesn’t even have real animation. It’s just a huge mediocre piece of shit that should be avoided. The only positive thing I can say about Freedom is that it is only seven episodes long, and not 26.

Verdict: Bad

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1 Response to “Freedumb”


  1. March 21, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    This is 2009. I didn’t know people still used pencils and papers for animation.


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