Celty Sturluson is tasked to deliver a suspicious red handbag as part of her courier duties—the problem is: it is being sought by several organizations. As she makes her way through Ikebukuro toward the place the bag is supposed to be brought to, she is chased by mysterious men speaking a foreign language, and her package ends up dragging many of the city's residents into the conflict.
Subsequently, famous actor Yuuhei Hanejima has just arrived in Ikebukuro as part of a special TV program, searching for the best couple to give them a chance to appear in one of his movies. However, Yuuhei Hanejima is actually a stage name for Kasuka Heiwajima, Shizuo's younger brother, and when an anonymous internet user threatens to kill the superstar, this user learns the weight of what that relationship means. Moreover, Shizuo discovers that the one responsible for the attempted attack is the meddlesome pest that he loathes with a burning passion.
The two "special" episodes, 12.5 and 25, are, apparently, DVD extras that weren't aired during the regular season of Durarara!! They are good add-ons to the story and primarily focus on Shizuo.
As such, they don't affect the main plot of the first season, or its ending. Episode 25, however, does set up for a second season, which will be necessary to settle the unanswered questions we have been left with. First is, of course, Celty's head. Just what is Izaya going to do with it? Well, we know the answer to that, actually. If you paid attention whilst watching, you would know as well.
This isn't really a spoiler, and he even says it in episode 25 - he's leaving. Previously he said he'd take Celty's head to a war-torn area to see if that would wake it up or not. Obviously, this is what he's going to do. Most likely, this is at least part of what the 2nd season of Durarara!! will be about. Another important plot point is (and will be in the 2nd season) the relationship between Ryuugamine Mikado and Anri Sonohara. And Kida's coming back with Saki. also, what the heck is Shinra's father going to do?
In conclusion, it was nice to expand on the characters, particularly Shizuo, in the specials. Story = 7
Art - the design and animation are the same as the regular season. Shizuo's berserk fighting is animated extremely well. The music is also the same. These were superb to begin with, therefore I rate Art = 9 and Sound = 8
Character development, particularly Shizuo, I rate a 9
Enjoyment factor I rate 8, mostly because I knew that 12.5 wouldn't add or take away from the plot, and 25 is primarily to set up for season 2.
Overall, I rate the specials at 8, they're definitely worth watching!!
Crazy, how a couple of extra episodes can really change your perceptions on said series. Episodes 12.5 and 25 were EXCELLENT. Specials are what specials are; don't come in expecting perfection and excellence in every millisecond. However, these specials did manage to satisfy my feelings over the original anime and even notched up my enjoyment that much more.
This time, the story was consistant and enjoyable. It wasn't overdone, nor too slow and boring. 12.5 was merely a comedic episode, a way to diffuse the tension from the original series, told from an interesting point of view. As usual, the story isn't told from the typical
perspective of a main character, but from a side character, making a charming little side-story that helped lighten the mood. The overall way it was done solidified my enjoyment. Episode 25 was only just a little more serious. Though it really didn't tie up any loose ends or further the plot, but instead was once again, a comedic relief in the grand city of Ikebukuro. There was a humorous twist throughout the whole thing, but plenty of action and some romantic aspects as well. Episode 25 left a better taste in my mouth than the official ending of Durarara! did, so expect good things.
The art and sound I'll clump together, because as usual, the art was stellar and the sound spectacular. The characters' facial expressions were perfect, every sinew and fiber drawn into exact detail. OP and ED aside, the music again was great. I love the way the music is subtle yet prevalent, always riding on the coattails of the current storyline.
Overall, these were very well-done pieces of art-work. I heavily enjoyed these specials, more so than the actual series. It provided a relief from the bleak world of Durarara and instead focused on each character and their personal interactions with others around them. This made for an ideal deviation from the main storyline and more towards personal viewpoints and struggles. Great way to end an anime.
Since these are special episodes, they have little to do with the plot, but they are fun nonetheless. They have inside jokes about the characters, and fun little misadventures in each. All in all, I thought these specials were quite entertaining in their own way. The final episode was the most entertaining to me, since it had all the characters involved.
These episodes left me wanting more, so I am hoping they decide to continue to a second season, however, there is also the likelihood that there will not be a second season. My best guess is that they want watchers to in tern read the
actual books/comics to find out what else goes down in Ikebukuro. But don't fret, the books have much more detail and you see a lot more of each character, so you'll surely enjoy it, if that's the case.
The special episodes of Durarara!! did not contribute to the main plot whatsoever, but was able to portray the characters and their interactions in ways that were typical of them. Since the specials weren't a part of the main storyline, it made sense that a few new side characters were introduced for the two episodes exclusively. I also found there to be more light-hearted humor in the specials than in the anime. Overall, the Durarara!! specials have the majority of the qualities that make the anime superb and I would suggest it to anyone who has watched the Durarara!! series.