Absolute Duo – 09


Julie is still the best part of the show…

Well, this episode had it’s share of ups and downs…



Yeah, call me Bun-Bun now!

So, I’ll guess I’ll reiterate my ongoing problem with the show. I don’t know enough about the stakes. While it’s a going concern that the Kouryou Academy produces Exceeds from their student body, and a chief concern that they push those Exceeds to the limit to achieve success, the reasons why are not disclosed. Why they have those concerns is something the show has yet to disclose, and it’s been quite unsatisfactory for that to have been left out this far into the program. This is compounded by a rebel group that has it’s own undisclosed purpose, is lead by a wooden sub-villain and chiefly stocked with Master Chief CGI knock-offs whose superior numbers have amounted to diddly so far. Oh, and that rebel groups target objective seems to change as soon as they are beaten. “Nevermind that we have what we really came for”

If there has been some saving grace to the show it’s been it’s stable of lead characters. At least when it comes to both Tooru and Julie. As revealed in this program, Julie has her own dark past and her own specific needs to get stronger via the Academy. The same reason that Tooru joined up for. But, is the Exceed program founded for that purpose? Knowing what Kouryou is trying to achieve would pay the bills nicely in these situations. I will assume that the other characters have similar motivations, so that just reiterates the need for a solid background.


When the real chips are down

But, all is not lost. At the very least we had Rito-sensei kicking ass and taking names, and giving us some solid exposition along the way. It does make me wonder about the Limiter she mentioned, and if that is something to do with the Lucifer the students are injected with. This is how I like exposition to be handled, a bit of mystery never hurt anyone, so long as it’s got some solid ground to stand on. I can even accept that Sakayu is the Blaze Diabolique and the center of attention, with Lilith willing to risk injury to defend her, there’s some meat there, as progression in their narratives have shown. Just give our wonky insert antagonist some raison d’etre.

Of course the main draw for today’s show was both Julie and Tooru standing the same ground and learning something that has lasting value. It’s not for one to exclusively protect the other, but for both to do the same. Wooden Villain guy was right about one thing, and that’s don’t be shaken when the chips are down. Now, if only they could have expanded upon why he is making so many dick moves now. He looks like he came from the same space that Tooru now occupies, too weak to take on the opposition, if the superimposed flashback is any indication.


<shakes head>

But I save the worst for last, and for my final thoughts on this one. Why on Earth is Miyabi even with Equipment Smith and the Rebels? I understand she feels the need to be in the same space as Julie and Tooru, and the rest of her friends. They were doing a great job with her character arc, showing the slow and steady build from meek and mild to someone with more confidence. But her switching here sides just feels like they are treating her like the idiot she was not meant to be. Shy, yes. Unassuming, sure. But a brick in the head. Heck no! They’ve got quite the way to go to fix this problem….And so I don’t leave on a sour note. I have really enjoyed how they’ve promoted Imari to a full-fledged character despite the BS school system. She had some natural abilities that took a moment to shine, and it was a small refreshing in the rather insipidly staged battle. More of this would be good.

Next Time


These semi-serious cartoon asides are screwy

Absolute Endcard


It’s just nice to have her bookend the show…


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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49 Responses to “Absolute Duo – 09”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Yeah, up and downs like a roller coaster but it was more good than bad, I guess. I had nearly forgotten the CGI soldiers all together, and that’s after watching the episode a few minutes ago. Bun-Bun and Julie stole the spotlight with their hidden abilities though the former was more dazzling and brutal at the same time. Yukari Tamura sure knows how to play sadistic, playful characters. After voicing Kill la Kill’s Nui Harime, I shouldn’t be surprised. Fun fact: Her birthday was three days ago.

    This is what makes people like Miyabi so tragic. They’re in such despair over their shortcomings and desire to impress they’re willing to take any means of gaining power, even if it means crossing unethical lines. That aside, the reason for Julie’s revenge is known with justification. Now if the staff would be so kind as to give us Tor’s version.

    It does make me wonder about the Limiter she mentioned, and if that is something to do with the Lucifer the students are injected with.

    I’ll go on a limb and assume nasty side effects are more than a possibility so a limiter is needed to keep everything in check.

    Agreed on being in the dark where the stakes are concerned. I’d be able to feel something or give an opinion if a goal was already elaborated. Cause so far, there’s nothing. Considering the fact only three episodes remain, we’ll either get the info laid thick on us along with a rushed ending or a cliffhanger finale. I’m not sure which I’d want to settle with.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Julie is actually…

    GARcher and Rin’s daughter and she is trying to unleash her UBW!

  3. Highway says:

    I have absolutely no hope that it will actually do this, but what the show needs, *needs*, needs to do is have Tomoe be the one who does the work and gets the results to rescue Miyabi. Not Tor, not Lilith, not Julie. If that means that Julie and Tor are bit players in the last arc of the show, so be it. If that means that the male lead loses some of his harem, that’s the best. But having Tomoe be the one who shows Miyabi the strength of being a pair, not just a Duo, the depth of the love she has for her (and she does, based on what I’ve seen in the show so far), and the fortitude to carry through would go a long way, at least for me, in redeeming the story of this show.

    Will it do this? Heck no. Should it? Hell yes.

    • skylion says:

      Hell, yes! But I think it would be fine to split time between Tomoe and Miyabi and Tooru and Julie. But have Miyabi meet her Duo partner halfway.

      …and let’s not forget Imari and her partner….everyone should have their moments to shine. Except for Tora and Sir Grunt-a-lot, cause screw those guys….

      • BlackBriar says:

        Except for Tora and Sir Grunt-a-lot, cause screw those guys….

        Are they even a necessity? Those two are about as useful as furniture and they’ve done nothing that stood out.

        • skylion says:

          Are they? Probably, but given how they’ve only been supporting character sounding boards, who knows?

  4. belatkuro says:

    Actually, Miyabi isn’t suppose to go with Smith there. What should have happened is that he encountered her in town(they already went back to the main school at the epilogue) and he just gave her an accessory that will “make her strong”. Obviously she accepts it and obviously it’s that armor. Maybe they’re planning things differently though with this change. Either way, it’s not Miyabi’s fault.

    The part about the Exceeds thing do lack explanation even at this part apart from the “Absolute Duo” quip that loli principal always says.
    These random attacks also came out of the left field as well. They make for conflict for the volume but it certainly lacks explanation and reasons. Part of these will be answered in the next episodes but getting them this late in the story is just not good story-wise.

    Also, we skipped some kinky and bonding moments with Tomoe and Tooru. He was suppose to be looking for Miyabi in the forest but found Tomoe instead. They fought a single mook, defeated it but they fell in a cliff. Tomoe’s ankle got injured and they needed to apply first aid with a cloth but there’s nothing around. Then this happens. We’re actually lacking those small developments of Tomoe slowly feeling something for Tooru that she ignores from time to time.

    Another case of adaptation decay again. A mediocre series gets an even mediocre adaptation. Nothing new here.

    • skylion says:

      So in your estimation, the source LNs are mediocre? If that is the case, then the adaptation should be the chance to get it right! Second draft!

      I dunno if they would have had time for a Tomoe x Tooru scene, but it would have at least made her feel part of the show a bit more; much more than Imari’s “bro” analysis.

      • Highway says:

        Given the way the anime has gone, I can’t really complain about leaving a “Tomoe and Tor get closer together” scene being left out, or even a whole storyline like that being left out. Of course, I’ve given my opinion on what the Tomoe story should be above, which I think is a *much* better way to go than “More Harem for Tooru”.

        Usually I don’t have such a divergence for how a story should go from what is presented, but to me it would just feel right if the story took Miyabi and Tomoe kind of off in a different direction, maybe even give Miyabi a bit of a dilemma: “Do I love Tor who doesn’t really love me back and rejected me cause he’s a git, but he’s still a nice guy otherwise? Or do I go with Tomoe who truly does love me as a person, but just doesn’t make my heart go dokidoki like Tor does? Or is what I feel for Tor just a crush?”

        Man, I’d love a story that went more that way. I think it would be so much better than a standard harem setup.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Difficult to make a mediocre LN series better because essentially you’d have to rewrite the characters. Which is going to alienate the fanbase with substantial risk of not even attracting a new fanbase. Generally getting a series means merchandise.

        Now when is my Shiro doll coming…

  5. IanDK says:

    Pacing a bit better in this one, but still messy. Animation wasn’t too bad this time around. Typical shounen powerups and villain behavior…

    But for some reason still find myself looking forward to this show every week.

    Favourite part: Julie refusing to leave the ship and staying to fight, because she can’t swim.

    • skylion says:

      Yeah, I find I can’t look way either. Even if I weren’t covering the show.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Favourite part: Julie refusing to leave the ship and staying to fight, because she can’t swim.

      If that’s not a “between a rock and a hard place” scenario, I don’t what is.

  6. Corin says:

    Honestly, this show is junk. It’s just not as junk as World Break or Isuca.

    It tries to be too many things and succeeds at almost none of them. It fails at being an action series because the action is uninspired and rarely has any kind of significant consequence. It’s about the lowest common denominator for harem shows since, with the slight exception of Lilith, none of the female characters seem to have any kind of real purpose for being there other than as harem members. It tries to sell the concept of ‘duos’ and ‘teams’ but mostly resorts to shonen standard having one person solve everything (usually Tooru, sometimes Julie) or having deus ex machina save the cast. It plays at being edgy but never has any real gravitas – the characters tossed aside in the first episode are right here on this separate campus, the mains are supposedly ‘avengers’ but never seem to show it except when the plot mechanisms demand it, and, again, conflicts rarely seem to have any kind of lasting consequence.

    I’d take Unlimited Fafnir, which is actually surprisingly decent, over this trope fest any day.

    • skylion says:

      Hey, Corin, welcome to Metanorn.

      Yeah, you’ve made a fair series of accusations here. Just last episode we were discussing the limits of LN adaptation, and this show has certainly showed that it can’t paint over it’s cracks with large strokes.

      I typically don’t like comparing one show to another despite similarities (that doesn’t stop me thought).But I think Fafnir is just about as liable to this show to decay. They’ve done a better job slideing from A story to B story as far as the girls are concerned, but that is about all I’d give it.

    • akagami says:

      Personally I don’t get all the hate towards “tropes”. Tbh it has minimal to no effect on my viewing enjoyment.

      I’m still watching this, although it has moved down a few spots since the first episode. I couldn’t last through Fafnir however, so I dropped that around the 4th episode.

      Ooh, skylion, saw this and had to share. I want it! I don’t have any real figures though. But it’s so cute and awesome.

      • Highway says:

        I think there’s a little bit of ‘looking for a reason to dislike something’ when people invoke tropes. The truth is that they’re in everything, because people’s lives generally follow them as well. Personally, I look for something different, and that’s the authenticity I’m always banging on about (it’s why Cross Ange is great, and A/Z is awful): Do the characters do what people would or might do in that situation? Or are they pushed around for plot convenience. Did the situation arise from something that was possible, or a logical outgrowth of what came before? And note that authenticity doesn’t need to mean ‘reality’. It’s possible to react authentically even in situations that could never happen in reality, or in settings that completely defy reality.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          We will disagree here but for me it’s the other way around. Cross Ange is very predictable for me. Protagonist and her main antagonist in typical Sunrise fashion. Sorry to say but typical cliche villian that is arrogant that his powers will enable him to win… which will NEVER be the case. Seriously, if I were Embryo, Ange&Co would have been non-existent by episode… whichever Embryo made his first appearance. But that’d cut the series short wouldn’t it? 😛 (DG’s HISHE!)

          A/Z doesn’t have that clear distinction between protangonist and antagonist. All we have are two factions fighting for their continued survival, tainted by prejudice. It is still is predictable, but I don’t expect a happy ending. Dammit UroButcher, Gargantia wasn’t supposed to have a good end!

          • Highway says:

            See, the problem is that you and I are on different maps. It doesn’t matter that Cross Ange is predictable. What matters to me is that it’s authentic, whether it’s predictable or not. Ange makes decisions informed by her past experiences, ones that we’ve been shown, ones that have relevance. The things that happen flow from A to B to C in a plausible way. And the other characters are the same way.

            A/Z, on the other hand, feels like it just makes people do things because the plot demands it. That makes the show feel cheap and manipulative. Things just happen because the writer thought it would be cool. It’s not like in last week’s Shirobako where you have a bunch of people sitting around a table reading a scenario and saying “Yes, I think it would go this way.” I envision it more as someone sitting there going “And it would be SO COOL if we had him do this completely unexpected thing!!!”

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Again this is where we would disagree. I would say its the reverse regarding the authenticity. At this moment in the show I would expect her to go raving mad down the path of the Dark Side(tm) and curbstomp Embryo.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Saw that in the GSC mailing list. To quote: “Delicious Meal.” Tempted, but ultimately she isn’t ranked high on my *sama list. Means more for skylolion anyway. 😛

      • Highway says:

        I’ll just say there’s no way I’m clicking on a J-List link at work…


        • BlackBriar says:

          Reason to believe it’s NSFW.

          • Di Gi Kazune says:

            *sigh* Just to prove it’s actually SFW:


            Err… I meant HER.

            I apologize for the misinformation before. It’s an Alter figure, not GSC. Which is tempting since I primarily get Alter figures (Like the Nanoha/Fate one somewhere on this site and the Sora on my site if you want to view). Then again, IIRC GSC and Alter are owned by the same company…

            • BlackBriar says:

              Okay, you’re clear. It’s not NSFW and that’s a nice looking figurine.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          And when did “at work” stopped anyone from clicking NSFW? 😛

          • BlackBriar says:

            Cause you never know who’s watching.

          • Highway says:

            It stops me if I don’t know the reason it’s NSFW. And it stops me if it’s JList. Doesn’t matter that a particular item is SFW there, you’re gonna get some ads for Tenga or oppai mousepads or dakimakura covers or even nude calendars.

      • skylion says:

        Yes, just saw this myself. I’m considering…

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      There was a proposal many, many episodes ago regarding “FantaNorn” except that watching the five or so series would cause the person doing it seizures.

      At the moment, there is general agreement that one of them is better than the rest: except there is no agreement which is the best of the lot. I for one belong to the rare “all of them are equally crap” division. Whilst a harem based series is alright, there must be something else besides the harem that drives the series. And no, blatant fanservicing isn’t one of the drivers. To borrow something from HannoX:

      Shiroyasha makes an excellent point. Teasing and almost seeing what’s hidden then leaving it to the viewer to imagine what’s hidden is one of the most erotic things there is.

      If we wanted complete reveal, there are always the H-doujins.

      • BlackBriar says:

        The post where you got that quote recently became two years old. Out of curiosity, what made you think to go down there? 😉

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          Looking for the Shiroyasha quote. And pictures if there were. Quite often I’m lazy to find the file and rewatch so I hope I can find something on the site…

          • BlackBriar says:

            I sometimes go down to look at the first comment I made on the site and find myself amazed at how far I’ve come.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              I cannot even remember where mine was first seen… I believe it might be a geneitai one…

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