Synonyms: Dhurarara!!, Dyurarara!!, Dulalala!!, Dullalala!!, DRRR!!
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 8, 2010 to Jun 25, 2010
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 8.531 (scored by 124460 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Jun 14, 2010
Story: Like I said, I had my doubts, but when it started actually revealing itself, the blend of the modern and fantastical and sci fi ended up blending perfectly. With the whole Dullahan concept, the mythology, in addition to the Slasher, plus the modern-ness of it being set in a big city, as well as the Namie plotline in the beginning... It may seem like those would clash a lot, but they really don't. There's a fair bit of action in it, but nothing overwhelming to make it be called an action anime for me. LOTS AND LOTS of plot twists, but it keeps you surprised even to the end, and keeps you interested in what's going to happen next. Not predictable.. at all.
Art: Not much to say, I really liked the animation of it. It's quite refreshing and smooth compared to the Naruto and the Bleach type of animation; it's different and the city was animated beautifully.
Music: I adored the music in this anime, although I felt that the soundtrack could be a bit more diverse. You'll hear the same themes and songs a lot, but so far (And I've rewatched this about 6 times) I still enjoy listening to the music. The openings and endings are epic as well.
Character: The most intriguing and amazing part of this anime, by far. It starts out with Mikado, who, though he may seem like the generic awkward male protagonist, has his own secrets that will shock you. His friend, Kida, is one of my favourites... he's adorable, first of all, although he also has lots of his own secrets and he'll surprise you... a lot. Anri gets kind of annoying since a lot of the plot is centered around her, but I actually did come to respect her once her character was really revealed. Izaya is my favourite, though. He pulls the strings with everyone... even in the beginning, he's introduced as a psycopath with no concern for other humans, although he loves them. His constant messing with peoples heads and being an awful person to everyone.. was just hilarious a lot of the time, especially since he does random adorable things like when he was walking next to Celty on her motorcycle and was all "Vroom Vroom! Vrrrrrroom!" But he also brings up psycological issues and concepts during the show, which actually make you think-- which is just amazing in an anime, and very rare usually. Shizuo I adored as well. He's mostly a comic relief character, since he's always being violent and hitting people with street signs even though he claims to hate violence.. yeahhh. Celty.. the other main female protagonist. I actually love her. Usually I hate female protagonists as a rule, but her character is complex without being overly tragic, and she's a genuinely good person without being all annoying and motivating. Shinra is just adorable with her, although he's does have his own faults and he isn't perfect. He's still adorable. That's it for major characters, but overall... they're just epic. Even though they may seem like stereotypes at first glance, none of them are what they seem. Even the minor characters provide just enough comic relief (and anime references) to keep the show happy, but still have a serious undertone.
The voice actors were all just amazing as well, they brought it to life beautifully.
Enjoyment: ...I've watched it 6 times within like, 3 weeks. I never got tired of the characters. Although it is a bit repetitive, the way it goes episode to episode explaining in detail what's going on from another perspective, that's one of my favourite parts about it; the way the story progresses from more than one perspective.
Overall: This is by far the best anime I've ever seen, I'd recommend it to anyone, no matter what their tastes are, since it has a bit of everything and an excellent cast of characters. read more
May 3, 2011
A recent anime series, entitled Durarara!!, is a perfect demonstration of what the Japanese animation industry is capable of and the benefits of its broader range of creativity. Stretching over twenty-four episodes (not taking into account any possible OVAs or specials), Durarara!! tells a wonderfully unique story set in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, Japan. Dealing with themes such as friendship, betrayal, gang wars, the urban lifestyle, identity and the lack thereof, consumerism, and even the supernatural, its storyline is beautifully complex, surprisingly comprehensive as a whole, and features several intertwining story arcs that blend together in an impressive manner.
Durarara!! starts off with the teenager Mikado Ryugamine and his arrival in Tokyo, where he is greeted by his childhood friend Masaomi Kida, who has lived in the city for several years now. Mikado has longed for a big city life ever since he was young, and was newly convinced by Masaomi to transfer to his current high school in Japan’s capital, Tokyo. During their childhood, the two have been best friends up until Masaomi moved away, and have kept in touch through the internet ever since then. As they finally meet again in one of the biggest cities in the world, Masaomi wastes little time with catching up and immediately proceeds to show the timid Mikado around Ikebukuro. However, Mikado, still overwhelmed by the intimidating urban lifestyle prevailing throughout Tokyo, is even more stunned after realizing just how many secrets and mysteries this city actually holds.
While Masaomi shows Mikado around the city, he also introduces him to a bunch of people, some friends of his, others not so much, something which can be seen as an act of setting up the exposition upon which the rest of the series will depend. Durarara!! features a lot of characters and every episode follows more than a single plotline, so it may take a while to become comfortable with the occasionally frantic pace and often perplexing storyline prevailing throughout the series, though once the first impressions settle in, it all becomes a very exciting and interesting ride, thanks to the various fascinating elements making up the story as the anime progresses.
As mentioned earlier on, Durarara!! is a series that is very rich in characters and story arcs. As far as the protagonist goes, Mikado Ryugamine would be the obvious pick, though under the surface, things are a little more complicated than that. The first few episodes definitely focus on Mikado for the most part, developing him as a lead character and also using him as a means of constructing the exposition of the series. Once things are in place, a great deal of characters that were previously introduced come into play and several story arcs begin to take shape. On one side, there’s the group of high school friends consisting of the above mentioned Mikado Ryugamine, his longtime buddy Masaomi Kida, and the voluptuous, introverted and often shy Anri Sonohara. There’s an interesting, though perhaps somewhat clichéd dynamic going on between the three of them, and the full extent of their common bond only emerges towards the finale.
Another set of characters come into focus a little further down the line, some of the more noteworthy consisting of Shizuo Heiwajima, a bodyguard wearing a bartender’s uniform and sunglasses who is widely known around Ikebukuro as the strongest man in the world, Izaya Orihara, a young and enigmatic information dealer who seems to manipulate other people for his own enjoyment—he’s also Shizuo’s sworn enemy, and last but definitely not least, a mysterious motorcyclist known as the black rider who is often seen driving around Ikebukuro for unknown reasons—rumours have it that the rider is actually headless, an allusion to the legend of the headless horseman. These are only but a few of all the characters appearing in the series, giving you sort of an idea of how expansive the world of Durarara!! is, even though the entire anime takes place in one common location: the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo.
As impressive as Durarara!! is on a narrative level, it also excels in the visual and sound departments. The art and animation of the series is thoroughly impressive, giving each particular character a unique appearance that contributes to making an impression on the viewer. The city of Tokyo is beautifully portrayed, and Ikebukuro is drawn in a way that gives it a special urban atmosphere, with particular attention given to the nightlife, which truly vibrates amidst the glow of streetlights and hidden secrets. Durarara!! features an art style that is a little different from the usual anime series, meaning that characters are a little more rich in detail, have a slightly different build and their specific facial traits are more accentuated. What that means is that it may take a while for some viewers to get used to this particular style, though ultimately, it fits the overall feeling of the series well.
The series is also complemented by solid voice acting and a very impressive and memorable soundtrack, constituting a vigorous and upbeat opening track during the first half of the show and a very evocative and somewhat melancholic one during the other half. Both songs work well and are especially catchy, never seeming to get old, even after twelve episodes have passed. Unfortunately, the two songs played during the ending sequence of the episodes are a little underwhelming and definitely do not measure up to the standards set by the ones playing during the introductory section, but that’s just a small complaint, because the music tracks are still quite fitting, meaning that the mood prevailing throughout the show is never ruined.
As good of an anime series as Durarara!! is, it still exhibits a fair amount of flaws and imperfections along the way. The narrative power and expansiveness of the show has proved to be its strongest suit, but it has also made way to a few inconsistencies in the flow of the story, as well as a couple of unresolved plot points that have garnered over the course of the series’ running time. The ending of Durarara!! feels pretty rushed, a common shortcoming among many other anime series, which will surely anger some viewers, especially considering the time the show spent on developing certain characters and plot elements. It definitely could have used one or two more episodes to properly conclude things, if you ask me. Here’s to hoping that a second season will be made in the future—however unlikely—that will sort out some of these unresolved issues.
Its rushed finale and partially unfinished storyline aside, Durarara!! is an excellent anime series that is unique enough and boasts plenty of originality so as to make it one of the best show of the year. It’s definitely the most well-written series in a significant amount of time, featuring thoroughly intriguing characters and engaging story arcs. The way everything intertwines and relates to each other during the course of the story is quite fascinating and it’s definitely interesting to see how things unfold in the end. Personally, seeing Durarara!! nail the look and feel of an urban lifestyle and depict the city of Tokyo in such a gorgeous way has sealed the deal for me, though I’m sure others will find plenty of diverse things to hold on to while on a ride through the mysterious Ikebukuro. read more
Jul 26, 2013
Durarara!! was produced by Brains Base, responsible for other works such as Spice and Wolf II, Natume's Book of Friends, Denpa Teki na Kanojo, and Baccano! Speaking of Baccano!, this show's an adaptation of a novel franchise of the same name by the creator of Baccano!, Ryohgo Narita. Character designs for both the text and anime format were done by Suzuhito Yasuda and Takahiro Kishida respectively. Script was done Toshizou Nimoto. Direction, by Takahiro Omori. From a visual standpoint, the setting's what you'd expect the entertainment district of a major metropolis would feel like given that eccentric anime touch. The backgrounds portray the city well, gleam and grit, and the animation is something to applaud. The fluidity of it may take from from the budget that would have otherwise been used to color in passersby, but it's nothing much to fret about, given how much people are usually strangers to each other in the city anyway. In fact, it's rather clever in how it's made the most of in the show in how much color, when applied, stand out in the sea of gray.
I'd be lying if all the crazy shit that happens in the show wasn't a blast to watch. The strength of the show, however, is undoubtedly its characters. For a show that features such an enormous cast of them, for most to have their own distinct personalities, some neurotic, always entertaining, is worthy of mention. For the majority to sport a good to great amount of depth... that's a remarkable feat. Now, I won't say this reasoning applies to every character, (one seems to exist solely for the ends of trolling people and modeling as a vent for fangirls-by-nature, yaoi included, to squee their throats out) but many of them are linked thematically. Whether it's in school, Ikebukuro, society in general, or the whole of humankind, many tread the border of alienation, between right to joy and left to despair. It's the utmost desire to be wanted, needed, appreciated, and loved in the most genuine of senses. It's the sought after initiative to feel for others in turn. In spite of past traumas. In spite of present hurt. What makes the difference between which direction, left or right, one gravitates to hinges on one's own capacity for genuineness as well: genuineness toward oneself and genuineness toward others. Only then can one belong. This is also why, in spite of criticisms about the show's more drama packed 2nd half, the show requires both clear skies and down casts for its theme to be true as well.
What else is genuine about this show is that it has flaws. Major conflicts yet to be satisfactorily resolved are set aside for other pressing developments to take to the fore. Characters that were significant in previous arcs become relegated to minor or cameo roles, while others take up major ones. As a result, the plot can feel unfocused at times. There's also the chance that prominent cast members and their spotlights of the successor arcs pale in comparison to the prominent cast members and their moments to shine of the previous arcs. This isn't to say those arcs are bad, because I quite enjoyed the story to the end. It's just frustrating to get attached to some people and then be forced to endure having them sidelined. The new people we are supposed to be attached to might not be as endearing as our previous favorites. In addition, some characters that were initially introduced with the impression of importance either disappear entirely later on or are added in as after thoughts toward the end. The new characters that appear in the show's 2nd half are guilty of that, though it's a common pitfall that many shows with a large character roster fall into. There were also some issues with how unnatural the new developments were revved up and maintained the story of later arcs. It's not like these happenings came out of nowhere. It's just bugged me how inelegant the foreshadow for these happenings was. A hint toward a development might be dropped and then be altogether forgotten by the show until a good few episodes in where it suddenly becomes convenient to reintroduce it to drive the plot (e.g. The Slasher's identity). Or a suggestion might be reiterated a number of times in a rather obnoxious manner (e.g. Masaomi Kida's past).
Both Durarara!!'s OPs happen to take a page from Baccano!'s OP mastery of character introductions. All the transitions to each are smooth, seamless, and radiate with a sense of energy and purpose. Both Durarara!!'s OPs happen to reflect the moods they happen to herald. OP1, “Uragiri no Yuuyake” or “Sunset of Betrayal” by Theater Brook introduces the viewer to the show's more static lighthearted exterior. OP2, “Complication” by ROOKiEZ is PUNK'D segue ways the viewer to it's more dynamic heavyhearted interior. They also sound superb out of context as well, electric guitars and drum set complementing the contemporary rock-tempered rasp of the male lead vocalists as they start the audience small with the rhythm before exploding with fiery flares of passion. If you weren't paying attention to the lyrics, you might have a hard time distinguishing it from certain tracks from American pop rock. Same thing can be said for ED1, “Trust me” by Yuya Matsushita, but with a boy band flair. I'm not too much into boy bands myself, but even I'll admit I found myself humming this song fairly often. It features the significant cast standing on top or clinging to each other in various poses. Something similar can be said for ED2, “Butterfly” by ON/OFF, though the poses this time around are horizontally grounded. Guitars and drums are very prevalent, and the voices are lower-pitched than its predecessor ED. Overall, it makes for a good song. It just pales in expressiveness by a fraction compared to the other music selections.
In spite of the negatives, the show's still a lot of fun, and it's nothing particularly mindless either. If you ever happen to find yourself strolling down Ikebukuro's cityscape (figuratively speaking), let me be the first to say this as your guide. Make yourself at home.
I give Durarara!! an 8 out of 10. read more
Mar 5, 2011
Putting aside the immediately obvious fact that the animation for this series is superb and all opening and ending songs are awesome, what's left for me to complain about is the pacing, the plot, and the nearly nonexistent character development. Oh, and the mind-numbingly boring way in which the dialogue is remarkably unsubtle, anvilicious, and pretentious.
I know this is based on a series of light novels and that there's also a manga version. But while I know a bit about both, I haven't read enough of either, and this is an anime review anyway, so I'm glad I haven't yet so I can focus on the anime. I actually wonder if I may be too old for this anime, because it left me completely unimpressed, didn't change my point of view in anyway, and I learned nothing and felt nothing while I watched it. It felt like the entire thing was made by a bunch of disaffected college students that have nothing better to do with their spare time than angst about how the world is so sad and boring. And while this seems perhaps an unfair attack on the team that made the anime and for all I know they're completely the opposite, it's how the series came off as.
For all the darkness or apparent maturity of the themes, the show comes off as incredibly naive. The characters spend way too long and talk too much in an effort to explain themselves and their actions. There's too much talking! Even when what they're saying is plainly obvious or when they could have stopped after one sentence and it's especially annoying when you realize that their justifications are pretty much senseless or stupid after the nth time they've explained it. I honestly blocked out whole chunks of dialogue from boredom. Then I went back to see if I missed anything by doing so. I didn't.
I don't think the series is as meaningful as it thinks it is, and I wasn't moved by most of the characters. The only ones I really cared about by the end of it all was Kida Masaomi and Celty, the headless biker. (And Heiwajima Shizuo who is crazy awesome. I like Orihara Izaya and he's one of my favorite characters, but I don't really care or am concerned about the guy because he should honestly die in a fire.) Speaking of which, what really bothered me was how so many of the characters escaped karma -- except Kida Masaomi, who the show seemed determined to break because that's his designated role. The show also tries to present Mikado Ryuugamine as somewhat of a hero, which I refuse to accept. And to bring up the manga and novels, I think the anime tries much harder than those two make him likeable or acceptable (and overall NICER) to count as one and it's obvious. I'm sorry, but no. Better to have left him a bit of a magnificent bastard than to do so. By extension, the Dollars are supposed to be the good gang, which is laughable, since while they do some good in the anime, they're not much different from the bad gangs -- they're a bunch of easily manipulated cowardly sheep who can't even do good on their own (with the exception of a few, but they're in the extended hero's group so...).
What really bothers me about the Dollars is, had their leader been actually smarter and less interested in his own entertainment, they could have PUT AWAY SOMEONE THAT'S DONE SOMETHING CLEARLY WRONG. In the first half, the major conflict involved a shady pharmaceutical company responsible for a string of kidnappings and that was covering up an assault. Granted, the assaulted girl was cray cray and a stalker, and she didn't press charges because she's madly in love with the guy that nearly killed her and they wound up together thanks to the said pharmaceutical company, but really? REALLY? The guy that ALMOST CRACKED HER HEAD OPEN escaped punishment and is later on referred to as "he's weird, but kind of cool"? By the show's protagonist? WHAT?! And what did the leader of the Dollars choose to do about this? MESS WITH THE MIND OF THE PERSON BEHIND ALL OF IT. Yeah, that's all. And the result? Was not so awful that by the next episode she's seen working for the information broker that orchestrated it all while still full of haughty arrogance. And speaking of the information broker, I don't know if he really is just that awesome or the other characters are just so stupid or weak that he's pretty much untouchable despite being so plainly evil.
The only thing that could have possibly redeemed this whole show was the friendship between the three main characters (Anri, Mikado, and Kida). But as a friendship, it just fails. There are countless other anime and manga that have portrayed friendship in an amazingly poignant way. This anime had that chance but it just fell so miserably short.
The light novels and the manga version of this show goes farther from what I've seen and heard about. If there's a second season, my point of view might change. Who knows? As it stands, it's pointless, other than being pretty to look at. Much of the show seems focused on being cool for the sake of being cool and that's it. read more
Jun 26, 2010
Well, let's just get this out of the way now: No, it isn't as good as Baccano. But is it still good in it's own right? Yes. If you're a Baccano fan, Durarara is definitely worth watching. Even if you aren't a Baccano fan, Durarara is probably worth watching, though some of the references may be lost on you, seeing as how Baccano and Durarara take place in the same fictional universe. The main difference between the two is, perhaps bizarrely given their setting, Durarara is clearly the more mature of the two series. It opts for a darker, big city underworld chic as opposed to the vibrant 30's style of Baccano. A lot of it revolves around mystery, an element not present in its predecessor.
While the plot of Durarara is hard to sum up briefly, the premise revolves largely around Celty Sturluson, a Dullahan (read: Headless Horseman) who has lost her head, and come to Japan in search, posing as a biker. At the same time, Mikado Ryugamine is moving to Ikebokuro, after growing tired of his life in the countryside, and meets up with his internet buddy Masaomi Kida. Kida is quick to warn Mikado of the colour gangs that roam Ikebokuro, such as the Yellow Scarves and Blue Square, as well as the mysterious "DOLLARS", a gang claiming to be colourless. The two of them soon befriend a shy, withdrawn girl named Anri Sonohara. But as the plor develops, it becomes clear that none of these people are as simple as they seem.
One of the strengths of this show is the characters. Near enough every major character, and even some of the minor ones, are quite lovable, vibrant characters. Celty is considered fearsome by many, though is one of the most likeable characters you'll ever come across. Shizuo Heiwajima is an insanely strong man who hates violence, but is filled to the brim with unstoppable rage. Izaya Orihara is a crafty information broker who has a fondness for deranged chess motifs and knives. Shinra Kishitani is a quirky underground surgeon who has a loveably promiscuous fascination with Celty, and even minor characters like a gang of otaku who practise torture based on anime and manga add a comedic referential streak to the series, so if you're a fan of Spice and Wolf, Railgun, Dokuro-chan or Kino's Journey, expect a few giggles.
Whilst the show is initially good, it doesn't really pick up until around a third of the way in, when it begins to move into the fast-paced action that Baccano performed to wonderfully. For most of the middle third of the series, the show is absolutely on its peak, keeping you absolutely glued to your seat wondering what will happen next. It skillfully runs through plots of Celty's missing head, a mysterious slasher attacking people, the background of the wars between the colour gangs, a medical organisation performing human experimentation, and people controlling everything from behind the scenes...
But as great as all of this sounds, in the third act, everything begins to fall apart. Whilst initially hard to notice, once the slasher arc is over, most of the other plot threads are abandoned, and everything winds up revolving around the gang war plot, which is considerably weaker than the others, and at it's worst devolves into soap opera drama. This would've at least stood up strongly if it had kept skillfully using the other storylines, but the plot of Celty's head is completely and utterly ignored as a result of this massive plot tumour. All of this builds up to an anticlimactic and lacklustre ending that gives very little closure whatsoever. The upcoming specials are set to wrap this up, but I really don't consider that a valid excuse. The only way this would be forgiveable is if there was a second season, and by the way that the specials were announced, this seems unlikely.
Final Words: At it's best, absolutely fantastic. Shame it went to waste.
For Fans Of: Baccano, Boogiepop Phantom. read more
Jun 28, 2011
STORY: Durarara (Or DRRR, which by the way sounds like an insult to someone when they make a stupid or obvious statement) can be described as two things: crazy and entertaining, and entertaining and crazy. Durarara is as crazy as it is entertaining, I mean what other anime has gang wars, superhuman people, super natural elements, and enough characters pushed up into like several clown cars, packed up like sardines, that start to break the hinges and screws start flying off... I can name one other but anyway, Durarara is the adaptation of light novels created by Ryohgo Narita, the creator of another crazy ass series named Baccano (Which there is only one other series I can compare that one too).
But seriously, I must applaud this novel writer, who now has two well loved series under his belt that both received great anime adaptations, that's right I'll say it right now, Durarara is a great anime, great as in entertaining, with an early competent story and a huge cast of wonderful and unique characters.
The story is about... mostly everyone! Just about all the characters receive a good bit of devoted screen time and get to narrate an episode, and you should be intimidated by what I mean by "everyone" as Durarara just has too many to write about in one review, so I'll just write about the most interesting ones, and the "main" characters, as the third half focuses entirely on those certain set of "main" characters.
The story isn't really straight forward but mostly character driven, the entire anime can be summed up into three parts: The first 1/3 is the slow start, building up the characters and establishing many elements of the series, the second 1/3 is pay off of the start up, fantastic and fun moments are all found here folks with a lot of the more interesting characters featured the most, and then finally the last 1/3, the umm, lamest part of the anime...
The first third of the anime is spend mostly introducing characters and establishing bits of story elements for the latter part of the anime with Mikado, the seemingly main character of Durarara and his friends Kida, his childhood friend, and Anri, a well endowed girl with a quite interesting back story. It's pretty slow to say the least, but it's all worth it later on.
The second third of the anime is the real meat of the entire anime, with the build up from earlier episodes, but the real reason is because the majority of the focus is on the more interesting characters like Celty, the headless Dullahan from Ireland who drives a black motorcycle around the city, Shizuo Heiwajima, the one guy in the dangerous city full of many dangerous people that you don't want to mess with, and other characters related to them in some fashion.
However, the last third of the anime is where I wouldn't mind to say there's no point on continuing further, unless you're a completest or have been enjoying the show to this point and want to continue. The story quickly shifts from being creative unique character driven story to a very lame teen drama involving gangs, with the focus being the most bland group of characters of the entire anime (Like Mikado and Kida), with the villain having the charisma of a random background character (And looks and starts out like one too).
I would consider calling this part of Durarara, DRRR, as it's sort of an insult to be stripped of all the greatest parts by the end of the anime, sure the other characters do have their moments (Like Shizuo tearing shit up), and bad moments too (Shizuo learns that he too be taken out by simple measures just like everyone else, and of course, the teen drama), but there is still worth while parts (A certain a**hole gets whats coming to him, and damn is it satisfying).
Though it's a shame Durarara mostly ends on a low note rather than a high one, but it blows it's load early on, and it might be a good idea to pretend it's only like 13 or 16 episodes like it's predecessor adaptation.
ANIMATION: Very unique and stylish, with character designs by Suzuhito Yasuda (The original artist for the novels and creator of manga series Yozakura Quartet). Apparently the original creator of Durarara wants consistency that even the studio that made Baccano, Brains Base, is also the one behind the production.
The animation is great, and the character designs are diverse enough to compliment their personalities and quirks (Of course a headless girl wouldn't need a detailed personality to stand out from the crowd), but most of them look rather generic, and the later part of the anime looks noticeably lower budget.
SOUND: With both a japanese and english voice over for Durarara available, I would recommend going your preference language to listen to since both languages are fine, however, I would give a more slight nod to the japanese voice over simply because the setting is Japan, and the english dub voice actors tend to be stumped by a japanese word when it would appear in dialogue, overall both have their stellar performances that only each language provides.
The theme music are great, especially the first opening, but as the later part of anime becomes blander, so does the theme music.
The background music is mostly loud jazz music, that seems out of place at times.
+ A unique and great character driven story.
+ Diverse cast of interesting characters.
+ Both japanese and english voice overs are equally great.
- The last third of the anime is disappointing, with too much focus on the bland characters.
- The technical side also suffers at the later end of the anime.
As an added bonus, Durarara also has many cameos of several different anime thrown about, so be sure to pay attention to the back grounds and what figures and manga you'll see. read more
Jul 27, 2010
Its uniqueness lies in the story. What makes Durarara stand alone is its depth into the dark side of human psychology. This anime tackles suicide, exceptional forms of love and abuse. These aspects are hidden within the main focus of comic relief and fast paced action. Not to mention its fair share of the supernatural, from souls possession to urban legends.
Durarara has such a large cast that it sweeps you up in the urban atmosphere of Ikebukuro, Tokyo. It has the uncanny talent of having that realistic feeling that despite the significance of your action, you are just another human in the curious impersonal place of Ikebukuro, Tokyo.
The storyline itself starts with each episode focusing on one character. You are rewound to the character past experiences and thoughts that have shaped them and others to the present. Every character moves forward in the present, cleverly overlapping each other and tying the several linear storylines together. Secrets start to emerge, and suddenly you find yourself agitated on the edge of your seat for the unpredictable ride through gang wars, borderline zombie fighting and politics. The tension inside Durarara always makes you hungry for more.
How realistic the emotions that give each character depth is astonishing. You are given a whole glimpse of the spectrum, from psychopaths to a girl who knows naught of love. Character development occurs simultaneously with the storyline as each character tries to find peace, themselves and resolutions to whatever haunts them from the past. The anime is then able to tie it all together with the development of complex character relationships. As each one evidently finds out secrets and thus the storyline unfolds.
Art: 9/10. Sound: 7/10.
Eye candy. The characters are drawn beautifully, the scenery is spectacular. A must to watch in HD. Feast your eyes. The opening and ending soundtrack fit the anime perfectly. It certainly throws you into the upbeat Durarara atmosphere. The OST compliments the anime, particularly giving mystical, thriller scenes an eerie, chilling effect.
Enjoyment: 7/10. Overall: 8/10.
Personally, Durarara is nothing I expected. Being action and emotion packed, it is certainly a unique experience to remember. I leave you with the sentence in the opening paragraph; Durarara is a ride which twists your insides really tight then suddenly explodes in your face. read more
Jun 23, 2013
Our story takes place in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district, and centers around some of its most interesting inhabitants. Durarara has a main cast so large that it would be counterproductive for me to try and describe all of them, so I'll take my time to go in depth on the 6 most important of the bunch:
Firstly, we have Mikado Ryugamine, a shy and introverted transfer student to Raira academy. Mikado is the first character the show introduces you too, and we learn about a lot of Ikebukuro through his eyes. Mikado is a character who loves life, and who wants to live a life far different to that of other men. This leads to him getting stuck in a lot of drama starting in the Bukuro. He's a surprisingly interesting character, and while he doesn't end up developig as much as I would have liked, he is definitely a great character.
Nextly, we have Masaomi Kida. The comic relief character, Kida is one of the most well developed and sympathetic characters in this whole show, taking a massive leading role in the second season. Kida is your typical high school student, a joker who likes hitting on girls. I'd say more, but I can't reveal any of the great character developments of the second season.
Rounding out the high school club, we have Anri Sonohara. The vessel for the second season's most surprising twist, Sonohara has a tragic backstory that leaves her a much less emotional person than before. She is the typical highschool bookworm in season one, and provides a very good love interest for Mikado.
First in the grownup characters, we have Shizuo Heiwajima. A man who literally cannot control his own strength, Shizuo is known as the strongest man in Ikebukuro. A really interesting static character, Shizuo's anger and his hatred for Izaya Orihara make for a great relationship and an incredible character.
Speaking of rivalries, the persay "villain" of the show, the information broker Izaya Orihara, is honestly one of the more interesting characters in the show. A man who claims to love humans, Izaya is generally the starting point through which all conflicts flow. Izaya loves to see how humans react to various situations, and spends his time either collecting or giving out information.
Finally, we have Celty Sturlson, AKA the headless rider. A mythical faerie from the land of ireland, Celty is attempting to find her head. She's a great character, and I love her a ton, but I just can't explain why I do. Watch the show and you'll find out why I love her so.
Something highly positive I can say about Durarara that I can say about very few anime is that it takes the time to develop its characters. Using a unique art style that has only main, focal characters colored, Durarara's main characters all have interwoven backstories, and interwoven plots such that everyone has a relationship with just about anyone. With the first season being a large amount of character based episodes, just about every character gets their due. Each episode shows different aspects of a character and different aspects of a city as well.
On the Art, Durarara is clean and well animated. Few of the animations were highly complex, but all the character designs were great, and I was very impressed with the reveal of the dollars. All the shadows becoming colored at once wasn't excessively complex, but it was enough to impress me. Brain Base is, as always, animating some damn good episodes.
In terms of Music, the soundtrack was very good, although there were few standout tracks other than the Slasher's theme, which I don't know the name of. The track itself was incredibly creepy and strange, and I was very impressed by how much it seemed to explain the personality of the slasher. Props also go to the first opening's theme song Uragiri no Yuuyake, which is a great tune and helped hook me in on the show.
So, the time comes for my biggest complaint with the series, and It really saddens me to say this. Durarara suffers heavily from Little brother syndrome, and Durarara is Brains Base's way of trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice and create another Baccano. And I'll be damned if I say that they haven't done an admirable job of it, but at its heart, it wants to be Baccano so very bad, and it just can't be damned to break from that mold. And that really disappointed me, because it had enough potential to be a masterpiece of a show, but by refusing to break from that mold, it just fizzled.
So, in terms of reccomendations, I would reccomend watching this, but after you watch Baccano. Durarara is covered in references to the show, and to fully appreciate them, you need to see the show. Dub or Sub wise, I'd go with Sub. The actors are great either way, but the Japanese just fits better there, and I prefer Izaya's seiyyu to JYB's voice, weirdly enough. read more
Jul 20, 2010
Durarara features simply AMAZING artwork, something fans would go crazy about. The characters each had distinct personalities, some that even we as the viewers can relate to. Light-hearted at times and even sometimes comical, the creators did a great job keeping tabs on all the characters. I watched attentively as each person filtered in, adding their own touch to this gang-oriented anime. Refreshing, cool, and overall a memorable anime.
Story, Art, Soundtrack etc. were all avant-garde (as Shinra would say). However, the one thing that didn't quite satisfy me was the ending. Towards the later episodes, 22, 23, etc. I could feel the tension building up as each character's deepest secrets were revealed, one by one. Trust and friendship all hanging on the thinnest line. I was just waiting for that "WOW" moment that would blow me away leaving my mind to ponder the plot for days on end. But, i was greatly disappointed. I felt the anime concluded weakly, obviously the viewer could piece together all the facts, but I just didn't feel that there was a solid conclusion. Loose ends maybe?
For example: Izaya, although we all know he is Ikebukuro's mastermind, what was his ultimate motive? He claims he loves humans, but what of it? Didn't he do this all to awaken Celty's head? And what of Celty? She's a main character, obviously, but other than transporting messages and bringing one character to another, what did she really do? What was the point of having a Dullahan in the story? I felt that each character had so much potential, but in the end it just didn't blow me away. read more
May 4, 2013
The Story (7/10)
A young boy named Mikado Ryūgamine moves into the real life city of Ikebukuro as an invitation from his childhood friend Masaomi Kida, in order to attend Raira Academy, meeting a shy timid girl, named Anri Sonohara. From there he realizes that the city he moved into isn't as safe as he thought it would. As he comes across some very dangerous and mysterious people. Like a violent man with superhuman strength, an information broker, and a mysterious gang known as "The Dollars". But the most abnormal being he comes across is a modern day version of the Headless Horseman called, "The Headless Rider". Her names goes by Celty Sturluson, who has a mission to retrieve her stolen head, with the help of a scientist named Shinra Kishitani. Most of the episodes revolve around Masaomi trying to coupe with his new home despite all the dangerous goings on in it, and the mysterious people he meets and learns more about when learning their backstories.
I will say this series does have aspects that makes a good anime. For one it knows when to give a certain character an episode mostly focusing him or her's backstory, as well as knowing the right time to introduce them. Though if there's one thing it suffers from, is that some characters that are more interesting then the main ones, don't get that much screen time. Now I'm not saying the three characters that are considered the main ones bad, they just aren't as interesting as the other characters. But I'll go more into detail later. That and their are some elements of the show that are left unfinished, but I guess that's just the animes way of making you want to read the Light Novels. Instead of adapting the entire source into an anime, they just adapt the first few books as a way of promoting. Giving people a motive to read more. Which....now that I think about it, is actually an ingenius idea.
Once compared to Baccano!, in my opinion, it doesn't hold that bright a candle to that series. Baccano! just has a much more intriguing way of telling 3 stories simultaneously and manages to end them around the same time in the course of 13 episodes. It tells so much with so little episodes. That and the characters are so much more interesting and fun to watch. Also, while it only adapted the first few books, a lot feels resolved and there are only 1 or 2 loose ends left. Allowing the anime to stand on it's own. Durarara!! does a good job following Baccano!'s foot steps, just not to a point where it's a worthy successor.
The Dub (8/10)
Aniplex is a dubbing company I don't see dubs as much as Funimation, or Bandai. But for what they are, they did good. Like every anime I've seen before, it does have the regulars that I'm use to hearing. Michelle Ruff, Crispin Freeman, Johnny Yong Bosch, Steve Blum, Kari Wahlgren, Stephanie Sheh, the list goes on. I won't go down every voice, but I will talk about the ones that really stand out. I really loved hearing Michelle Ruff as Anri Sonohara, as the voice reminds me of Yuki Nagato's human counterpart. Crispin Freeman was very entertaining as Shizuo Heiwajima, which was the second time I heard him being angry since Haruhi Season 2. Johnny Yong Bosch is the go too guy to play the shady, slimy, and very mysterious character. In this shows case, Izaya Orihara. Kari Wahlgren I didn't recognize when she's voicing Celty. So cudos to her. Steve Blum's voice is always entertaining to hear, even if most of the time it's the same voice. The dubbers make sure they pick the right voices for each individual character, rather then just picking these guys just because of their status' in the industry.
But there's this one little nitpick I feel like talking about. This isn't that big a spoiler, but Isaac and Miria from Baccano! make an appearance (Which is odd considering their are countless times where the show they came from appears in a big screen in the city.....Paradox?) and since Funimation isn't the one dubbing this series, they got Sam Riegel and Stephanie Sheh to voice them.......and BOY do they sound TERRIBLE! I can tell they were trying.....but not too much. But other then that, it's a good dub.
The Characters (7/10)
Like Baccano!, this series has a gigantic ensemble of characters. So we might be here all day if I explain every single one. So instead, I'll just talk about the major ones and give my brief thoughts on them, and then talk about what they have in common. There's the main character Mikado Ryūgamine, who......is actually the most uninteresting character in the show. In my opinion at least. I mean, there's one interesting thing that he does, but that's it. There's also his childhood friend Masaomi Kida, who kinda reminds me of Tamaki Suoh a bit. In terms of design and personality, but a lot more tone down. Anri Sonohara does seem like your typical shy, timid, big breasted girls you're use to seeing from KyoAni shows, but we learn a lot more about her past.....with some of disturbing aspects to it. There's also this gang lead by Kyohei Kadota, and other members include a guy obsessed with his fan, and two cheerful otaku's who have a fun gimmick of referencing other animes a-la Lucky Star. One of the most entertaining characters is Shizuo Heiwajima. A violent guy dressed as a butler who ironically hates violence, who usually tries to kill a shady smug informant named Izaya Orihara. But their fights usually break up by the black russian sushi shop owner, Simon Brezhnev.
Like I said, there are tons of characters in this series. Though one thing they all share in common is the fact that most of them have their backstories, their inner depth, or are just fun to watch. Though character that I thought really stood out was the headless rider, Celty Sturluson. She was the highlight of this anime for several reasons. Despite having no head, she does manage to have a personality and can be very expressive. Through her body language and her way of communicating. Through texting what she says through an iTouch looking phone. That and her backstory on how she lost her head is actually pretty tragic, which makes you route for the character. She does get assistance from a scientist named Shinra Kishitani. Whose relationship with Celty can take many twists and turns along the way.
This is a pretty entertaining cast, but it's not as memorable as the one in Baccano! Which gave equal amount of screen time for each character.
The Music (7/10)
In tradition, the music revolves around jazzy and blues like music that can be catchy when it wants to be. Not only that, but both opening themes do follow the same format as Baccano's. While the music, it shows every single character and places them in still frames, giving the characters name. The first opening theme "Trust Me" is a very catchy song that's very reminiscent of several pop songs from the early 2000's. The visuals are so fun to watch, that you'll find yourself re-watching the end credits. As it features all the characters in some form of tower, where each one carries the other in a funny looking way. The second ending theme "Butterfly" really suites the more darker tone of the second half. Which it's visuals have a similar format as Trust Me's, but not as entertaining.
Durarara!! may be the best anime with the stupidest title. Even if it's not on par with it's sister series, it still manages to be fun to watch in it's own right. With it's intriguing ideas, fun characters, and dark atmosphere. I high recommend it to those who really enjoyed Baccano! Just don't expect it to be as good.
Jan 20, 2012
Seeing a boy like Ryuugamine Mikado at the very beginning made my head scream "please, no timid protagonist!!!". However, seeing Orihara Izaya in the second episode made my expectations jump high, but I'll explain more about that later.
So I went on watching the show until episode 8 or something like that.
I have to say that at this point it seemed to me like there was no real plot to the story, just some people living their not so normal life in a city called Ikebukuro.
So I stopped watching the show.
At some point I ran out of anime with good characters and i remembered a guy called Izaya, so went on watching Durarara!!.
that was when I realized I had stopped watching just before the story was about to begin.
Seeing as there is a wide field of interesting characters to explore, they had to be introduced during the first 9 episodes. That's when the real plot began:
i saw a heavy character development coming and I didn't want to miss it. I don't want to spoil the show (the rules prohibit it) so I'll try to express myself the best way I can:
There were lots of heavy decisions to be made by the characters and unexpected identities to be revealed.
About the artwork: it isn't really something that amazes you, at least not me. However, it does support the story very well, the different places give off the feeling, they should. For example the headquaters of the Yellow Scarves being an old building, maybe some kind of warehouse, since this is a gang founded by teenagers without the money for a bigger place and not some high class mafia, which makes it more realistic. As much as I know the places shown mostly do exist, excluding Raira Academy.
I have to admit, I don't really pay attetntion to the music in anime, movies etc.
However, that tiny bit I did notice was always fit to the situation. i want describe this topic any further since my intention is not the analysis of background music.
Alright, up to my favorite part of anime: the characters!
they were the sole reason for me watching this show. I have to say that I have a bit of a fetish for crazy, kind of evil anime boys. So I was really happy seeing a character like Izaya show up and not only a few times.
I think the wide range of characters presented in this anime has something to provide for anyone (I don't want to offend anyone or reduce poeple just to their looks in the following part):
A timid innocent boy with character development;
the happy-go-lucky kind of guy with a not so happy past;
a big busted, glasses-wearing school girl, who learns about the values of friends after a tragedy in the past;
a crazy informant broker with the hobby of making humans play into his plans;
an uneblievable strong bartender, who wants to live his live in peace;
a mysterious, mature female Dullahan, in search for her head;
a friendly, somewhat strange doctor; a stalker
and lots more!
I have to admit, that my rating was influenced by my love for many strange characters, but even if i didn't I had to say that all of the mentioned aspects play well together and create a unique anime show.
I was really content watching Durarara!! and would recommend it any time.
Dec 5, 2012
Within the very first seconds of this anime you know that the illustrators took pride in what they were doing. Every scene is intricately drawn to keep the audience entertained, whether you may be looking at a vibrant and colorful vending machine flying across the sky, or a dark and mysterious alleyway waiting for you to make the mistake of deciding to take the shortcut home.9/10
If you are experienced when it comes to watching and anime you know that the soundtracks in the anime can make or break it. Fortunately for Durarara they knew exactly what they were doing. For an anime to have such a wide variety of genres they spread it out extremely well to compliment every scene needing an extra push of anxiety, calmness, happiness, or anger. Durarara isn't the type of anime to leave you crying at the sound of some beautiful soundtrack but you will definitely catch yourself at the edge of your seat while yelling something to a character attempting to do something that could potentially lead to their demise. This anime features genres everywhere from Rock all the way to Classical or Pop so you don't need to worry about getting bored with the soundtracks although you will be able to associate some of the soundtracks with a certain type of scene. -Every time I started an episodes I would always listened to the opening at least twice just because I liked it so much :)-. 10/10
From the beginning of this anime you are constantly given new information about every character, whether it may be told to you straight forward or something you discover on your own by untwisting the plot. What I am trying to say is that you immediately start to form some type of relationship and, or bond with every character in the show. There is constantly new character development so you don't have to worry about getting bored with one character. Another thing I like about this anime is that you are given the opportunity to see things in another characters eyes besides the protagonist. This is a very great technique to give the audience a chance to get to know a character because you are seeing exactly how they think instead of just seeing the main character perception on that person. Every character in the anime played an important and irreplaceable role. They all add their own little spin to the plot which keeps you interested in how the story may change once you learn something new about a character. 10/10
As far as enjoyment goes just try to stop watching this anime in the middle of a big part of one of the charter's arch. I can tell you that I stayed up until 3am even though I knew I had to get up at 6:40am simply because I did not have it in me to call it quits. Every episodes leaves you wanting more so if you are worried about not being able to get through this anime you should be more worried about stopping once you've started. 10/10
Overall this anime is nothing short of a master piece. There is only one thing that I really wanted to happen that didn't. If you are looking for a serious anime but you want to laugh I wholeheartedly encourage you to give this one a try. 10/10 Thanks for reading guys ^__^ (by the way this is my first review)
When I said there was only one thing that didn't happen that I wanted to happen it was Mikado and Anri not getting together. His excuse was that he wanted to wait for Kida to come back to try and make a move even though Kida got back with his old girlfriend and left. -__-
Jul 19, 2010
From gang fights to urban legends, friendships and rivalries, schemers and victims, its themes target all kinds of audiences, making it really easy for a larger group of people to enjoy it.
Story – 8 The story is set in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro enhanced with a more supernatural, mysterious feel to it and is a mixed bag of comedy, action, drama, fantasy and almost every single theme imaginable. At the start and for the first half, the series consists of small story arcs, basically introducing and getting a little deeper to the background of the main characters with usually every episode being narrated by one or two of the show’s characters. This setting is quite unique and interesting but a bit lacking in consistency. The pacing is slow since it feels like it drags more than it should until all of the introductions are made and the real story starts not before the tenth or so episode, resulting to the viewer not being able to predict the goal of the main story until quite later on. The last seven or eight episodes take a clearer path but leave some sub stories unanswered. Although not story driven in the start, it has a captivating style created by the city’s backdrop. Overall the plot is intriguing enough to keep an interest in it and with nice cliffhangers in each episode’s ending.
Art – 10 The art is a delight for the viewer’s eye. A rainbow of bright colors, which also plays a major part in the story. The city of Ikebukuro is rendered in all those colors together with the people important in the story, with all the rest in shades of gray. The city gangs identify themselves from the colors, like the Blue Squares and the Yellow Scarves, etc. The characters are drawn very nicely and in detail. It’s important that the art and story work supplementary as the art is not a mere enhancement but a major part of the plot itself.
Sound – 9 Starting from the opening and ending themes, the music of the songs together with the lyrics highlight the style of the anime. The background music is setting the mood throughout the series and stands out; it is unique in its own way as all the aspects of this series. Memorable and catchy themes are repeated effectively whenever to give the setting of certain scenes, as for example a fight scene or a riddle.
As for the voice acting I will just mention that a whole group of successful and well known seiyuu is gathered for all the main characters.
Characters – 9 With Ikebukuro as the backdrop of the story, all different kinds of characters appear in this series. There is the protagonist, Ryugamine Mikado a young boy who comes for the first time to stay in Tokyo and is usually reserved and quiet, Kida Masaomi, his childhood friend who lives in Ikebukuro and is more social and easy-going as well as has a thing for the opposite sex. Then there’s Heiwajima Shizuo, a ridiculously strong man with a weak temper, Orihara Izaya a cunning young man with a passion for studying humans and their behaviours and a bad habit to provoke Shizuo resulting in them being in a constant fight relationship. Sonohara Anri, a classmate of both Mikado and Kida, for whom both boys share a special interest. Also the story takes a more supernatural turn with the presence of the black rider, an urban legend that rides around the city not on a horse but on a motorbike! A lot of more interesting and diverse characters make their appearance throughout the series making their reactions all more interesting. Without devaluing the very clever story, the series looks more character driven shaping the plot from their interactions. Despite the paradox of the settings, the characters feel real and don’t fall into the usual anime norms, which is definitely refreshing.
Enjoyment – 8 (first half – 7, second half 9)
From being indifferent the story can change the viewer to be anxiously waiting for the next episode. With its peaks and its drops it’s a rollercoaster ride that one should get on for sure. Experiencing unsatisfactory moments that surprisingly turn into the best cliff-hangers the next minute, this show surely doesn’t walk a straight line. But wouldn’t an expectedly successful path be boring? The satisfaction from it comes from the fact that it’s so diverse. And that’s what keeps it from falling into the usual cliché, and on the contrary it makes it so enjoyable.
Overall – 8
This anime mixes the past with the modern era reshaping old legends in a modern setting. It brings out the dynamic of a city such as Tokyo, with all its sci-fi, mysterious feeling and combines it with tradition. In this downtown district of Ikebukuro it feels like everything can happen, creating a dream-like reality that in the end it feels more real than the actual one. In this solid and powerful setting usual human interactions appear such as friendships, rivalries, schemes, pranks, although rendered on a different, maybe deeper level.
It would be briefly summarized as "a focus on human interactions in a big city environment with some supernatural doses" ( which character Izaya Orihara who loves humans would be very pleased about…)
So if someone is on the search for an unusual, beautiful medley of stories, images and characters set in a full of enchanting riddles city as Tokyo, then this anime will offer some unparalleled and sort of sophisticated moments. read more
May 4, 2013
On January 7th, 2010, Durarara!! aired its first episode in Japan. It then finished airing on August 25th, 2010, with its 24th episode. Now before I begin, I would like to say that even though this is a spiritual sequel to Baccano!, I will not be comparing the two. I will instead just be looking at this as a standalone series and whether it's good or not. I'd also like to say that I will sadly not be reviewing the dub for this show, because I can only review dubs when I have the dub available for me to watch; and sadly I only have subs available with this case. So with that said on with the review.
Durarara!! takes place in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, and follows an large amount of characters and the supernatural like events that occur around them. When I say extreme amount of characters, I'm not kidding, there's probably over 20 recurring characters that have an important role in the plot. Now in an average story, this amount would become very hard to use properly. Surprisingly though, Durarara!! is somehow able to keep up with the cast, they are also able to use all of them in some fashion or another. Sure, a character may get dropped from the plot every once and while, or become mostly useless, but it holds up surprisingly well and will not ruin your experience of the show. Whoever was able to write this story and use this many characters effectively should be applauded for their efforts.
As for the supernatural events, they split themselves up into two mystery arches. The first arch is about mostly about the mysterious Headless Rider and where her head is. There's also the mystery of the gang called the Dollars. There's more to it, but telling any more would be spoilers, let me just say however this arch is probably my favorite of the two. First of all, at the beginning of this arch, everything seems jumbled and disconnected. However, slowly throughout the arch it pulls every mystery together to a shocking conclusion, which I liked a lot. They also have individual episodes, in this arch, to delve into the important characters back-stories. It's really interesting to watch and the whole arch is entertaining and is probably the best part of the show.
Then there's the second arch, now the second arch I have more problems with. While the second arch is just as entertaining, it contains some pretty glaring flaws. Basically, like the first arch, it starts out jumbled with many mysteries waiting to be solved. Weirdly enough though all of these threads seem to combine in Episode 17, were almost all the twists are finally set in place. Then comes the wait, because after this episode, the story starts to build the tension between the gangs of the Yellow Scarves, the Dollars, and the Slashers. Now all the tension is based around the three leaders of the group, all of whom, let's just say, have an interesting connection, and so your just waiting for them to find out about each other.
However, this wait takes forever, starting from Episode 18 and building until the last episode of the series. This may not sound bad, but for me it felt a little dragged out, they could have really done without some of the extra tension building episodes. Specifically Episode 19 which is really only there to explain why Anri was spying on Masaomi, not only is the episode filled with too much narration, it's pretty much something that could have been explained in 5 minutes. Really the final build up didn't need this many episodes, it could have built it up in half the episodes and it still would have been just as effective.
Now, despite my rambling, this probably won't be that much of a problem if you watch it, because despite this, it's still entertaining. The lively cast and build up will keep you watching, but like I said before, eventually you will start to notice it's taking a long time to get to where you know it's going. Overall though, the finale does make up for this, it was a very nice ending and was perfect to end everything off. Even if it took a long time to get there.
So with that out of the way, let us talk about the music of the show. The soundtrack really didn't stand out much to me throughout the show, but I will admit this is mostly because it fit very well with the scenes. I honestly don't think it's a soundtrack as amazing as Cowboy Bebop and Madoka Magica's, but since it's able to create an atmosphere and fit the mood of the scene, it makes it pretty good soundtrack.
The openings however are something else, let's start with the first one. Now the first opening goes along with the first arch, and fits the overall tone of the show very well. The animation is gorgeous, and luckily for those who were a little confused with the last episode, it gives you a little recap to help you remember. It also introduces all of the characters uniquely and reveals their names as they are introduced to use throughout the show.
The second opening however, is the one I like the least out of the two. Like most anime that change their opening half way through the show, the second opening of Durarara!! is much more dreary and dramatic to fit the tone of the final episodes. Now while this makes sense, and the second arch of Durarara!! is much more suspenseful than the first, it loses its charm in my opinion. The second opening just doesn't make me fell as excited for the show like the first one does, I honestly wish the first would stay.
The endings have the same problem, though to a lesser extent. You see the first ending, like the opening goes with the first arch, so it's very goofy with its English lyrics and changing color overlay. The second however is much more serious and has the same color overlay changing. Again, it just seems to lose its charm because of this. However, you just skip the ending anyways, so you probably won't notice it too much.
Finally, we must talk about the animation, which was made by Studio Brain Base. Now Brain Base has made other works such as Baccano! and Spice and Wolf Season 2. So with that in mind, the show of course looks great. It has a very interesting art style much like Baccano! and is always a treat to watch. The action scenes are also very good and I never noticed any shortcuts, so overall it has some very good animation.
Durarara!! is a very good show, it was a pleasure to watch and honestly I could recommend it to any otaku. However critically speaking, the show suffers from some problems, specifically in some of the pacing near the end. It just builds up the final conflict for too long and honestly, it could have been done in less time with an equally good pay off. It also stumbles a little on its large cast, but it still holds them well together for the most part. Really though, even with the flaws, the show is still quite entertaining and I highly recommend to any fans of Baccano! or just otaku in general.
Before I go, I should mention the fact this is based off some light novels, which also have a manga adaptation. If you want to buy this show you can get it from its American distributor Aniplex. It is also available for free streaming on Hulu and Crunchyroll if you don't have the money. There's also the two OVA special that came of the DVD, they are both available for free streaming on Crunchyroll. read more
Apr 21, 2013
The storytelling in Durarara, or DRRR, is very interesting. Rather than having a big overarching plot told in each episode, it focuses on the story and development of one specific character. And some scenes in one episode could happen in another episode and affect the story of that episode. It's a very unique way of telling the story and I really enjoy it. Some people say that the story-telling in the 2nd half didn't match the first half's standards, but the only bad thing about the 2nd half was the plot twist involving the character Anri. If that wasn't there, the story would probably get a 10. 8/10
Drrr was produced by Brains Base, who haven't done much besides this, Baccano, and Spice and Wolf II. The art is very good, every frame is detailed, the animation is fluid, and the fight scenes are very entertaining to watch. I think I even saw some gradient lighting in the scenes where they were in warehouses, which I love. However, the budget seemed to drop as the series went on. There's nothing very noticeable, but it still could have been better. 8/10
The sound for Drrr is very catchy. The two theme songs are magnificent, but only the fist ending managed to catch my attention. The music that was playing during the scenes in the show were great, but only one of them managed to get in my head. It's playing in my head as I'm writing this. None of the other songs managed to stick out, but they were still good nonetheless. 7/10
The characters in this anime are very interesting. There is no specific main character, similar to Baccano and Fate/Zero. All of the characters get an equal amount of development and all the characters get the same amount of screen time. It's a very interesting concept that should be in anime more often. One of my favorite characters was Izaya Orihara, who is pretty much the god of Ikebukuro, the city in which Drrr is set in. He knows everything and everyone, and gives cases to the Headless Rider, known as Celty, in order to stop crime under the radar of the police. He was one of my favorites because he managed to keep interesting throughout the entire show, always managed to pull a trick out of his sleeve, and was pretty much the nucleus of all the characters. By that I mean he managed to get everyone involved with everyone else. 9/10
Durarara was an interesting tale that can not be easily described. Describe on thing, the other person asks more and more questions. Suddenly you say something about the ending and you ruin the show for that person. Durarara is an urban tale that will keep you, your eyes, and your attention on the screen at all times. Durarara gets an 8 out of 10 read more
Jan 2, 2011
Now, if you're one of the people looking to watch this show because you enjoyed Baccano! (I mean, who didn't?), then this is NOT for you. It will rub you all sorts of the wrong way. If you are someone that enjoys psychological thrillers with violence and mythology, step right up! However, I warn you now that it is a LOT to keep track of and isn't an overdose of any one genre specifically (except the sick pervy romance kind.)
Let's begin with the STORY, which I gave a 6. I pondered over this one for a little because it's actually a lot of stories all jammed in together, and individually they are all pretty boring, but together it makes for an interesting mix. In Baccano, which I highly recommend, you have three or less stories to keep track of at any one time; in Durarara, you have ... I dunno... a lot? A lot. You've got headless horsemen, sick doctors, unloved high school girls, a psychotic informant, some guy that throws vending machines, high school kids that lead huge street gangs, and some manga-obsessed quad-team that doesn't seem to matter but takes up screen time to confuse you. And yes, all of these things are stories that all interlace and run headlong into each other, until you don't know which was is up or down, and if you wanted it to be either of them!
Granted, people throwing vending machines is REALLY cool, so Crispin Freeman can have his kudos for being one of the few awesome characters. But I mean. If you're just gonna watch it for Shizzy-chan, then just watch episode 7, which is his backstory, and be done with it.
I just have a sinking feeling that this is the kind of anime that won't ever be resolved in a satisfying way. Why do I say that? Well, at the point where you find the epicenter of ONE of the plot lines, and two characters meet head to head (figuratively speaking, since one of them is headless), there is the feeling that the source of all the pain should be taken and everything can be resolved and we can move forward. What happens? One of the characters says 'Nice job killing everyone. Bye.'
Anyway, the art (which got an 8 in my book). Well. It's very stylized, and I particularly love the grayed out background people, because it helps you keep track of who is not important. Until of course, everyone gets colored in as a huge 'EVERYONE IS IMPORTANT' statement. Hello Captain Obvious! I won't deny that the animation is fairly well done and the background work is phenomenal. Very rarely do they reuse any of the footage. We see the inside of one man's office maybe 20+ times, and only 3-5 of those times is it the same art. I really appreciate them not half-assing it artways, but it doesn't necessarily make up for the shitty incoherent plot they tried to concoct.
As for sound, I'm extremely picky. If I don't notice it, it sucked. My favorite sound track is from Eureka Seven, but I can honestly say DRRR comes pretty close! It is not very often that I actually LIKE the OP and ED songs from a show these days. It is even rarer that animators use music correctly! However, they have a refrain that they play several times when everyone should be rainbows and butterflies, and I love it! Absolutely love it! So the sound got a 9!
The characters were... mediocre at best. They were all very stereotypical, and nothing was TOO surprising. Watching them develop hasn't been the most interesting thing in the world, in fact it sometimes seems irrelevant despite the fact that the whole thing slowly seems to be turning into a slasher soap opera. As I said for the 'story' section, it is more about the characters than anything else, and so their histories ARE, essentially, the story. But you know, innocent high schoolers being majorly important gang leader/murderer/opposing gang leader... that's really original. I totally didn't see that coming in Higurashi when all the girls took out butcher knives and killed everyone. Come. On!
I did enjoy all the character DESIGNS. Especially Shizuo and his bartender outfit, and Selty with her shadow-leather biker suit. So I didn't score it TOO badly. I just wish... all the characters had been less typical. In Baccano, all the characters kept me guessing; I couldn't tell bad from good and I loved every second of it! (Jacuzzi was the most surprising!) But man... like I didn't know Celty was gonna turn into a pile of mush around her captor (Stockholm Syndrome much?) Shinra? Everyone can see it coming, so it's not a spoiler. If you didn't, this anime is too dense for you, you need some light hearted shojo. (May I recommend Kaicho wa Maid-sama?)
As for enjoyment, I gave it a 6. I'm still watching it aren't I? Could be I'm cooped up in the house for winter break like any anime fan, but it also could be that it has a mildly captivating watch value. I would recommend a rewatch, but only because it's so damn confusing. I feel like I should make a chart or something; in fact... I almost did. But how silly is that? If you have to watch anime with a chart, then it's too fucking complicated. Even Spice and Wolf, which people complain has a LOT of dialogue, isn't that complicated (AND IT INVOLVEES MATH PEOPLE.)
So anyway, I gave DRRR a 6. And I wanted to be able to provide a comprehensive reason as to why I'm scoring so low, so as to provide a new and fresh look on things. I hope it helped! read more
Jun 18, 2010
So, fellow Baccano fan, let me just say that I have never seen so many self-absorbed main characters in all my years of watching anime. And that sort of sums up this anime. Durarara!! ("DRRR") is basically a "self-absorbed" anime.
Shall I explain? Well, we are given lots on our viewer's plate, in the form of self-absorbed musings in this show: the multitude of one-dimensional side characters, the obligatory side-stories to explain the seemingly random existence of the side characters, the self-absorbed and trivial thoughts of the three main teenage characters, etc. The director obviously expects viewers to dig everything about the anime without a thought of whether each above-mentioned element is as good as the aggregate of them. But let's get something straight, Mr Director. Baccano! had some of these elements, yes, but it was fantastically done, as the whole work was simply built upon its excellent parts. DRRR, however, is not a Baccano.
Now perhaps the fact that the main characters in DRRR are teenagers has something to do with it. My thoughts are that DRRR might be perfect for you if you're around the age of 15-16, for the musings of the main teenage characters (and sad to say, for some of the adults as well) are of a maturity barely above that age. Some five minutes can go by with you, the viewer, subject to the vacuous rambling of the lead characters. If you're well over 20 yrs old like me, chances are, you would do well to give this anime a miss. Or else, when you reach say, episodes 20-22, you'll have all the angst, confusion and sheer immaturity that will send you stark raving mad.
But that is not to say that this anime is mediocre or a utter waste of time. Granted, DRRR is not a Baccano, even if there are throwaway references to the latter throughout the former. But still, Baccano fans can expect a fairly interesting plot at times, and one or two memorable characters (Celty is one of them). However, the magic of Baccano in its plot twists, developments and final resolution are sorely missed in DRRR. As I said, I have the feeling that DRRR is catered to a younger age group than Baccano was.
I found myself not easily attracted to the myriad of characters in DRRR, and I blame it on their character development. All the characters are simply too one-sided. After you're introduced to each character, and you see them in subsequent episodes, you unfortunately realize that that's exactly how they're like and will act throughout the show. And that is something a good anime normally tries to avoid. The fact is that, in DRRR, knowing exactly how a character will act spoils quite a lot of the enjoyment factor, especially when the character has his on-screen "emo" or self-absorbed times, and when this mental state of his or her spans more than a few episodes. When will the dragging about end? It's a real wet blanket for the viewer.
I'm not going to go on about the other critiques or the few thumbs-up that I have (god knows I'm willing), simply because that's not my intention, though. I just wanted to put out a humble warning to anyone who might view DRRR's high rating on MAL or the various praises sung of it as an indication of its suitability to everyone.
So that said, if you're interested in going behind the minds of the three main characters in this anime, all of whom are plainly immature, fairly ignorant and subject to teenage angst and hormonal changes, by all means give DRRR a try.
If you're not interested in the above, and you want to maintain your good impression of Baccano's director, give DRRR a miss.
Cheers. read more
Aug 13, 2010
Beginning with its introduction, at first, it may be some typical storytelling of events that we might have seen before but when the story rolls you may be attracted on its different way of introducing characters and events that seems promising.
The show holds so many interesting plots and laughable gag which became amusing and a big factor why this show proves that it’s different than the other shows. Also, the show introduces characters and events in such a way that it picks up the good vibes, episode by episode, having a feeling of shock and awe while being presented to give great amusement.
Obviously, it stands out on creating wonderful plots, connecting each of the dots, twisting some important arcs that have a capability to excite viewers, and giving an experience throughout the environment and scenes that became worth while. All I can say is that they’ve done a great job on developing such plots but there is quite a flaw to it; it may lacks on impact, some of the highlights seems fading away without a trace, and a possibility that the thrill found on the other arcs would not be the same or equal, so up to this point I find it quite a problem as some of them became weak.
Ikebukuro is simply a neighborhood where great events and mysteries are bound to happen. Consisting of people with different attitudes, status, and form of living, the involvement of these characters truly shines as it liven up the surroundings and giving amazing feedback that brings quite an attraction for the viewers.
Honestly, without such characters, this show wouldn’t be that great as these characters are piled to meet the expectation of the viewers such as Izaya, Shizuo, Celty, the trio (Masaomi, Mikado and Anri), and also with the involvement of all the characters. Arc by arc, such characters have created good stories to tell and to see which revolves between main and supporting characters and within the society itself, by that it maintains the show to its high level of excitement.
It seems that not only the story and characters correlates but also the art and theme gives fascinating view which is truly a nice pair throughout the whole series. If you’re fond of a nice and detailed art, this series would fit for you as it contains a clean and bright art within a gloomy and peculiar scene. It outshines and adds effects that bring pleasure and good ambiance for the audience to feel.
Also, adding these great aspects (voice emphasis, sound effects, background sounds) it brings the series at its fullest, as these helps to appreciate more what is being told and being presented on such scenes. Don’t forget the sounds for the OP Theme & ED Theme which also puts such effort to give lovely and melodic music for the intros and ends.
As an overall, the series contains many interesting plots that give various level of excitement, a nicely animated and drawn that will attract viewers from watching it, nice soundtracks and effects that makes the series more attractive and fun, creative character attitudes and design that helps the story became more appealing. It has a nice package of entertainment that will vary to the taste of the viewer one after the other.
In the end it is worth while watching this but for me I just truly enjoyed only half of the total series or some picked arcs while the others is quite a filler just to be entertained until it meets its climax. read more
Aug 3, 2012
MINIMUM-SPOILER PLOT SYNOPSIS:
Ryugamine Mikado is a shy, laid back country kid, who dreams of a "different life", something less "ordinary". So when his best friend Masaomi Kida invites him to move to the big city, he accepts with no further delay. Once he arrives in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, where he is to be living and attending school, he begins learning of the secrets that this town has to offer, from the "colorless" color gang, to the "Black Rider", a motorcyclist who is rumored to have no head, and occasionally shows up riding a jet-black motorbike that makes no sound. His friend also introduces him to many people around town, amongst them an information broker with a penchant for creating pain and suffering, a "bartender" with a short fuse who likes throwing vending machines, and a group of four friends who are lead by the fearless Dotachin. Otakus included. Elsewhere in the city, people are going missing, a girl is having suicidal thoughts, a long separated couple seems to reunite, and a creature from celtic legends who happens to be a tsundere searches for her lost memories, not to mention head. Slowly, these paths start to converge, and secrets are unveiled. What will become of the mysterious place called Ikebukuro?
PLOT: My personal score: 7 General Score: 8
As you may have noticed, that synopsis sounded quite scattered. That's probably because the plot to the series itself is quite scattered, and a little hard to wrap your head around. However, don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing at all. Heck, my favorite anime is Higurashi, which is wayyyyy more scattered than this, so, yeah. Now, let me make one point quite clear, the story is separated into two parts, one part consists of the first half of the show, which is quite a bit more lighthearted, focuses on the side characters more, and exudes badassery on sooo many levels. The other half focuses more on the main three characters (or at least the two others that weren't really touched upon in the first half, and is quite a bit darker. Personally, I liked the first half quite a bit more, mainly because of the plot twists, the converging story lines, episode 7, the creepy twisted relationships of the Yagiri family, and the fact that just about every single thing about it kinda just made you want to go AWWWWWW SHIIITTT. The whole gang war factor is downplayed significantly in the first half, while most of the second half revolves around that, or at least psychological gang wars. As I said, the first half focuses much more on the side characters than the main three. Two out of the main three characters are barley touched upon in the first half, while the other of them shines near the end, and shine he does. Episode 1 focuses on Mikado and introduces most of the main cast, Episode 2 focuses on a girl who doesn't show up in the rest of the series, and introduces another supporting character, ie. not one of the main three, but still a main character, episodes 3-5 focuses on Mikado at school/Dotachin & co./Celty/Dysfunctional Yagiri family, episode 6 is Dotachin, episode 7 is Shizuo... so on and so on. As you can see, it's pretty spread out, and then the storylines all come together, and when they do, it's a big OHMYGAWDTHATWASSOFREEKINGAWESOME. The second half almost entirely focuses on Anri and Kida, and drives up the melodrama by quite a lot, considering there was none in the first half. I found that this was probably because they wanted to keep the same epic feeling, but seeing as most of the plots introduced in the first half had already connected and resolved, they had to create a different kind of suspense, so they left you with the mysterious Anri, which was actually kinda fun, and the dour Kida, who was actually kinda boring.They also precede to introduce characters that never really do anything, and unlike Simon, the big black russian sushi chef, are kinda boring and get no screentime. Honestly, if you don't mind the plot holes left at the start of the season, and want to be left with the epic feeling that it gives off, I would stop watching Durarara!! after episode 12, at least until a second season comes out or something seeing as the second half doesn't have much to offer plotwise. The badassery that was so prominent in the first season is almost not present at all, and the suspense for the most part is also gone, replaced by attempted melodrama/tragic pasts, that don't go over as well. Although, honestly, the second half is probably worth watching, unless you really don't care about undeveloped characters, and enjoyed the first season mainly for the badass plot, which, by the way, is NOT what you should mainly enjoy it for, but I'll get to that in a bit.
OVERALL PLOT COMMENTS:
I personally found the first half that much better than the second half, although there will always be people out there who disagree with me, and really, it's still good, so be sure to watch it. The first half is much more akin to it's predecessor, Baccano!, and focuses more on suspense and the overall "epic" feeling, whereas the second half feels a bit more like a not quite as good retelling of Code Geass in gangland. Some people disagree with me, and like the second half more. Also, to keep from getting you really lost, at the beginning of every episode, they sum up previous important details, amongst the myriad of details you have been feed, to keep from getting you overly confused. I gave the story an overall 7, would have been better, but I felt the second half dragged it down, but overall, other people liked the second half a bit better than I did (though still agree that it wasn't as good), so I gave the general story rating an 8. Surprisingly little amount of gang violence, for a story about gang violence.
ART: My personal score: 8 General Score: 8
While I personally don't care much for the visual art in anime, and it tends to not factor much into my enjoyment of the series, I am well aware that it does matter to some people, so I'll talk. The art in this show is nothing really special, the animators occasionally gets a little lazy, but really, I found that when the art needed to be there, it really delivered. The scenes with the black bike were often quite nice to look at, and the character designs for the show were also quite beautiful. The city in the background, being a central figure, is also a scene to admire. Oh yeah, and Shizuo's fight scenes, I approve. Most people tend to agree here. This was a short enough paragraph, I have no need for overall comments.
SOUND: My personal score: 8 General Score: 9
This is split into two parts, voice acting and soundtrack. The voice acting is nothing superb, although there were some characters that great voices, Mika and Izaya namely. Oh yeah, and for all you dubbed fans out there, I checked out the dub as well, and although I still think almost all dubs suck, save Ghibli movies, the quality of this dub was actually pretty good, relatively speaking. As for the soundtrack, the BGM was very, very, very repetitive; I swear they played the same song at the beginning of every. single. faqing. episode. However, it was still quite enjoyable. Quite a feat I think, when the show seems to have a 5 song playlist. As for the opening/endings, I am in LOVE with the first opening. I really like the way they summed important details, and integrated that INTO the theme song. That was pretty badass. I hated the other opening and both endings though. However, I'm sure many of you will feel the other way around, seeing as I have a different taste in music (I like indie rock, etc.) and hate most mainstream pop/rock, whether it be Japanese or English.
OVERALL SOUND COMMENTS:
The voice acting was okay, the BGM was quite nice, but repetitive, and I thought the first opening was awesome. Most people like the other openings/endings though. Look em up on youtube maybe.
CHARACTER: Personal Score: 10 General Score: 9
Now THIS is the reason you should be watching Durarara!! In the first episode, absolutely NOTHING happens plot wise, yet it is still quite engaging, and leaves you begging for more. Why? How? The characters. Almost every character in the series is likable, from the love/hate relationship you develop with Izaya, to the awe you feel in front of Shizuo, to how disgusted you are by the Yagiri family and their screwed up relationships, and yet how you feel strangely attracted to them at the same time. Hell, Seiji would of had his own badass moment if not for the fact that he was up against Shizuo. The headless Tsundere, the perverted underground doctor she lives with, the four musketeers, lead by the fearless Dotachin, with the Otakus and Car lover in tow, the big black russian sushi chef, they all make for great characters, whether or not they're actually important to the plot! The second episode focuses entirely on a character who makes no later appearances in the show, but is still kinda likeable, and we still suffer with her, even though she is only in one episode. Not to mention the main characters, Mikado, who shows us what badassery really means, Kida, who is a little hole of self regret, and Anri, who personally, I found was the character who was developed the best throughout the series. What the main characters are trying to say in Durarara!! , really, is that everyone has secrets, some of them might be terrible, but that shouldn't prevent their everyday lives, and everyday relationships. I found that Anri did this the best, Mikado did this pretty well, and Kida..... Oh Kida... I think we were supposed to feel bad for him sometime in the second half? I dunno. He worked as comic relief, not as tearjerker material. It might have worked if the story was written by Jun Maeda, but it wasn't, so oh well. The other characters more than made up for him. There were, however, some unfortunately introduced characters in the second half, who got close to no screen time, and were not important at all. One of those two characters was likable. Namely, Shinra's father. The cop was just dumb. And Shizuo's little brother was included in the second opening/ending, even though he got no screen time in the latter half of the show. Lord knows what they were thinking then.
OVERALL CHARACTER COMMENTS:
A huge cast of great characters overall, although some people find the random characters from the second half a little too detracting.
ENJOYMENT: Personal Score: 8 General Score: 7.5
I am going to throw this out there right away, but to enjoy this show, you have to "get" it. If you don't, you'll think it's stupid and pretentious. If you do, you'll relish in the character interactions, and the intertwining plot. Just try it out! At least watch the first half, and if you don't really like it, don't watch the rest. I can't really say much in this category, as I want you to form your own opinion about whether or not you think you'll enjoy the show. All I can say, is that I did! The first half of the plot was great, and the characters/character interactions throughout the entire series were great, from my opinion. Everyone was different aspects that they'll like/hate, but with this show, it doesn't hurt to give it a shot. I know some people who really hate it, and found it dumb, but just about everyone loves Shizuo, and Izaya too, although everyone agrees he deserves to die a horrible death. Also, an important note to take is that the ending doesn't offer much closure, and sets itself up for a second season, but nothing has been announced to this date, so be wary.
Suspense, Epic, Tragedy, Comedy, Slice-of-Life, even Romance at some points, this show tries to do it all. With a cast wide enough, it might be worth trying, but while it succeeds at some, it fails at others. This almost seems to be an experiment in storytelling. You go be a judge of that experiment; I would suggest watching this, but not going in with really high expectations, unless all that I have described sounds like your cup of tea.
THANKS FOR READING, HOPE IT HELPED.
(This was not proof read, as it was too long. It might seem rambily, I am sorry for that.)
Feb 24, 2010
The sheer amount of awesome in this show boggles the brain. The characters are the baddest of asses and every single one, bar none, is interesting and complex. One of my favorite character introductions is in the first episode: a vending machine rockets through the air and we're told, "dudes, that's Shizuo, stay the hell away from him." And I probably would, but Shizuo is awesome. As is every other character in this remarkable cast.
The creators, who are also responsible for "Baccano!" (as by now you've heard), play with time in a similar way in this series. We may revisit the same moment from the perspectives of several different characters, but we're never lost, and it's certainly never like "oh, this shit again, I didn't care the first time and I don't want to see it again." We know just enough to orient us, but we still haven't seen quite enough and are left yet with mysteries.
The soundtrack is great, subtle when necessary, and the intro song is both an appropriately energetic introduction to the show and an awesome song in its own right.
Also, and sometimes most impressively, the art doesn't get in the way of the anime. The character designs are at once interesting to look at and the perfect vehicle for the story.
Watch this show. read more