Anime Review: Absolute Duo

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.

Translation Where?


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.

Premise


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”)

Visuals


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.

Conclusion


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.

Rating 5/10

8 thoughts on “Anime Review: Absolute Duo

  1. I have to agree with you that Absolute Duo’s anime adaptation was indeed very average. However, in defence of Absolute Duo’s light novels which are its source material, the anime was a very bad adaptation of its source material. So much so that while I would rate the Absolute Duo’s light novels 9/10, its anime adaptation was rated 5/10 by myself since way too much content was skipped or changed in its anime. In fact, I was actually glad that I read its light novels first before watching its anime since otherwise, my impressions of the series would not be as a good as it currently is. Anyway, I will list some of the major omissions/changes in the anime to let you know how bad its anime adaptation is in comparison to its light novels.

    – Almost all of Tooru’s thoughts and monologues are skipped. Tooru’s thoughts and monologues in the light novels are what made him such an interesting character since he actually faces a lot of internal conflict. Some examples of such are whether he wants to continue his revenge and live an abnormal life or to give up his revenge and live a normal life, whether he can continue living a normal life after he kills someone once he gets his revenge and whether the power he obtained is truly his or just power he borrowed from others. The fact that the anime skipped all of these things resulted in Tooru becoming a very bland and boring character since we do not even know what type of internal conflicts he is going through in the anime.

    – A lot of important character interactions and events are skipped in the anime. Almost every chapter of the Absolute Duo light novels include events viewed from the perspectives of Tooru and another character. The events viewed from the perspectives of other characters are important to understand the motivations behind the actions of certain characters, details about what is going on in the background and explanations about how the world in the series work. Since the anime skipped almost all of these different perspectives, naturally a lot of things do not make sense about the how the series’ world work or why certain characters behave and act in a certain manner.

    – The contents of volumes 3, 4 and 5 of the Absolute Duo light novels are heavily altered for the worse in the anime. A very prominent example is Miyabi’s rampage after she got brainwashed by the Equipment Smith into using a powersuit. What happened in the light novels was that Tooru had to stop her and make her regain her senses as opposed to the anime where Tomoe was the one to stop Miyabi. In the actual event in the light novel, Tooru’s beliefs gets seriously challenged by Miyabi since she believes that the power that they obtained through the Lucifer was merely borrowed power that they got from others. As such, she believed that there is nothing wrong even if she uses the powersuit since in the end all of their power is not truly their own and just something they borrowed from others. Tooru actually hesitated for a moment since what she says has some truth in it before he is able to come up with a reply that convinces her. What he says is basically that even if the power they initially obtained is indeed borrowed power, it has become their own power because of all of the harsh training and battles they undergone to develop and improve their power. This allows him to get close enough to her to use a shield bash to break the crystal that was the core of the powersuit once she regains her senses after hearing his speech. This is just one of the worst things that they changed in the anime and trust me there are many more horrendous changes in the anime.

    – There are actually a good amount of detailed ideological conflicts in the light novels that are skipped in the anime. Many characters in the light novels have very strong beliefs and ideals and they get challenged by and challenge other holding strong opposing beliefs. Some examples of this clash of beliefs are between Sakuya and the Equipment Smith, Tooru and K, Miyabi and Tooru as well as between Tooru and Sakuya. The fact that the anime skipped all these ideological conflicts between characters just make the anime look shallow in comparison to the light novels.

    My apologies for the long rant, however, the disparity in quality between the Absolute Duo light novels and anime is just so large that it is important to make a clear distinction between the two. As such, they should be considered as two entirely separate things and must not be considered as one and the same. Anyway, I actually agree with your review of its anime for the most part but I hope that you would not think badly of its light novels due to its anime not properly adapting its source material.

    Anyway, my apologies again for the shameless advertisement but I am currently looking for translators to translate the Absolute Duo light novels. I made a novel pick up thread for Absolute Duo at the novelupdates forums containing detailed reasons for why its light novels should be picked up by a translator. I provided a link below for the aforementioned thread in case you are interested in viewing it.

    https://forum.novelupdates.com/threads/absolute-duo.72957/

    • Sad to hear that the adaption was apparently a quick ‘n dirty job. The same happened to OniAi when it became a patchwork of randomly gathered scenes from the first six volumes or so in no apparent chronological order, and kind of the same with YuShibu when it disregarded of the darker atmosphere and themes present in its light novel – those are just the ones that come to my mind off the top of my head.

      What the anime lacked the most was without a doubt motives, world building, and details. Too many things went unexplained, the anime expects the viewer to just accept that things are how they are, that characters do what they do, people get along ’cause they get along or sometimes they just don’t. Skipping basically all explanations and reasons – which are apparently present in its source material – is a questionable choice.

      Another minor detail the anime did very poorly is the fixation on Julie as his love interest. From the beginning, it just went, “This is the girl we all like now,” without giving proper reasons/development. Arguably, among the heroines Julie does the least to gain Tooru’s affection, but takes the top spot from the start with no questions asked. A bit like Aika in ShouminSample. Due to the “Absolute Duo” mechanic in this series, Tooru kind of has to settle with someone early, but he doesn’t have to fall for them. There might be a bunch of scenes missing which would explain his feelings for her, but going by the scenes it DOES have, the others outperform her romance-wise. As I always say, don’t make it a harem if you can’t manage a harem.

      Absolute Duo’s biggest weakness in my opinion, however, is the lack of unique characteristics. In other words, what makes Absolute Duo unique? Why read Absolute Duo and not something else like Campione? I’ve skimmed through your forum thread and all the unique characteristics you list are completely absent from the anime, which makes it hard to get any sort of hype going to try the light novel.

      Weapons? Standard. Way to get weapons? Standard. Powerups? Steroids. Conflict? Some random faction attacking. Heroines? Standard (apart from the initial Lilith who then becomes standard). Antagonist? Greeds for power. Solution? By the power of friendship.

      To me, an anime adaption is supposed to be an advertisement for its source material. It’s supposed to give you an idea of how the novel is, it’s hard to watch a bad anime adaption that you get nothing out of and strictly separate it from how you feel about the novel it’s based on. Sadly, the LN translation wasn’t really up to my standards back in the day so I didn’t give it a read before I watched the anime, I can clearly feel your passion for the project but for me, personally, there’s just no glimmer of hope that the Absolute Duo LN would be to my liking and I’d rather invest my time somewhere else. It’s sad how hard a studio can butcher a novel into an anime, I wonder why they even bother picking it up if they aren’t willing to pay proper respects. People won’t go, “Wait a minute, this anime is bad! I should try the novel!” Really sad for the fans.

  2. I can definitely see where you are coming from in regards to why you would not want to want to pick up translating Absolute Duo’s light novels after how badly the anime butchered the series. After all, bad anime adaptations can really ruin people’s impressions of a series even if its source material is infinitely better. So much so that some people are not willing to give the original source material a try and it is hard to fault them with how awful these bad anime adaptations can be. Even so this is by no means the worst anime adpatation I had seen thus far for a light novel since certain series like Hundred had even an worse anime adpatation. Hundred’s anime adaptation was even worse than Absolute Duo’s anime adaptation and if you had not seen it already, I recommend that you do not even try to watch it. The light novels of Hundred are interesting though and despite the current translations for that series not being the best, I am still currently reading that series. While it is not an execellent series like Absolute Duo, it is still a good series regardless and I actually have to praise its translator for improving his translation quality since the difference between when he first started translating the series and his current translations is huge. Regardless, Absolute Duo’s anime adaptation was still horrible though since I was seriously bored when watching it due to how badly the anime butchered all the interesting parts of the series.

    There is a good reason why I always choose to read the source material of a light novel series instead of watching its anime adaptation unless the source material is not translated and bad anime adaptations are precisely the very reason why. I actually recommend you to do the same as well if you have taken an interest in a light novel series because it is getting an anime adaptation since more often than not its anime adaptation is not going to adapt the series properly. After all, the number of good anime adaptations of light novel series are few compared to the number of bad anime adaptations of light novel series.

    • I think we’ve said everything about Absolute Duo and its anime adaption there is to say, I guess newcomers and fans alike had the same poor experience watching it. Again, my sympathies, I think you hoped for this adaption to become a good one, sucks to see them cutting corners. When they adapted ShominSample I turned it off a few minutes into the first episode and was like, “Yeah, I won’t let them ruin my fond memories of the novel for me.”

      I actually do read the source material first if it’s something where the premise already catches my interest, else I watch the anime first and go from there if it was interesting in a way. This time, it was a case of the latter and didn’t catch my interest.

      I did read a few volumes of Hundred (in Japanese, no idea how the translation quality past volume 1 is, which I translated myself; the translation speed is suspicious though, lol) and am planning to watch the anime just for the heck of it. Worst case, I’ve another 5er coming my way, right? I really wanna see it in motion.

      I definitely agree that in general the source material tops the adaption quality. There are few exceptions that I know of, one being “Netoge.” I’d say anything with a somewhat serious setting – as most battle novels have – is more enjoyable as a novel and rom-coms can go either way; I found Netoge more enjoyable as an anime than in written words since the jokes just hit harder voiced and in motion.

      Anyway, thanks for the heads up and your opinion on Absolute Duo, I enjoyed talking about it.

  3. From what I heard about Hundred’s light novel translations, the translator seemed to have quit his job as a IT Technician as stated in one of his posts on his website for some reason I do not know about. Not sure if he has already found a another job but it is still quite a surprising thing to hear. In regards to my opinions on his current translation quality, it is above average as far as fan translations go but I felt that the quality of your translations for Hundred was better than his overall. I can understand most of what he translated perhaps except for a few lines in each chapter. Anyway, I plan on writing a review of the Hundred light novels once he finishes translating the last chapter of volume 4 of the series since I do have a good amount of both postive and negative things to say about the Hundred light novels. I will state a few of them below.

    My opinions of the Hundred light novels is that it is a good series which is actually far more similar to Absolute Duo as opposed to Infinite Stratos contrary to what many people might think. To be more precise, it felt like a combination of the light novels of Absolute Duo with the visual novel Koiken Otome which also surprising shares a number of similarities with Hundred. Not that it is bad thing in my opinion since I liked both Absolute Duo and Koiken Otome. You might be able to see what I mean since you had read at least the first 3 volumes of Hundred and watched Absolute Duo’s anime adaptation. An example of this is the first major antagonist of Hundred, Vitaly Tynyanov, and the 3 hunters working under her actually share quite a number of similarities with the major antagonists of Absolute Duo, Equipment Smith and K, in terms of their background and motivations. Another example is that Tooru and the protagonist of Hundred, Kisaragi Hayato, also share a similar tragic past where they both lost people who are close to them in a tragedy and both attend a special academy to gain power to protect those they care about. These similarities between the two series made me like Hundred since I read it after I read Absolute Duo and Koiken Otome.

    My main problem with Hundred is that for almost everything it did, Absolute Duo just does them better. As such, I consider Hundred to be a lesser Absolute Duo much like how I consider Seikoku No Ryuu Kishi to be a lesser Machine Doll Wa Kizutsukanai. As strange as this might seem but I feel like the author of Hundred was sitting on the fence when writing his work. When reading Hundred, it feels like he wants to create a serious and well-written series like Absoute Duo but yet at the same time also wants to create a series without much depth and has mass appeal like Infinite Stratos. As a result, Hundred only turned out to be good but not great nor execellent since it cannot realize its full potential. This is due to it having this annoying tendency of “going thus far and no further” in terms of depth and character development which is a serious limitation that prevents me from giving the series a higher rating.

    On the other hand, series like Absolute Duo and Akashic Records Of The Bastard Magic Instructor are some examples of light novels that can completely commit to being well-written and serious works even if it means isolating a portion of their target audience. This is why both of these series received a 9/10 rating from myself since they know what they want to be and are not afraid to work towards that state even if it comes at a cost. Honestly speaking, I wish more works in the high school battle harem genre were more like them instead of being overt power fantasies with little depth and shallow romance.

    On another note, Netoge was certainly a good romcom which has a surprisingly good anime adaptation. I really enjoyed watching the series and I am glad that a translator picked up the translation for its light novels recently. As such, I hope that another translator would also pick up the translations for Noucome as well in the future since it is also a good romcom series. I agree with you that anime adaptations of romcom series usually turn out better than anime adaptation of more serious battle series. From my experience, that has always been the case although there are rare exceptions like Re:Zero and Sukasuka but those are the the aberrant rather than the norm. Another romcom light novel that has a good anime adaptation is Gamers! which I also enjoyed watching its anime almost as much as I enjoy reading its light novels. On the other hand, Noucome’s anime adaptation was not very faithful to its source material. This is since there were quite a number of changes that were made in its anime which made it less interesting and humorous than its light novels. Some of the better jokes and more serious events were actually skipped in Noucome’s anime adaptation which was a pity.

    By the way, did you read the Ore Ga Suki Nano Wa Imouto Dakedo Imouto Ja Nai light novels? I was wondering how did its anime adaptation thus far fare in comparison to its source material. Its bad animation quality in the first 3 episodes of its anime does not bode well for it being a good adaptation of its source material in my opinion.

    • I don’t really have a profound opinion of Hundred, I’m only three volumes into the story anyway, so this’ll probably sound pretty shallow.

      Up until the end of volume 3, Hundred to me is Infinite Stratos+ (the “+” is intentional, also talking about the IS anime alone, I haven’t read the novel yet). It does the same things IS does, but with slight alterations and less silly. While IS does all the ecchi stuff just for fan service’s sake, Hundred makes a necessity out of it (the antibody stuff) – a clever move to provide fan service without breaking immersion.

      The biggest problem Hundred has so far, is the unwillingness of the author to fully do things their way. Hundred volume 3 especially was great when it did its thing in the wilderness, creating a more tense atmosphere versus the unknown. Then he seemed to either not know how to stick with it or was afraid to be too unconventional and – I don’t remember what exactly happened but he – went back to a generic fighting scene and the whole issue was too readily resolved.

      Basically, every time you think Hundred is committed to try something new, it goes back to the same old stuff IS and who-not did a thousand times before. In its composition Hundred is a good quasi-mech fantasy battle novel, though. It’s not like the general “IS” theme is overused either, from all the fighters I’ve read so far (not that many, mind you) it’s probably my second most likeable after Campione. At least until volume 3 I can’t say that it’s much different from “IS,” though. As I said, it feels like IS+ so far, that might change during the course of the series.

      Regarding Netoge, I’d say the anime adaption was BETTER than the novel. Having it visualized helps the humor incredibly. It has much more dynamic and impact. Noucome has a great premise and – as far as I’ve read it, somewhere in the middle of volume 2 – completely fails to make something great out of it. The choices basically come down to “Do this or die.” It’s not a choice if you don’t have a choice. I’d like it better if the choices the curse comes up with would look more equally legit. It is funny nonetheless, but could be much better. The anime was fine. Didn’t blow my mind, but I’m curious whether the series picks up in later volumes. Re:Zero is just fucked up in my opinion, lol. Beyond what I like, no legit opinion on that psycho gore fest – the anime was well-made at least, the story itself doesn’t sit well with me. Gamers! is on my watch list, but has yet to be devoured. The same goes for that Imouto anime, I do plan to watch it when there’s a BD release, I don’t plan on reading it beforehand, since I’ve just way too many books stacked up, I’ve to save time somewhere. Fingers crossed it’s decent.

      • I agree with your opinions regarding the first 3 volumes of Hundred. In a sense, Hundred does indeed feel like Infinite Stratos for at least its first 2 volumes. However, starting from its third volume onwards, Hundred had pretty much went its own direction and no longer resembles Infinite Stratos. In fact, an interesting thing to note is that the more volumes I read of Hundred, the more that I actually agree that it resembles the Absolute Duo light novels for that matter. I would not be too surprised that if more volumes of Absolute Duo are translated, I would see even more similarities between the two light novels. Not that I find this a bad thing in my opinion since in general I tend to more fond of light novels that resembles other light novels that I like.

        I would also like to mention that what you stated about Hundred’s author not fully doing things his own way is pretty much an elaboration of my opinions that its author was sitting on the fence when writing Hundred in my previous comment. To tell the truth, I can never really understand why an author would even want to be so indecisive when deciding the direction of where he wants his light novel to go. After all, what he is doing is pretty much throwing away platinum for gold. By this I mean that had he fully committed to doing things his own way, Hundred might actually be potentially as excellent as Absolute Duo or Bastard Magic Instructor And The Akashic Records. If you had read beyond volume 3 of Hundred like myself, you can actually see what I mean since Hundred actually realizes some of its potential but not all of it due to its inability to fully commit to doing things its own way. To let you understand what I mean, I will state 2 examples of things that Hundred did right below.

        For example, in one of your reviews about Hundred’s third light novel volume, you mentioned that you are interested in the implementation of some characters like Clair’s older brother, Judal, and her younger sister, LiZA. I can definitely say that they are two of the most interesting characters in Hundred’s light novels since they get a lot of focus and their background and motivations are really fleshed out. In fact, they play very important roles in the story and are actually also well-written characters for that matter. Their “fight against god” is actually a central theme of the story which appears often as well. From my experience of reading the Hundred light novels, the most interesting characters are Clair and her family and the most interesting developments in its story also involve them and their goals.

        Another example is that certain supporting characters like Reitia, Fritz, Erika, Liddy and the three hunters also get character development alongside the main characters. Their backstories and motivations are properly explained and they grow as characters as they experience the various events in the light novels. The major antagonists also have plausible motivations and backstories as well for the most part.

        If you like what you read in volume 3 of the Hundred light novels, I suggest that you continue reading further once you have the time to read the rest of its volumes since it is definitely worth your time. However, you should not expect anything above good or a 7/10 rating since Hundred still has the fundamental flaw of being unable to fully commit to doing things its own way. This is quite a pity since Hundred truly has the potential to be execellent and actually manages to realizes some of it. Had it not had this flaw, I would actually like to give its light novels a higher rating since I am actually quite fond of the series myself.

        This is unlike another light novel series I am currently reading, Seikoku No Ryuu Kishi, which is only above average at best and I rated it 6/10 after reading its first 3 volumes. That light novel series does not have the potential to be good or execellent and is plagued with problems like unneccessary fanservice and boring battles for the most part. In fact, some of the fanservice scenes in its light novels feel as if they are overtly telling me its author’s fetishes. Its light novels could really do without them since they do not serve any purpose in its story to begin with. Most of the battles in its light novels feel as if it is a worse version of some of the early battles in the first generation of Gundam AGE. This is since the way the main heroine, Eco, creates a new Ark for the protagonist, Ash Blake, through the Dragon Workshop in every battle is very similar to the AGE Builder in Gundam AGE except that it works faster and has less restrictions. Not to mention that its protagonist, Ash Blake, while decent is a boring character who lacks an interesting backstory, past traumas to overcome, difficult to achieve goals or even overwhelming adversities to overcome. I really do not expect anything from that light novel series and I am only reading it because I ran out of light novel translations to read at the moment. Overall, it is not a light novel series that I recommend you to read had you not yet read it.

        On a another note, Netoge certainly feels more hilarious in its anime adaptation compared to its light novels. There are only two things that its anime adpatation should not have done. The first thing is that it should not have cut out some of the depth and character development of its main characters. The second thing is that it should not have made its viewers think that only Ako is abnormal when its main cast are all abnormal in their own ways. Regardless, it is still a good anime adaptation and I would like to see a second season of its anime in the future.

        I agree that Noucome could have given two equally bad choices to make things more interesting rather than giving a bad choice and an even worse choice. It is still amusing regardless but I felt that it could have been better. Some of the developments in its later light novel volumes are interesting from I heard and I would like to read about them should they ever be translated. I can only say that it definitely gets better since there is character development for its protagonist and heroines and its protagonist’s backstory and past gets properly explained.

        While Re:Zero is a great light novel series with a good anime adaptation, I can understand why not everyone would like it. After all, even I myself who like the series a lot have to admit that while it is very realistic, it can be absolutely soul crushing to watch or read at times due to Subaru’s despair and agony. However, it is definitely heartwarming when Subaru overcomes the adversities he faces and grows as a character. Ultimately whether the series is to people’s liking depends on whether they can tolerate the high level of despair and agony that Subaru faces before he overcomes the adversities he faces and grows as a character as a result. After all, the thing about Subaru’s character is not that he is bad character nor that he is annoying but rather that there is not much he can do for the most part in his situation due to his powerlessness which is the price of realism in such a series.

        Lastly for that imouto anime, I agree that you might want to wait for the BD releases since the visual quality of its anime is terrible. Its visual quality is almost as bad as or even worse than that of the second season of the Date A live anime when it first aired. Otherwise, you are better off reading its light novels since I heard from someone’s comment on the Animesuki Forums that its anime adaptation is not a good adpatation of its source material. In addition, that person also mentioned that its source material is good.

      • While I did read the entirety of your reply with interest, there’s not much I can comment since a lot is about novels I’ve yet to read (a lot of them being on my reading list, though). Instead, I’ll just add to three small points:

        >In fact, some of the fanservice scenes in its light novels feel as if they are overtly telling me its author’s fetishes.

        That was my biggest issue with “TaiCheat” (that’s how I abbreviate it, I don’t know the official shorthandle). It’s published by MF Bunko J, so I knew I had fanservice coming my way, but some characters are walking moe blobs, which is upsetting because it just ruins the excellent setting and world-building the author provides otherwise. Volume 4 managed to go easier on that and voilà, it’s a treat to read. Fanservice yes, but more subtle than shoving boobs into his face.

        >After all, the thing about Subaru’s character is not that he is bad character nor that he is annoying but rather that there is not much he can do for the most part in his situation due to his powerlessness which is the price of realism in such a series.

        I don’t fully agree. He’s holding >himself< back in a lot of situations and just wallows in his own pathetic-ness and self-pity. Whether that's realistic or just him being a wimp aside, in the end it's a fantasy novel, a work of fiction. And as such Re:Zero took the despair/pitifulness/agony too far to help support it as entertainment, in my opinion. It left me feeling as if the author just has sadistic streaks and gets off torturing his characters as much as the editor lets him. I like basically everything about it but these prolonged sequences of cruelty are just absurdly overkill - as such, I basically just skimmed through about 5-6 episodes which contained largely gore and breakdowns in the later half of the anime and I felt like I had a better watching experience for it. You always gotta be careful of how much of your spices you use or it'll ruin the dish.

        >Otherwise, you are better off reading its light novels since I heard from someone’s comment on the Animesuki Forums that its anime adaptation is not a good adpatation of its source material.

        Welp, that’s sad to hear, I’ll keep that in mind but I dunno how many more books Mt. Backlog can handle. 😛 For now, after our little exchange here, Hundred volume 4 climbed in priority. As for rom-coms I’m trying my hands at “HenSuki” (I googled that abbreviation for once) for now, so I’ve no immediate need.

        Speaking of rom-coms, I also started watching “Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo” blind, e.g. without knowing anything about it whatsoever except that the manga is a big thing, and so far it deserves a disappointed “overrated.” 😛 Never have high hopes before watching an anime.

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