DOUBLE DECKER! DOUG & KIRILL – Anime Preview
Synopsis: The city state of Lisvalletta. Two suns rise above this city, and the people here live peaceful lives, but in the shadows crime and illegal drugs run rampant. Among them is the dangerous, highly lethal drug “Anthem” which casts a dark shadow over the city. The SEVEN-O Special Crime Investigation Unit specializes in cracking down on Anthem. This unit operates in two man “buddy” teams in what’s called the “Double Decker System” to tackle the problem. Doug Billingham is a seasoned investigator, and joining him is Kirill Vrubel, whose abilities are mysterious and unknown. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Note: Double Decker is a Fall 2018 Anime, and the rest of its run won’t be airing until October. Crunchyroll has uploaded the 1st Episode as part of a preview for the series, after its premiere at the Crunchyroll Expo.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Double Decker is touted as a Tiger & Bunny spin-off but for the curious, episode 1 seems to at best insinuate that it maybe occurs in the same universe as the latter but probably not even in the same time period.There seem to be no cameos from the Tiger & Bunny cast and nothing to really connect the two shows besides its aesthetics and sharing Sunrise as their production company, with Masakazu Katsura returning to do character design. On a more positive note, Double Decker gives off a quirky comedic vibe similar to that of Tiger & Bunny that T&B fans will enjoy, particularly thanks to a rather buffoonish main character and a spunky voice over narrator, both of whom add a lot of personality to the episode.
Tom: Double Decker’s quirky atmosphere shines through at near every turn. While the setting is serious, the characters are larger than life, and often comedic in nature. Kirill himself, our vibrant yet moronic lead, brings so much personality to the series, helping to keep it feeling fresh and fun. The narrator, who’s oozing with energy and personality, lets the comedy shine through even when we’re first getting a taste for the more serious atmosphere behind the police’s battle against Anthem (drug) users and their burgeoning super powers. While the first episode is primarily focused on guiding Kirill towards becoming Doug’s partner, forming the foundation for the series, we get a taste for the rest of the cast after the credits, each oozing with personality that makes me wish the rest of the episodes weren’t weeks away from airing.
Linny: Moving back to our two male leads, Doug comes off as the experienced and dashing lead man, with a flashy introduction but soon reveals himself to be the series’ source of deadpan comedy, such as when he gets himself stuck in a pipe during a mission. Kirill definitely steals the show with his idiotic fantasies of becoming a worshiped hero and his true lack of brains often exposed by his own actions or by the series’ narrator. He’s a fun protagonist, one that you’ll either enjoy as a source of comedy or perhaps find endearing for his sheer idiotic ways.
Tom: Double Decker isn’t without its flaws however. While the series boasts wonderful, vivid character designs that really hearken back to Tiger & Bunny’s sense of style, the series also uses 3D Models during more action heavy moments. While this worked in Tiger & Bunny due to most characters putting on super hero suits to fight crime, Double Decker doesn’t have such a quirk. This means characters like Doug suddenly do a shift to a 3D model in sequences, often alternating between 3D and 2D between shots. It’s jarring because the 3D is noticeable and doesn’t blend in as effortlessly as would be ideal. The movement is, also, at times stilted. It’s unfortunate, but the series is charming enough in other ways that it’s more a minor inconvenience than a deal breaker.
Linny: Double Decker’s first episode feels like a solid follow up for fans of Tiger & Bunny’s aesthetic and comedic styling. It’s perfectly approachable even for newcomers and those completely unaware of Tiger & Bunny; or so it seems for the first episode at least, with its complete detachment and ability to be its own story. While the visuals may not always be perfect, it’s competent enough to tell its story without being a showruiner. If you like the sound of an action packed and comedic cop anime set in a semi-stylized world with fancy and quirky looking characters, Double Decker deserves a spot on your watch list.
Tom: Double Decker feels like an incredible start to the Fall season. It sets the bar high, with fun, quirky characters, a solid comedic tone, and explosive action. Already with Episode 2’s preview I’m dying to see what happens next. This definitely feels like a Fall series you don’t want to skip out on come October.
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.