Absolute Duo – 11

AbsoDuo 11-01

It’s Miyabi’s yandere inspired world….we just live in it…

Well, I’m somewhat delighted. I get to eat my own words. This episode wasn’t as bad as I had originally feared, but some faulty narrative choices still haunt the proceedings….

Killing Game

AbsoDuo 11-04

Miyabi brings all her assets to the fight…

As I said, this episode wasn’t as bad as I had feared it would be. For one, we didn’t get loads and loads of badly done CGI Rebel goons storming around; they were isolated to a few short clips here and there. And for another, they didn’t drag out the drama as much as I thought they would going in; minimal angst is good, full stop. And for thirds, all of the combat felt personal, and had story and characterization behind them; it was clear cut, to the point, without mincing around or playing with those damn split screens.

There was quite a bit happening in the background, the raison d’etre for all rounds of fighting going on, but I’ll focus on the Miyabi arc for now. I had expected them to portray her as arch as possible, instead they gave us a lighter touch. Now they didn’t forget to add the yandere elements, but they held it off to a few pinches here and there. Having said that I question whether or not that was necessary, but given her brainwashed state of mind, a bit of repeating Tooru over and over again and the constant “look at me and no-one else” is a given. That’s what the Fusion suit really amounts to.

I have to admit, they did play the fight with her rather well. Split off the group to fight more effectively, and let one member of the Duo handle the other. It was a risk, with Miyabi injuring her partner earlier, but it payed off. Tora and Lilth made a good temp pair, allowing Julie and Tooru to progress to where they needed to be. But this part was all about Tomoe understanding where her partner was coming from, and where she needed to go. It was a bit of a narrative pull to equate the type of strength Miyabi was seeking with the courage to confess her feelings. But this is the usual way these altercations break down.

AbsoDuo 11-05

Snap out of it!

The other courts….

AbsoDuo 11-06

“Dammit, I got protected again….”

Yeah, that’s my first complaint. In the early days of the show they had spent some good coin building Julie up as a competent character, with a bit of lax spending here and there. But as the season has progressed, they just stopped making that investment. It’s been a sore point for me, as this story could have easily been her and Tooru’s progression together. Now, having said that, they do have a bit more time to bring her up to speed. But if the first episode cold open is any indication, it’s Tooru to her rescue all over again. Which would be a damn shame. It’s a Duo after all…

But as we fully expected, Tooru used the boost juice to give him the edge in the fight, just when he needed it. I do wonder if this is going to haunt him later, buying into Sakuya’s unknown program as he has, but that is for another time. Also, why isn’t that stuff an alternative at the beginning for all the better students? Seems like it would have been a good proactive measure knowing Equipment Smith was coming in hell bent for leather to prove himself. Oh, such a naughty man, spying on the female student body.

AbsoDuo 11-07AbsoDuo 11-08

But I do admire the style she showed his ass the door

Well, despite the fact that both K and Smith were full fledged carriers of the Villain Ball, most of this turned out to be a good show. I still don’t know jack about what the opposing sides motivation is, other than to prove they are better than the Blaze Diabolique and all that jazz. That’s not a very good reason for a drama to my mind. It makes them seem petty, and can reduce the battles down to only so much animation. We can look forward to K making it more personal next episode, but I fear it’s going to be more of his solipsistic mouthitude. You can only beat this guy down so many times…But this episode surprised me a bit, maybe the final will treat me the same way….

AbsoDuo 11-09

Julie: Neh, I will protect Toruu. Tooru: No, I will protect you. Julie! Julie: Nej, I will protect Toruu. etc. etc.


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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45 Responses to “Absolute Duo – 11”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    TOR must protect Jane Foster. Oops, wrong Thor. Need more torn clothing.

    Yandere is always good value.

    Also need more Yukarin.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Also need more Yukarin.

      No doubt they’re saving Bun-Bun for last.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Suffice to say this made up for last week’s train that went nowhere or in circles, if you will.

    Miyabi’s state of mind was the compelling part of the fight. It was outright obsession. She wanted Tor badly enough there was no batting any eyes when striking and wounding Tomoe, her own partner. Imagine how far her murderous intent would go had it been someone she had no personal connections with.

    To be honest, I really don’t care about K. Since his introduction, the feel around him comes off as forced. The taunts he throws at Tor regarding the protection of people he cares about, it’s like he’s doing all he can to believe his own words. Killing Equipment Smith amount to nothing more than a little shock factor.

    So Absolute Duo will be the anime that signals the start of this season’s curtain call next week. So far, the show has been rocking back and forth with inconsistencies. Tor’s backstory being the biggest of them. Hopefully the story will end on a decent enough note.

    • Highway says:

      Shigatsu wa kimi no uso ends this week. 🙂

      • BlackBriar says:

        Technically, Shigatsu can’t count because it’s a two-cour anime that began Fall 2014. Same with Akatsuki no Yona, Parasyte and other ongoing shows that started back then. Absolute Duo is an anime that began and is ending with Winter 2015. Also apparently the first to start this season’s end.

        • skylion says:

          I brought the winter in, and I’ll be the fella that ends it…

          • Di Gi Kazune says:

            Hurry up with your yurikuma! For once, I’ve watched it early! 😛

            • BlackBriar says:

              Funny. I watched both Yuri Kuma and Absolute Duo last night. Watching the latter just as this post showed up. skylion works fast.

            • skylion says:

              Well, seeing as how I knew it would be later in the week, I haven’t even watched it yet. Patience.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Yes my Sith Lord.

          • BlackBriar says:

            That’s why I think once an anime starts with its particular seasonal tag (Winter,Spring, Summer, Fall), it’s going to stay even if the show is a two-cour extending into the following season.

  3. Highway says:

    I kinda give this a half-pass. I wish Tomoe had had more of a personal connection to Miyabi. It kinda just felt like “You’re my Duo, so I have to save you” when I would rather have seen a clearer “I really care about you, so I *want* to save you”.

    And as skylion says, once again, Tor’s the big hero and Julie’s the damsel in distress. Yeah, this pattern was set earlier, but it’s old and lame. Heck, Tora was more effective this time than Julie. Ultimately, the show retreated to well-worn, and pretty boring, ground, when with just a little bit of a change it could have been much fresher and more interesting.

    • skylion says:

      I felt that the Tomoe-Miyabi ED bridged that gap, but the structure is still kinda shaky.

      Ah, Julie. Mea Culpa…

  4. JPNIgor says:

    Awww, damn. That battle between Tooru and K was just awful. Like, OMG HE DIDN’T DIE, WHAT SHOULD I DO? HIDE? RUN? I CAN’T MOVE!!!!!! That battle was so rushed they didn’t even give K the chance to react.

    But I’m kinda glad that they gave Tooru x K less screen time than Miyabi vs. Tomoe. It turned out much better than expected, after all.

    … Ah, and I had to laugh with all those chuunippoi names hahaha. It seemed like some kind of oddball forum where they discuss weird stuff.

    • skylion says:

      …if they even discuss anything…they mostly showed up, said Hi, and then said Bye. I don’t even…

      That fight was basically, hurt Julie, make Tooru level up, K get’s kicked. Bad scores all around.

    • BlackBriar says:

      … Ah, and I had to laugh with all those chuunippoi names hahaha.

      Must be their way of making sure outside parties of various kinds don’t figure out who they really are during conference.

  5. belatkuro says:

    Like I said last time, the Miyabi fight is suppose to happen separately from the Killing Game. All that happens with Tomoe and Miyabi is anime original. Whether you think that’s a good or bad thing is up to you(if you’re into /u/ that is).

    From the novel standpoint, it’s totally different. Tor is suppose to feel bad for Miyabi being like that. He was the cause for what she was feeling and so he wanted to be the one to do something about it. Leaving it to Tomoe doesn’t make much sense even if Tomoe’s the Duo. It just makes him irresponsible. And besides, if they went at it like in the novels, it’s both of them who would try and talk sense to Miyabi, though it’s Tor who gets the final say to her. That and no Rebels hanging around watching while there’s suppose to be a game happening where they need to kill one another.

    The whole fight with K was all the same as in the novels so any complaints there are valid. Probably the only change would be that it’s Tora who hands Tor the powerup as he didn’t pocket it last episode. Sakuya trusted Tor that he would use it when the time comes so he let Tora hold it for him.

    And did you know they compressed the whole of volume 4 into these 2 episodes. And they’re going to bleed a little into volume 5 for the last episode. The conclusion to their fight with K happens in volume 5 after all. Talk about a rush.
    They removed Tor and Tomoe celebrating their birthdays. I really suspect the director dislikes Tomoe as a lot of the development for her is missing or got changed.

    • skylion says:

      Geez, sounds like the series compositor from this show needs to take notes from TNK and the writer from the DXD franchise…

    • Highway says:

      I actually like the anime better than what you’re describing of the LN. That story sounds even more boring and formulaic than what they presented.

  6. IanDK says:

    He had to use the syringe. I am disappointed, even though my expectation was that he would end up doing so. 😛 I rather liked that Tomoe was the one to settle things with Miyabi rather than Tooru doing so.

    Alas, all throughout, the characters aren’t well developed.

    As this show comes to a wrap, my mind has Machine Doll as a comparison… did a few things, but really didn’t go anywhere…

    • skylion says:

      Can’t act; slightly bald; can dance a little. I think Machine Doll might fare better on the explaining of the esoteric mechanics, and providing more insight into the MC’s mysterious past.

      But at the very least, they didn’t devolve to the stock, “as I am right now” phrase with Tooru. He just up and did it..

    • BlackBriar says:

      As this show comes to a wrap, my mind has Machine Doll as a comparison

      That was the series that immediately came to mind after watching the first episode due to similarities but I was requested not to mention it.

    • akagami says:

      Poor UMD, sitting in the corner *pats UMD*

      • akagami says:

        Oooh, 1000th comment was defending UMD~

        It’s ok Raishin, if nothing else, I’m in your corner!

        • BlackBriar says:

          Another new member to the thousand club!! Here’s your cigar!! You’ve earned it!! 😀

          • akagami says:

            Why thank you!

            *takes a whiff*

            *cough*…*hack*…wheeze*… it…it’s ok, I *hack*… got this… *cough*

            • BlackBriar says:

              It takes getting used to… You will, eventually. 😉

      • BlackBriar says:

        I can’t deny Unbreakable Machine-Doll was lackluster. It just couldn’t deliver.

        • akagami says:

          I have to agree that it could have been more. The ending was a non-ending.

          • BlackBriar says:

            And because it did so poorly, I don’t see a second season coming any time in the future.

  7. akagami says:

    I’m a bit behind, on episode five. Sounds like I’m not missing too much… the only thing keeping me watching is how I like the first twelve seconds of the OP. The bunny-sensei fight was ok, and then it just… got stuck in neutral and started rolling backwards.

    I don’t really like any of the characters, so this might end up getting dropped, depending on if skylion hates on the finale ^^.

    • skylion says:

      …oh, goodness, my hate has a follower! LOL.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Hahaha!! That far behind? I’m surprised you’re still holding on at all. If I had to give an opinion on the show so far, it’s inconsistent. A lot of ups and downs.

      • akagami says:

        For better or for worse, once it clears the initial impression stage, it takes a fair bit to get dropped. Like it has to fall pretty deep into the suck range.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Or it can completely repulse you right on the first episode. Samurai Flamenco and Kenzen Robo Daimidaler were such perfect examples for me.

          • Di Gi Kazune says:

            Or you could be like me, no show is safe from being dropped suddenly at any point. I believe there was a show years back that was canned past the halfway mark. Cannot remember the title…

            • BlackBriar says:

              Even if it’s a series with a particular genre you like?

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Yes. It means that that show is unworthy of its genre.

            • Highway says:

              I’ve dropped 12 episode shows after episode 10. If you’re not enjoying it, you’re not enjoying it, and your time is better spent doing something else. There’s no merit badge for watching something that you don’t like. There’s no school credit for finishing series you don’t like. You don’t get closer to Inner Peace by punishing yourself with bad shows.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Agree with Highway there. I believe DALII did suffer this ignomity or was it more like I was skipping episodes. I dunno if its just me but I felt that the anime wasn’t conveying what was in the LN well.

              I just remembered one show which I did dump after episode 40/41/42: Inuyasha.

            • akagami says:

              Hmm, it’s not like I’m forcing myself to continue watching. If it’s at least average, I’ll continue watching it, because I’m still getting some enjoyment out of it. But if I start facepalming, I’ll probably drop it. But it takes a lot for me to start facepalming.

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