Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Durarara!! (Season One)

Baccanochanged the way I saw anime in a way. Non-linear narrative is probably one of the most difficult things to pull off, but it can be a real game-changer if it is done right. Baccano! was definitely done right and it is incredibly impressive. It makes me want to read the light novel series. It's epic and amazing and the kind of thing that only should happen once or else the world might explode from too much awesome.

Durarara!! is a light novel series written by the same guy and the anime created from it is equally or perhaps even more impressive than its spiritual predecessor. Non-linear narrative done right by the same guy twice. It's shocking. 

Things can definitely seem a little confusing or slow at the start of this particular anime. Unlike the 16 episodes Baccano! had to work with Durarara!! gets a little more breathing room with a whopping 25 episodes. Things aren't quite as out of order this time around, but it will definitely pay to pay attention. Take notes if ya gotta.

It's definitely safe to say that if you enjoyed one you'll more than likely enjoy the other and if you disliked one you'll probably dislike the other. 

Ikebukuro is a real interesting town populated by some interesting characters. You get introduced to pretty much all of them in the opening credits and there are definitely a lot of them. The plot is a rather widespread one and there are plenty of subplots that eventually tie together, but sometimes it can seem like things are just randomly being thrown around. Literally. A character will pick up a street sign or a truck and throw it at somebody. What's the point of it all?

Well, you gotta watch for the details, but I'll give you a starting point.

There is a headless bike rider in Ikebukuro. Her name is Celty Sturluson and she is a dullahan. She has traveled from Ireland to Japan in search of her missing head.

There is a student named Ryuugamine Mikado and he has just recently moved to Ikebukuro, where he is reunited with his friend Kida Masaomi. Both boys seem like normal school kids, but Masaomi is definitely the more street-savvy of the two and he tells Mikado all of the characters to be on the lookout for:

Heiwajima Shizuo is a guy that gets pissed off and throws things no human being can possibly throw. He once punched a guy in the face so hard the guy's clothes flew off from the force as he flew through the air.

Orihara Izaya often gets stuff thrown at him by Shizuo because Izaya loves to cause chaos and Shizuo doesn't like people like that. If something is wrong in town Izaya probably has a hand in it.

Simon Brezhnev is a black Russian dude that sells sushi, but he has the ability to hold his own against Shizuo or anyone else.

There is also a gang called the Dollars that might or might not be terrorizing the town, but there is definitely a killer known as "Slasher" terrorizing the town.

What's the impression here? Don't go outside after dark or alone without a lot of strong friends. Don't trust anyone, either.

This anime really is amazing, but I enjoyed how it managed to incorporate much of the same elements that made Baccano! so good without actually becoming a carbon copy. There's the usual gangster type of stuff and the non-linear hijinks, but the supernatural elements this time around is a bit more interesting. Not that immortal gangsters fighting over an immortality elixir isn't a cool idea, but I've always wanted to see a bike-riding dullahan in an anime.

I'm sure that probably makes me that only one in that category, but that's what I get for keeping a strong imagination. Score one for me.

Celty is an amazing character, too. Despite not having a head she is incredibly charming. She is, dare I say it, the very definition of moe. I would marry her.

This particular anime came out in 2010 and it is just now having a second season. So if you watch it for the first time now you won't have to be one of those unlucky souls that had to wait five years for a sequel.

I highly recommend this anime and you can stream it right now on Crunchyroll. What are you waiting for?

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