In the year 2041, mankind created their first space colony on the moon. But after a freak cataclysm devastated human civilisation on Earth, the republic of the moon built a domed megalopolis known as Eden. Now in the year 2267, a boy called Takeru spends his time engaging in hover-craft races against rival street gangs, unaware that he is about to embark in the journey of unearthing Eden's origin.
You have probably already seen or, at least, heard about Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira. The movie was beautifully drawn, with complex characters and admired for its illustrations of technology. So, when Bandai Entertainment announced that Otomo was working on a new anime series, his fans were naturally excited.
Disappointment came in when I learned that Otomo was only designing the characters and the technological look of the series rather than writing the stories. However, after watching this OVA series with 7 episodes, I can now say I was impressed, although it could have been so much better plot-wise.
Freedom is set in 2267 in the moon colony Eden,
after the Earth has been left uninhabitable due to an ecological disaster.
The world of the series really is impressive. There are no giant mechas or spaceships travelling at the speed of light. Instead of relying on useless fantasies, Freedom goes beyond your average anime series and presents us with a more realistic world, where people work and live in. And besides, you never see anything happening on the moon so that is definitely a plus.
The biggest fault in Freedom lies, without a doubt, in the plot.
Screaming Akira, this series follows a group of teenagers, led by Takeru, who spend their time racing and working on their “vehicle”, a three-wheeled motorcycle. Whenever they get in trouble, they are assigned to community service, or “volunteer work”, as the CAC calls it, which basically consists of walking along a tube on the lunar surface to check for leaks. It is during this tedious duty that Takeru witnesses a satellite smash into the Moon’s surface nearby and within discovers a photograph of a woman standing over a group of children on what looks like Earth. We will basically follow Takeru in his search for this woman.
It takes two episodes (out of only 7) for the story to take that important twist that moves things forward and, even after that, things seem to progress rather slowly. There is, in fact, too much talk and not enough plot.
Another negative aspect is that there was too much Cup Noodle product placement. Although Freedom was originally made as an advertising campaign, it doesn’t look good. If this was a TV-series, it would be alright, but not as an OVA.
The artwork and animation are two of the strongest points of Freedom.
The artwork is like an evolved form of Akira, since the style is basically the same.
Animation is amazing, but it might require getting used to. Freedom is one of the very few anime (that I know of) to be made totally in 3D cell-shaded CG. Most people will probably need to get used to the style, but once you can look beyond this, you’ll be rewarded by a great series.
The quality of art and motions is really well done. Their awkward motions are vividly portrayed. The racing scenes look like an upgraded version of the bike-chasing scenes in Akira, and they are also excellent.
The opening is fantastic. I specially like how they associate things, like the vehicle with a kid’s tricycle. And the race sequence is like a manga brought to life and evolves as important events take place along the series. Truly amazing.
If you’ve seen Ergo Proxy, you’ll probably detect resemblances in the soundtrack. Yes, the author is the same (Ike Yoshihiro) and the music style is also similar. I shouldn’t need to say anything else. The soundtrack is spectacular.
The opening was one of the best ones I’ve seen. The song matches perfectly with the animated sequences. The singer’s name also speaks for itself (Utada Hikaru). As for the ending, despite being just instrumental, it strengthens the powerful climaxes on the first three episodes.
As for the voice cast, it's not outstanding, but gets the job done (except maybe Sanae Kobayashi, who had a rather mediocre performance as Ao).
The characters are the biggest strength of this series, although they’re just a group of hot-headed teenagers. Freedom is what a shounen anime should be. Shounen animes often forget that every teenage boy is an idiot. Freedom portrays that in a pretty realistic way, as their personality is consistent throughout, as opposed to the regular shounen with random idiotic "filler" scenes that are used not as part of the character, but simply as comedic relief. This is much better than your regular lead who just wants to become the best in the world, which just leads them to brainless directions without any real goal in mind… not really that interesting for me.
Flaws in the character department mostly appear in the last episode because the creators decided to be too epic for their own good, and some characters become a bit unrealistic for the sake of a more "epic" ending.
The enjoyment department is incredibly subjective but, personally, Freedom has its moments. Those moments are usually action scenes and the climaxes of the episode, which are, without a doubt, breath taking. Past those parts, most of it is average.
Overall, Freedom is a very good sci-fi anime with great characters, a nice OST and a powerful animation and it's definitely a must watch for fans of the genre.
I was drawn in at the first episode. Asking so many questions in my mind about what its about, where is it based, ect.. After finally completing it i can say this anime is making my top 5 favorites list. The story was outstanding, tons of suspense, i really enjoyed the whole post apocolyptic story of earth and how they made a moon base called eden for humans to live on. The art was amazing, what i would expect from the creator of Akira, everything was perfectly drawn and the technologic theme was amazing! This is def a must watch anime you will be at
the edge of your seat!
this series has that akira animation look to it which drew me into watching this. I saw the first episode which then i was hooked from the street racing punks of the future. The story line was a little rushed with only being a few episodes. The main character driven by love that turn everything into an epic adventure and changing the world/moon. I really enjoyed FREEDOM and I'm sure everyone else will. Made my heart get all warm and fuzzy at the end. It is a good watch.
I find this anime really great and really complex for just 7 episodes. It gives you an idea of what humans would be like if earth was inhabitable or portrayed as inhabitable. Gives you an idea on what we could be on the moon if we want to colonize there.