Right off the bat my major interest with Absolute Duo stems from the fact that it goes against the tone of what it says it is- This is supposed to be a harem show but it both lives and breathes initial tension and emits no plot of that nature-…at first. And that’s what I wanted it to be the entire time. Unfortunately it does not stay that way.
Even in the beginning we have our main character, Tohru/Toru THOR IN SOME TRANSLATIONS IDK??? thor lmao omg I can’t believe they romanize it that way omfg, who is seemingly nonchalant. I admit in the first few scenes I saw in the beginning I thought, no way, this guy? He seems like a wimp. But the interesting thing about the intro is it was supposed to seem oblique and do the normal anime thing of cutting us to the real stuff, and I was surprised to find him a little more laid back? Despite his appearance he wasn’t your average jump in guy right away, he was laid back to an extent. I kind of realized eventually he was just typical and that was disappointing, but I had hope for those glorious ten minutes, sobs.
Despite using Absolute Duo for Japanese practice, the major plot lays itself out pretty nicely. Everyone will have a ‘partner’ but it’s not that simple, YOU GOTTA FIGHT TO PROVE YOSELF and nothing is creepier than Sakuya the Chairman. But what I was worried about was still pretty much up in the air: why the hell is this labeled a harem show? Is it going to be a subtle build up harem show and mostly ignore than the girl’s all want him or are we going Infinite Stratos here? It was a bad sign when two potential love interests show up RIGHT AWAY. Then it was kind of crushed when the chairman(? I caught her name better than her title lol) is like “lol partners aint easy bro have fun fightin’ with yo blaze’
I like you, troll lady. But isn’t it kind of predictable for an anime with fightng to go OOOOH IT’S SPECIAL NOW YOU ALL MUST FIGHT OOOOH!!!! Even worse, the cool opening is really cheapened when all the fighting stances used in it are stock footage you don’t even wait an episode to show ugh. A lot of this episode really shows how generic this whole premise is. I’m a guy with a SHIELD I’M SO SPECIAL I am beyond what you even know mortals fear me I am the main character. The girl he hangs out with first already is so generic, I don’t mean the main girl because for once we aren’t getting the red haired kind of prominent female love interest main- nope, smaller boobed almost loli quiet girl. And I’m cool with this, I liked Angel Beats. Even so, it’s funny that the first girl is basically a decoy he fights, CAUSE YA GOTTA FIGHT TO PROVE YO WORTH.
But what’s the issue? Well, shit, it’s kind of boring at times. Like I get you’re trying to say this is a cool special school but I should be more invested before you throw me in? Already Toru/Thor’s got this angsty bullshit going on like ooooh my family died and some shit and there’s this sword guy who I gotta beat, Okay I’m calling it now, his Blaze manifested as a shield because in his heart he had a desire to protect those around him from ever being hurt again. I hope not. Actually this show looks like it has a lot of promise. There’s a lot to be said for the animation already and the art style isn’t bad, and I actually enjoy the OST and find in some places it can be refreshing. The resting music is a little different than normal.
Julie actually looks interesting. If I had to give a reason I think it might be a good show it’s because it’s not going through the tired and true main girl routine. I know that might sound vague to you but isn’t it a little tiring to see the same type of heroine? It’s just. . . so far? It’s a set up episode man. I can’t say I hate it, it’s a lot of talking and some fighting beforehand and there’s a lot of explanation I had to listen to a few times to get since I was watching it raw, but honestly? I didn’t even need to? Most of this show explains itself. If you ever need to watch an anime and practice your Japanese, something with a plot like this might help because I admit there are times I went ‘wow, why did I bother translating that? It said exactly what I thought it did.’ Get your verbs down and this show kind of tells itself.
All of the girls are introduced very quickly and they’re very. . . I dunno? I can already feel some of my interest slip the more focus goes on them and away from the premises that deal with the main character. I guess this whole idea would mean a lot more to me if I didn’t feel the ‘partner’ dynamic was kinda moved in on by every girl imaginable? They’re all gonna want him. And he’s the SUPER SPECIAL SHIELD GUY.
Ultimately what can I rate this? It’s potential is a 7 out of Ten. . but I honestly didn’t enjoy it. It might turn out better but with so many people interested? I’ll pass. This is my final review for it unless magic happens. My enjoyment? a 4 out of ten. Cute girls in a serious plot, been done before and works well in other places, but not what I’m looking for in my Winter lineup.