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Neverending New Beginnings: Final thoughts on "Durarara!!"

2 Jul 2010


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高橋栄佳

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Final thoughts on "Durarara!!"

Scenes like this seems to be lacking in later episodes.
Durarara was a 23 episode series that was part of the Winter 2010 anime lineup.

Here's a brief background on what this anime is about:
It started as the main character. Ryuugamine Mikado, arrives into the urban Ikebukuro from a rural town to enroll into a high school there with a recommendation from a childhood friend of his, Kida Masaomi (because the latter was lonely). Mikado wanted to be in the city as he sees the urban area as where one would have new adventures there, and that he has never left his hometown his whole life prior to that. At the school, after some commotion caused by missing classmates (Harima Mika, Yagiri Seiji), they met Sunohara Anri.

This series has two main arcs that are based on the light novel series. The first half is about Celty's head and how crazy the Yagiri siblings are over it. The rest of Celty's body is searching for the head, but to some frustrations. gave up. The second half are about the gangs mentioned in the first episode that reside within Ikebukuro, the slasher, and the secret behind the 3 main characters that they hide from each other.

That aside, how the anime is expressed seemed as though they are following a template they have to stick to and not make any variation to it. The same seems to apply to an another anime by the same novel author (Baccano!), which might explain the cameo appearance somewhere in episode 12 that leave audience who have never watched that wondering what's with the focus on them. (Some say that they would be involved in a latter Durarara arc not currently covered by the anime)

Smoking?!
On top of that, too many characters are introduced on top of the secondary characters, resulting in a one-character-per-episode like thing that resulted in backtracking of events and timelines already covered in earlier episodes (but in different perspective), which resulted in very little character development and resulted in the main characters (Mikado, Masaomi,  Anri) almost the same time as the secondary characters (Shinra, Celty, Simon, etc.), reducing yheir importance. Characters with very little appearance like Tom Tanaka, Shizuo's younger brother, and the police that haunts Celty since episode 13, strangely appear in the second opening like they would appear as important characters later on when this second opening first appeared in episode 13. It also seems that none of the episodes are OP/ED-less that, in other anime, suggests an important or serious episode. Even the last few minutes and ending theme of the last episode seemed so cliched and boring with jazz music and fast forwarding from the first to last. If you have seen anime like Code Geass (Autumn 2006, Summer 2008)  Sola (Spring 2007), True Tears (Winter 2008) or, more recently, Angel Beats (Spring 2010), you would know what I'm talking about.

Overall, this anime is worth watching with good storyline and character design, but the second half seemed poorly expressed than the first. In fact, my impression of this anime remained good until about 3/4 through where it became apparent that things have to be rushed or left out.

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