Absolute Duo is back another week picking up on the action (despite its poorly coordinated animation). Seriously, I imagined Julie moving more swiftly like a dancer and less like a jumpy chibi. The battle amps up between the main protagonist duo and K from the Rebels.
I’d really like some sort of villain back story on K because all he really boasts as his motive for destruction is “power” but we have no idea where this ideal comes from or how it developed. We do however get a flashback scene of K promising to protect his brother, which is why he gets so worked up when he sees another person boast responsibility and protection over another.
As a side note, it’s also quite unfair to have two high school kids take on a militarily mechanized fighter. Why doesn’t Bunny-sensei just fight him herself? Geez. And why isn’t she herself part of a duo? So many follow up question on the sadistic bunny maid.
Could the main duo agency not send a STRONGER and more ACCOMPLISHED duo to face the rebel guy rather than rely on a stubborn protagonist and a loli? The soundtrack during the dramatic moments also sound like horror music acoustics which is JUST AWKWARD.
Tor ends up being stabbed by K towards the end of the battle and Julie goes into dark mode. For the record, considering that this is episode twelve, I feel like the series owes us an explanation concerning Julie’s dark mode. Is it darkness in her soul? Because it’s definitely manifesting in her Blaze powers. What is the point of training when you could just anger Julie and let her take out her rage in battle? There is actually so much more angst and power-lust in that small girl than we imagined. Also, NONE of this was hinted throughout the slice of life aspects of the series. I really didn’t feel the inner emotional struggle of Julie…UNTIL NOW. Though Julie ends up defeating K, she turns on Tor and Tor ends up placating her… with a hug.
I wasn’t a big fan of the climactic dialogue centered around “protection.” There really wasn’t enough pair-build up throughout the series. They seriously need to swap out the slice of life scenes for more training episodes or at least put the Duos out on cases where they get to practice and showcase more teamwork. I mean, there aren’t always political conflicts arising during the school year to train the students…
I do suppose the ending concluded on a high note when it comes to wrapping up Julie and Tor’s relationship. I didn’t like how K’s back story details were anticlimactically revealed as an afterthought between Lilith and Tor.
The series really TRIED. If anything, IT. TRIED. HARD. But a lot of things really didn’t pan out as smoothly as possible. The development of the narrative actually reminded me a lot of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and how it desperately tried to juggle the high school every day aspects of the story with the political side. Mahouka was A LOT more complex and at times Absolute Duo found itself WAY too distracted by the ecchi, the fan service and the awkward romance.
As ANOTHER afterthought, Julie’s dark power is also revealed. She confesses herself to be an El Awake and not an actual Exceed (whom have their powers artificially awakened). She claims to have struggled with the idea of being different and being distanced from Tor as a result BUT again we never got any introspection on the girl and her so-called character development became an info dump in the concluding narrative of the series. Well, I suppose the series attempts to come full circle as Tor and Julie reiterate their duo vows to each other.
Man, I really liked the first few chapters of Absolute Duo which is why I was initially so hyped for the series but since fan-sub groups were lagging with translations, I had no idea how awkwardly this entire story panned out and how many plot holes are in the overarching plot structure of the series. The art style in the manga is A LOT better than anything we ever saw in the anime. The fighting among Exceeds is SO MUCH COOLER in the original material.
All I can say is, read the manga. Please. And let’s try and forget all this poor animation ever hit the screens.
What are you pondering today?