English Dub Review: Double Decker! Doug & Kirill “OVA 1 The Daily Lives of the Seven Detectives!”

Have you ever wondered why Doug chose Kirill? Then I guess you must have missed the first episode.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Kirill and Doug are on a stakeout, about a month into Kirill’s Seven-O promotion. They spend the entire day watching a playground, but no one shows up to deal any Anthem. They knock off for the day, and Kirill is once again denied the one thing he wants from Doug: to be asked out for a drink.

Meanwhile, back at Seven-O HQ, Travis gives everyone a little bit of time off, as the Anthem cases have been slowing down recently. Rookie suggests everyone go to the hot springs, but the gang settles for going to a bar instead. Seven-O’s communications officer shows up with champagne, and everyone recounts exactly how they were drafted into the service of Seven-O. Boxer tells the story of being recruited while she was fighting professionally, the communications officer answered a personal ad, and Pink tells a made-up tale of how she was raised to be an assassin. Her first target was, supposedly, Travis, but she couldn’t bring herself to kill him. Rookie believes her, but Boxer sets her straight pretty quickly.

Doug is about to drop Kirill off at home when they run into Doug’s old friend, Mark. Mark and Doug haven’t seen each other in a while, so they decide to go for drinks. An incensed Kirill invites himself along. Minutes after sitting down at the old dive bar, Doug realized he forgot his wallet at Dereck’s place, so he abandons Kirill with Mark. The two begin to talk about Doug and commiserate in the knowledge that he’s not a very considerate person.

As the conversation goes on, and the two get drunker and drunker, Mark reveals that he’s a terrible cop and that while he joined the police force at the same time as Doug, he’s still just a constable. Doug returns, and Mark berates him for his lack of consideration, but Doug shrugs it off, and they make amends. Kirill finally learns why he was asked into Seven-O; Doug recommended him. Doug also tells him that the only reason that Travis approved his application was that the Seven-O boss thought Kirill was an attractive woman. Apparently, Travis only hires ladies he’s attracted to, married men, and men who are unattractive to women. Kirill doesn’t hear any of this, however, because he’s passed out from drinking too much.

Our Take

In my experience, there are really two kinds of OVAs.  Both types are filler, but the first type uses that time to sneak in an extra adventure that the series couldn’t afford (or couldn’t contain) in the regular season. These kinds of OVAs could even be a movie-length adventure that was released straight-to-DVD. Then, there are the other kinds of OVAs. Cheaper than the regular season, these are just intended to keep fans of the anime on the hook until the next installment and provide additional revenue for die-hard completionists. I don’t think I have to tell you what kind Double Decker!! Doug & Kirill “The Secret Lives of the Seven Detectives” is.

The worst part about this midquel of an episode is that it explains something that was never a question on anyone’s mind, previously. Kirill helped Doug with an Anthem bust and saved his life. That’s why he got recommended to Seven-O. I wasn’t wondering how the paperwork was filed, or why Travis makes the hiring decisions that he does, but that’s what this OVA busies itself with. Needless to say, there’s no action in this episode, but there’s not really any plot either when you consider this show’s place in the larger season.

This is also a story with a prominent B story. This is yet another instance of an OVA not only expanding upon information we didn’t need from the series itself, but also creating small retcons for no reason. In Double Decker proper, we know that Boxer joined the police force because her cross-dressing friend was bullied to suicide in school. In this episode, for some reason, we’re treated to a middle period she had as a professional boxer, providing the impetus for her namesake. I imagine this is how she worked out her aggression before she discovered the police force, but why take away Boxer’s agency? She wasn’t my favorite character, but she at least had a clear arc before. Her goal was to use the law to protect the different and downtrodden from people who don’t understand them. This new backstory makes her joining the police force Travis’ idea.

The one place this OVA does fit is in the tradition of making Double Decker characters have goals that are entirely contradicted by their actions. The main case of this is Detective Doug Billingham, who tries to end capitalist inequality through drug busts of mostly poor Lisvalettan citizens. We can now add Boxer to the fold who is trying to prevent the ostracizing of people like her friend by… boxing? Arresting people? This show has never had the strongest interest in character development, so this isn’t much of a surprise. The show just would have been better served saying nothing.

That’s really the problem of this installment in the first place. It doesn’t seem to be interested in doing anything but filling in gaps audiences never asked about. There’s no conflict in this OVA other than Doug not showing Kirill any affection, but we know that he will risk his life for Kirill multiple times. We’re also stuck with a pre-genius Kirill, so he still acts like an idiot, but we have the knowledge that he’s a hypercompetent alien. Spending more time in this period is only going to raise more questions about Kirill’s characterization, and that doesn’t seem like something the show should be courting.

I’m hoping that future generations, if they must watch Double Decker, will be able to watch this episode where it’s intended to be earlier in the season. Hopefully, DVD makers will either exclude this episode, resign it to bonus features, or place it somewhere around episode three or four, so the OVA doesn’t feel like it’s completely out of step with the show.

Score
3/10

Zach

Cartoon Philosopher

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