Ranked 22 on the popularity list, I had high hopes for this one. Suffice it to say, I wasn’t disappointed, and yet, it left something to be desired.
Durarara!! is set in Ikebukuro, one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Japan. Always brimming with violence, it starts off with Mikado Ryuugamine’s introduction to this town. A quiet, self conscious country pumpkin, he is both fascinated and horrified with this place.
Durarara!! lacks any particular plot you can put your finger on, focusing on specific small arcs. As the show progresses, you get the feeling it’s pretty much all the same story over and over again, only told with changing perspectives and a series of connected events. Some of the twists are predictable to say the least. However, it does a wonderful job of blending supernatural with the mundane
Plot isn’t clearly the main focus here, the characters are. And while Durarara!! does introduces a series of outstanding characters, if you look close enough most of them are archetypes.There is the evil but lovable maniac, the jerk with a golden heart, the normal boy with a clever side, and bunch of more personalities that seems to smash in with one another. It focuses on characters that no one really cares about and ignores the one that actually might have some story to tell and have scope for meaningful character development.
It’s the confusion whether to focus on the plot or the characters which leads to Durarara!!’s downfall.
The animation quality on the other hand, is quite upto the par, though it falters at times.
.Yet, there is something about Durarara!! that makes you sit through those twenty four episodes. Maybe it’s the ambience, the non linear way of storytelling, maybe it’s the music or the moments of clarity the show provides.
Overall, I would say Durarara!! is worth a watch.
Yes, it’s pretty generic at times and doesn’t live up to the hype, but overall it’s high on the entertainment factor and would especially appeal to an anime newbie.