Absolute Duo – 03

AbsoDuo 03-05

Ja, I’m officially biased towards Julie…

I was rather hopeful for the show last time around, and I still am, but this episode, given all that happened, felt very much by the book…

School Rumble

AbsoDuo 03-lead

Yes, you have to fight the other Duos….duuuuuuh!

Well they start us off with the cliched, “we’re compatible” misunderstanding. But don’t rest on your laurels yet Duo, you’ve yet to spring the Battling Student Body trope….oh wait, you just did….Oh, well. We will take that as shown, I guess. Actually, given what has to be a hefty charge of resources behind the Academy, it stands to reason they are going to want to get these kids going with some practical experience and find out just who they need to invest in for the long run. What aims the Dawn Agency has for this is as yet unknown, but I think Sakura will make matters clear soon enough. But that is future considerations. As of this episode, I don’t think they’ve added much more to the story other than getting a minor truck load of cliches out of the way.

AbsoDuo 03 -01

Standard: Practice in PE uni…for the baruma…

I do like how much closer both Tooru and Julie are getting, and it continues to be a favorite part of the show for me. They just seem like a natural couple beyond the standard OTP set-up. But I would have loved for this scene to have been mostly a flashback. As it stand the “One-Two” delivery was fine, but giving it this much foreshadowing this early on drained the tension and resolve out of the maneuver come it’s proper debut later.

But we just don’t stop there do we Duo…you’ve got the kind boy approach to hit upon right about now. It’s the standard approach to all harem waveforms…it always collapses because “you were nice to me”. Now, for all intents, Miyabi is a sweet and decent character, but she’s out of her depth, and only knows how to tread at this point. So queue the hero, giving her all the pep talk she needs, along with the generous piggy-back ride home. It find it interesting, despite her “over-compenstating” for something Blaze, that she still has the chutzpah. I thought they were going to carry on with the comedy in her bit of the fight, just as they did with the also-rans Julie and Tooru faced before Final Boss Moment.

AbsoDuo 03-04

I wonder what Bun-Bun’s Student Teacher Evaluation Card looks like? “Function with murderous intent”

So after a group of by the book battles to advance our main Duo, we get down to the first serious fight. Both Miyabi and Tomoe need to work on a better group strategy; unless Tomoe is a better strategist than I thought, cause if she counted on using Miyabi’s shy and clumsy approach against Tooru, then she playing with the right deck of cards. But for this fight, it’s the mains job to cowboy and cowgirl up and get the job done. This part of the fight did feel rather well done, as Julie does continue to surprise…remember what I said about her training last time? She is way to demure about it at this point.

So with the minis out of the way, time for the main if not-unexpected-yet-expected Boss. We all knew with Bun Bun’s malicious grin by the end last episode that she was up to no good. Well, she’s up to her job if you can believe it. Boot is supposed to be an unkind place, cause your enemy sure as heck ain’t gonna give you quarter, and Bun Bun is living up to the kick ass drill instructor that R. Lee Emry has given us. Only she kicks way more ass. Virtually unstoppable. But since you’ve seen the foreshadowing, and I lampshaded it up there in paragraph two, you know what her weakness is. Dammit, beaten by the script yet again!

But, the fight was not without exposition. It did address a concern I talked about in the FI. Can Blaze only hurt a persons soul? Well, if that is what the user has been conditioned to think…then that is the case. But Bun Bun just blew the lid off that. That would be one thing, but to also show that the Blaze can be handled by another person and destroyed, that opens up a ton of avenues worth exploring later on..


AbsoDuo 03-06

 These two lovebirds were sharing some apple tea. You won’t believe what happens next…

So after a barrage of Bun-Bun Boo Boos, our Duo is recovering safe and sound back at their dorm. I know I’ve really hit this episode hard, but I feel that last few scenes more than make up for it. In looking back, it felt like this was were they had the most thought in the script. By juxtaposing Tooru’s cliched mysterious past with Julie’s quiet acceptance of hers, they seem to be saying quite a few things about the story, and the trope itself.

AbsoDuo 03-02

Now, if we knew who the injured party was, we might care a bit more….

AbsoDuo 03-03

…like, you know, with this character…

In short we all have scars, and Julie is reminding him that he doesn’t have to hide behind that pain. He’s much better opening up and sharing. Because it’s not to wrong to assume she needs help with her pain as well. A stronger Duo, better than the sum of their parts.

Final Thoughts

All in all this wasn’t a bad episode, but it wasn’t as tight as it could have been. They’ve done well advancing the potential teamwork and friendship of our main Duo; with little bits and pieces adding up along the way to make a greater whole. But that is getting bogged down by bog-standard writing and cloying to easily identifiable tropes. But, as I said, that wonderful after the ED scene really really bought back a ton of my good will. They do know how to transcend it all and go for something that they can call their own story. I think if they keep doing that, the battles and competition the show is basing it’s foundation on can shine that much more. Just make the characters genuine… then they can walk on the moon and beyond…

Next Time

AbsoDuo 03-preview

I wonder how the new character will react to the “date”…


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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23 Responses to “Absolute Duo – 03”

  1. Foshizzel says:

    I am totally picturing The Avengers as LOLi characters!

    Hell ya Tor and Julie are fantastic together <3

    Evil bunny girl! I knew it! Just kidding I think she was probably put up to the task by the principal or someone else, but yeah I fully expect her to be back in the class room like nothing is wrong xD

    • skylion says:

      We may have to gender-swap most of the Avengers but that would be a great franchise…

      …Bun-Bun is the devil…but a sweet devil…

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Always beware the silly ones. Remember Jibril? Exudes death.

        • skylion says:

          ….yeah, but after she drools on a Sakura ePad…

        • BlackBriar says:

          Not just the silly ones. Those who always smile or go about their daily lives with their eyes constantly closed.

          • HannoX says:

            What about the silly ones who are always smiling with their eyes constantly closed?

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Always beware the Nanohas, for they will befriend you.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Difficult at the moment to think of a character who fits all three descriptions. But the second and third alone and you get Freezing’s Chiffon Fairchild.

        • akagami says:

          “Fell from the sky and hit my head”
          “Accidentally killed them all afterwards”


  2. Rathje says:

    I’m all for the ballroom dance in the OP – something might as well be fun to watch – because it certainly ain’t the fanservice.

  3. Highway says:

    I thought the chemistry between Tor and Julie was much better when they’re a fighting pair than when they’re sitting around talking. And their pairing is a lot more even in the fights. It’s not all “Tor saves the frail girl” or “Tor comes up with all the plans”. They’re a much more even match, and I really appreciate that.

    Heck, they even give off the feeling that any time she wanted to, Julie could hop into bed with him and not be embarrassed about it, just “I like you, let’s go”. It gets rid of a lot of the tension that Tor brings to the relationship. And the part at the end was the best part, I’m glad I let the ED roll. I like that she wouldn’t let it go, and even though Tor was trying to play the big bad mysterious guy with a past, she’s pretty much saying “yeah, I’ve been there too. Wanna compare war stories?”

    • skylion says:

      I think the overall chemistry is just fine, and indicative of how they fight; neither place has them there just yet. So they do have room to grow…

      …which makes me wonder how well he’ll take to the avenger idea…

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        For a moment there I thought you were talking about organic chemistry until I read it closely. Though we would like more orgasmic chemistry. 😛

  4. BlackBriar says:

    It must be something. Attending a school where you have permission to wipe the floor with your fellow classmates. Pretty sure some use the privilege as an outlet to relieve stress. I know I would if I was in that world and given the chance.

    Tor’s flashbacks and sleepless nights are all well and fine but as long as there nothing of detail behind these sequences, there’ll be impact to them. Especially when we don’t know who this girl in his dream is that always gets slashed. And only the name of the perpetrator is hardly a contribution.

    Why am I not surprised? I just knew something wasn’t right about that Bun-Bun. She’s been a suspicious character to me since her introduction after the way she said about the school not being normal. Not all that shocking the fact Blazes can kill. Come on, the majority are sword wielders so it would be weird if they can’t actually cut. Bun-Bun elaborated that with enough intent, killing is possible. I wonder how many she’s wasted before bringing that piece of information up. Safe to say she’s a serial killer.

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