Absolute Duo : The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 10, 2016 by Dennis Amith
“Absolute Duo : The Complete Series” is action-packed and entertaining and after all was done, this series made me want even more! Recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2016 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Absolute Duo : The Complete Series
ANIME SERIES AIR DATE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 1-12) 300 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), English DolbyTrue HD 5.1, Japanese DolbyTrue HD 2.0, English subtitles
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Originally created by Takumi Hiiragi-Boshi
Directed by Atsushi Nakayama
Series Composition by Takamitsu Kouno
Music by Yatsushi Hirasawa
Original Character Design by Yu Asaba
Character Design by Kana Ishida, Keiichi Sano
Art Director: Kenta Masuda
Chief Animation Director: Keiichi Sano, Norie Tanaka
Anime Production: 8 bit
Featuring the following voice talent:
Nozomi Yamamoto/Bryn Apprill as Julie Sigtuna
Yoshitsugu Matsuoka/Ricco Fajardo as Tor Kokone
Natsuki Hanae/Anthony Bowling as Aoi “Tora” Torasaki
Ayaka Imamura/Ashleigh Domangue as Miyabi Hotaka
Haruka Yamazaki/Caitlin Glass as Lilith Bristol
Yui Horie/Felecia Angelle as Sakuya Tsukumo
Yukari Tamura/Jennifer McDaniel as Rito “Uta-Sensei” Tsukimi
Tomomichi Nishimura/Kent Williams as Equipment Smith
Manami Tanaka/Lara Woodhull as Otoha Kokonoe
Yoshihisa Kawahara/Tyson Rinehart as Tatsu
Whitney Rodgers as Tomoe Tachibana
Takahiro Sakurai/Z. Charles Bolton as K
Welcome to the prestigious Koryo Academy of Absolute Duo! A special school where students train to fight with weapons that are manifestations of their souls. On the outside, Tor Kokonoe seems like a regular academy student. But while his classmates carry swords, kunai, and axes into battle, his soul becomes a shield. As the students pair up in order to reach their full potential, Tor is partnered with the mysterious and exotic Julie. What he doesn’t realize is that their partnership means they’ll have to do everything together—fight, attend class, and even sleep in the same room! As the strangely affectionate girl begins pushing his boundaries to the limit, the other girls in his class start taking notice. While he’s fighting to make the grade, he’ll have to fend off the advances and attention from the tomboyish Tomoe, the meek Miyabi, and the exceptionally talented Lilith—a shield might be just what he needs after all!
In 2012, writer Takumi Hiiragiboshi and illustrator Yu Asaba created the Japanese light novel series “Absolute Duo”.
Published by Media Factory’s MF Bunko J since 2012, the light novel series was adapted into an anime series by 8-Bit in 2015.
The anime series was directed by Atsushi Nakayama (“”Dog Days”, “Rewrite”, “Dog Days”), series composition by Takamitsu Kouno (“Ayakashi”, “Cheating Craft”, “Lamune”), music by Atsushi Hirasawa, character designs by Kana Ishida (“Aquarion Evol”, “Mahoka Koko no Rettosei”) and Keiichi Sano (“A Certain Magical Index”, “Strike the Blood”, Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru: Futari no Elder”) and art direction by Kenta Masuda (“sin Nanatsu no Tazai”, “Comet Lucifer”).
And now the series will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of FUNimation.
The series begins with Tor Kokonoe, who has enrolled at Koryo Academy after the death of his younger sister Otoha.
Koryo Academy is a high school in which students must battle with weapons known as Blaze in order to become future peacekeepers.
As the students must participate in battle for the first day as a freshman in order to qualify enrollment at Koryo Academy, the majority of them manifest melee weapons as their Blaze. But for Tor, he manifests a shield, and thus making him an “Irregular”.
As Koryo Academy uses a Duo System, Tor is paired with Scandinavian student, Julie Sigtuna.
And as Tor and Julie become closer as they are fighting partners, other female classmates also vow for Tor’s recognition and also want to be closer with him.
But as the students become friends and become teammates, someone infiltrates the school and Tor and friends must prepare themselves for the great battle that lies ahead.
“Absolute Duo” features the following characters:
- Tor Kokonoe – The main protagonist who enrolls at Koryo Academy after the death of his younger sister Otoha. He is an Irregular after manifesting a shield as a blaze. He works together with his partner, Julie Sigtuna, who he feels deeply for.
- Julie Sigtuna – From Scandinavia, she manifests Twin Blades. She enrolled at Koryo Academy after the death of her family and wants to become stronger. She is partnered with Tor and carries very deeply for him.
- Tomoe Tachibana – A classmate of Tor and Julie. She is smart, athletic and very good in martial arts. Her partner is Miyabi Hotoka.
- Miyabi Hotoka – A classmate of Tor, who she really likes. Miyabi is shy and wants to become stronger as her Blaze, which is capable of large scale destruction is too heavy.
- Lilith Bristol – A transfer student from England who comes from an affluent family and gets what she wants. But because she is an “Exception”, she wants Tor to become her partner. She is extremely athletic and her blaze is a rifle.
- Rito Tsukimi – Toru’s homeroom teacher who has two personalities, the energetic maid cosplayer with bunny ears and the other is foul-mouthed and ruthless.
“Absolute Duo” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:78:1). There is a lot of detail featured in the art backgrounds, a lot of characters featured and these characters have great detail and shadowing. Colors are absolutely vibrant, black levels are deep. There is slight softness, but that is expected with anime TV series. But overall, due to the detail, 8-Bit did a great job with this anime series!
I found no compression artifacts or any problematic issues with this Blu-ray release.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Absolute Duo” is presented in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. Dialogue and music is clear through the front channels for the lossless stereo soundtrack but because the English is 5.1, there is better use of the surround channels.
In fact, I found myself listening to the English dub track for “Absolute Duo” much more than the Japanese soundtrack because of the 5.1 but also, FUNimation did a magnificent job with the casting of this series for the English dub. Both Ricco Fajardo and Bryn Apprill did a wonderful job playing the role of Tor and Julie.
Subtitles are in English.
“Absolute Duo: The Complete Series” features the following special features:
- Episode 10 Audio Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Caitlin Glass (Co-ADR Director) and voice dub actors: Felecia Angelle and Anthony Bowling.
- Episode 12 Video Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Zach Bolton (Co-ADR Director) and voice dub actors: Ricco Fajardo and Bryn Apprill.
- Textless Opening Song: “Absolute Soul”
- Textless Closing Song: “Believe x Believe”, “Appuru Tii no Aji”, “2/2”
- Promotional Videos – Japanese promotional videos for “Absolute Duo”
- Commercials – Japanese CM for “Absolute Duo”.
- U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “Absolute Duo”
- Trailers – FUNimation Entertainment trailers
“Absolute Duo: The Complete Series” comes with both a Blu-ray and DVD version.
For those who love action-drive anime series, will enjoy “Absolute Duo” as it manages to balance out the almost harem-storyline (as all females have a thing for the protagonist, Tor) and its action.
For a good number of episodes, the storyline focuses on the partnership of Tor Kokonoe and his partner Julie Sigtuna. And how this slowly develops as both start to have feelings towards each other and Tor’s feeling of revenge starts to transition into him wanting to be strong in order to protect Julie.
Meanwhile, his classmates Tomoe, Miyabi and the wealthy new student, Lilith, all want to be close to Tor as well.
But as these friends all have fun at the beach, shopping and somehow find themselves in some sort of predicament in which they must engage in some battle, things change quickly when a mysterious person known as K with soldiers, start to attack the students and the academy.
And with only 12 episodes total, for those who don’t like very long anime series will find “Absolute Duo” to their liking.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good for a TV series and features a good solid lossless soundtrack. The Blu-ray release comes with two hilarious audio commentaries, Japanese promotional videos, commercials, textless opening and ending songs and more!
Overall, “Absolute Duo : The Complete Series” is action-packed and entertaining and after all was done, this series made me want even more!
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