Absolute Duo – 06

The whole episode was like this…really!

Well, I hope this wraps up the Exception arc, as I’ve grown tired of Lilith after a three episode focus. That really is the greatest thing I can say for this, the halfway point of the show.


AbsoDuo 6-01

 Tor: I will defeat you with my heavily scripted genre-savvy…

I’ll make this one short and sweet. There were parts of this episode that were so-so, and parts that were even worse than that. But, despite that, a few scenes did play out rather well, with some very crisp animation. It’s too bad that had to be surrounded by some campy dialog, and some rather foolish storyboarding. I’ve seen enough Talking is a Free action when it comes to showing combat in manga, comics, and animation, and while this show didn’t take all the cake, it came back for the proverbial third slice. Especially when “Falling is a Free Action/Dramatic Slow Motion Falling/Full Motion Talking” rears it’s ugly head.

AbsoDuo 6-03

AbsoDuo 6-06

Hey, you like split shots? Have two of 11!

All in all this felt like a corral of one trick ponies both in visual composition and in story/character development. Since we had a cup o’ weak tea in the cliffhanger last episode; Lilith beating the second years off screen, the fact that our heroes would win the day was a forgone conclusion. In all honesty, there really should have been no tactical reason that Lilth should have even had them on the ropes for that long. It started off in a somewhat plausible manner with Julie, running ragged to ensure a victory to ensure her Duo, but that soon paled with every other character falling lock step into heavily scripted “bad choices”. From that point it was only natural to have a huge ass-pull by episodes end to mop it all up. What exactly did Tooru observe about Lilith right off the bat? That she can be distracted as well? Feels kinda weak.

Extra Duos…

Show ▼

Well, like the old saying goes: Nowhere but up from here. As I said leading in, I bid a fond farewell to this arc and I wish I could have done so an episode or two sooner. But in the interest of a bit of fuller coverage, we did get a secret organization setting it’s site’s on the Exceeds. This would have been a fascinating wrinkle if not for the knock off Master Chief outfits, the causal elan of “oh, we beat Blazes cause reasons”, and the entire affair of them getting asses handed to them, but it’s OK cause we got “data”. Bleh, cheap, cheap, cheap. I’m hoping for some more comfy zones next arc and the long overdue exposition the series deserves.

Next Time


Palmtop Tora x Tooru?


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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54 Responses to “Absolute Duo – 06”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Where is Usasensei?

    • BlackBriar says:

      Taking a break in the teacher’s lounge while the students fight amongst themselves. 😉

  2. Apathy says:

    Mmm, less cute, kinda rushed & somewhat formulatic episode. Not so fun.

    Oh hey Muscles got what, three grunts this episode? Cha-ching! Extra pay!

    • skylion says:

      Kawahara Yoshihisa has had his fair share of “Man” or “Person B” credits, along with a host of supporting roles. So this episode might be something for him to grunt about…

  3. d-LaN says:

    Hmm…. I feel like the conclusion for this arc feels too fast paced/rushed for my liking. I have a feeling that the second half of this episode could easily be made into another episode for better pacing. And we get like, zero explanation and buildup for the new villains though I’m not sure is it because the anime cut out stuff again or its the same situation with the LN. The animation for the action scenes needs some improvements as well.

    Also from what I got by reading some comments around the internet, it seems the anime didn’t make some of stuff clear enough for non LN readers. But then again, I actually understand the reasoning behind 60% of the stuff ppl complained abt so w/e.

    Oh well, its still more fun to watch then the first episode of World Break and Lilith is not a stuck up b*tch anymore thus becoming more likable to me. (Not that I hate her though)

    • Highway says:

      I’ll still take World Break any day of the week (and twice on Sundays) over Absolute Duo.

      • BlackBriar says:

        We must Yin/Yang because I’m the complete opposite of that statement. I find Absolute Duo a much easier watch to the point I sometimes wonder if 20+ minutes actually did pass by.

        • skylion says:

          I’d rather take Duo, but I find it hard to argue against World Break. Heh, I even like the spell writing…

          • BlackBriar says:

            I’ll admit it’s out of the box, points for being unique but seeing ridiculously long incantions ultimately brings facepalming as an end result.

            • Highway says:

              With more background it works a bit better. You don’t complain when Log Horizon does the same thing. It was just very jarring in the first minute of the first episode.

            • skylion says:

              There is a theory about the incantations in some regard. We don’t complain much when paper talismans are used in say, Tokyo Ravens or elsewhere. This is the same thing, only “live as it happens” and using air as a medium instead of ink and paper.

              Also, an interesting tidbit put forward by Alan Moore, writer of the Watchmen comic-books, and semi-professional cooky person. Grimoire is a corruption of the word grammar. And a spell is just that, spelling out the words. Way back in the day, literacy had power. We take it for granted today.

            • HannoX says:

              Yeah, the real long incantations, most of which make little sense when you read them, are a real turn-off for me.

            • Highway says:

              I have been finding them to be in scale for the effects they have, especially when compared to other anime. Sword Art Online had another method for spell activation, and while it was faster, those spells were far less powerful, even in the game world. Also think about Chaika, she had the same restriction, in that she had to incant a long spell, so much so that it became a plot point.

              I do think that perhaps the drone and translation of the incantation can be problematic. They’re trying to convey the ‘dark magic’ aspect of it, but subtitling it (in two languages, no less) makes the screen very busy just when you want it to not be.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Ten count arias.
              To overcome the limitations, you need to be endowed with Divine Words which enable you to cast tencountarias in a second, ie: BEAM SPAM!

              *flicks through Encyclopaedia Nasuverse*

              Incantation length is just a plot device limiter. You cannot have an overpowered main character in episode one.. wait is that you Saber? Oh hi Rider! Kyaa! Kyaasuta~~!

              Anyway, I shall leave you all to decide to watch whatever is best whilst I munch popcorn in the background. Because… none of the watching I am. :3

    • BlackBriar says:

      Oh well, its still more fun to watch then the first episode of World Break

      That goes without saying. I couldn’t stop cringing at what I saw for the whole run of that opening episode.

      • Highway says:

        Perhaps it’s just different things to look for. For me, I find the advancement of relationships to be *much* better in World Break, even in the first episode. We can see what it will do with Satsuki, but for right now, I think they’re playing the relationship card so much better than almost any other show that’s on right now, and especially over the other harem / supernatural shows.

    • belatkuro says:

      They did cut out a bunch of stuff in this episode like the Equipment Smith that K mentioned appearing before the loli principal(who was also watching this game) and then left after they lost. Basically anything that’s not in Tor’s POV gets removed. Granted though, the enemies appearing here is also quite random and lacked foreshadowing even in the LN so it’s the same here in the anime.
      They could have spent the second half of the episode as another episode but they’re planning to cover 4 volumes so it’s expected they’ll cram everything and just allot 3 episodes per volume.

      I shared the same sentiment about the first episode of World Break but after watching Isuca, WB became more tolerable. It’s bad in a good way and there’s some energy and flair in the characters and the seiyuus’ acting(especially from the imouto). Episode 4 really nailed it for being so ridiculous and over-the-top that it went straight to being enjoyable. Though AD is still better, and this is coming from someone who didn’t like the source material.

      As of the moment, Testament > Absolute Duo > World Break > Fafnir.

      • skylion says:

        Basically anything that’s not in Tor’s POV gets removed

        It really gets under my skin how any production committee can think that this is the best way to tell a story. I know that, at the outset, an anime is basically a huge ad for other merch, but to craft the product in such an obvious fashion is a tad insulting.

      • Highway says:

        That’s what I like about World Break as well. It has good energy and the acting is really well done especially from Ayana Taketatsu (Satsuki) and Aoi Yuuki (Shizuno). It also doesn’t try to ride a line between serious and ridiculous. It’s just over into ridiculous, especially Satsuki. It also has a visual style that’s a little different, which I like.

        I’m hoping to do at least a mid-season review on World Break (and maybe ShinMaou).

      • Highway says:

        They could have spent the second half of the episode as another episode but they’re planning to cover 4 volumes so it’s expected they’ll cram everything and just allot 3 episodes per volume.

        To me this is a huge mistake. One of the reasons DxD does so well as an anime is because they do two LN’s per series. Maybe the books are more all-in for the completion of a story, but it works out so much better. And they don’t really need 6 episodes for each of the LN’s, so they put in some side stories and extras from other books. It makes for a really good adaptation, without the glossing over that makes something like Absolute Duo fail here.

  4. Highway says:

    This episode didn’t have what you guys wanted to see, and it didn’t have what I like about the show, which is Julie being her own strength. Instead we got her reverting to a “oh no, my boyfriend is going to leave” attitude, which was 1) a pretty sharp break from how she was before, and 2) unnecessary, boring, and stupid. There were so many more better possibilities for that fight if Julie isn’t moping around (well, moping relatively). There’s no question that she’s the ‘good guys’ biggest offensive threat overall, even if Miyabi’s “If I hit you, I destroy you” attack is stronger. Yet, the story took her out of the fight for something that is uncharacteristic of her, just to go with the tired male hero saving everyone idea.

    Apart from all that, it’s no secret I’m not the biggest fan of battles. So overall, it felt like this was pretty much a waste of an episode.

    • skylion says:

      I enjoy combat animation and battles, so long as they can be part of the story, and give us something about the character. As you said, the fights here showed Julie’s weak tea.

      Now, I disagree that her waning was pointless; just ill used here. I don’t mind seeing a weakness and seeing it overcome, but as you said, it’s reasons were stupid. She’s already strong, and stronger with Tor. This went the opposite way.

      • Highway says:

        Well, to me, the particular weakness she showed was out of character, and that’s what the big problem with it was. They just all of a sudden shove some abandonment issue in her character and it clanged badly. Especially when she knew that Tor had come back to her twice, once when she was rejected by Hitoe, and once when he had been courted by Lilith.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Apart from all that, it’s no secret I’m not the biggest fan of battles. So overall, it felt like this was pretty much a waste of an episode.

      That sometimes made me wonder why you stuck with Parasyte knowing that battles were inevitability. That takes up about 1/3 of the whole anime.

      • Highway says:

        Actually, it doesn’t. The ‘battles’ including setups in Parasyte are, at most, a quarter of the show, and are not ‘we fight because we are the strongest!’ Heck, there have only been two fights in Parasyte that have been longer than 5 minutes, I think.

        There is fighting in anime. Sometimes it is in service of the story. Sometimes they try to replace story with it. The former is fine. The latter is boring.

      • skylion says:

        …and that is 1/3 of the anime well spent as those battles reveal a ton of character and background information. Well, maybe not a ton, but they surely aren’t some separate entity shoved in for the lulz…

  5. BlackBriar says:

    A straightforward yet acceptable entry. The most part of the fight was already within predictions but got progressively entertaining once Tor and the group joined the fray with neither side looking to back down even the conclusion was written all over the wall. The trick is in the execution. Though the interruption from those unknown gunmen killed all the energy building from the battle sequences. So having Tor and Lilith resume their bout was like something that was hot, cooled down then reheated. Well, the real achievement is that Lilith came off her high horse but I still predict that high born attitude of hers will linger.

    As for those gunmen, my curiosity is on what their goal is that Lilith was needed. It’s obvious to be wary of the leader who was callous enough to kill his own subordinate in cold blood, especially when he was down and defenseless.

    • skylion says:

      I don’t think Lilith is coming off a high horse. She’s just a touch more comfortable in the saddle…

      • BlackBriar says:

        Not surprising. After their close shave, without their say in it, she just announced them all as friends whether they’re content with the statement or not. So far, Lilith barely even knows Tor aside from their previous outing. That’s audacity for ya!

  6. HannoX says:

    This episode has just about killed this show for me. I agree with all the bad things said about it. I suppose I’ll watch the next episode, but it had better be much better than this one or I’ll drop the show. I have no trouble with dropping a show halfway or more through if it goes bad.

    • skylion says:

      Well, this wasn’t as bad for me as the Tina Sprout arc in Black Bullet. Which gives this arc little if any credit.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I’d say that was the only hitch in that whole series. Everything else was more or less decent.

        • HannoX says:

          Sometimes just one bad episode can ruin a show for me. As it is, this show hasn’t really grabbed me. It’s been okay, so I’ve watched it so far. But it’s now on probation. World Break is another one that’s been okay, but no more than that. At least it hasn’t yet turned in an episode I’ve considered really bad. Unlimited Fafnir is pretty much the same. Testament has had a number of tired harem hijinks, which is pretty much what you can expect of a harem show. But it has also had some good moments and Maria is great. She’s acting more like you’d expect a succubus to act and some of her scheming has been pretty funny.

          • BlackBriar says:

            Can’t give an opinion on Unlimited Fafnir. It never caught my eye and after its First Impression, I never bothered taking a look. World Break’s first episode gave me a really unpleasant thrashing but Testament is decent. It’s not High School DxD quality but it has charm and likable characters. As you have, I’ve taken a liking to Maria. She’s funny and embraces her succubus nature to the fullest.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I have no trouble with dropping a show halfway or more through if it goes bad.

      Not a policy I, myself, embrace often but if it’s a series that’s utterly repulsive, I’m more than willing to make an exception. Samurai Flamenco, for instance. Dropped it after the first episode, tried again after word of mouth that seemed positive but dropped it again like a hot potato halfway through the entire show.

      • Highway says:

        For me, as soon as I’m not enjoying a show, I just stop watching it. Sunk cost fallacy. Especially with anime, where we all have to make a bit of an effort to watch it (pick the show from the streaming site, if not download it). It’s not like it comes on our TV right after another show we’re watching.

        Now, if you don’t have something better to do, that’s up to you. But if you do, don’t waste your life.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Bleh, preference goes to downloading than streaming. I tend to generally loathe anything where buffering is an obligation.

          This is why I’m so picky with the shows I intend to watch when a new season comes along. Because I’m being so careful making my choices, I’ve noticed I don’t drop more than at least two series since everything else has been screened. And you’ve more or less seen what I pick out in the anime catalogues.

          For me, anything I see or feel that’s too cute without a clear purpose, has a lot of slice of life elements where the story is giving a dragging impression or is vastly overtaken by romance gets the axe swiftly and without mercy. Should the occasion come where I bend the rules and give it so much as one episode, it’s obvious that it’s going to be short lived. It’s why I never bothered with a handful of anime from last season and this season.

          • Highway says:

            My rejoinder might be that you perhaps won’t know what you like until you try it. There could be something that just doesn’t sound like anything you want to watch, but it just captivates your interest. Or perhaps you might find that you grow to like another genre, something that you wouldn’t have had the chance to happen since you curate your shows perhaps too ruthlessly.

            I also wonder if that curation convinces you to further your sunk cost fallacy. You’ve decided you should like something, so you don’t drop it even if you’re not enjoying it.

            Just some suggestions that I think might increase your possible enjoyment. 🙂

            • BlackBriar says:

              Or perhaps you might find that you grow to like another genre, something that you wouldn’t have had the chance to happen since you curate your shows perhaps too ruthlessly.

              No, unfortunately, I’ve tried that before. When “Golden Time” initially aired, I went against my usual tendencies for a change of pace, a possible investment, if you will. In the end, it proved disappointing, especially with its lead male who was gradually getting on my nerves so I thoroughly regretted watching and it reinforced my policy on the romance genre. I find shows like generally overbearing. A wasted investment of time I wasn’t getting back. Nagi no Asukara, however, got away with murder because that series had a lot more going for it.

              A series like Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji), I’d say patience. “Glasslip” was truly meh, a failure for me. It never clicked and I just couldn’t find anything likable in it. Apparently, my opinion was of the majority vote. Some time ago on an ANN poll, Glasslip got 2nd place for worst TV anime of 2014. If not for Pupa (which I haven’t seen), it would have taken the crown.

            • skylion says:

              “Sometimes, majority means that all the crazy is on one side” skylion’s dad…he probably ripped it off from someone else…

            • Highway says:

              Yeah, the only way that Glasslip was in any way a ‘bad’ anime was because people didn’t get it. Whether that was because they didn’t want to get it, or they didn’t try to get it, or because it was actually too interesting for them to wrap their puny brains around, there was no way it was, in any objective, or even subjective manner, ‘the worst’.

              The voting of Glasslip as ‘worst’ is entirely due to people wanting to hold a grudge against it. I mean, it aired in the same season as Blade Dance, which was, by any measure, far ‘worse’.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Here are the top 20 results for worst anime of 2014 taken from the bottom of the ANN article “7 Battling Brothers”

              1. Pupa 21.1%
              2. GLASSLIP 16.4%
              3. Recently, my sister is unusual. 12.0%
              4. The irregular at magic high school 10.7%
              5. Psycho-Pass 2 10.7%
              6. Sailor Moon Crystal 9.6%
              7. Cross Ange 8.6%
              8. Magical Warfare 8.6%
              9. Gonna be the Twin-Tail!! 8.3%
              10. DRAMAtical Murder 7.5%
              11. Dai – Shogun – Great Revolution 7.3%
              12. Rail Wars! 7.3%
              13. World Trigger 7.0%
              14. Daimidaler 6.8%
              15. Sword Art Online II 6.8%
              16. Soul Eater Not! 6.0%
              17. Nobunaga The Fool 5.5%
              18. Aldnoah.Zero 5.2%
              19. Akame ga KILL! 4.9%
              20. Wizard Barristers 4.7%

            • Highway says:

              I don’t doubt the publishing of the list (especially as you’ve posted it before). I doubt the validity of the opinions that made them. And looking at that list, the “top 10” are all ones that people had either moral or creative problems with. They weren’t ‘bad’ anime. I don’t see Momo Kyun Sword on there. I don’t see Blade Dance on there. I don’t see a whole list of shows that were too bad to actually watch. I see a lot of shows that people wanted to HATE. That’s not what makes an anime ‘worst’, at least in my opinion.

              Basically, that list is the opinions of a bunch of people who want to hate things, probably to make themselves feel better about their lives. Do you agree with the Invisible Storm in Yurikuma Arashi? Because that list is essentially the same process.

            • BlackBriar says:

              The difference is the last time I posted a list report, it was for favorite Summer 2014 anime and even then, the judgment on Glasslip was ruthless. It was placed second from the bottom. Despite various opinions, they’re all unanimous on that one.

              1. Barakamon
              2. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
              3. Akame ga KILL!
              4. Futsū no Joshikōsei ga Locodol Yattemita
              5. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
              6. Tokyo Ghoul
              7. Aldnoah.Zero
              8. The irregular at magic high school
              9. Survival Game Club!
              10. Hanayamata
              11. Psycho-Pass Extended Edition
              12. Invaders of the Rokujyōma!?
              13. Sword Art Online II
              14. Magimoji Rurumo
              15. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!
              16. La Bonne Vie
              17. Space Dandy Season 2
              18. Nobunaga Concerto
              19. Love Stage!!
              20. Terror in Resonance
              21. Black Butler: Book of Circus
              22. Free! Eternal Summer
              23. Blue Spring Ride
              24. Persona 4 the Golden Animation
              25. Momo Kyun Sword
              26. Re:␣Hamatora
              27. Bladedance of Elementalers
              28. Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
              29. Rail Wars!
              30. Captain Earth
              31. Tokyo ESP
              32. Bakumatsu Rock
              33. M3 the dark metal
              34. Shōnen Hollywood – Holly Stage for 49
              35. DRAMAtical Murder
              36. GLASSLIP
              37. Sengoku Basara: Judge End

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Pupa was actually quite hyped before it was started… Something must have gone horribly wrong. Whether or not it is deserving of the position is irrelevant ‘coz after it aired, things just went quiet.

              Most of these lists are not objective at all. Correction, ALL of these lists are not objective as they are all measured in a subjective measure. There is no standard quantifiable objective measure. We don’t see +1 point for each pantyflash, +2 points for a fight :/ Interstellar sucks. Farscape was much, much, much better.

            • Highway says:

              As I said, Glasslip is a convenient nexus for hate. If it was a bad anime, I wouldn’t consider it PA Works best to date. If it was a bad anime, other thoughtful writers wouldn’t have found it interesting. What it is is something that people decided to focus on. If you showed it to anyone who didn’t have an axe to grind about it (and I read a few of those well-worn axes during the run of the show), there’s no way they would say that Glasslip was a worse show than Blade Dance, Mahou Sensou, Momo Kyun Sword, or Wizard Barristers. Even if they didn’t understand it.

              My point is that it’s not ‘worst’, it’s ‘most hated’ to get on the bottom of a list like that. And most of the people who liked it saw the spewing about it, and just shut up. I was lucky to have a place to talk about it here.

            • Highway says:

              Pupa managed to turn off everyone. It was very heavily censored, so the gore that might have kept people who like that stuff (people still watch Tokyo Ghoul, after all 😉 ) was gone, and yet they managed to still keep it gross with sound effects. And then the story was just bleh. Plus, it was a short. So everyone watched the first episode, got extraordinarily disappointed, and never watched again.

            • Di Gi Kazune says:

              Ah that jolts my memory of what happened to it…

              Thus I have 3 buckets to chuck my shows in: Watch, Indeterminate, Avoid. No need to rank.

              And of course there is one super-rank: Goddess Dejiko-sama. 😛

  7. IanDK says:

    Well, that was a bit disappointing…

    Pacing all over the place. Julie seemed really out of character this ep. And Lilith just seemingly too OP, only to be done in by mecha-infantry guys.

    That said, I decided to flip through the first volume of the LN, and I actually like some of the added/modified character interactions in the anime, despite how fast they’re rushing through the material. Perhaps this says more about the rest of what’s airing this season than this series itself, but I’m finding this is about the only show I’m looking forward to airing each week right now…

    • skylion says:

      When they rush the material, they have to add their own bits in, don’t they? Good to see it has some positive feedback.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Sounds like a lot of other shows got dropped.

    • IanDK says:

      A few are on the verge of being dropped…

      Aldnoah and Kimiuso I’ll follow through to the end having come this far, but they’re about average in my books… enough so that I sometimes won’t watch it until a few days after it’s aired.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Aldnoah is decent in my book. Just roll with the punches. Can’t give an opinion on Kimiuso as I never saw or was interested in seeing it.

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