The desire 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, not only in the body – but also in MIND in the form of intelligence or strength of spirit in having the courage to do what’s right. Despite of its form, strength isn’t something that is easily obtained. Hardships and difficulties are what give shape to such strength (no matter how much wounds, bruises, snags you need to come through to succeed). Of course, you cannot do all of that alone. This is what Absolute Duo tries to convey.
Absolute Duo follows young Tor Kokonoe as he enrolls in Kouyou Academy (a high school where its students battle each other, as training to become future peacekeepers). The school uses a special “Duo” system in which students are assigned partners. Tor is paired with a silver-haired beauty (whom I think possesses genuine cuteness and humor), Julie Sigtuna. Tor must share a room with her throughout his stay in the academy. Eventually, they became fighting partners and they must work together in order to graduate.
Takumi Hiiragiboshi did well in making the story interesting and full of glorious actions. Although half of its readers thought that it is just another “generic battle harem school story” with a good-looking guy, the action-ecchi light novel series was able to publish seven volumes, and received two manga adaptations.
Last 2014, 8-bit finally announced an anime television series adaptation of Absolute Duo. It began airing on January 4, 2015 on AT-X and received undeniable support from otakus around the globe. It aired on multiple television and broadcasting systems in Asia and in the same week, Crunchyroll began streaming episodes of the hit series to parts of Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa.
I personally recommend this series to people who love to watch action/harem/romance animes. The genre and tone seemed to be right up my alley, which is action, harem, and a slight dab of comedy. 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.
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. Nonetheless, the so-called duo’s battles imparted good partnership things to me a lot.
On the other hand, Atsushi Nakayama should give Absolute Duo’s anime adaptation another chance since it received a lot of not-so-impressed comments from most of its viewers. But hey, there is a huge possibility since the second manga is still running at the moment. Let us wait and see how it will reign again in the anime screen!