I started Durarara!! on a whim because I read a bit of the manga adaptation and wanted more of the story. I am also in the middle of watching a bunch of shoujo anime and it is very hard for me to watch a bunch of shoujo in a row. I always need a bit of action to break things up. Regardless, this anime was a perfect choice. I enjoyed Durarara!! so much, it is definitely one of my favorite anime now. The show was completely consuming and I couldn’t stop watching. I would recommend this anime to anyone, regardless of whether you are into romance, action, or a good mystery. Durarara!! pleases everyone.
The story is based off of a light novel with the same title and follows a group of people living in Ikebukuro. There are characters of all sorts and they all go about their lives during the story. It is the mysterious events that occur in Ikebukuro that draw the characters together, either to save the city or to cause chaos. The show essentially contains two separate story lines, one in the first season and one in the second. Although each plot is very interesting, it is really the characters that drive this show and that is something I appreciate, especially for such a popular anime series.
The plots for the show are very interesting. The first season centers around the story of Celty Sturluson and the second season is focused around Mikado Ryuugamine, Masaomi Kida, and Anri Sonohara. I was never bored while watching this show because the plot was very detailed and interesting. There were definitely some plot twists that I wasn’t expecting and that sort of thing indicates a good show to me. I was never quite sure what was going to happen and I had some legitimate worries about characters at times. The show was really good at combining elements that make a good anime without using cliches. It wasn’t the type of show where you watch and can guess exactly where things are going. I was always pleasantly surprised at the direction the writers took the story.
The music and art were also quite good. Each bit of music was incredibly effective when it came to the action of the show, whether it was the jazzy tune that played when fights were going on or the lilting Irish style music that played when Celty was pondering something. The music really gave the show a city-like feeling that went along with the crazy Ikebukuro feeling. The anime also looked very nice. Both opening themes were also really cool and gave me a happy feeling when they played. They were upbeat and catchy. I never noticed any animation problems like weird faces or reused frames. The action was expertly shown, especially the black powers of the Headlesss Rider, the maniacal vending machine throwing of Shizuo, and the neat slashings of Saika, the cursed sword. I was always impressed with the animation and music’s contribution to an already great plot and cast of characters.
This brings me to my most important topic, the characters of Durarara!! The whole show was driven by the characters for me. Each one had some sort of story, some had more detailed backgrounds and others were a bit more mysterious. Although there were characters that were clearly villains in the story, I couldn’t help liking every character for the incredible amount of detail and characterization they each had. I hated the actions and personality of Izaya, yet I couldn’t help but be really interested in him. There were also characters that were just incredibly likable in their own way because of their unique qualities. I really liked Karisawa and Yumisaki, the crazy otaku characters, and Celty, who was both super badass and really silly at the same time. My all time favorite was Shizuo, who had a super likable quality despite the fact that he mostly ran around Ikebukuro throwing street signs at people with his super strength. He and all the other characters were likable because they were so much like themselves, yet they were also complex. Shizuo had a rage problem and threw things, but he was also fiercely loyal and he never gave up. The characters also had complex relationships that were nice. I loved the bit of romance between some of the characters, or the incredibly touching friendships that developed between others. The show was also good at directing the spotlight so that we could learn a lot more about other characters when the seasons changed. There was definitely a lot more to the Raira High Three than I expected and that was really cool.
Overall this show is definitely worth watching all the way through. If anything the characters could have driven the entire series without the great plot and animation. Durarara!! is popular for a reason, it is actually really good! If anyone is looking for a good time with a wonderful anime, I recommend this one wholeheartedly. Watch it! It is short and really good. I give this anime a 4.5/5 for my anime review.