Finish or Fail 18 – Durararararararara!!

I knew exactly what I was gonna get from Durarara, and I got just that. Baccano is one of my top 5 anime and enough to have me riding Ryohgo Narita’s cock, so I was excited as hell about Durarara, and it delivered on what I wanted. It didn’t do it as well as Baccano did, but I can hardly blame it for that – Baccano is one of the most tightly written and superbly produced, directed, and acted series of all time. I didn’t expect that lightning to strike twice.

But Durarara was still impressive. The production values were still *way* off the charts, and while the writing wasn’t as tight, it wasn’t bad or anything. Being twice the length of Baccano left a lot more room for character development, and it was cool to get into the heads of characters like Shizuo and Izaya more than I could for characters like Ladd Russo and Graham Spectre. This is obviously why a 26-episode sequel to Baccano must happen.

While Durarara doesn’t have as many instant additions to my favorite character list as Baccano did, it still had a lot of awesome players, and an equal number of stellar vocal performances. My favorite, of course, was Celty Sturluson, the headless biker whom I knew was going to be one of my favorite characters before she said a single word, and then stole my heart with her impressive development and hilarious relationship with future-husband Shinra. I was totally reminded why Miyuki Sawashiro is one of my favorite seiyuu by her performance as Celty.

Shizuo Heiwajima kicked every ounce of imaginable ass, and had probably the manliest Daisuke Ono performance ever. I’m used to this guy playing flamboyant pretty-boys like Itsuki Koizumi, so imagine my surprise when the character that I thought was played by Kazuya Nakai turned out to be that guy. Awesome stuff~

Orihaya Izaya was the perfect bastard. He’s exactly the kind of manipulative, self-assured, narcissistic asshole that I’ve always wished I could be (and tried my very hardest to act like.) Hiroshi Kamiya’s voice was perfect for him, too.

The best of the best, though, was the Dollars crew (Erika, Walker, Dotachin, and Saburo). It was impossible to watch these guys and not have a big fucking smile on my face. Erika and Walker’s uber-otaku dialog (and all those glorious references!) was the best, and the revelation that Saburo was a huge idol fanboy was one of my favorite moments in the show. Seriously, I want friends like Erika and Walker!

Heiji was one crazy dude, and I enjoyed his almost robotic nature. The plot-twists between him and Mika Harima were all a blast, and I particularly enjoyed their relationship after all was said and done. Namie never left much impression on me.

Shingen Kishitani’s gas mask, LMAO. Equal laughs for Simon. I want to see more of both.

So last but not least is the three kids, Mikado Ryuugamine (whose name is oddly easy to remember in spite of being so complicated), Kida Masaomi, and Sonohara Anri.

Between them, I found Mikado the most interesting. I had figured out by the start of ep 3 that he’d join the Dollars, but I never could’ve guessed the truth (well, if I hadn’t spoiled it for myself beforehand lol). Mikado was the perfect person to be the Dollars leader, and I loved the scenes wherein he interacted with the Dollars and set up those big missions. Also, slowly finding out that everyone in his chatroom was a major character blew my mind. I want to rewatch the show just to re-realize the meanings of some of those chats.

Kida Masaomi was a blast, largely due to Mamoru Miyano’s strange performance with all the awesomely random English phrases. I enjoyed his backstory, and his ending with Saki was my favorite of the endings in the series. I think Kida spent just a little too much of the last arc confused and stationary while the rest of the plot took off ahead of him, but anything I didn’t like about him was redeemed in his final battle.

Anri I had mixed feelings towards, and I think it’s because I’ve reached the conclusion that I don’t like Kana Hanazawa. I thought she was hot, and I more or less liked her character, though the whole thing about her being a ‘parasite’ and ‘unable to love’ came across as forced and more confusing than the show seemed to think it was. I didn’t enjoy her arc so much as like what it managed to do for her character, and how it all tied into the big third arc.

Overall, the first arc of the show was probably the best, the second was the worst (and honestly bored me at some parts), and the third was only just short of great, only because it kind of dawdled a little too much. But none of the arcs were without a good deal of awesome scenes, either of character development or of purely awesome action. I liked that it wasn’t hard to keep track of who was who and who knew what, all of which was of dire importance, and the dramatic tension got very tight towards the end until the superb final meeting/battle. I found the ending wholly satisfying, and certainly wouldn’t mind another season.

I’ve said enough about my love of the show’s setting and the Boogiepopian nature of the series in other posts. My love of pulp characters is also relevant. Beyond that, i haven’t much else to say about the series.

Durarara!! – Finished (9.2)

Like the last two things I watched, this series has proven important to my novel-writing process. As a matter of fact, it was after just a couple episodes of the show that I decided to completely start over writing my novel and rework a bunch of plot elements, such as changing the entire world, re-arranging chapters, introducing characters at different times, and adjusting the tone more to what I wanted out of it – all good things, as the story feels much more ‘right’ to me now.

11 thoughts on “Finish or Fail 18 – Durararararararara!!

  1. “I don’t like Kana Hanazawa.”

    I don’t necessarily feel as strongly, but I don’t particularly care for her voice acting, when her roles fit the character type like Anri. She needs more Zange-chan roles, for sure.

    • It’s usually going wrong for me if I think it’s Mamiko Noto at first. I thought she was fine in what little I saw of Darker than Black 2 and I don’t remember disliking her as Nadeko. But in roles like this, she just feels so flat and generic.

  2. Feeling unable to love is a common response to trauma, especially daddy problems. I felt like I got Anri, even though every single time she said “Kida-kun” for some reason it was like an unpleasant frequency in my ears.

    Glad to hear you’re rewriting. It hurts to do it, but that’s what revision should be.

    • Indeed.

      It’s not so much that I didn’t understand it as that it was put across unconvincingly, I suppose. There’s a very good chance that this is a bias on my part towards anything that sounds cliched and emo. In reality, this should be a much better reason than usual cases. I’m sure I can look at it better on future watches when it’s left left-field feeling.

  3. I think Anri’s character is done a lot better in the novel since you hear a lot of her inner thoughts. Wait…I think all the characters are done a lot better in the novel because you can hear the inner thoughts of nearly everyone. But that doesn’t mean the anime’s not awesome because it’s still purely epic and made visualizations of the novel way easier for me =D [I’m still reading the novel though] Though I agree and all the characters are just full of win xD [if only I got the references that Erika and Walker was talking about when they were torturing that poor guy]

    My opinion on the arc:
    First arc = Epic, ep 11 surprised me and was pretty much the point where I started saying “Durarara is epic”. Especially liked how they made everyone else grey and then BOOM! Everyone’s in colour =D Then Celty going berserk down the building was pretty awesome too~ Though some eps in the beginning weren’t as fully entertaining as I wanted, but it’s still okay. Some were actually 2nd arcs stuff too

    Second arc = Okay but still fairly good, I guess it had a few not that interesting eps. Though the Celty vs Shinra’s dad moments are LOL. Also when Anri blocked the dagger with her arm and pulled out the katana was an epic moment too. Probably because I accidentally saw a picture of Anri with red eyes…so I thought she was slashed instead of being the own of Saika [so it was a surprise to me too].

    Last arc = It was okay…I actually expected more from this but it didn’t exactly wow me =\ I know I shouldn’t hold any expectations when watching anime since it ruins the fun…but the arc just didn’t impress me. Maybe it was because the way Izaya exposed the ‘3 way war’ to us, that made me think that it’ll be a full on outbreak of a 3 way battle. I actually thought the 2nd arc was better than this arc…maybe it had more boring episodes? Though I do like how the plot went along [with Dotachin and them saving the day twice =D], maybe it was the way that they presented it that wasn’t as great.

    Overall it’s great with a few epic episodes, but I don’t think it topped Baccano! Baccano had more of a closure with its last ep and it felt a lot more satisfying compared to DRRR!! Maybe a second season of DRRR will change my opinion on this but for now, Baccano > DRRR.

    I think I’ll have to rewatch the show too to pick up the hints provided towards the conclusion to those arcs~

    Sidenote: I have that first picture as my itouch wall ;D Because Celty is epic~ Clumsy…but Epic.

    Jyang

  4. Glad you finished Durarara!! It’s a great show with well written characters, plot twists, etc,. But one of the things I mentioned when I wrote about it is that the show seemed realistic except for a few fantastical elements (Celty, Shizuo’s strength), which I wasn’t sure worked for me, and I felt some of the side characters like the Dollars crew could have had more screen time. But perhaps there will be a second season (are the novels still ongoing?) And I think I’m one of the few people who liked all three arcs about the same.

    I’ll have to check out Baccano one day too.

    • Ya there’s 8 novels and this only covered the first 3. So there’s a lot of material left for more shows. Seeing as Index is getting a second season, I think there’s a good chance for DRRR, especially with it’s popularity among fujoshi. Baccano sadly seems less likely to get a sequel, though it could possibly get more OVAs. But yeah, watch it. Definitely one of my picks for a ‘best anime ever’ list.

  5. i am sooooooo glad I finished this as soon as possible or I’d be sitting here really pissed off that I didn’t finish it

  6. Pingback: 2010 Anime Review | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

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