Seven Coloured Compass

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Durarara!!

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In Tokyo, the strangest characters gather and meet!

Name: Durarara!!

Japanese Name: デュラララ!!

Air Date: January 7 2010 – June 24 2010

Studio: Brain’s Base

Episodes: 25

PLOT

In Tokyo’s downtown district of Ikebukuro amidst many strange rumours, warnings of anonymous gangs and dangerous occupants, one urban legend stands out above the rest: the existence of a headless ‘Black Rider’ who is said to be seen driving a jet-black motorcycle through the city streets.

Mikado Ryugamine has always longed for the excitement of the city life, and an invitation from his childhood friend Masaomi Kida convinces him to move to Tokyo. Witnessing the Black Rider on his first day in the city, his wishes already seem to have been granted. But as supernatural events begin to occur, ordinary citizens like himself – along with Ikebukuro’s most colourful inhabitants – are mixed up in the commotion breaking out in their city.

Finally! I’ve managed to finish this series, took me long enough \(^o^)/

I wasn’t originally interested in anime about gangs and violence but I’ll make an exception since Mamoru Miyano plays Masaomi Kida, Daisuke Ono plays Shizuo Heiwajima, Jun Fukuyama plays Shinra Kishitani and Yuichi Nakamura plays Kyohei Kadota so it was worth it. Go seiyuus!

The supernatural craving takes over again. In all seriousness, I was fascinated by the headless Black Rider so I wanted to see what would happen…it’s time for Durarara!!

First Impressions

Such a strange title…Durarara!! It’s unique too so thumbs up for that. I might buy the manga now if I’m tempted.

The opening theme song is called ‘Uragiri no Yuyake’ by Theatre Brook while ‘Trust Me’ by Yuya Matsushita is the ending. I love the opening, it has a more upbeat feel to it.

Episode 1 opens up with Mikado doing narration and arriving in Tokyo. Masaomi welcomes Mikado into Tokyo and warns him to stay away from Shizuo Heiwajima, Izaya Orihara and the notorious Dollars gang. Then there’s a kidnapping going on meanwhile and the headless Black Rider comes to the rescue ヽ(*´ー`*)ノ

Flipping heck, I got so confused in that episode! My brain literally turned into scrambled eggs xD so many events happened but I think that it’s interesting that they threw everything in from the start. I’m hooked already, I want to know who these characters are and what these ‘colour’ gangs are. I’m going to try my hardest to understand! I know about the Yellow Scarves but tell me about the Blue Squares (^_^;)

Masaomi is an outgoing and sociable character. I love how Mamoru-san voiced him, it reminds me of Tamaki’s frivolous outbursts in Ouran High School Host Club (^^)

Mikado seems plain and boring. Just by looking at him, I know that he’s the type of person who stays hidden in the background and doesn’t say much. I feel like he’s hiding something big. Like BIG big.

Midway Impressions

Celty Sturluson is the headless Black Rider who roams the city as a transporter. Even though she’s a dullahan from Ireland, she’s still an ordinary human like us. I love her as a heroine! She’s sympathetic with others situations and I like her friendship with Shizuo. Obviously she can’t talk so she communicates with her PDA but her narration in certain episodes are deep. Her relationship with Shinra is rather adorable, it’s like a love-hate feeling xD

Anri is my least favourite character in the whole series. Most would say Izaya but I’m gonna be totally different and say Anri. Her body figure is what bothers me. She’s a girl with short hair that looks tatty, wears glasses and has massive boobs. Seriously? I’ve never seen a girl with glasses that has boobs like that. I-I’m sorry Masaomi, but what do you see in her? STOP SAYING THAT SHE’S EROTIC!! (ノ`д´)ノ〃┻━┻

Shizuo is one good looking, bad ass dude. The atmosphere that surrounds him is pure violence but it’s so sweet because he hates his strength. Episode 8 is all about him and how he got that strength…he got into a fight with his younger brother because he ate his pudding cup プッ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵. how childish of you Shizuo! Quick tip, don’t ever make fun of his bartender suit…he’ll thrash you in seconds ヽ(*´ー`*)ノ he’s got superhuman strength, it goes beyond human capabilities. He truly is the strongest man in Tokyo! And he’s rightfully earned that title, I’m so proud of you! You’re my favourite character now…blame the blonde hair obsession (*´ω`*)

Shizuo: “What on earth is Jimmy rambling on about?”

Celty: “No idea. Leave her be”

Izaya is Shizuo’s sworn enemy and an information broker. Now, he’s a really creepy character because in one episode – which I really don’t want to remember – he got pissed off at some girls, grabs one of their cell phones, throws it onto the ground and starts stamping on it whilst laughing like a maniac. Yes, nothing says fun like crushing someone’s cell phoneO_o see what I mean? Weirdo. I’ll have to suffer with him on my screen for the next thirteen episodes…the torture! 。・゜・(ノД`)・゜・。save me please! Shizuo, do you mind throwing a vending machine at his head?

Masaomi is still freaking adorkable as always! He’s such a little joker, I can’t believe that he’s 15 years old! He’s a flirt as well which makes things all the more sweeter \(^o^)/

Change of theme songs now. The opening is called ‘Complicated’ by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D and the ending is called ‘Butterfly’ by ON/OFF. Both of them are really good so try listening to them on YouTube.

Overall Opinion

Durarara!! tells a wonderfully unique story set in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, Japan. Dealing with themes such as friendship, betrayal, gang wars, the urban lifestyle, identity and even the supernatural, its storyline is wonderfully complex, surprisingly comprehensive as a whole and features several intertwining story arcs that blend together in an impressive manner.

As much as the series was impressive on a narrative level, it also excels in the visual and sound departments. The art and animation of the series is thoroughly impressive and gives each character a unique appearance that contributed to making an impression on me. The city of Tokyo is beautifully portrayed and Ikebukuro is drawn in a way that gives it an urban atmosphere, with most of the attention given to the nightlife which truly vibrates amidst the glow of streetlights and hidden secrets. This series contains an art style which is different to most anime series which basically means that the characters are more rich in detail ranging from their builds to their facial features. I loved how all of the insignificant characters – people on the streets – were coloured in grey. Only the important ones who contribute to the story were in full colour. Clever animators.

Durarara!! is very rich in characters and story arcs. As far as the protagonist goes, Mikado would be the obvious pick, though under the surface, things are much more complicated. The first few episodes focus on Mikado for the most part and develop him as a lead character and also using him as a means of constructing the exposition of the series. Once things are in place, a great deal of characters that were previously introduced come into play and several story arcs begin to take shape. On one side, there’s the group of high school friends consisting of Mikado, childhood friend Masaomi and the introverted and often shy Anri Sonohara. There’s an interesting, perhaps somewhat clichéd, dynamic going on between the three of them and the full extent of their common bond only emerges towards the finale.

SPOILER: Mikado is the founder of the Dollars gang, Masaomi is the leader of the Yellow Scarves and Anri is the owner of the sacred sword Saika. Izaya wants an all out gang war in Ikebukuro so he’s manipulating all three friends into fighting each other in order to wake up Celty’s sleeping head. Kinda gross. I cried buckets when Shizuo was shot in episode 22 or 23(?)…HOW DARE YOU HURT MY SHIZUO!!! Plus Masaomi was seriously injured in the same episode…I THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO DIE 。・゜・(ノД`)・゜・。

Masaomi: “I’m trying to put on a serious face…I can get more girls that way! D-don’t look at me like that Jimmy!”

( ಠ_ಠ)

The series is also complemented by solid voice acting with a very impressive and memorable soundtrack. They all worked well and never seemed to get old. All of them were quite fitting, meaning that the mood throughout the show is never ruined. ‘Butterfly’ by ON/OFF was my favourite overall…I’ve got it on my iPod. Teehee ❤

However, the ending felt rushed and incomplete which is pretty common among anime series. This angered me a lot because Durarara!! was sooo good considering the time the show spent on developing the characters and plot elements. If they had one or two more episodes then this would of been wrapped up nicely.

All in all, Durarara!! was an excellent anime series that is unique enough and boasts plenty of originality so as to make it one of the best series ever. It’s definitely the most well-written series in a significant amount of time, featuring intriguing characters and engaging story arcs. The way everything intertwines and relates to each other during the course of the story is quite fascinating and it was interesting to see how things unfolded in the end. The realism in the plot was stunning, like I was living it; they pretty much nailed it with the urban lifestyle of Tokyo and the mysteriousness of Ikebukuro. This is certainly a must watch for any hardcore otakus out there and probably the best anime that I’ve ever watched. I had my doubts when I started watching this, but I’m glad that I continued!

2 thoughts on “Durarara!!

  1. You didn’t like Izaya at all? He was my favorite character in this series! In his defense, he does love all humanity.

    • He was alright, I did kind of like him but the way he approached things really creeped me out xD I understand his motives but he’s still a werido in my opinion! Overall he’s an ok character🙂

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