"While I was still in my mother's belly, the last man in the world died. Some people say that it was because a poison fell from high in the sky. Others say that we were being punished for having soiled the earth." - The first episode's opening lines.
Well, actually, the show starts with a random, nondescript woman waking up, getting out of bed, complaining to her brother about something regarding men and their cars and then heading out the door for a walk... before being involved in an accident that leaves her a bloodied, damaged heap on the ground. In that moment, we are taken to a future world, where all men are dead through their own machinations and the women have settled into two camps. One that is putting every effort into science to expand their populus and one that have resigned themselves to their fates and live the remainder of their lives in the pursuit of happiness.
Sounds interesting? Maybe it would, if not for a few of the reasons this OAV was made. One of them were to promote pop group ICE, hence the OAV's title. And the other? I suppose it might have been to provide the audience with some compelling and thoughtful drama, but might-have-been's are mostly fragile things, and they usually collapse over themselves much too easily when the creator puts too much on his plate. Or the audience's plates, one might say.
The background art and vehicle designs are actually pretty decent, and I guess the animation's certainly workable. However, despite being a 2007 show, it looks curiously dated, with some characters sporting large, bombastic hair and curiously retro uniform designs on character designs that are not only simple, but also somewhat inconsistent at times.
Besides, I think hair like this was outlawed in the late 90's, so why the hell does it appear in an anime title made in 2007?
The voice acting is even worse. Or rather, it's a mixed bag, with the members from ICE from AKB48 producing some rather spotty acting on their part. Of course, this is the sort of thing that should be expected when you create a subgroup of a larger idol conglomeration solely to do voices in an anime.
So where does that put us? In the hands of an incredibly pretentious and pompous OAV show, that's where.
Ambigious ending notwithstanding, the first thing we learn is that all the men of the world are dead. No exception. I don't know how, and presumably, neither does ICE, because it doesn't tell us. I can only assume that... um... it affected our Y-chromosomes or something, like that brilliant streak of geneology that was featured in My Otome, except more lethal. Or maybe it's a testosterone thing. Either way, all the men are dead and it's all their fault.
As rampantly misandric as the feature is, I can't really blame any of this on any millitant feminism, because the show itself doesn't really promote that ideal. The cast, being female for rather obvious reasons, isn't really showcased any more idealized than any male protagonists in any other mecha or shounen show I can remember. I'm not entirely sure what to make of it, other than it hating men, but not really making out the women to be all that much better. (Although I'm sure that's the fault of men as well.) Either way, it makes my phallic symbol confused.
So, who do the women of the world fight, seeing as they have a fully functional millitary force? Well, either they fight the ICE or they fight to protect it from being damaged. It's hard to tell, but in the course of the first episode, things get blown up good, and guardswomen die horribly in the battle against monsters and... uh...
(Male) babies! Getting splattered all over the walls! Jesus, why?!
Well, at least the antagonists are kinda non-human in their appearance, so I guess I should take whatever solace I can from that and the fact that the guardswomen apologize profusely before blowing them up with, as the show puts it, "the violence of men". Almost makes me wonder what Emeraldas would have to say about this.
Speaking of Emeraldas; my favorite character in this show -- insofar that I can have a favorite character in a show like this -- is Hitomi Landsknecht, a veritable Emeraldas in her own right. Aside from having a hilarious last name, her role seems to mostly revolve around being disgruntled with her existance as a soldier and getting involved in the whole ridiculous affair that is this anime.
Either way, she meets up with Yuki, a girl from the other camp, and when they are together, weird stuff happens. There's some pretentious dialogue being delivered about the fate of the planet to the scene of a tripped out fantasy with birds changing into a huge field of flowers and trees. And then, one of the flowers turned back into a bird. I am not making this up.
And so, during the rest of the show, the whole thing devolves into a major scuffle between the two camps and the release of a huge doomsday weapon (created by men, of course.) There's a whole lot of posturing and grand battle scenes following this, where the older women like to reminiscince about the wars they fought in, side by side, which kind of contradicts the "men are bad because of war" message they try to deliver.
By the end of the show, all the way to its laughably RPGish ending, the general message seems to be along the lines of: "Men, being too damn scientifically curious for their own good, poisoned all the plants and the wildlife, thus making them useless for feeding purposes." Oh, and the ICE is apparently artificially created people pods that shoot spikes all over the place when damaged. So now, instead of their warlike behavior, curiosity got the better of them. Or both, maybe.
Or maybe they just died from aggrandizingly pompous asshattery. Yes, we wish you welcome to a post-apocalyptic future where all men are dead through their own machinations, somehow leaving all the women still alive. (Not counting those who blow their brains out because of this, of course.) It's a future of despair, of slim hopes and rampant misandry. But most of all, it's another show made for yet another group of Japanese pop idols; ICE from Akihabara48. And, like every single J-idol connected anime I've seen so far, it fails and fails horribly.
So... all this was a (prophetic) dream. I guess it's common knowledge that taking a cargo truck to the skull makes you clairvoyant somehow. Of course, her brother is rather irked that she lied about whether or not she was sleeping with guys, because that's really important in the grand sceme of things. Especially when you're pregnant, carrying the potential salvation of the world or some such.
"Greetings to the people and the city that are headed towards destruction. Good night." - Quote from the very end of the show.
We're SO screwed! Why? Because ICE said so!
As the saying goes: 'I can't believe I ate the whole thing.' I'm going to have indigestion for years after watching this. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: People die in this one, and they die horribly and in great detail. Also, a baby is shot up really bad, though unlike with Ideon, at least it's kept offscreen for the most part. Oh, and you get to see girls' naked butts.
Version(s) Viewed: Prelicense digital source.
Review Status: Full (3/3)
ICE © 2007 PPM / Project-ICE / Enet Frontier
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