Episode 1 Impressions: Absolute Duo

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A boy with a unique ability, a school where kids learn to fight and use powers, tons of fragile and cute girls overly interested in one boy, an overly loud and genki teacher.  What exactly does Absolute Duo seek to do that would draw the attention of those that have been around this block before?

e1absoluteduo03Synopsis
Toru is a young man starting his first day at the Koryo Academy High School.  It’s an all expense paid academy established by the Dorn Agency to train students in martial arts.  Though some would see it as just a test facility made just for the president and her “Lukifers.”

After meeting Imari Nagakura, the two enter the opening ceremony where all of the students are greeted by the president Sakuya Tsukumo.  She immediately issues their first task.  Everyone is to fight the person sitting next to them until one is the victor.  If no victor is found within 10 minutes, both will lose.  On top of that, all that lose this battle will give up their “Lukifers,” which were injected into them to grant them powers called “Blaze.”

Initializing their soul-powers, or Blaze, each of the students begin fighting each other in a frantic battle to be chosen to enter the school.  Even though Toru and Imari don’t wish to fight each other, they both seem to have an important goal they need to achieve.  While Imari manifests a sword with her Blaze, Toru is a unique case where he manifests a shield instead.  He can’t go on the offense with this shield, so he instead uses a powerful punch technique to win against Imari.

Following this test, Toru is granted membership into Koryo Academy and begins his classes.  Though it seems his unique Blaze has already granted him a lot of attention.  One notably being a silver-haired girl named Julie Sigtuna who is constantly staring at him, despite her obvious shyness.

After she takes her seat next to him, they soon find that everyone in the class will have temporary partners: the persons sitting next to each other.  Not only that, but they are to live in the same dorm rooms as each other in order to prepare them for their future in the Dorn Agency’s peacekeeping corps.  Where, similarly, they will be working in teams that generally consists of two people.

Once alone with his new partner, Toru discovers why Julie has such a strong interest in him.  It’s mainly due to the fierce punch he performed on Imari during the opening ceremony.  Even though Julie desires to learn how to perform this, Toru believes that if a girl were to use the ability that caused him great strain, it would destroy her.

Thoughts
Unfortunately this show kicks things off with an all too familiar formula.  Unable to break from the usual setup.  School filled with teens with abilities that train to use them.  Though instead of fighting, we get a bunch of classroom antics and fragile girls seeking a boy who has a fear of girls touching or being around him.

Good thing is?  The main protagonist managed not to walk in on anyone, see underwear, or fall on anyone!  There is still hope yet!  Though Julie is your standard, “Oh yeah, I’m completely naked under a shirt and don’t know why that’s bad,” girl and is living with him.

Overly critical self aside, there does seem to be some type of plot underneath that could be interesting.  If they don’t throw it to the side like Unbreakable Machine Doll did so many seasons ago.  It seems, in fact, that this boy has had some sort of traumatic run in with the spirit of Sword Art Online‘s Kirito.

Then there’s the aspect of the duo system and Toru’s obviously unique equipment of a shield rather than a typical weapon.  How well will it work with a partner, and e1absoluteduo11does it hamper against a 2 weapon team remains to be seen.  Of course, there also seems to be a huge emphasis on his punch technique he performed and just where he learned it.  So he’s not entirely harmless.

In the end, the show has very little to stand out from the typical plot formula it displays.  If it desires to do something new, it’s failing to portray that.  So for now, it’s not something I can really get behind.

This show is streaming on Funimation.com!

Episode 1: Blaze

THUMBS DOWN!

THUMBS DOWN!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Typical Setting, Little Promise

Pros:

  • Some interesting elements
  • Decent style and animation

Cons:

  • Typical setting
  • Typical characters
  • Little to draw interest

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.