Anime original by Sunrise
Streaming on Crunchyroll
A dangerous super drug named “Anthem” is spreading amongst the city’s criminal underground. The special crime investigation unit, “Seven-O,” is tasked with investigating Anthem and apprehending its users who are enhanced with super powers by the drug. Overeager rookie cop Kirill Vrubel and veteran detective Doug Billingham are one such duo who must work together to bring these criminals to justice.
Gee’s verdict: High Caliber
This First Look post was made after we were already 3 episodes in but in someways, that only makes my endorsement of the show even stronger. Double Decker seems well on its way to taking up mantle of Sirius the Jaeger’s, “Inoffensive but wholly entertaining anime of the season.” Double Decker’s presentation is top notch, filled with fast cuts, a great sense of humor, and a truly unique aesthetic that’s reminiscent of both western comics and even live action sitcom. Those expecting this to be Tiger and Bunny 2 might come away a little disappointed depending on what you liked about Tiger and Bunny. Double Decker’s cast is already super likeable in the way that entertaining idiots who constantly bicker are always fun to watch. Kirill and Doug’s dynamic is a very solid comical subversion of the buddy cop drama and the rest of the supporting cast are the kind of goofy looking and goofy acting misfits highly reminiscent of Blood Blockade Battlefront.
The CG animated elephant in the room however is the show’s…particularly unique approach to its action sequences. Like Tiger and Bunny, Double Decker seems to be another of Sunrise’s experiments in meshing 2D and 3D animation together. While Double Decker is the newer show and arguably looks a lot better, you could argue that Tiger and Bunny’s CG was a lot less jarring because the characters wore body covering power armor. Like Garo, when Tiger and Bunny switched to its action sequences, the conceit of everyone wearing a big iron man suit made its action sequences feel distinct, compared to Double Decker where the characters are just normal people but rendered in CG, it’s a lot more jarring to see the action scenes constantly switch between close up shots of the characters speaking where they’re drawn normally, and then shift to flashy CG animated scenes where the character models look just off enough compared to their hand drawn counterparts that it’s immediately noticeable.
If action was Double Decker’s only saving grace, this would be more of a problem. Thankfully, like the other premier anime police procedural, Patlabor, Double Decker’s greatest strengths are its likeable cast and snappy writing. While I do wish the action was a little better handled, as long as the character dynamics remain as fun as they are, I’m ready for more.
Iro’s verdict: Sheriffs with Style
Reminiscent of urban action sitcoms like Blood Blockade Battlefront, the bright colors, rapid fire cinematography, and goofy characters of Double Decker are instantly appealing. Less so is the bizarre mix of 2D and 3D animation, as everyone gains a third dimension once they put on their fancy battle coats to shoot superpowered druggies with their big-ass guns. It actually doesn’t look all that bad (and whenever it’s full 2D, the visual style is great), but it definitely clashes; I have to wonder if Sunrise is using this show as some sort of tech testbed for future projects. Either way, I had a lot of fun with the first two episodes, and I’m looking forward to more.