Hey!! We are already half way done with this week already. I’m really surprised to see how fast it has flown by. Here we are at Day 6 of Anniversary Review Week!! I remember when I picked the anime that I wanted to review, I decided to pick shows that were already complete. Then I realized that I picked this show….and it isn’t over yet. Whoops! Nevertheless I choose to review it anyway. Because it is one of my favorite anime and I feel like there are some people out there who have never heard of it before. (I say that because a lot of my anime watching friends have never really heard of it before.)
Anyway, here I am with my 16th Anime Review and Day 6 of Anniversary Review Week!! My friends we are going to Ikebukuro in: Durarara!!
Durarara!! aired its first season in January of 2010 and ended in June f 2010. The series had 26 episodes before it ended. A second season (Durarara!! x2) premiered in January of 2015 and has will be broken up into three parts and will end with a total of 36 episodes. As a note, this review will center around the first season of the anime. I plan on releasing a review of the second season as soon as it finishes airing.
The plot of Durarara!! centers around Mikado Ryugamine who has moved to Ikebukuro in hopes of living an exciting life, encouraged by his childhood friend Masaomi Kida who moved there years earlier. Mikado enrolls in Raira Academy in hopes of living this “exciting life”. While touring the city with Masaomi, Mikado sees the urban legend called the “Black Rider” who rides around the city on a black motorcycles and it is believed that under the helmet the rider has no head. Our story then follows many different characters as they view the same situations, and how they react to them. It also centers on this mysterious gang known as “The Dollars” that we gradually learn more about as the story goes on. We gradually learn that Ikebukuro is not your regular city. There is a lot more to it.
Our main character, Mikado, is one of the most interesting male leads that I have seen in a long time. He starts of with you believing that he is nothing more than a country bumpkin, but as the story progresses we learn that there is a lot more to Mikado. He’s shy and quiet but he is not dumb. Underneath that shy exterior is a brilliant young man who can change everything in a second. Like I said, we learn a lot about who Mikado is as a person as the story progresses. I do not want to spoil the second season but let me just say that we are still learning a lot about Mikado. I do love his character though, and he does hold a place as one of my favorite anime characters ever.
Masomi Kida, Mikado’s childhood friend, is also someone who is not quite what he appears to be. He loves to pick up girls, but it hardly ever works on them. Deep down though, Masaomi has a lot that he keeps to himself. He also knows a lot about Ikebukuro and the people who call it home. There are a lot of people that he knows and tells Mikado who he should and should not hang around with. All he wants is for his friends to be happy and will fight for them no matter what. He also has some secret deep down that he are gradually revealed to us and it gives him a certain depth that I enjoy. He is also quite hilarious which is fun to watch on-screen.
Anri Sonohara is a young girl who attends Raira with Mikado and Masaomi. She is very quiet and timid and usually keeps to herself. Despite this, Anri is very fond of both Mikado and Masaomi and enjoys spending time with them. She is also very popular but refuses to believe it. I feel like I keep repeating myself, but Anri also has some secrets of her own that we learn as the series progresses. The chemistry between Anri, Mikado, and Masaomi is wonderful and I love when the three are together on-screen. They play off one another very well.
Celty Sturluson is the final character I will discuss because I could go on for days about all of these characters. There are seriously so many of them. Celty is the person known as the “Black Bike”. The legend is true because she actually does not have a head under her helmet. Celty is a creature known as a “Dullahan”. I would explain that but that’s a story for another day. Basically she does have a head, but it is naturally detached from her body. She can see and hear like a normal person but only communicates by typing on her cell phone. She really spices up the cast with a certain supernatural factor that I love. I also like her because she is a supernatural being but is terrified of aliens. The very thought just upsets her.
Other characters include an information broken, Izaya Orihara, a bartender with quite a temper, Shizuo Heiwajima, and members of the Dollars. There are countless other characters that have important roles in this story but, as I mentioned before, I feel like if I talked about every single one of them I would not do them any justice. I do really love this character cast for a lot of different reasons. Each of them has a certain quirk to them that makes them different from the others. They are also all connected in someway or another. A character will appear, say as a famous movie star, and then be revealed to be the brother of one of the characters. It is nice to see what each of the characters brings to the show. I love it!! I believe that everyone can find at least one person that they like in this show.
The openings and endings of this show are….amazing. All of them have earned a place on my iPod. They fit the story very well and are nice to listen to. The openings introduce you to all of the characters (when you can find it translated) so if you pay attention it is easy to know who is who when the episode starts. The endings also feature almost all of the characters and it is nice to see not just a select few featured. This is an ongoing trend in all of the openings and endings (even the ones in Durarara!! x2). The animation is also well done because it is not too over the top. It is well done but does have a very realistic feel to it. Almost as if it could be real. It is a real world setting (well, kind of) and the animation shows that very well. It truly was very well done.
Overall, the plot and characters really make the show what it is. You really have no idea what could happen next or even what could be revealed about your favorite character. There have been times that I have been shocked when something is revealed and upset when the episode ends on a cliffhanger. Because the cliffhangers in Durarara!! really do leave you hanging. It truly is amazing what this show can do. Each of these characters have a lot more to them then what appears on the surface, and I love that. It is what gives you that true sense of surprise when something is revealed. I will say now that Shizuo is probably one of my favorite aspects of this show. He’s just an awesome character who kicks some butt. And he wears a bartender outfit. And is voice by Crispin Freeman. Anyway.
All in all I award Durarara!! with an A. It is an amazing show that is just good all around. I can not find a single major thing wrong with this show. The characters, story, animation, and soundtrack are all amazing and I would re-watch this show in a heartbeat. Plus it is not over yet!! We are still learning more and more about these characters in the second season. I seriously highly recommend going and watching the first season and then catching up to where we are in season two. It would be a good binge anime to watch!! Go watch it!!
Well my friends that is all that I have for Day 6 of Anniversary Review Week!! What do you think? What is your opinion of Durarara!!? Do you like large casts like this? How are you liking Anniversary Review Week so far? Let me know down in the comments below!! And as always, if there is a show that you would like me to reveal then leave that down in the comments below as well!!
See you next time!!