Who Would Like this Anime?
It’s simple: Do you like fantasy battles with a bit of ecchi? Here you’ll get fantasy battles with a bit of ecchi. Drama’s about as present as in every other battle anime, just the usual antagonistic stuff.
I’ve watched this release. I did neither have any real problem with the subs nor the video, but I don’t see why you’d opt into 15 GB bigger filsize for this anime. Go with the 720p release.
Kouryou Academy is a school for students who has Blaze, a soul’s power to create a weapon. However, Thor’s Blaze is irregular. It creates a shield instead of a weapon. The academy uses a special Duo system, at which students forming pairs and living together. Thor ended up being Julie’s partner, and it’s uncommon for a boy and girl sharing a room together. (Source: Anime Newst Network; copypasted for a reason, see “Conclusion”)
Da real MVP: the backgrounds. Crisp ‘n sharp, that’s how I like my backgrounds. The characters and character animations, however, are oddly bland. They kind of look like stuff from 10 years ago while the backgrounds are perfectly fine modern-day stuff. That leads to a weird discrepancy between character and background quality, and can make scenes feel off somehow; they don’t chime in perfectly with each other. Probably the blandest looking characters I’ve seen in years.
This is probably one of the hardest reviews for me to write so far. To me, Absolute Duo is the embodiment of a mediocre fantasy battle anime. It bored me for the most part of its generic story and I’ve a hard time finding anything positive to say about it.
There are three characters that I liked to an extent. To list them from most to least likeable: Lilith, Tomoe, Miyabi. Lilith was the one heroine whose appearance freshened up the experience for me. She’s an overly self-confident – errr- tsundere (?) ojou-sama and her main selling point to me was her underlying character concept: She thinks she can get anything she wants, decides she wants the protagonist, Kokonoe, but he turns her down. In the following, she beats and torments the sh*t ouf of him and his friends to make him fall for her. It’s kind of twisted, without getting overly dark, and as such interesting. However, before long she just goes full dere and her “magic’s” gone. Her forceful behavior is still entertaining, but just not as much.
There’s nothing that special about Tomoe and Miyabi. Tomoe’s just an airhead and it’s fun to watch her be weird. Miyabi is the quota super shy and cute girl. Neither of the two is any special, but they’re all right. Like I said, I have a hard time finding anything positive to say, it’s just dead average stuff.
Especially the main heroine, Julie, is hard to get behind. When she first appears, everyone’s jaws drop in face of her “beauty.” I don’t get it. She’s short, she’s flat, her face isn’t, her only unique feature is her hair color, and she’s a pokerface’d heroine. If Julie is the goddess the author wants her to be, he sure failed to depict her as such. Her looks and personality are boring, they try to make up for that with her dramatic background story, but it doesn’t really pick up during the anime. She doesn’t gain more depth than the other heroines, she just doesn’t fill out the role of “main heroine” well. A typical case of, “she’ll win ’cause… the author wants it that way.”
Absolute Duo is also one of those anime where most of the heroines fall for the protagonist for no apparent reason. He’s just there and all of a sudden they trust him with their lives. Especially apparent in the very first episode when he encounters that girl, errr, Aoi, I think. She’s overly friendly with him right from the beginning. The same goes for Julie, who virtually throws her panties at him right from the beginning. It’s better for Miyabi and Lilith, though. They have legit reasons to fall for him.
The story of Absolute Duo is pretty boring and generic. With the help of some medicine that was developed by a company for some reason (not yet mentioned), young peeps become able to summon weapons. So a lot of young peeps apply to their academy to prove their fighting abilities so they can get employed to fight something (not yet mentioned) for the company. But there are other companies who also train apt fighters and they want the head of the academy for some reason (not yet mentioned). Apparently, it’s also okay that the teachers almost kill the kids in the academy for some reason (not yet mentioned), and overall the world (background not explained) just seems very conflict-loving. Kokonoe is an irregular in such that he doesn’t have a weapon but a shield instead, which is a pretty boring irregular “tool” to pick for your protagonist. Lilith is the same, by the way, but she has a rifle instead of a melee weapon, so that’s cool. I guess you could call this world “mysterious,” I call it planless. It feels more like the author couldn’t be bothered to think of something yet and just left a blank like, “Yeah, not saying anything is gonna make it mysterious and interesting!”
I mean, did you read the “Premise?” I didn’t know how to phrase it and looked around how other sites summarize Absolute Duo. Doesn’t it read awful? Like uninspired, bland, boring? Well, that’s just how the story is. At least that premise made me laugh like, “Yeah, I guess that’s the plot summary, sad but true.”
The anime finale also deserves a special mentioning in that it emphasizes the averageness: You get your typical “everyone together by the power of friendship” stuff where all of them start, then one by one some of them stay behind to cover for their friends until the hero and heroine face the final boss who almost beats them, but by the power of friendship they fi… zzZZzzZzzzzZZ, snore.
That’s it, great backgrounds, the 3D animations are decent also, I liked Lilith, Tomoe and Miyabi were all right. The rest is just so forgetable. Anime like this are best watched if you’re new to anime in general, since it doesn’t do anything new and just repeats what hundreds of anime did before it. Even then, why Absolute Duo if you could watch other fantasy battle anime who did what Absolute Duo does but better and in a more feasible world. The anime isn’t bad per se, but it’s average. And I rate it as such. I also just realized I took not a single screenshot from a battle, oh well.