One of the highlights of my 2018’s fall anime season was watching Double Decker, and by the title itself, it sounds something that wasn’t much anticipated on the seasonal list. I know many fans were eyeing on more popular titles in the strong line-up such as Goblin Slayer, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl-Senpai and SSS Gridman, while some anime shows didn’t get a big attention they deserve and might be labeled as underrated depending on personal preferences. Double Decker was not actually a mega hit upon its release. For some reason, I got interested to watch the show because it felt like it has Tiger and Bunny vibes, and I like that anime a lot. The main protagonists, Doug and Kirill, are both interesting as to their character design and surprisingly found out that the production staff also worked on the Tiger and Bunny series, so yes, it makes sense.
Double Decker is an action-packed anime that explores various obstacles that young detectives encounter in their job they ought to undertake. These skilled people work in the SEVEN-O Crime Investigation Unit whose main purpose is to eradicate crimes that involve the use of Anthem, a specialized illegal drug that has drastically changed the lives of people in the city of Lisvaletta. These young detectives use the “Double Decker System” policy where they will work as a duo for every given task to stop violence and fight crimes going around the city.
The story is plain and doesn’t complicate a lot of things. However, it lacks plot development and everything is rushed and chaotic as to consistency, and doesn’t have a brief introduction of every existent in the story. They just pop up and care like nothing. The episodic plot feels like a bit redundant to the main point of the story though it shows character development and some likable part in them. One of the entities that remains memorable to me is the role of Doug with his brilliant tactics as a skilled detective, the history of Kirill and the real motive of Bamboo Man. Others remain forgettable and do not offer much significance for the development of the storyline.
I can’t deny the fact that the plot inconsistency turned me off not until it reached the near finale (starting episode 9) where everything becomes more intense and exciting, there are escalating scenes where characters expand their roles as pro detectives and give their best shots on screen. Though with evident flaws as how the storyline progresses, I was fairly satisfied with the action part, and if this element would have been dominant in the earlier episodes, I believe it would have gained a number of viewers who are into fully developed action scenes.
Though I am not into detective kind of stuff, I was partly impressed that the anime started off with a huge impact as to the main protagonist, the very young Kirill Vrubel, being paired up with a very decent guy Doug Billingham. Kirill is such an interesting character and gives lively ambiance in the entire series, while Doug is a serious-looking detective, but I like the way he sees Kirill as one who has unbelievable brilliance behind his impulsive behavior. They do have varying beliefs and ideals, but what’s really good in their tandem is how they end up with a witty solution to solve a particular crime scene. Despite the big flaws in the plot, I think that the characters are the strong point in the series. It doesn’t only focus on a single point of view as how Kirill is given the brightest limelight on screen, but every character is uniquely depicted and is fairly highlighted in at least a single episode.
The anime doesn’t only revolve around the action part of the story, but it also does its own way to produce a variety of comical relief and some dramatic angles of it. There are sentimental dialogues and some flashbacks that further develop the characters’ own conflicts and overcome their struggles as young detectives. It shows the reality of being involved in the field that requires alertness, agility and strong presence of mind, yet the anime doesn’t let every simple thing to get serious all the time as it makes you even more excited about their fun interaction behind those serious crime scenes.
The overall animation is simple and satisfying. As expected from the Sunrise production who did the famous Tiger and Bunny, the action scenes are well-executed with all the smooth gun play and tactical combat. I like the character design where each of them has a signature color. They are visually attractive not to mention the stylish and feminine art of Kirill.
To sum up, Double Decker is not a top tier anime of 2018 and did not leave a strong impression. I wouldn’t highly recommend it to fans who are into in-depth investigation scenes with a lot of twists and suspense as one would expect it to be. It does not have some notable elements to compensate its weak plot development and does not evidently try its best to work on it. However, the anime has its own unique way to deliver great excitement when it comes to comical involvement even to the most superficial thing. It’s a lot more fun watching these bizarre characters behind the dark ambiance of its theme. It is just your average anime with overloaded randomness and craziness, but it is still fun to watch.