Durarara!! Isn’t that fun to say?

Starting from the top left and going right: Shizuo, Izaya, Walker, Erika, Kadota, Masaomi, Mikado, Anri, Celty, Shinra, Simon, Namie, Mika, Seiji

Hello again,

So a few days ago I was going back and looking at the manga and anime reviews I posted, checking to see which ones I had and hadn’t done. It came to a shock to me that I had yet to do anything on Durarara!! (or DRRR!! As some like to call it). So after banging my head against the wall a few times for my bad memory, I decided that I had to do a post on what is truly one of my favorite anime.

Durarara!! is about the city of Ikebukuro and the strange events that go on there. One of the first characters we meet is a young Ryūgamine Mikado who comes to the city after a life only in a small town after invited to attend a local high school by his childhood friend, Kida Masaomi. After arriving at Ikebukuro station, Mikado finds Masaomi and the two go out to the town together. Meanwhile, in a different part of town, a woman with no head rides off into the night on her horse, who is disgusted as a motor cycle. She’s dressed entirely in black, and wears a helmet to cover her headless-ness.

That’s right, it’s the dullahan, Celty Sturluson, and what is she doing? Well, she’s looking for her stolen head of course! That and creating more local legends for the people of Ikebukuro, as well as saving them form the local street gangs. Speaking of Street gangs, in Ikebukuro there are 3 main street gangs: The Blue squares, the yellow scarves, and the Dollars. The yellow scarves and blue squares had a rather large fight before Mikado came to Ikebukuro, and seem to have died down quite a bit in there activity. The dollars on the other hand are a mysterious gang who has no color, meaning anyone can be a dollar. Not much is known about them or their leader, but Masaomi tells Mikado to avoid them at all costs.

Speaking of things that Masaomi told Mikado to avoid, we have yet to go over Ikebukuro’s favorite informant, Orihara Izaya. We first meet Izaya as he’s trying to convince a girl (or some girls, in the case of manga and the light novels,) to kill herself by jumping off a building. It’s not that Izaya had a grudge against her or that he didn’t like her, on the contrary, Izaya claims to love her, and everyone else in the human race! Of course, he does not claim to love any human as an individual, and the kind of love he speaks of is more like the kind of love a dog has for his chew toy. There is one human that Izaya doesn’t love, but in fact hates, and that’s Heiwajima Shizuo (dubbed ‘Shizu-chan by Izaya).

Shizuo is a chain-smoker who runs around dressed as a bartender and is often seen trying to beat the crap out of Izaya. But what is this? He just threw a vending machine?! That’s no surprise when you consider he has super human strength and an extremely short temper. Although sweet to his friends, once he’s set off, there is literally no stopping him (you could probably shot him and it’d probably do little more than make him angrier.) He is a prominent figure in Ikebukuro, known for his dyed hair, strange choice in clothing, and of course, the super human strength. Some of the only people who can stop his massive rampaging are Celty and Simon.

Simon Brezhnev is an extremely large black Russian who sells sushi for a living (find me a more culturally diverse character than that an anime, I dare you.) At first, Mikado is scared of the rather large Russian, but later finds him to be very gentle, only fighting when necessary.

We haven’t even gone over half of the important cast, and yet something tells me we never could. That is one thing I love about Durarara!!, it is not a story about one character, but a story of a whole town. Each episode teaches you something new about the colorful cast, and how each story intertwines into one. How does the Slasher relate to an online chat room? Hard to say, but you should find out.

The characters are beautifully made and each episode follows into the next, showing you a new side to its complex story. The art is well done, and between the moments that make you laugh and the ones that make you cringe, it’s got quite a bit of diversity.  Sadly, it is not a series one can just pick up in the middle, with so many characters and only 24 episodes, its often best experienced if you watch all episodes, not necessarily in order ( I think it make just as much sense forwards as it would backwards.)

The other thing about it is that it draws you in, but the anime ending leaves much to be desired. It’s not surprising to hear once you find out that it’s based on a series of light novels by Ryohgo Narita. So far there are 11 in the series, and I’m told there is supposed to be about 12 total. The best part is, if you watch the anime, it picks the story right back up at volume 4, so you don’t have to worry the other 3 volumes! Now here’s the bad news, they are only available for purchase in Japanese. If you happen to read Japanese, then you can purchases them here, but if you’re like me and can’t read Japanese, then purchase the Japanese books anyway (to support the author) and read some of the translated volumes here. Sadly, only volumes 4-6 and 9 have complete translations, you don’t have to read 7-8 to understand 9, but it I’m told it’s somewhat helpful.

If enough people purchase the merchandise, we might get a second anime season or a movie (maybe English translated books?) So support the author!



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