Individuals who can materialize weapons from their soul are called "Blazers," and they attend Kouryou Academy High School in order to harness their abilities. Each student is required to partner with another, in the hopes that one day, the pair can attain the power of Absolute Duo.
Tooru Kokonoe hopes to attend this academy in order to gain power after his sister and friends were slain by a mysterious man. However, at the opening ceremony, he is forced to duel against the person sitting next to him, with the loser being expelled. As Tooru prepares to give the match his all, it is not a weapon that manifests from his soul, but a shield, an irregularity which catches the attention of a foreign student named Julie Sigtuna.
Have you ever had trouble spotting a bottom-of-the-barrel title? Finding the product of studio algorithm, where the intent is solely that of a product and nothing more? Shows with as much integrity as a used car salesman with a tacky poker-dot tie, or as much validity as McDonald's promoting "health" through thinly cut apple slices and a bottle of processed milk? Hogwash that pretends to have artistic merit? And if so, would you like to sift through bottom-tier anime before so much as letting it occupy time on your media device? If you've answered yes to this, here are some quick tips to help you
▸Is there a typical school setting? ☑
▸Is the protagonist a pussy magnet? ☑
▸Is there a beach or hot spring episode? ☑
▸Is there a love interest story that goes nowhere? ☑
▸Is there unnecessary fanservice in the cover photo? ☑
▸Is the lead easily flustered by anything involving females? ☑
▸Does it go from tensionless fights to school rom-com at the drop of a hat? ☑
▸Is there some kind of a pussy beta-male protagonist with a "unique"/hax superpower? ☑
▸Is there a lot of instances where your lead is viewed as a pervert due to stupid misunderstandings? ☑
▸Is there at least one obligatory scene where this meta-male either walks in on a girl changing or accidentally gropes them? ☑
If you answered "yes" to most, if not, all of those, then congrats! You've just found yourself a mouth-breather tier anime title. Either that or you've accidentally watched this piece of garbage, Absolute Duo. Absolute Duo does absolutely nothing new. It's the same cookie-cutter assembly-line product regurgitated yearly from the anime industry. With a few slight tweaks here and there, and a fresh coat of paint to mask the stench of unoriginality, these titles are excreted out by the dozen on constant demand. Absolute Duo is just another statistic.
Why bother writing a compelling narrative when excessive info-dumps and monologuing could do the trick? Why bother to make something with a modicum of artistic expression when you would just flash a few pantsu to win over mouth-breathers? Why bother trying when the audience being pandered to don't even demand anything more? It's hard not to be sardonic about titles like these, especially when the problem stems far deeper than simply "the studio's fault." And in the case of Duo, what we have here is a symptom of audience complacency. Here's a world that exists byways of audience participation to do all the legwork for it. The show doesn't try because it's effectively harvested a viewership that doesn't expect it to.
The world of Absolute Duo is that of a dystopian future. A detail that's rendered entirely pointless given that it all takes place in a high school setting, with the purpose of even addressing the nature of the world's construct only coming to play to allow these teens the ability to wield supernatural weaponry—no, that's not a joke, the show is really that lazy. And as is the tradition for these kinds of stories, we're given hints of a manipulative government faction. We're given hints at a budding school romance. We're given hints that the powers in the show have something more behind its mechanics than what's being told. We're given hints at a troubled backstory for our protagonist. We're given A LOT of hints but that's all, as this is yet another "read the manga" kind of title, where its entire purpose of existing hints towards being an advertisement for the source material. An ugly-looking, drably produced advertisement at that.
The color placement is flat. Its environment evenly lit, like the backlight of a computer monitor or the glow of a tracing table. This is an anime that can't be bothered with the trivial task of having a personality. It would much rather slouch about. Cardboard cutout characters designed with no discernable feature from its usual counterparts. Personalities equally as stock-piled, their behavior as lackluster as the color choices used to bring them to life. Not a single characteristic that expresses passion. Just a heartless product pumped out by the iron presses of a studio machine looking to make a quick profit with as little effort as possible.
It's hard to find anything here worth mentioning, as the only thing interesting about Duo is just how much it manages to fail. All you simply have to do is look at all the genres it's supposedly made up of and see it misses the mark with all of them:
▸It doesn't work as a school title since the school is just a backdrop and was never truly utilized.
▸It doesn't work as a romance since nothing ever happens between the main love interest and the protagonist.
▸It doesn't work as an action title since the fight sequences were barely animated with any sort of energy or dynamics.
▸It doesn't work as a supernatural show since none of the power mechanics or lore gets fleshed out beyond face value.
▸It doesn't work as a harem since the protagonist is a typical beta-male that freezes up at the thought of a woman's touch.
▸It doesn't work as an ecchi title since it's not titillating, made worse when titles like Queen's Blade exists with amazing "plot."
This is a title that quite literally fails at everything it attempts to cover, and as such, I can't see how this could be anything less than a waste of 4 hours of your life.
Absolute Duo is Absolute Garbage. It's a cheaply made cash-grab that serves no other purpose than selling the source material it's adapted from. A quick glimpse into the ugly side of the entertainment industry, showing just how far a studio is willing to compromise its principals to make a quick buck.
The writers might as well take out the "duo" and slap in "harem" instead cuz duo just isn't cutting it.
A bland anime with some generic harem characters. Absolute duo may seem like your average action/harem anime, because it is.
First off let me remind you that the plot is set in a world far, far away where girls possess all the cup sizes from A to Z cups. So don't be suprised if they turn out to be the only thing worth watching in the whole show.
Absolute Duo is about your average male protagonist who gains a special power and wants to seek
revenge for his deceased family. Tooru Kokonoe is a teenager who has the ability to materialize “Blazes” out of his soul. But he has no ordinary Blaze his blaze is an irregular, while other people generate Weapons Tooru can generate a shield. (Big deal right?) He then uses his special ability and enrolls himself into a school that teaches him to become stronger (even though he’s a bit overpowered already). At this school he is forced to kick some booty, which then leads the female protagonist, Julie, to realize his existence. She takes interest in him, and by some random chance they are forced into the dorm room, and as the series goes on they become an “absolute duo” which also forges an intimate relationship with each other. The anime throws you a couple curve balls later on, which keeps the story somewhat interesting.
- Great Choice of voice actors, Matsuoka who voiced Sora and Kirito from NGNL and Sao voiced Tooru.
- The OP’s and ED’s so far are pretty great, in my opinion.
- Great soundtracks for most scenes especially the romantic scenes.
- Did a good job of using music for suspense and such.
- They need better soundtracks for action scenes.(not really many action scenes so far tbh)
Most of the characters are a bit bland and unoriginal.
- Tooru- Your average male lead who has a harem, he cares for his peers, and has overpowered combat abilities.
- Julie- Your average shy airheaded dandere who’s a few slices short of a fruit cake, also has good combat abilities
- Miyabi- Your average shy useless character who’s afraid of males and her only job is to piss the audience off. (At least for me)
- Tomoe- Your average female protagonist who doesn’t know what love is, but then realizes she falls in love with the male protagonist. (So let the awkwardness ensue)
- Lilith- A bratty rich girl, who is apparently from England, and also an irregular, she has mastered the fine arts of Engrish.
- Usa Sensei- Their homeroom teacher who has two personalities. (Probably the most interesting character in the show)
Needless to say if all of these females had the brains the size of their bust it would make the show a whole lot more interesting.
The only thing that was good in this anime.
- Characters have big boobs.
- Great use of vibrant colors.
- Good contrast between light and dark.
- Nicely animated action scenes.
I’d say 8-bit studios did a pretty great job.
The anime definitely wasn't worth my time. The anime was pretty horrid from it's stupidly broad plot to it's equally broad characters. It's sad to see the anime end up so horribly because it actually had a lot of potential, but the directors or whoever does the screenplay ruined the whole show by making the show 99% fanservice with no plot.
I gave the anime an overall score of 4. Taking all things into consideration I had high hopes for this anime and I'd hoped it wont let me down. But several episodes in, I'd realized that even Jesus couldn't save this anime. The genre and tone seemed to be right up my alley, which is action, harem, and a slight dab of comedy. But after watching this many episodes I think my opinions were most likely clouded. I gave it a chance, but it's a pretty big let down.
Recommended For- People who have watched all the good action/harem/romance anime's and have a lot of spare time. Or if you just love action/harems so much you want to watch it.
Not Recommended For- People who want a action/harem with a good plot, and interesting characters, because I assure you this isn't something worth your time.
Yeah! This is my first review of Winter 2015. Oh yeah. Before I get on with the review just let me put some more nails in the coffin which now lies the ecchi jokes. Excuse me for a second.
Ok. I'm done.
Absolute Duo or Absolute Hatred follows these two bland characters by the name of Tor Kokonoe & Julie Sigtuna who attend Koryo Academy where they are trained in combat skills using Blaze. Blaze are supernatural weapons that suit different combat skills.
Let me tell you that I have 0 expectations when going into this anime. The concept is boring and it is an
ecchi genre. In fact, after that horrendous atrocity known as Rail Wars, I wasn't looking forward to watching this anime. So you know what, why not I review this anime.
You might say "Why are you viewing an ecchi anime with expectations?" My answer is "I'm sorry. My butt cannot stand being violated by Winter Season Anime especially when it comes to ecchi jokes."
This anime has some of the most horrendous dialogue and horrendous jokes I have ever seen since Rail Wars. There is one scene which is the worst scene I have ever seen in this anime. It is when Tomoe meets Tor for the first time, she keeps apologizing and jumps onto Tor and her head lands on Tor's crotch. Then some pauses and "I'm Sorry!" again and then Tomoe does another flip and Tomoe's butt landed on Tor, and pauses again. Rail Wars did that kind of joke like when Takayama accidentally gropes Haruka's boobs, there was a pause and then "I'm sorry". Seriously, how many times must an anime follow that kind of rule? I'm sorry, whenever I think of that scene, I always cringe inside.
There is also this girl get embarrassed when guy looks at the boobs. Bouncing of boobs. Beach episode. I can't take it.
Oh yeah, there was the fight scene between Miyabi & Tomoe. How they end the fight scene was so ridiculous. It ends with Miaybi saying "I've been foiled by the power of love".
At the very end, they tried to tie everything together and it was a fail. The fight scenes were rushed.
The animation is nothing impressive. When it is dark, it is very dull. The action scenes are all dull and boring. These action scenes are all the "Been there, done that" action scenes. I never pay attention to the action scenes because I don't care anymore.
The opening and ending are not memorable.
Where do I begin?
Tor & Julie might be like the new Sora & Shiro. However, Tor is more generic than compared to Shiro. His personality is as interesting as Edward Cullen. Especially, Julie, she is just another Bella Swan, who clings onto Tor with no personality.
Tomoe Tachibana - Her voice actress is Ayaka Suwa who voiced Tokaku Azuma from the atrocity known as Akuma no Riddle. She had the potential to become an interesting character like Mikazuki Yozora from Haganai. However, her character is annoying by apologizing to Tor a lot of times and she get into comedic misunderstandings with Tor.
Miyabi Hotaka - What can I say? She is the most generic character I have ever seen.
Lilith Bristol: I also have nothing to say about her. She is just an generic tsundere.
The teacher bunny by the name of Rito Tsumiki was so annoying. She tried to sound cute but she sounded more like nails scratching on chalkboard. The voice actress Yukari Tamura, her voice is no longer funny or cute, her voice was just annoying. Your cute voice is no longer relevant anymore, you just sound like a broken record player trying to work.
K is a generic villain. He looks like Gilgamesh from Fate/Stay Night. However, his personality is as interesting as a cardboard box. K only appears on the later half of the show.
I am so tired of these clichéd ecchi jokes. They are not funny or entertaining anymore. I didn't get a boner in any of the episodes. They are just cringe inducing. Saekano at least tried not to use these ecchi jokes but instead focus on good character development and serve its purpose well. This anime on the other hand tries to use all those "been there, done that" jokes and try to pass it off as entertaining. NO! You don't do that!
Ecchi jokes don't work anymore. Anyone who is planning to make an anime, DO NOT use ecchi jokes. Ecchi jokes are dead. They are not funny. All the ecchi jokes are just cash-grabbing, like to take people's time. I value my time and money and you should too. If you want to make a good comedy anime, do not use ecchi jokes. Make a good story with effort. There is no bigger crime than an anime that is meant to make people laugh or have a boner failed to do that.
This anime might not be a complete atrocity unlike "Pupa". But just like "Pupa", this anime is a prime example of the continuing bad practices of anime companies producing terrible anime in Winter Seasons. Especially when it comes to Ecchi genres.
I don't have any expectations. The reason why I give this anime a 2 out of 10 is because the voice acting was decent except for Yukari Tamura, decent fight scenes and the animation at least wasn't bad compared to Pupa. Way to start my first review for Winter 2015, well done "Absolute Duo"!
I now need to rest my head because there are more reviews to come for Winter 2015.
Wanting to be stronger is something that a lot of people strive for. And that isn't just in the sense of lifting weights to tone one's muscles. There is strength of mind in the form of intelligence or strength of spirit in having the courage to do what's right. But no matter its form, strength isn't something that is easily obtained. Hardship and difficulties are what give shape to such strength, and subsequently determine what strength is ultimately earned. This is what Absolute Duo tries to convey, but without much strength to support even itself.
Absolute Duo follows young
Tor Kokonoe as he enrolls in Kouyou Academy to take part in the "Duo" program. There, he meets Julie Sigtuna, a mysterious girl who eventually becomes his fighting partner.
Absolute Duo is an ecchi series, therefore making much of the content focus on showing the girls in promiscuous situations. In other words, there are many scenes involving bouncing breasts, unfit clothing, and risqué positions that attempt to entice the viewer. No girl is left unscathed: Julie often wears a single button-up shirt, Miyabi always has the camera aimed at her enormous bosom, and Lilith revels in her sexuality which gives her the confidence to perform more daring ventures. The ecchi itself isn't too classy or original, usually falling back on easy tropes like lost panties or chest-hugging, but there is a nice amount of it throughout its entire run.
And that's as far as Absolute Duo gets in terms of positivity. When it isn't sexualizing its characters or going through with a comedic moment, the show doesn't know what to do with itself. The story it attempts to tell is entirely contrived, filled with disjointed segments and an apparent lack of cohesion. The students are fighting in a mall one episode, only to be whisked away to a secluded island the next. The motivation behind many of these events is spurred on by the so-called principal's desire of obtaining "Absolute Duo," but what that really is isn't explained. And that goes for a large portion of the show: What was "Equipment Smith" trying to do? Who killed Tor's loved one? How does one become an "Exception?" There are other questions that are raised similar to these that are never answered, or even when they are, they are done in a slipshod manner. For example, Julie's actual status and powers are hastily shoved in minutes before the end of the series. Another is the "Reign Conference" that brought many different leaders together, but the meeting's purpose wasn't explained properly nor did it affect the outcome that followed. Again, these are just a few, but suffice it to say that the majority of whatever is presented is largely given the bare minimum of attention. All of this says nothing of the fight scenes, the powers everyone uses in them, and how lame most end up being. Tor's hammer-fist exists without explanation, bad guys let people live for no reason, and the battles usually give the side-cast the short end of the stick. It's all just a mess that it never recovers from, from start to finish.
Hearkening back to the anime's theme, the show plays with the idea of strength, what it is, and how one obtains it. Many of the characters have separate drives when it comes to finding said strength: for revenge, for love, and for protection, to name a few. In order to make the idea more meaningful, the anime also tackles how some kinds of strength are evil: "taking the easy route" to get it is bad, as is simply wanting to have it without a purpose. The problem, though, is that such a theme is muddied by the fan-service, the lame narrative, and the pointless battles. Beyond that, the classification of strength in such a way is strange. Because it isn't so much how you get such strength, but what you do with it that matters. "With great power comes great responsibility," as they say. In other words, Absolute Duo's segmentation of strength is not only difficult to see but also difficult to accept.
The art for Absolute Duo is somewhat boring. It usually consists of the same-looking schools and buildings, with some variation in location. Some forests, a beach, and an amusement park here and there, but nothing that catches the eye or causes wonderment for the audience. Perhaps this is simply a product of the setting of the anime itself, with it not lending to such interesting environments. Regardless, what is presented is generally devoid of high detail, making it look general and same-y.
The character designs are strangely hit-or-miss. Julie's white hair and magenta-filled eyes are nice, yet Tor's, Tomoe's, and Miyabi's lack of detail is not. Their school uniforms have many layers, with blues, whites, and blacks making up most of their composition. On top of this, the Blazes (the weapons the cast wield) are jagged and black in color, giving them an ominous feeling that reflects the weapons' very nature.
Actual animation is not wishy-washy. Bluntly put, it's bad. And that's something that is sorely unneeded for a show that spends a lot of time on the fighting scenes it constantly throws the audience's way. During these scenarios, there are way too many close-ups and simple movements to reduce the amount of animation required. There is also the very jarring use of 3D used for particular situations and characters that is nothing more than distracting.
The characters of Absolute Duo do not fair too much better than their story brethren.
Tor is the star of the show, so his "importance" is the highest. Yet he's arguably the worst of the bunch. Average, kind, and compassionate, he's probably the perfect protector for Julie. This is further reinforced by his lone character trait: screaming "Julie!" whenever he has the chance. Obviously, he cares about her, which is fine. But there isn't anything else to him than that. That is, his past is mired in failed protection, so he makes it his life's duty to do what he previously could not. And he doesn't budge from such a stance; he doesn't experience other tribulations nor does he see such protecting as much of a challenge. He's the same super-nice, super-friendly, super-bad character for the whole show.
Sadly, Julie isn't much of an improvement, either. She's very quiet, sticking to Tor at all times due to some strange attachment. Furthermore, she isn't accustomed to her new surroundings, meaning she constantly does things incorrectly -- a gag rather than a meaningful characterization. Regardless, she, too, has a past that is controlled by death. But where Tor wanted to protect, Julie wanted to eviscerate. This development isn't revealed until much later into the show's run, meaning, once again, she is similar to Tor in that her growth over the course of the anime is nonexistent. She "likes Tor" and "wants to be his Duo," but there is nothing more to her character outside of her quasi-girlfriend relationship with the main hero.
The rest of the cast is wholly uninspiring as well. Rito is the professor who is also a bunny with a good and evil personality. Ryuutarou likes to flex his muscles. Aoi is quite annoying. Tomoe is quick to misunderstand and Miyabi is very shy. Both of these girls, though, are slightly better off than the others, receiving some focus later on in the series. But the problems they face are resolved too quickly to prove worthwhile to their overall characters. If anything, Lilith, the "Exception," really is the only exception. She begins rather abrasive towards others, acting wholly arrogant given her special status. But after dealing with Tor's unwavering attitude and competing against the people she deemed worthless, she opens up, becoming both approachable and a good friend to the rest of the gang.
As a further look into everyone's character, and as becomes somewhat known over the course of the anime, the Blazes of the students are designed in such a way as to reflect the soul that wields it. Tor's is a shield due to his absolute need to protect the people around him. Julie wields two swords, demonstrating her need to punish first and ask questions later. Lilith uses a rifle to not only align with the "Exception" status but also due to her rather aimed personality. Tomoe's is a whip due to her cracking back-and-forth from being judgmental to apologetic, whereas Miyabi's is a massive jousting spear due to her already large amount of untapped potential. This technique can be applied to each of the named members of the show. And while not a fascinating detail, it is at least an okay concept that is employed to aid in characterization.
The OP for the show is rather fast, with the vocalist doing a lot of work. She shows a large amount of range, with both high and low notes, as well as extended note-holding. The beat and instruments are surprisingly modern, sounding more techno than instrumental. It's an okay song overall, but largely forgettable.
The first ED is very aquatic in nature. It's slow, with the drums and violin working during the first half. Around the middle, the sound somewhat cuts away, having the singer sort of "skipping" with the lyrics. Afterwards, the beat picks back up, with the vocalist continuing with the softer way of singing. Again, an okay piece that isn't highly memorable.
The second ED is rather lackluster, with its easy beat and simple singing. The only mentionable part of the track is the ending "Happy, happy!" speaking, which is both cute and fun.
Lastly, the third ED is more melancholic than the rest. The first third is interspersed with harp-like sounds and high violin playing. The second third becomes more hopeful, with the singer and instruments slowing down just a bit, with the final third picking back up the tempo. But like the second ED, this song just isn't that good to listen to, either on its own or within the show.
The soundtrack has nothing worth remembering, either. There are "soldier"-esque tracks with drums and violins during battle segments, piano tracks during sad moments, and elevator music during the laid-back ones. They're simple mood pieces that aren't special or significant in any way.
Voice-acting is about average across the board. Special shout-out to Nozomi Yamamoto as Julie for all of her "Ja's" and "Nej's."
The show could be funny at times, especially in regard to Julie's ignorance of social cues and general cuteness. From her hair wiggle to her constant clinging to Tor, she could usually put a smile on my face. The other girls could, too; Tomoe's prostrations after mistaking the situation or Lilith's unabashed advances were enough to make me smile.
I can't say that I like any of the characters, though. Or any of the battles for that matter. Or any of the world's rules and what-not. All of it is just "there," with barely any semblance of "oomph." And it's not that it had a lot to work with, but more so the fact that it couldn't do anything with what it had.
Absolute Duo is an anime that focuses on pairings: relationships and boobs being the most prominent. But no amount of fan-service could save this one from its awful plot, lame characters, boring art, and forgetful music. It's simply a really bad experience the whole way through.
With so many anime using manga as its source material, it's easy to forget just how many really good stories were based on light novels. Despite the relative rarity of this type of adaptation, light novels have produced some absolutely mesmerizing stories. Some may surprise you!