Absolute Duo – 01 (First Impressions)

duo6

Absolute Duo is a by-the-numbers Magic Battle School Coming-of-Age Romantic Adventure genre piece, featuring talented voice work, decent visuals, and the least imaginative script I’ve seen in a long time.

I might go so far as to claim author Takumi Hiiragiboshi is a soulless hack or possibly a robot, only capable of producing quality through its strict adherence to convention and above average production values.

Where Binan Koukou surprised me by being good, Absolute Duo surprised me for being not.

duo5

Our story follows Tōru “Thor” Kokonoe on his first day at Kouryou Academy, an elite high school where students manifest their souls as weapons known as Blazes.

Thor is special because he’s the protagonist and his Blaze can only make a shield. This unique attribute is revealed during the freshman classes’ opening test, where they must defeat the student next to them or be expelled.

duo9

Thor’s specialness (and his name) draw the attention of fellow special freshman Julie Sigtuna, a whitish haired Scandinavian girl who is powerful and demure and, because she sits next to Thor in homeroom, his room mate.

duo7

Several cliched characters are introduced, like the cat-eared homeroom teacher and the child-as-principle who wears black gothic lolita costumes. Likewise, Thor’s tormented past and reason for joining the academy are eluded to before he gives up trying to swap room mates and settles in for an awkward night wear a beautiful girl doesn’t wear clothes and snuggles up to him because: protagonist.

duo2

You’ll enjoy this if: the genre hasn’t burnt you out yet. It’s like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, except youthier, or Trinity Seven, except with brighter colors and a less overt harem element (though it has notable boob jiggle moments).

More over, Absolute Duo’s visuals and fights are adequate — hopelessly outclassed in this post-SAO/Fate era of mega-budget action anime — but adequate. Likewise, Thor is voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, who voiced SAO’s Kirito.

duo4

However, you probably won’t find Absolute Duo interesting, because you’ve seen something almost identical to it before. A quiet, well meaning teen male protagonist who’s really good at everything, thrust into an embarrassing parent-free living situation with a girl? Magic/Technology equipped teens battling each other to ‘grow stronger’ and one day undo the details of their tragic back stories?

duo8

A soft spoken white-haired girl who’s quiet focus makes her a fantastic warrior but she’s fascinated by the protagonist because reasons? She even falls asleep in his lap because she got too tired and left him freaking out over the polite thing to do!

Copy. Paste. Rinse. Repeat.

duo1

I expect Thor to swoop in and save the day, Kirito-style on a regular basis and slowly build up a harem along the way. Towards the end, he’ll have a show down with the smirking jerk-sack that killed whoever in his backstory, win, and it will be all good.

Maybe there will be a twist here and there — the villain looks vaguely like the protagonist so could turn out to be a family member or even the protagonist himself — but I’m not holding my breath.

First impression? Obviously not so good.

6_ogk

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Absolute Duo – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. Same thoughts as you basically; they couldn’t get more generic if they tried.

    The opening has stellar animation though, which is kind of weird.

    (Much more entertaining then the show <> )

    1. I know, right? And the little bit of animation before the opening was so poorly drawn that I was confused. With all the money they put into the credits, you’d expect a decent first episode :(

      I’m not actually sure if this was better or worse than “Step Sister Sexy Demons” show. Both are completely generic. I almost want to say Step sisters wins out just because it has no pretense of being good?

      1. I’d agree. Absolute Duo’s opening is devoid of fanservice and seems almost serious, showing off other male characters and everything.

        Demon show embraces the booty.

        (And also has a well-animated opening what is with this season and supernatural harems)

        Speaking of which there are two more “there is a special guy going to a magical high school and he has unique powers and everyone there is girls and nudity ensues” shows this season.

        You’re a brave man if you tread even further oigakkosan.

      2. Personally, I really enjoy this kind of genre and I felt it was lacking. Looking at the description of the series, the fact that tooru’s blaze being a shield instead of a weapon was supposed to be a big thing yet I didn’t feel that the screenplay sold me on that. All the characters were completely forgettable for me to the point where I don’t even remember much from that episode. I was really hopeful for this series since I really like Yoshitsugu’s voice acting, but too bad.

      3. the best moment of the show is the fist-bump between the two male side characters… in the opening credits.

        @Randophilis – you know, that’s a fantastic point. The shield — the unique aspect of the character — carries no impact. People say “Oh unique” but … nothing? It doesn’t seem to matter? Heck, the show even says his abilities are experimental from some mad scientist or something and then shrugs like none of any of this matters.

    1. I was really tempted to high 5 it… but the production values were good enough to make it watchable. for me, 5 is really where I stop being able to pay attention to a show. Absolute Duo may get there in a few episodes, but not yet ;)

  2. I feel the same way. Everything about this show seems very been there done that. Unless they change things up, I’m pretty sure I already know how this show will play out.

Comments are closed.