Although peace has finally returned to Ikebukuro, many of the odd occurrences have become common sights around the city. One such case is the police's constant pursuit of Celty Sturluson, the Headless Rider. Moreover, someone has placed a large bounty on her, igniting the motivation of gang members all over to begin searching for the supernatural creature as well. Meanwhile, Mikado Ryuugamine is approached by Aoba Kuronuma, a mysterious underclassman with unknown intentions, who reveals that he knows Mikado's true identity.
But Ikebukuro's state of tranquility is short-lived, as a new threat appears in the form of a murderer who goes by the pseudonym "Hollywood," known for wearing a different mask each time they commit a crime. As the various events taking place prove to be connected yet again, Ikebukuro is thrown into another conflict that threatens to engulf the entire city in chaos.
Since first being introduced in 2010, Durarara!! has managed to garner a sizable fanbase and cult following among anime fans. Due to its relative success, it has quickly become one of the more recognizable titles to those that have been a part of the community for a decent amount of time. Also, the bizarre name choice does nothing but help in that regard as well. With that accumulated success coupled with the name recognition, it should be a no-brainer that a sequel was bound to be in the works. Now enter Durarara!!x2 Shou, the follow-up story to its predecessor. A show full of quirky characters,
crazy hijinks..., and unfortunately the same noticeable problems that plagued the 1st season.
The most prominent aspect of DRRR is by far its method of storytelling. Instead of focusing on a linear narrative and plot that goes from point A to point B, it takes on the more unique "vantage point" kind of structure. A structure that's uncommonly used and rightfully so, as it's inherently more difficult to pull off without becoming muddled and taxing. This ability to not only capture but adequately present this method of storytelling is something that DRRR deserves credit for. Very few anime titles dare to tackle this approach, one other famous case being Baccano!, but we'll talk about that later.
The story, when boiled down to it, is about gang disputes in the city of Ikebukuro and all the people that are either directly or indirectly affected by it. Through the "vantage point" method mentioned, we see events slowly unfold from one of our many characters' point of view. At any given time, we as viewers are taken to a different 1st person point of view and see where they fall into the show's overarching story. Together, these collective of 1st person POVs help provide the platform for the main one to take form.
Sounds fun right? Well here's where the REAL problem begins. You see, this unique method of storytelling is possibly the show's greatest strength and weakness as well. Because we are always switching between characters to piece together any given story slowly, it can often result in a very dragged out narrative, of which plot progression feels non-existent for long periods of time. And because of the constant back and forth between what POV shot we're following, the personalities themselves are never given enough time to reveal any further dimension. This forces the creative team to resort to personality quirks in place of actual character focus. May that be the smart guy with a sinister motive, the airhead genius professor, the short-tempered bartender, the plethora of one-note baddies, and the list goes on and on. All of the characters just comes across as just that, "characters." None of them ever getting the chance to feel like flesh and blood because the material at hand has simply robbed them of the opportunity. It feels like you're watching the writers just doodle in any archetype that comes to mind and pushing them onto the set to some silly kids stage performance. And for a show that depends heavily on the characters and their interactions to sell its narrative, this becomes a huge letdown. In fact, the city of Ikebukuro itself has more personality than the characters living in it. Even if that was the intention, when the narrative restricts you to following one person at a time, a growing sense of disinterest easily festers.
Also back to the other topic at hand, the pacing, my God is it sluggish. A plot point that would typically be wrapped up in 1-3 episodes takes an ENTIRE season to unfold. Again this due to the unique storytelling since it takes a "beating around the bush" approach to everything. Every characters' perspective is needed to bring forth any kind of progression and given that 20+ characters are masquerading around the city at any given time, needless to say, it takes a lonnggg time before anything of great significance happens. This is made even worse by the excessive padding since scenes are stretched out longer than what's needed. Attempting a Tarantino-style narrative isn't the problem here, it's the show itself that's fumbling the formula.
Not much can be said about the art and animation; they're pretty standard fare by today's standards. However, the animation was very inconsistent at times. It shouldn't be anything to take away from your experience, but for anyone paying close attention, it could become a glaring issue. The characters designs, on the other hand, are quite unique. Each given a specific appearance to match their personality. Many of which are easily recognizable when compared to the attempts made by other series. It has a particular trademark style that sets it apart in that regard.
The soundtrack remains relativity the same as its prequel. It is another standout of DRRR, with music that ranges from various genres and samples. You can go from a booming jazz section to a soft piano ballad accompanied by a xylophone and flute. It gives everything a certain pizzazz; like the zaniness of the city itself captured in auditory form. Standout tracks being "The Sought-after Extraordinary," "Russian Bodyguard," "Stumbling Samba," just to name a few. It's a great stand-alone listen for those with time to spend.
And now it's time to address the obligatory comparison whenever this title is brought up: Durarara!!
In many ways, it can be said that if it wasn't for Baccano! Durarara!! wouldn't have seen the light of day. Seeing that both were animated by Brains Base, was created by the same person, and contain the same setup, from the gang feuds occurring in a big city to the intertwined storytelling, used to chronicle the tale. Almost everything you can find in Baccano you can easily find in Drrr, except for one thing; Baccano! was never dragged out to a snail pace. You see, that debate you may have or have not come across with people saying "Baccano! is better than DRRR" actually holds merit. Baccano did the same thing but never outstayed its welcome. It told an interesting story about immortals and gangs, got to the point, and ended, that's it, case closed. It's a prime example of a show that utilizes the same method of storytelling the right way. Now, if Drrr had followed suit and took the same "to the point" approach there wouldn't be an issue..., but here we are, 30+ episodes later.
Durarararrarararararararara isn't necessarily a bad series by any means, but whenever I view it, I find myself wondering what the point of it all is. Quirky characters doing quirky shit. The only saving grace is the intertwined storytelling, and even then, that aspect has its issues. It's too flimsily handled for a show dealing with gang feuds and spreads itself far too thin to leave any impact.
If we remove the kooky ever-changing storyline, what will be left is just another perpetual show no different from what's produced every year. With characters that lack dimension and a story that spreads itself too thin, DRRR definitely outstayed its welcome.
It’s been a long damn time. 5 years. That’s over 1800 days since the first season of Durarara. When the second season was announced, I was both ecstatic and surprised. Regardless though, this would of happened someday as the light novel has much to cover. I also have to admit that getting back into the series isn’t so easy. There are a lot of characters in this world where anything is possible. It was also announced that the Durarara sequel will be divided into 3 split cours. This review covers the first of those 3 cours. The second cour (Durarara!! X2 Ten) begins in Summer
while the final cour titled Durarara!! X2 Ketsu is to air in the beginning of 2016.
For a bit of recap, the series takes place in Ikebukuro where many abnormal events takes place in this seemingly normal city. The way Durarara!! X2 Shou operates involves many characters and events together that are intertwined. As such, expect the narrative and perspective of the season to follow their stories. The first few episodes reintroduces you the feel of Durarara again with the wild fun of the show. This cour covers several arcs that details various events that is immaculately engineered.
The first few episodes already sets up an arc for a wild frenzy taste when the audience is introduced to mysterious murders. Dubbed the ‘Hollywood murders’, the season involves a variety of characters you may already be familiar with. Infamous headless hunter Celty returns as well in a cat-and-mouse game thanks to the Yadogiri Shinning Corporation. Then, there’s also Mikado, Izaya, Shizuo, Anri, Shrina, Aoba, and most of the others returning to reprise their roles. For the Hollywood Murders arc, the series dubs it more about plot transition rather than background enforcement. We don’t find out too much about the culprit’s background but we do learn about their motives. Unfortunately, the first arc feels rushed. What is refreshing though is that it introduces some forgotten characters such as the Orihara sisters. Honestly, a show like this is packaged with characters. And from that package, there’s all sorts of personalities. I guess the Orihara sisters would fit a bit into the bizarre type because of their relationship. In fact, the show offers a lot of relationships. It’s about connection and building up events that relates one another. If there’s one thing that Durarara dynamically shines, it’s the chemistry. Almost every character relationship in the series has its moments. It tempers with feelings and emotions to bring out the best of each other with relationships.
As the series goes on, we learn more about some of the new faces introduced in this show. Having an established cast is important but also introducing fresh new ones can also be refreshing. One such character named Rokujo Chikage brings in his gentlemanly charm into this season with his ladies’ man personality. His involvement in one of the arcs becomes intriguing as we see different sides of him; especially when women are involved. Then, there’s also a cute girl named Akane that gets introduced this season. Rather, there’s actually an entire arc that focuses on her that all started because of the manipulative schemes of Izaya from the backgrounds. It’s a misunderstanding that turns into a frenzy as Akane seems to want to hunt down a certain someone that Izaya dubbed as a dangerous man. (oh the irony) But besides that, the arc also focuses some interesting points involving gang wars and a potential new rival for Celty. Rather, I could label her more as an assassin when we see how reckless this woman named Vorona really is. Interestingly enough, the show dedicates time to focus on her background including her lonely childhood. There’s also a certain similarity and contrast between her and another character from Ryogo Narita’s other work, Baccano that stands here.
Mikado, the primary protagonist from the previous and current season also gets quite a decent amount of spotlight. A show like Durarara never neglects his face especially with his responsibilities being in part of Dollars. The story gets more complex as Mikado realizes the complications he gets himself in with others that challenges Dollars. It escalates to a climax when gangs becomes involved in a war that pits each other. It’s time like this when Durarara really spices up the fun while effectively getting to its plot’s climatic point. By pitting certain prominent figures in a rivalry between gangs, you get an entertaining revolution. That’s what really makes Durarara enjoyable to watch as you anticipate what may happen next. Plot twists, difficult decisions, and concrete story transitions. You get the picture. It’s almost addictive to think about it….
As addictive the show can be for anticipating events, it’s also quite relaxing when it takes time for a breather. I don’t mean the Dollars chat room though because there’s all sort of chatter there. But for a talky show like Durarara, there’s a good degree of comedic moments that all happens over the course of this season. From Shizuo’s priceless reactions to Shrina and Celty’s relationship, Durarara knows what it needs to craft comedy. This can also be emphasized in conversational format with characters like Izaya. If you remember how manipulative he was during season 1, then you’ll definitely want to get the full scoop on what he’s up to this season. It’s not only the comedy that brings in entertainment though because action also takes place. Whether it’s the gang battles or the Shizuo’s fierceness, this season never forgets to show the potential of our characters. All that aside, it takes a lot of focus to understand everything especially with the characters. Almost every episode of this season is busy with events going on. Getting lost will end up no good and this is something that can be frustrating at times.
I have to admit though, the art and visuals suffers a bit with this season. Apparently, a new studio called ‘Shuka’ is in charge with producing this sequel. Durarara!! X2 Shou is apparently their first work and it doesn’t make an impression in the first half. Some particular episodes are off balance with the coordination of the visual quality while other frames are lazy. Luckily, the second half does get better with smoother backgrounds and in general, better quality with its artwork. Character designs remains generally the same with our returning cast. New characters such as Vorona and Rokujo brings style to the show with their looks. And while the series isn’t entirely dedicated to action scenes, it does make it noticeable during some of the gang battles. Celty’s infamous “Shooter” also makes its appearance decorated with peculiarity.
From a technical perspective, soundtrack is performed on a strong standard. The OP and ED songs for this season not only has style but retains its upbeat. There’s also a very distinctive range of character voice mannerism that all makes a good impression. The OST also is fluid that flows well responding appropriately depending on the scenario. I expected nothing less when it comes to soundtrack with this season.
12 episodes. That’s how many it takes to cover the first cour. And although some arcs does feel a bit rushed, it’s highly entertaining. The seductive cast of characters will enthrall you to learn more about them for this season; whether they are new or old. The comedy is genuine with well-timed dialogues and reactive scenes. As a show that connects characters and stories together, Durarara!! X2 Shou is a solid example that knows understands such a mission. This is the 1/3 of Durarara’s sequel project that celebrates the franchise’s 10th anniversary. And I have to say, it’s off to a pretty damn good start.
After 5 years, Durarara finally graces our screens again. The results are hit and miss.
The first of three scheduled Durarara series, x2 Shou is divided into two arcs. The first of them is a simple 4-episode story pieced together from multiple perspectives. The story itself isn't all that impressive, but it is improved by its use of multiple perspectives. However, the real point of this arc is to introduce the new characters, and because of the arc's laid-back nature it's extremely fun to just watch the characters intersect and interact.
Durarara's most noteworthy feature has always been its huge cast of memorable characters, and x2 Shou
follows suit by introducing a lot more. With the entire first arc dedicated to this, some excellent standouts emerge, most notably Mairu and Kururi Orihara, Izaya's younger twin sisters, who steal the show for their entire duration onscreen. However, while some of the new characters are excellent, the sheer excess of them is Durarara x2 Shou's biggest problem.
Once the second arc gets into full swing, we're treated to a plot built around remnant factions of the Blue Squares, a new gang called Torumaru, multiple corporations, several Yakuza factions with links to said corporations, a serial killer, a pair of Russian assassins, and a young girl with a tazer, along with all the previously established Dollars from the previous season. This arc lasts 8 episodes - there are as many groups of characters involved as there are episodes in this story arc. Durarara has always utilized this kind of chaotic clusterfuck well, but in this instance it bit off more than it could chew.
Because of that, it can be a struggle at times to remember which characters are involved with which other characters, and why. It also results in a very unfocused story. There are several smaller stories that all tie into the bigger picture, but the most important part of the story revolves around a small faction of the Blue Squares emerging within another gang and trying to take it over from within, and them inciting an all-out war with another gang, while their leader tries to stop it, and realizes that the gang's own structure has worked against him, creating a situation where he is powerless to control his own creation. This entire situation is deliberately set off by a manipulative genius to serve his own ends. If that sounds familiar to you, it's because that's exactly what the last arc of Durarara's first season was about.
I always considered the Yellow Scarves arc of Durarara season 1 to be its weakest, so a rehash of that arc, in theory, should have been a bad idea. However, the Torumaru arc has proven itself to be a big improvement, despite sharing the same structure. This time around, it revolves around a better set of characters (despite an unfortunate lack of Izaya), and has replaced teenage angst and irritating misunderstandings with crazy Russian assassins and HILARIOUS misunderstandings. However, it does still feel a bit redundant.
The ending, however, single-handedly justifies the entire season. The final episode begins with several minutes of Shizuo at his best. It then follows it up with three shocking and dramatic twists that promise great things for the upcoming season. While I won't go into too much detail on said twists for spoiler reasons, the best of the three makes use of everything that has happened to Mikado in the last eight episodes, and results in his characterization finally taking a brilliant new direction.
All three twists leave the series ending on a fantastic cliffhanger, which I think says it all about this season: it's transitionary. Its main purpose is to introduce new elements to build onto the first season, and prepare them for the excellent third season it promises.
(EDIT: The third season was most definitely not excellent.)
As such, we're just lucky that three new installments have all been confirmed, as x2 Shou would have been a bit of a waste otherwise. This series has been on a very low budget - the first series occasionally had some awkward or cheap animation, but it was only sporadic. x2 Shou has constant off-model shots and horribly animated fight scenes, along with a case of Noodle People the like of which is rarely seen outside of Clamp series. Hopefully, the BD sales from this season will result in an increased budget for x2 Ten and x2 Ketsu.
Final Words: Even on a bad day, Durarara is still a very entertaining show, and this holds great promise for subsequent seasons.
(This has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
When I was a teenager, one of the things I got to do through the good graces of my education was “shadow” a doctor at a local hospital. “Shadowing” derives its name from the act of following someone around everywhere, like a shadow, looking on as he or she does what needs doing for learning purposes. In this case, it was a series of medical professionals in the emergency center. There, I got to see quite a few things: a broken baby’s arm, a cranial injury, and other sick patients. But the most important experience I
had from all this? I discovered what I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t fit to be someone in the field of medicine, because it wasn’t “for” me. In other words, I didn’t belong in this area, and finding this out as early as I did is something I always look back fondly on. Durarara!!x2 Shou plays with the idea of “finding where you belong,” with a small twist, presenting the audience with an alright offering and nothing more.
Shou takes place sometime after the events of the first season of Durarara. Ryuugamine and Sonohara are in school, Celty runs errands, and Ikebukuro continues to be the bustling city it’s always been. With murders, kidnappings, and turf wars abound this time around, the inhabitants of the town proceed through life aiming for smiles, not frowns.
Shou finds itself in a rather awkward position. It’s a “split-cour” anime – a show whose season is essentially split into two. But it’s worse than this, because it’s technically a “split-split-cour.” The show’s content is divided into three separate pieces, meaning that this segment of the anime isn’t even the “set-up” for the conclusion. Shou is the set-up for the set-up for the conclusion. And it shows. Much of what goes on within the anime is entirely inconsequential for now. Nothing appears to hold any significance to anyone whatsoever, despite the anime focusing on three separate story arcs. The first with the actress, the second with the Russian blonde, and the third with the young daughter of a mafia boss; the only sense of purpose they provide is giving us a bunch of new characters to see or follow. The actual importance of these plot lines is lacking, but the anime, per usual, injects new people into the already busy city with ease.
This development is both a boon and a detriment, though. On the one hand, these newer characters provide us the opportunity to witness what conflicts or issues they bring to the table that is Ikebukuro. On the other hand, due to the already massive size of the cast, it runs into an inherent problem: too many people for its own good. There are a lot of characters within Shou at this point (with even a brand new character being introduced literally right at the conclusion of the season). So adding more to the already extensive list forces the anime to divvy up its resources as best it can while leaving many known characters on the wayside. Main members Shinra and Sonohara, side members Namie and Emilia, and even the new recruits “Hollywood” and the Orihara twins are allowed less than a handful of opportunities to shine. They might have one small part or stretch of dialogue, but because the anime decided to put its attention towards other venues – Vorona, Akane, and Ryuugamine, specifically – this inevitably led to a disproportionate amount of focus for many of the characters.
While Shou has a tough time juggling the people it is dealing with, it does present a rather nice thematic presence. This was brought up in the introduction, the idea of “finding where you belong.” But as was said there as well, there’s a slight twist: it’s not so much finding where you belong, but figuring out if you even want to be there in the first place. Ikebukuro is a city full of crazies, with each (known) resident having his or her own distinct personality. So what we see from “Hollywood,” Vorona, and Akane, the newcomers, is this very ideal. They don’t have a place to call their own. Whether that is because of their homicidal tendencies, their unending quest for the unknown, or the “betrayal” of their family, each finds herself in a rough spot, wondering if the city they now find themselves in will “accept” them for who they are. Ryuugamine goes through this same thought process; in fact, he’s the only one to second guess his position. Because in his reality, he’s the most “normal,” with this season showcasing his franticness, passiveness, and anxiety of being left behind in the place that he thought he knew as home. By the finale, it’s not fully known whether the decision he made was right or wrong. But at the minimum, Ryuugamine and the other girls did find their answer: Ikebukuro is the place for them.
It’s difficult to describe the art for Shou, simply because of how boring it all comes off as being. It all blends together in its blues and greens, with the same skyscrapers, cafés, and restaurants marking it as any other busy town of the era. The regular residents, too, take on a persona devoid of detail or life, adding further to the art’s established stagnation. This all sounds pretty bad, until you realize that it’s supposed to be this way. While the locales often mesh together into sameness, they aren’t missing intricacy. Meaning, the backgrounds are detailed yet come off as “unappealing” to accentuate the ridiculous cast that traverse them. It’s simple, clever, and it works.
Given the eccentric nature of the characters, their outward designs likewise match their inner selves. Veterans such as Celty with her yellow motorcycle helmet and jet-black, “leather” outfit and Shizuo’s tuxedo, ruffled hair, and purple shades make their return and are as nicely composed as always. The new additions see the same treatment; Rokujou’s fedora, fashion-sense, and constant bandages highlight him as the womanizer yet protector that he is. And Vorona’s orange-and-white tracksuit, light, long hair, and purple eyes make her stand out just enough among the rest of the cast without being overbearing.
Actual animation is somewhere slightly above average. Surprisingly, there is a lot of action despite the show having a large amount of talking or side conversations. From a “friendly” brawl to a horse-drawn carriage, the events that take place, like the characters that act them out, are often unorthodox in nature and therefore present the anime ample chances to strut its stuff movement-wise.
Due to Shou’s already-discussed segmentation when it comes to the overall material it presents, much of what occurs with the characters isn’t development. Instead, it’s either reconfirmation of the characterization they were already given – this is mainly targeted towards the original cast – or it is important background information – perhaps obviously, for the newfound characters. So while they don’t undergo anything life changing, they do hold pretty intriguing parallels that make them more than just the weirdness they each portray.
Akane is a seemingly shy little girl who has a loving family and wonderful friends. But thanks to the advent of the Internet and smart phones – and being like any other curious ten-or-so year old – she easily researches that her family isn’t just well-off; they’re feared because of the gang-like connections they maintain. Subsequently, Akane realizes that her friends are artificial, that they only praise or follow her to keep their own families safe from harm from Akane’s. Thus, with a family who lied and friends who weren’t true, Akane runs away, confiding in the dastardly Izaya. At this point, her trust issues are all over the place: she wants family and friends around her, but to her, everyone is “out to get her.” Meaning, when Izaya gives her a rather enticing proposition, she takes it. But her target couldn’t be more impossible to eliminate; not only is it Shizuo, but she’s literally just a kid. The two couldn’t be further apart…at least, at first glance. In essence, Shizuo mirrors Akane in many ways. Where Akane seeks to have others be there for her (again, she is a child) Shizuo pushes everyone else away every chance he gets. Akane received help from Shizuo’s rival – something that Shizuo would never do. One is physically strong but mentally weak while the other is physically weak but mentally strong. And above all, they each have the same stalwart conviction to do whatever it takes to get what they want. “Opposites attract,” and it couldn’t be more on point for this strange duo.
In an eerily relatable situation herself, Vorona is a Russian assassin given various tasks to undertake. But growing up, she was less active and brainier. This was caused by her father’s estrangement due to his mafia-based position. With her father away and nobody else around, she turned to books, obtaining all kinds of obscure facts, minute knowledge, and completely out-there tidbits of information. Burrowing herself in the pages of the novels, encyclopedias, and poems she read had two side-effects: a lifeless personality and a thirst for more. The former is simple enough to understand; there might be books on the psyche we have or the feelings we get, but learning to express or control said emotions is something no amount of words can properly teach. The latter is somewhat counterintuitive. While she may not look it, she knows more or less everything there is to know. So to her, her greatest pleasure is discovering that which is not known to her. And Ikebukuro is the place where she can investigate such outliers. But she can’t do it alone. When she isn’t killing others or being unintentionally impersonal, the only person she can rely on is Sloan. He does whatever she asks of him (usually driving the get-away vehicle), but he also does something a bit more sincere. And that’s simply asking her about whatever is contained in that noggin of hers. It’s a tiny gesture, but it means a lot; having so much “useless” knowledge stored away, who wouldn’t want to share that with somebody else? It’s for these reasons – always being there for her and actually getting who she is – that makes them the “partners in crime” that they’ve become.
Looking at both Akane and Vorona, there is a theme that the anime works with. It’s not the loneliness or yakuza-esque settings, but the pairing that each creates. These two girls rely on someone else to help them because, as was brought up earlier, they are attempting to see if Ikebukuro is the place for them. The same applies to “Hollywood.” She leans on Kasuka fully to get her through her mental instability. In other words, the complement to the one requiring aide gives it. Other pairings can be found – Kadota and Rokujou, Celty and Shinra, and the Orihara twins, to name a few – but the most intriguing once again falls on Ryuugamine. He, too, is trying with all his might to figure out what to do. His pairing, though, isn’t Sonohara or Izaya, but rather Aoba. Ryuugamine’s coupling is special for a fascinating reason: his pairing is wrong. The audience is fully aware that Masaomi, his best friend, is the “match made in heaven.” But with Masaomi gone, he is forced to work with the oddball influencer, getting himself caught up in something he thought he was done with. While Masaomi may come to save the day eventually, for now, Ryuugamine’s pairing serves as a reminder that sometimes, particular pairings not only don’t work but can cause more harm than wanted.
The opening theme is rough, but in a good way. The singer is coarse, the guitar is jamming, and the beat is contrarily slow when compared to the goings-on of the city it predates. It’s an okay piece that, if nothing else, does its job of getting the viewer ready for what’s about to go down. The ending theme, however, is pretty good. It’s somewhat unintelligible due to the reverb effects, but its fast pace and catchy beat make it a fun piece all-around that’s just as wacky as everything else Shou brings forth.
The soundtrack is only notable for the screeching brass instrument that plays during tense moments and the dainty, off-kilter flute that, strangely, both does and doesn’t fit. Outside of other, mysterious mood-setters, many of the tracks only work to set the tone and nothing more.
Voice acting is about average in overall performances. Special shout-outs are deserved for Hiroshi Kamiya as Izaya for his cocky portrayal and Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Ryuugamine for his broken-voiced way of speaking.
I was not a fan of this iteration. Maybe it’s because of how downright annoying I find Izaya to be, how lame of a narrative arc Masaomi and Saki have, or how bored I found myself being with whatever it was trying to present. The disjointed storytelling is cool but nothing worthwhile, the cast isn’t relatable, and nothing really dramatic or comedic comes to fruition. It was a slow burn, from start to finish, with the flame never providing enough light to guide me down the path of entertainment.
Durarara!!x2 Shou has a forgettable plot, a passing grade in its music, and very little in the form of happiness. However, its interesting characters and solid themes provide it with a platform that isn’t entirely brittle. Hopefully the continuations do more, for there is certainly room for improvement.
Story: Fine, currently meaningless plot developments, the new characters are properly introduced but induce overabundance, and the theme of finding one’s place is explored nicely
Animation: Good, purposeful yet boring art style, nice character designs, slightly above average actual animation
Characters: Good, zero development, but new characters such as Akane, Vorona, and “Hollywood” work in tandem with Ryuugamine and others to exemplify the idea of pairings
Sound: Fine, okay OP, good ED, moody soundtrack, average VA work
Enjoyment: Bad, Izaya is beyond annoying, the characters are not relatable, and only very minor instances of fun were had
This year saw plenty of adaptations of old manga as well as sequels to series which we've been crying out for. Let's review which anime climbed their way out of the ranks to become the twenty highest-rated shows of 2015!