It was all a trick, you guys. All one super elaborate feint to get Cooper to use Anthem. In fact, Doug is disappointed in you. He’s disappointed that you think he would actually use Anthem. Even Valery’s involvement was planned right from the start. He got himself captured so that Cooper would think he got the upper hand. He then shot Doug in the chest, but the veteran was actually wearing a bulletproof vest. When Cooper does the typical villain thing and lets his guard down, Valery stabs him in the neck with a syringe full of Kirill’s antibodies. But then it turns out that you can’t actually whip up a special medicine in such a short amount of time. Seven-O just wanted Cooper to think that he would lose his power, so that he would then go and use Anthem. Not only would this instantly take away his military authority (drugs are bad, mm’kay?), this allows the detectives to finally take him down. And just like that, the good guys win again.
I sound disappointed, huh? Well, kinda. Do I feel bad that the good guys (mostly Doug) pulled a fast one on us? Not really, I guess? It showed some ingenuity, and I always like that. The problem for me is that their plan still relied on a shit ton of luck. Cooper is a superhuman soldier, so he would arguably have superhuman aim. As a result, Doug is lucky as hell that Cooper shot him in the chest instead of the head. Afterwards, Cooper could’ve just knocked both Kirill and Valery out, sent them back to Nikai, blown the base up, yadda yadda yadda. But instead, he takes his sweet time. He explains his next moves to them like a typical villain. He dawdles. Lastly, even when he was overdosing on Anthem, he still could’ve taken a few of them down with him. C’mon, look at this guy. You can’t tell me he doesn’t have enough strength to just outright break every single bone in one of our detectives’ bodies. But instead, he toys with them, and this allows the negative effects of the drugs to finally kick in and spell his doom. No, no, I get it. Hubris is always the bad guy’s weakness. But if we’re supposed to be in awe of Doug’s amazing plan, then relying on hubris cheapens it a bit. Ah well…
The rest of the episode is also a mixed bag. The base is going to explode anyways, so the team has to make its escape. A severely weakened Cooper slip away, but don’t worry about him. Derick, who has already sacrificed a ton, pretty much gives up his pride and joy in order to save the girls’ lives. Meanwhile, Doug and Kirill take an alternate route, but the former gets trapped under some rubble. For some reason, we get this faux dramatic scene in which the veteran tells his partner that he’s okay with going down here, but then the resulting explosion cleanly sends him flying to safety. Maybe Doug planned that too (probably not), but it doesn’t look any less dumb.
Oh yeah, you know who ends picking everyone up in a helicopter? Yuri. So of course she would come back to life. That’s not the problem. We all reasonably suspected that this show wouldn’t end on a downer. The problem is how she comes back. Oh no, it’s so illegal to make copies. But when Travis spilled coffee on the poor robot, he freaked out. He had to fix the real Yuri, so in the meantime, he created a copy. The copy was the one that ended up sacrificing herself. So everyone breathes a sigh of relief ’cause the real Yuri is back! Yay! But isn’t this precisely why it’s illegal to create copies of AI? They literally created a second living, breathing creature, she kills herself for them, and they’re just like, “Yo, it’s cool, dude. She wasn’t even the original anyways.”
Whatever. It’s time for the epilogue. Everything works out in the end. Everything. Cooper thought he had escaped, but Zabel snuck onto the base and finished him off (so meta). We then get to watch a montage of all the side characters. Things work out for the side characters we all know and love, but even the shady side characters get to pick themselves up from the ground. But more importantly, Seven-O isn’t going anywhere, because Anthem (like most drugs) isn’t going anywhere. Things go back to the status quo, so we honestly only have two major changes: 1) Valery is now back in Kirill’s life, so he did manage to find his sister after all, and 2) Nikai is still a problem. So after the credits, the anime teases us a bit. I just don’t know how likely a sequel would be. It didn’t seem as though this show was very popular, but who knows? Maybe the blu-rays will sell better than I think. Or maybe the dub will do great outside of Japan. Either way, I wouldn’t mind a sequel. They just need to clean a few things up.
For instance, we focused a lot on Kirill and rightfully so, but obviously, this leaves the other characters hanging. Despite being Kirill’s partner, we barely know anything about Doug. He got like one episode where he laid one of his past demons to rest, but that’s about it. As for the girls, we just briefly glanced over them. Kay has almost no backstory. Same with Deana. Max had that prom episode, so she lucked out a bit better than the rest. Let’s not even get into Yuri and her origins. I’m just focusing on the characters, because they’re the best thing about this show. It’s not the Anthem thing. Who cares about that? It isn’t even the overarching story involving Esperanza and later Nikai. That plot kinda sucked, especially the outrageous reveals in the final two or three episodes. Yep, Double Decker‘s sole strength is its characters and the energy that they bring to everything that they do. So if we get a sequel, I would like to see more episodes exploring their pasts and personalities. And if we’re going to try and cram a serious story down the audience’s throat again, please do it a little more organically and not, y’know, pulling space colonies out of your ass in the 11th hour.
Final grade: C+
You still following Golden Kamuy? I was just about to give up on it, before getting through a surprisingly strong two-part finale.
I’ll watch the rest of the episodes and might talk about it in a post.
The finale single-handedly boosted my rating of the show from C- to… C+. Despite it still keeping cards close to its chest when it comes to a couple characters’ murky motivations.
I hope you enjoy it.
Such a promising start. Such a problematic end. I do not think it’s going to get a second season. What a shame. I like the characters and the atmosphere. Those asspulls out of nowhere really bring the entire thing down. The so-called plan is also half-hearted. If it wanted to be seen as an genuine brilliant plan, it relies far too much on luck. If it wanted to be seen as an over-the-top crazy plan like the ones in all those heist movies, it is just not crazy enough.
The way that this anime choose to have its dramatic, sad moment and its happy ending is also forced as f*ck. Ultimately, I think the problem with this anime is that it have a cast of characters and each one of them (so far) has a diverse and interesting personalities and backgrounds. Unfortunately, the anime can’t delve too much into that (because it doesn’t get enough episode to pull it off), and the overarching storyline to tie them all suck (I don’t think more episode can help this one, but at least I also think it can help the first part and take the sting off from this one.)
It just has to be slightly better explained.
I’d stopped watching after episode 9, and… huh. So that’s how it ended, huh?
I didn’t think that Gridman could’ve been better if it were longer because the story was already so limited in scope, but Double Decker could’ve easily made it work. More time to build up the plot, develop the characters, maybe expand the Esperanza cast (weren’t they supposed to have 26 members?). Worst case you just put in more random Seven-O adventures. It’s all good as long as they’re fun.
I don’t know how these things work, but could it have been pitched as a longer show originally? Just seems like they had too much stuff to properly fit into one cour.
Also from just reading it’s not really clear to me what Valery’s role in the story was, other than as a red herring. Sounds like all he did was confirm what Kirill heard from someone else, and intentionally get taken hostage (which any character could’ve done). Did I miss something or was there no direct relevance to Kirill’s character arc?
Nah, you didn’t miss anything. Valery didn’t contribute much to the story. I would like to think that they pitched a series as detailed and extensive as Tiger & Bunny, but was forced to trim the fat. This is nothing but baseless speculation though, so oh well. Just gonna have to live with a story full of potholes.