From the makers of many popular series comes this slightly spin-off-y show that tries (not too) hard to make a good case for itself and seems to not exactly know what it wants to be.
Kirill is a basic boy that wants to be a basic hero and works a basic job as a basic police constable. He is often mistaken for a woman, and that’s funny. In his quest to be special and a hero, he accidentally finds himself in a crime scene while looking for a cat, and his outstanding random performance during that event gets him a job with Seven-0, a secret detective agency with sole jurisdiction over locating and neutralizing users of the Anthem drug, one that, dangerous as it may be, gives humans supernatural powers of various sorts. I don’t know how that works.
Kirill works for Seven-0 along with another bunch of mediocre misfits who dress way too extra for what it is they should be doing. He fits in pretty well. His lost sister shows at some point, and we later find out that one of the main member of the locally organized crime group is also the head of the military, and an alien, as is Kirill, whose body is valuable because of its resistance to Anthem, which is an artificial way of some aliens getting more power or something? Yeah. Kirill is abducted but them the villain is neutralized and everyone lives happily ever after, the end.
Plot & Story
Oh god, how can I write this without moaning about everything that is wrong with the plot? I probably can’t. Let’s try to separate this in a few parts: maybe depth, consistency, pace, originality…
In terms of depth, the show really doesn’t really go much further that the surface. They characters are all thrown in there without much briefing or introduction and, in many cases, without any reason. Honestly, the show could have just happened with Bamboo man, Kirill, and his sister. Everyone else is genuinely redundant. We learn a few things on the characters but they are mostly told; so little is experienced. They’re just there to be fetishized over and offer nothing to the plot. The plot is also ridiculously inconsistent; it doesn’t really have a very good structure and things happen out of the blue. The buildup for key events is almost non-existent; people show up and disappear at their convenience and there’s a plot twist in every episode; nothing is a surprise because so few things are really a given. And that heavily relies on the pace the story is moving too – the show follows random adventures of some people we don’t really know- all with very little creative thinking, as the characters are pretty standardized – pink haired tsundere, a quiet robot, a normal person, a serious punk, an idiot…
I suppose there is an alternative way to look at this – and that’s through the lens of comedy. If we consider all these elements to be intentional ‘bad’ choices, we could maybe justify its lax form… but even so, this show doesn’t do a really good job; the line that should be defining whether this anime takes itself seriously or not is very blurry, impeding it from making a clean statement. There are shows that exist within that threshold (like my all-time favorite Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei, which I should totally re-watch, btw), but Double Decker suffers from a lack of passion and definition of genre so it fails.
Tl;dr – the show might be trying to make a point but its narrative to do so is to subtle, or maybe hesitant.
Art & Music
I was excited to see some damn good animation in the beginning of this show. The OP and ED (well, the OP in terms of quality and the ED in terms of style) looked very promising. I particularly remember the scene in the OP where Bamboo Man does a reverse-spinning kick. I hoped the animation in this show was as good as that! But it wasn’t. I was banal and unemotional, sloppy at times, and with a constant awkward transition from hand-drawn to digital that made me CRINGE. Such a disappointment. Sound-wise the show did pretty well – the voice actors did their job alright and the ED tune was very very catchy. I found myself singing it a few times during the day (either that or The Offspring’s ‘Come out and play’, which sounds quite similar).
Themes & Trivia
There were a few things of cultural interest during the show. One was the strong British influence. Fish and chips and pubs, double-decker buses, punk style and punk music. On a closer look, the show bore a very close resemblance to Tiger and Bunny, which I guess is expected considering Tiger and Bunny is probably the most popular anime in Japanese modern history and both shows share a significant amount of producers. Both shows have characters that need to work with a partner and belong to an important group of misfits that fights something for some reason. However, a key difference is that Double Decker is not a manga, unlike Tiger and Bunny, which would explain the sloppiness of the plot.
Don’t think; feel so good!
- Kay’s interest in food
- Doug’s addiction to doing laundry
- A fair amount of LGBTQ characters
- Poor storyline and pacing
- Badly integrated and overused CGI
- Boxer’s haircut and lipstick (sporting this look atm)
- Travis’s assistant’s voice made me suicidal
For those of you that enjoyed the show, there’s bound to be a bonus episode coming out in February-March. Hopefully, it won’t be followed by 144 season, if you catch my drift.
What did you think of Double Decker! Doug and Kirill? Let us know in the comment section and don’t forget to check more anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill
Fall 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast