Quick & Dirty
Initial Interest: Low-Medium
Favorite Character: Kida
Ryuugamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn’t want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called “Dollars.” Nervous from Masaomi’s stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Turbans will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point.
My feelings going into this are really up in the air. I really don’t think the synopsis of this anime sounds particularly interesting. The thing is, every time I see a screencap or artwork from this series it catches my attention. I’ve checked the source for a lot of pictures only to find Durarara as the series. Also it seems at least marginally popular and I’ve gotten into a habbit of checking out popular series lately, though usually to my disappointment. I was going to do this last week but since no one had made a request I wasn’t obligated and couldn’t muster the drive to do so. This week I’m determined so here goes.
I really liked Kida pretty much from the moment he came onscreen. Apparently I enjoy his lame sense of humor because I was cracking up when he offered Mikado the three options as to who he might be (“One: Masamomi Kida, Two: Masaomi Kida, or Three: Masaomi Kida”). There’s just something awesome about his energy whenever he’s onscreen.
This series is a sucker punch. I read the synopsis and Kaze read the synopsis and both of us thought it didn’t sound interesting at all really. And then I watched the first episode and he caught the last half of it and we both sat up and paid attention.
What they did well: The opening theme, if you didn’t click the link and watch it, is amazing. It sets the mood of the series from the first second. I especially love how they built in a space in the theme where they insert the tedious ‘last time on’ recap smoothly so that it’s not this obnoxious period of boredom. Really, I feel Durarara has mastered the art of the recap. So far just about every episode has sort of recapped bits of other episodes without making it feel like worthless recap. Somewhere towards the end of episode two I realized I was watching episode one from another angle. It’s brilliantly done. Durarara also manages to blend the serious with the ridiculous in a seamless fashion; I’d like to give a better explanation of how they do it, but it defies words.
What they didn’t do well: I kind of understand why the opening theme takes the time to tell you everyone’s names, there are a bunch of characters and I’m only kind of grasping some of their names. I’ve got Kida, Mikado, Sonohara, and Selty, everyone else I had to look up. It also really annoys me that they gave Selty a voice. Selty is a Dullahan (apparently a Celtic fairy with no head), she has no mouth with which to speak and she doesn’t speak. Whenever we hear her voice she is texting, either on her phone or the computer. So why did they feel the need to put a voice there? She’s not really talking and it sort of takes away from the character presented.
Personal Prediction: The girl with the scars around her neck is Selty’s head.
Try it. Just try it. If you don’t like it then you don’t but it’s worth a shot. It may very well surprise you, it sure surprised me.
Next Official Review: Suggestions?