Final Impressions: DOUBLE DECKER DOUG & KIRILL

Season aired: Summer 2018

Number of episodes: 13

Genres: Action, Science Fiction, Comedy

Thoughts: I had the unique opportunity to see the announcement of this anime during a Sunrise panel at AX 2018 and have since then been pretty excited to see it on screen. Though it takes place in the world of Tiger and Bunny, there is very little if any relation to the old anime as the characters are completely new and the conflicts are also generally different. As a result, fans of the older anime should not expect anything mind blowing in connection with Tiger and Bunny when starting this series.

Kirill has always dreamt of being a hero, ever since he was young. However, certain situations lead him into joining Seven-O, a quirky team of detectives who handle cases regarding a drug called Anthem. Hilarity and adventure ensue as Kirill quickly adapts to the team and is paired up with veteran Doug Billingham, a calm and analytical detective who acts as his mentor as well as his troll.

Kirill, the butt monkey and protagonist (Source)

First of all, this anime is really nothing but dumb fun. There isn’t anything particularly emotional or incredible to the storyline. It is an episodic format with varying cases of overdose (or overdrive) in Anthem with a hovering question of Kirill’s identity as well as the terrorist group called Esperanza. DOUBLE DECKER DOUG & KIRILL isn’t meant to change anyone’s world, and it basically exists for people to laugh at the ridiculous characters and pretty ridiculous plot.

That being said, I was very surprised by the progressiveness of the anime as a whole. The first thing being that there is a pretty obvious lesbian relationship between Max and Yuri with none of the characters even blinking an eye to that fact (Kirill cares more about Yuri being an AI robot who is “blending in among humans” than he is about the fact that the two are in a relationship). There is an episode about Max and a gender fluid friend and the terrible effects of ostracization from society. And even something as small as Kirill and Doug staking out over a gay couple in a comical fight was progressive with Kirill’s comment of “There isn’t anything suspicious here. It’s just a couple fighting with each other”. They’re very small details in the anime, but it makes the world feel like it actually takes place in the future. It is a world where residents no longer care about these common rights that people are still fighting for in certain countries today.

The characters, like this storyline, are caricatures of anime tropes and constantly make fun of themselves for it. Kirill is a wannabe hero who also happens to be a pretty boy that’s often mistaken for a woman. An underlying gag that never stops being funny is the narrator constantly pointing out how these stereotypical traits don’t mix well in the real world. Some examples include the narrator interrupting Kirill’s monologue with more realistic explanations, and even Kirill himself goes “I’m not that ready to die” when Doug makes a comment of how Kirill’s “heroic” attitude would usually mean the protagonist charging in without much thought.

It’s a satire anime on the typical “hero’s journey”, and I personally think it works well. Even if the characters are predictable, the writers always made sure to add certain quirks that don’t usually fit the stereotypes the characters are representing. Deana is a rebel, action girl…who wears a LOT of pink, Max is the cool, lesbian woman who’s a romantic at heart, Kay is the stiff, rules follower who ends up breaking rules quite easily, and Doug is the cool, handsome man who can do no wrong but is always here to remind the audiences how unrealistic Kirill’s thoughts and actions are in relation to reality.

Doug, dude in charge of reminding people when it’s too unrealistic and workplace troll (Source)

Something that doesn’t work well, however, is the CGI usage. I’m honestly not sure why Sunrise decided to incorporate CGI into the story as I don’t think it elevates anything. Even more confusing, the entire anime isn’t in CGI so when the CGI kicks in, it becomes even more cringey. There are brief moments of well animated fights that do not use CGI, and they were choreographed very well. I could only wish they applied that to the entire anime.

At the very least, however, the soundtrack is well done. I especially loved the ED whose lyrics of “I don’t give a s***” set the tone of the anime immediately even if it’s at the end of the episode. In fact, I almost find it to be a message from the team behind this anime. Yes, the plot doesn’t make perfect sense at times. The characters are unrealistic and very stereotypical. The narrator is rolling his eyes at the ridiculousness of the world and the cases. But the entire anime team honestly don’t care if you don’t enjoy it. In the end, they clearly had fun making this story, and I enjoyed it with them.

Rating

I am planning to rate all my anime based on the anime rating system that Japanese anime critics use. I will have 5 categories, each with the top score of 10, and then a final multiplier of 2.

Plot: 7

Characters: 7

Voice acting: 7

Art/Animation: 6

Soundtrack: 8

Total: 35

Multiplier: 2

FINAL SCORE: 70

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