Absolute Duo – 12 [END] – METANORN

Absolute Duo – 12 [END]

AbsoDuo 12-6

 Just let the LOLi kick more ass!

Well, I brought in the first show of the Winter Season proper, so that means I’ll be taking it out. Taking it out like a big old bag of trash! No, I’m kidding. Well, I’m not kidding that much.

Absolute Duo

AbsoDuo 12-1

Aw, man! Why you gotta go burn the place down?

It’s no great secret this show has been in a downward spiral pattern since about six weeks or so back. That’s more than half of it’s run. That portion inherited a great many of the minor flaws from the first half, and just added more of it’s own into the mix. As a result, getting to this point was an overly encumbered exercise. So perhaps a spiral is not a correct shape. I think we might be looking at a grind along a plateau, with few higher elevations that could bring up the mediocrity.

Which is actually quite the shame as the story did have some very good moments that could have given the proceedings some life, or should have to be more exact. Chief in that is our much maligned female lead, Julie Sigtuna. It’s no secret that I do like loliesque characters, and this one is no exception. But that’s only the start of the formula. With Julie I felt a great deal was added in that gave her some depth; with a slightly mysterious past, and a motivation to match. Her gentle nature was a smooth contrast to the eventual beast that we would see emerge. The end they achieved with her this episode was actually quite well done. I liked the added wrinkle of her being a “natural” Exceed versus the artificiality of the Lukifers. But for all her depth, the story just saw her sink into a Troperific girl in need of constant protection.

Fanservice is fine, as long as the character is more than just that…

That brings us right around to Tooru. It’s part of the whole of the thing, that the need for a self-insertion character is a great part of LN writing, and thus any adaptation that comes along. But that doesn’t mean that every MC has to be a plain cup of yogurt. They had a low start with him and could have climbed out of that. But the means create the ends. Not so much the ends justifying the means. Long story short…with Tooru it was all about protecting the girl because that means he had strength. Only Julie didn’t or shouldn’t need exclusive protection, and would probably do just fine growing with someone as a unit. As the story went along, the Duo became less absolute, and more forced. Her stumbles involving Lilith the start of the weakness…

Did she have to bleed that much? Well, for a bad characterization, I would say yes…

But with great power, comes great responsibility. Well, that can be debated. With great power comes great back-story; and that means exposition. It’s a given that something is going to get lost in translation from page to screen, but there’s glossing over, there is missing some elements, and then there is Absolute Duo. Fan of bubkus? Then this is one for you…no doubt. We got nothing about the academy, or the institute, or the opposition. We got the barest of information about the Blaze, and little to nothing about Equipment Smith’s crew; until K’s feeble background this episode. Master Chef contestants can and have screwed up many dishes, but no one has every failed by delivering an empty plate. Exposition is always a balancing act, and over or under-emphasizing it can screw a story hard. I guess they felt delivering nothing would not screw it at all?

Actually, one of the coolest moments this series…Cheers for Rito-sensei!

For all it’s faults, there were some things the show actually did right here and there. The above collection of pics is perhaps one of them. I loved the way she both loved and hazed them. It did get a bit out of hand during the onsen and beach scenes, but what’s an ecchi show gonna do, but what an ecchi show has to do? Her character managed to bring out a bit of the depth the school setting needed. She almost succeeded where Sakuya as a character failed in most every respect.

Also, even with some derp quality and some poorly blocked scenes, quite a lot of the combat animation was well done. None of it was top flight by any stretch, but many did have stronger character moments in them then the rest of the story would have lead on. If you match this up with the dynamics that the different Blaze weapons brought to the mix, you can see the potential each fight had. But….yeah, I’ll just complain too much if I continue…

Final Duo Extras

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Well, at this point I can’t say I’m not used to disappointment. I know I’ve made a pick like this at least once an anime season since I’ve been writing for Metanorn. But I feel, by far, this has been one for the books. I fully acknowledge that a great deal of information could have been gotten from the LNs, and I’ve read thru a few bits and pieces here and there. But an adaptation has to stand on it’s own two feet and tell it’s own story; completely and without reservation. With little doubt, much more could have been done to make this a good show; great is something I’ll leave to debate. So with that in mind, I turn it over to you guys. Thank you for hanging with the show, and for hanging with me these past three months.

AbsoDuo 12-9

I’ll leave on a nice isolated moment…

Thanks for Watching!

About

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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89 Responses to “Absolute Duo – 12 [END]”

  1. Highway says:

    This show had chances. It had chances to break out of the well-worn path of the crummy LN. And every time there was a fork in the road, an exit ramp to something interesting and cool, it was like “Nah, I’ll stay on this Same old-Same old highway with everything else.” Now, I’ll say that the stuff that other commenters have posted about how they’ve actually left out even more of the same old same old stuff makes me think that this adaptation only about half bad. But that means it’s only about half good, too.

    The epilogue part of this episode pretty much summed this up. WTF does Tor not know when Julie is getting out of the hospital? Seriously? He hasn’t even been to see her? He’s her duo. “Oh, but there’s a sign on the door…” Seriously? He’s gotta find out (conveniently) from Lilith, instead of knowing already. “Hey, thanks for tea Lilith, I’ve gotta go meet Julie, she’s getting out of the hospital today.” How hard would that have been? And then to not have a place to meet her? He’s gotta run all over? Stoooooopid.

    And the final thing, the thing that just put the bland icing on the badly baked cake, was that Julie says “I want to be with you forever, I want to be your DUO” Duo? DUO? oh come onnnnnnn. At least Miyabi had the guts to confess the truth: “I love you, Tor”. If Julie had done that, it would have been a much better ending.

    This show gets the venom that’s reserved for those shows that are close, but blow it. It wasn’t a crap sandwich, like Isuca is. Call it the wasted potential tax, I guess. Close to being good, but you messed it up.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Usa-sensei boins in to save the day! Like she should.

    I guess that the only reason they turned this into an anime is to pander to the harem lovers. sorta. kinda. maybe. Hell what am I saying, this show lacked direction.

    From the season commentary, this show basically made the same seirei tsukai mistakes. I for one would like to thank the hardworking people that took the time to blog this (and suffer in the process) so that other may not need to endure the suffering. 40 virgin LOLis will be banked into your account(s).

    • skylion says:

      People?! skylion and his knuckle-busting legion of alternate skylions…

      Uh….you’re welcome…

    • BlackBriar says:

      Usa-sensei boins in to save the day! Like she should.

      Looks like she’s the type that prefers to be feared than loved. That stampede of students chasing her indicates as much.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        It is better to be feared than to be loved. – The Prince.

        It is better to be feared than to be loved. – Jibril. 0:3 (aaa~~ Master~~~)

  3. Rathje says:

    Honestly, I’ve been enjoying Sekai World Break more than this. So far anyway (and I’ll admit the obligatory beach episode almost made me quit).

    Not that that’s a great show either. It isn’t. But I’d rate it above Duo.

    Well, chin up – just think – you could have chosen to blog Shinmai Maou. All things considered, you got off light.

    • Highway says:

      I actually really like World Break, because its attitude feels a lot more “All In” with what it’s doing. It’s just so much more self-aware, with things like Maya introducing herself as “Future Harem Personnel” and the Strikers Vice President just being around. It makes the show fun, not a chore.

    • skylion says:

      Maou has it’s own problems stemming from the overworn and silly little sister angle. It literally makes no sense.

      World Break, as Highway sez: It makes it’s own rules, and all of the rules say, have fun.

      As for getting off light? Well, Black Bullet, Hanayamata, Avenging Battle, and now Duo. I pick my own poison…

    • BlackBriar says:

      you could have chosen to blog Shinmai Maou.

      Though it’s a far cry to compare the two, I enjoyed Shinmai Maou no Testament more than Absolute Duo. So I’m glad to know it’s getting a second season in Fall 2015.

    • belatkuro says:

      World Break is definitely my favorite amongst the fantasy harem shows this season. To think I totally disliked its first episode. It grew on me when Moroha dropped Cocytus on Edward. It’s definitely self-aware and is just fun even with its terrible animation. I feel more energy with its plot and voice acting than in here.

      • Highway says:

        Oh, World Break has some terrible animation, all right. But then none of these shows has ‘great’ animation, and having that energy you mention brings a lot more to the experience than not being derpy. Plus, as terrible as World Break’s monsters are, they’re not as bad as Fafnir’s. Well, maybe they are, but they don’t get as much screen time as Fafnir’s awful dragons.

        • Rathje says:

          Oh wow, Fafnir….

          Speak not the name! Speak not the name!

          • belatkuro says:

            The Fafnir LN is actually pretty decent. Better than Absolute Duo, though that doesn’t say much.
            The anime is okay for me, though it leaves out a lot of details and changed plenty of stuff from the source. It could have been handled better but it just came off as lazy in terms of pacing and action. I blame Diomedea for taking on too much shows this season.

            Also, Spammy ate a comment earlier.

            • Highway says:

              The things you’ve posted from the LN’s have been informative, but to me it sounds like the LN’s just aren’t good, and the adaptation actually did pretty well, at least as far as decisions I’d like to see. I think the biggest problem is that they crammed too many LN’s into the anime, and that the LNs themselves don’t have much to build on. I had a ton of better ideas than they had, but it sounds like the LNs are just pretty standard.

          • BlackBriar says:

            I never saw that anime at all. Was it that bad?

            • Rathje says:

              It’s subjective – as the comments above show. But after a 3 episode test, I certainly thought so.

            • skylion says:

              Fafnir has as many parts as any story, most of them presented in earnest, and certainly with an unsteady hand. If I can see any good in it, it’s that the “harem collection” was…not terrible and somewhat endearing. If you took it away from the horrible CG monsters and that part of the story it might be an interesting show.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Then it was just decision not bothering to watch it at all. I passed on Fafnir completely when the season started because from the sight of the visuals, it looked too cute without a clear purpose. One of the things not within my strike zone where anime is concerned.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Fapnir. Fap.

            • akagami says:

              A good decision BB. I ended up dropping it around the 5 mark. It was too generic with no selling points (imho). And the CG “dragons” were just horrible.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Not much of an issue, though. As I’m always careful with what shows I choose to watch. A few surprises might show up, getting added to the list but because of my screening, the drop rate is relatively small every time. No more than at least 2 to 3 animes a season.

            • Highway says:

              If you like the look of Fafnir, then it could be a not bad show. I find that the characters are a little too young looking for me to really believe it, and the timing just doesn’t feel right for Yuu being anything close to high school age if Mitsuki is and Yuu’s been in the military for a while. That’s really glossed over.

              Oh, and Fafnir blew it by ruining the best character.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    An open ended finale to a shaky and inconsistently storied show. Absolute Duo as a whole is below average. I mean, it was promising, could’ve been good but ultimately blew a lot of chances. I can some of the character personalities were what helped me stay on. My biggest gripe is the agenda of the so-called bad guys that was poorly elaborated, if at all. No matter how much effort is put into it, I’m left with nothing to grasp as what their reasoning was.

    Another thing, the final fight turned out uninteresting thanks to the insipid behavior of K whom I couldn’t care about in the slightest. Personally, he’s really pathetic and pitiful to look at. Most of my thoughts were that the less screen time he got, the better.

    Overall, it’s passable to kill some time where expectations are unnecessary but definitely not worthy of a re-watch. In the end, a show destined to be forgotten in mere weeks.

    • skylion says:

      …and to think, they actually had to have two major knock down’s with K…one of the should have done the job…

      • BlackBriar says:

        K was very much “what you see is what you get”. An insecure brat desperate to show his superiority. That combined with his weak minded personality, he makes an uninteresting and irritating antagonist.

  5. belatkuro says:

    They pretty much removed the epilogue of volume 4 since they went on the /u/ route last episode with Miyabi and Tomoe. Tor and Miyabi went on a date in a festival. She confessed again but she got rejected not because he doesn’t like her but he has something to do(Avenger). She was still hopeful since it’s not a flat out rejection.

    There’s really nothing more than I can add that hasn’t been said already. I already expected it would be bad since the source was also bad and that’s coming from someone who still watches/reads these types of shows and still find some enjoyment in it.
    I’ll have to echo again the sentiment that this was written much more amateurishly than the standard LN. Sure, cliches and tropes get used almost everywhere but it’s not utilized in a fresh or different way here. It’s just sticking by the book and formula without varying it.
    The biggest gripe I have is the amount of foreign chuuni terms/words being thrown everytime to make things sound cool. Avenger, Rebels, Destruction, El Awake. Don’t get me started on the codenames of those guys on the conference.

    Definitely gonna be forgotten after a couple of months. Only thing I will probably remember from this show is the opening song.

    • skylion says:

      I hope they set up Miyabi’s confession so it didn’t make it look like she was desperate. Avenger or no….

      Thanks for all your contributions to these posts, it was great to have this sort of LN to anime touchstone.

  6. IanDK says:

    And that’s a wrap.

    The first arc showed promise, aside from obvious budget-constrained animation issues. After that, it went all over the place, and ended up going nowhere…

    I agree with the sentiments of ‘missed potential’. They could have done so much more with the premise, but alas it never happened. I liked the concept. Execution fell flat. Still enjoyed it for the most part, despite it not breaking any new ground.

    Julie ED returning was also nice. 😛

    • skylion says:

      I would have to say my disappointment in the show only marginally-“whelmed” my liking of the show.

      Yes, I had wanted to post a youtube vid to celebrate the return of that ED, but felt the last image I picked left the feelings I wanted to convey…

  7. akagami says:

    So skylion, how far down the hate-meter was it? I’m currently on episode 6! Your answer will help decide if I just hit the purge button or keep in on the ‘log! So what is it, good sir? I couldn’t really tell from your review.

    • akagami says:

      Should I just cut my losses before things supposedly go really south, and leave on a happy note?

      • Highway says:

        With as little as you have time for, I wouldn’t keep going with Absolute Duo. If you really want to watch a show of this time, I still recommend World Break over Duo.

        • akagami says:

          Loving World Break, currently it’s on my archival list ^^

        • skylion says:

          What Highway said. At least watch the beach/onsen bits.

          • akagami says:

            Sounds like a plan! Which episodes are those? I have 6-12 ready for disposal.

            • skylion says:

              Seven and Eight…

            • akagami says:

              domo arigato!

            • akagami says:

              I tried getting to 8, but after 6 and halfway through 7, I’ve had way too much of Julie and Miyabi to last a month. Why make the girl who has as much personality as a cardboard box the main girl, and also focus the episodes on the other deadweight girl who’s only notable feature is her above-average breasts? Why?!?

              Even the appearance of Imari couldn’t save things for me, so I cut my losses there, considering that you all said there wasn’t much to look forward too. If these two episodes were the high point of the series, it’s probably a good thing to stop here. The only character I liked was Lilith, and even then, she was just about average. Bunny-sensei was… ok, I guess.

            • akagami says:

              To clarify, Bunny-sensei’s character was probably the only noteworthy highlight of the show, but her character was way too psychotic for my liking, so that lowered my overall opinion of the character. But she sure was amusing during all her appearances, to say the least.

            • BlackBriar says:

              That’s a shame. Psycho anime girls are some of the best kinds out there.

            • skylion says:

              Well, not every cup of tea is to one’s taste. I must admit, it wasn’t the watching of the show I enjoyed the most. It was breaking it down week by…weak…I’m a writer that likes finding out why the watch doesn’t tick…

            • skylion says:

              @BB. The mileage one can get from a single psycho is enough to drive you way past the target. I’m glad they kept Bun-Bun just on this side of boo-boo-bunny-kick. That’s mean crazy, son. Loco. I say I say.

            • akagami says:

              @BB – Well, they’re fun until they start to dissect you or other similar activities. Then you’re like, “well, that escalated fast.”

            • akagami says:

              @skylion – at the risk of angering every British person out there, all tea tastes the same to me. Well, I can tell the difference between herbal tea and normal tea, but that’s about it. Green, black, and etc. tea all tastes the same (I only drink it without sugar/cream).

            • skylion says:

              @akagami So every simile tastes the same to you, and you prefer it with cream and sugar. Gotch ;-P

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Every tea is different. Chamomile does not taste the same as Jasmine or English Breakfast.

              Most of all: Computer, Tea, Earl Gray, Hot. He would beg to differ.

  8. Highway says:

    One other bit of a gripe. It’s obvious they got rid of the second best character 10 minutes into the show. Imari’s return 2/3 through just proved that, after Julie, she was the best character. And with the way they damsel’ed out Julie after halfway, if Imari had had any more screen time, it’s likely she’d have passed Julie, cute Scandanavian or not.

    I kind of wonder if this was a bit of a staffing fail. First time that Atsushi Nakayama is credited as Director of a series (he directed a Lyrical Nanoha movie), and he got a lot of seiyuu that just don’t have much main character experience to be these main characters. Maybe that’s why Imari and Tomoe stood out to me so much, as Haruka Tomatsu, and to a lesser extent Ayaka Suwa, seem to have much more experience, and they turned in the best performances.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      That is why Usa-sensei should have been the lead. >_> She would have dug his directorial skills with a big Buster. Divinely.

    • skylion says:

      That’s a good gripe, as far as a gripe can be good that is.

      I think we can chalk duo up to Bad Source/Adaptation Fail. Can any staff really cram that much into 12 episodes and still pull it off? As Bel points out, the naming conventions seem amateurish, and motivations look to be based on rule of cool/ball carrying rather than natural characterizations.

      Ah well, C’mon Spring!

      • BlackBriar says:

        Ah well, C’mon Spring!

        Careful how you say that! I’m in utter agony just waiting for April to arrive because of a whole heap of new shows that already outclasses this season in appearance. I can also pretty guess what kind of post is showing up this weekend. 😉

        • skylion says:

          I would say that my mood is between yours and Highway’s somewhat, “Oh, it’s two weeks until the next season, I might want to check it out”

          • BlackBriar says:

            I see… Only now that next season is one more week away starting today. I already have an idea on one of the shows Highway will be writing but I wonder what your selection will be.

          • Highway says:

            My attitude, as always, is “It’ll get here when it gets here, and we’ve got some great things to watch now.”

        • Highway says:

          Meanwhile there are plenty of people who don’t want the current season to end. Shirobako, Parasyte, Death Parade, Yurikuma Arashi, Shigatsu, Yona, Maria, and of course my favorite, Cross Ange. Some people are saying that this may have been one of the best, if not the singular best season of anime. That the season fillers didn’t live up to those other shows doesn’t make the season bad.

          • Highway says:

            I’ll also add that even if we’re kinda complaining about Duo here, for the most part I’d say we all enjoyed it, and most of us are enjoying World Break even more. Same with SaeKano. If you tally up the complete dogs, it’s pretty much Isuca. That’s it, and even that has some interesting parts, just not well executed at all.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Absolute Duo was 60% good in my opinion. The inconsistencies take up the remaining 40%. World Break is faring on an acceptable level after recovering from a god awful opening episode which really got under my skin. I don’t mind Isuca at all. The main girl cooled down somewhat, making the whole cast likable and the supernatural aspect is the show’s biggest hook. All mediocre series but still have charm there nonetheless. I passed on SaeKano completely since it looks dominated by the romance genre and that’s definitely not within my interests. Anything like that won’t see the light of day with me.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Never cared for Shirobako or Shigatsu and doubt I ever will. Looking at their synopsis from MAL, they’re just not the kind of stuff I’m into. Akatsuki no Yona just ended last night with a cliffhanger finale that’s sitting well enough with me (Still waiting on possible second season confirmation). Aside from that, the other mentioned shows are all well and fine, I’m watching them but just as their final episodes are closing in, you can feel there’s hardly anything left to go on.

            It’s understandable why some don’t want it to end. I’d like Nanatsu no Taizai to continue, though word of mouth has it the anime is almost on par with the manga. Durarara!!x2 is heading to the end of its first cour but fortunately enough, two more are waiting on standby.

            With the exception of a few good animes, this didn’t feel like a strong season. To me, it’s weaker than last Winter. Without the inclusion of ongoing animes from Fall 2014, I found my Winter list much lighter compared to last year.

            I just want Spring here now because of all the promising animes lined up. My top three anticipated are already first in line to start. You can’t tell me you’re not interested yourself. Plus it’s a given you’re going back to helming Highschool DxD and Sumaiiri with Knights of Sidonia.

            • Highway says:

              At the risk of being indelicate, as my grandmother used to say in a singsong voice when I wouldn’t eat fried okra or lima beans: “You just don’t know what’s good” (for the record, fried okra and lima beans are great, as I now know). 😉

              Every one of the shows I mentioned is excellent, and there’s JoJo, Durarara, and Taizai as you mentioned, two of which I don’t watch, but other people are enjoying them.

              And I’ll probably recommend Shirobako to anyone who likes anime. It’s almost perfectly done, and everyone would be interested in seeing some of the ‘how does this sausage get made?’

            • BlackBriar says:

              At the risk of being indelicate, as my grandmother used to say in a singsong voice when I wouldn’t eat fried okra or lima beans: “You just don’t know what’s good”

              I know what I like.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Never cared for Shirobako or Shigatsu and doubt I ever will. Looking at their synopsis from MAL, they’re just not the kind of stuff I’m into.

              *high fives*

              Real-life already provides me with slice of life based entertainment. Do not need more. I would have preferred Shirobako more as a mockumentary.

              Am now waiting for summer and 10 episodes or so worth of beach LOLis. Some shows have the obligatory beach/onsen episode. This show will spend more… Actually I feel they will stretch things out… a lot.

          • skylion says:

            Well, talk about being in between. One of my chief concerns for any story is that it ends; a hard realization in most respects.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Well, unfortunately, all things must come to an end at some point.

            • skylion says:

              Why is it unfortunate? Some of the best stories have clear endings…

            • BlackBriar says:

              Depends if it’s something you really like.

  9. BlackBriar says:

    Again… Can someone help? Spammy is at it again.

  10. BlackBriar says:

    Anime news: KanColle Television Anime Gets Sequel. Get this over to Fosh! And pronto!

  11. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Out of nowhere… Volume 2 sold… a miserable 774 copies. Maybe I should get the data for the 5 shows of FantaNorn……

    • Highway says:

      They are all doing poo for sales, except for “buy it because you can see boobies” ShinMaou.

      Cross Ange has averaged over 5000 sales per volume. 😀 But Mahouka has averaged over 10k per volume.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Cross Ange has averaged over 5000 sales per volume.

        I saw the news on an ANN article some time ago. One of the creators said that Cross Ange generated enough money that it’s possible for the series to gain a sequel. Though I have no idea how that would work given the series finale felt neatly tied off as it is.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          5k is okay. 3 digits is saying something else. I would say please, no sequel. They’ve already made things look tidy from a weak ending.

          OTOH, A/Z deserves another season, provided they RECTIFY the ending. IE. Asseylum dies. horribly. a. painful. death.

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Frozen has combined sales of 2M. 😛

        4-5k is decent numbers considering the level of market saturation. I ignore Jesus-Kira/Kirito/equivalent series sales because they make no sense. However, I do expect Hestia’s ribbons to boost sales.

        Now, to buy SB69 or not. That is the question.

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