Anime Discovery the Third: Durarara!! – #56

 

So, GSXR explained that some of the others are either alive, in critical condition or either dead from the Red Blood tragedy and the ones that escaped the turmoil vow to never get involved with the Hybrid again and live a life away from reviewing anime or anything else. Hybrid thought long and hard about that day and what happened there; he asked about Kris and according to GSXR as she spoken to him last, he said if Hybrid ever comes within 10 feet of him, he’ll kill him…..and he meant it. She described his very pissed-off and angry mood when your name is mentioned and how he felt about that. She also explained that Don’s body was never discovered after the shootout. No one knew if he was alive or dead, he just disappeared out of the thin eye. Nu just disappeared and has never heard from again and for Jumper and Emperor…..we heard of them traveling to Greece and Tahiti, respectively. But GSXR said that one person of that group did thought of finding him and regrouping but for a while, it seems efforts were futile until that person had GSXR’s help and who was that person?

While you ponder on that, it’s time to review Bacca—I mean, Durarara!!!

 

Well, you can say after the debut of Baccano! In Japan and possibly the states, you could say you hope to find more anime that’s similar to this with its’ large cast of enteraining characters and their larger-than-life wild and serial antics but luckily, this series is also adapted by a light novel from the same author Ryohgo Narita and is also made by the same animation company Brains’ Base.

Ryūgamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Masaomi has warned him about people he doesn’t want to cross in the city: a champion fighter, an informant, and a mysterious gang called “Dollars.” Nervous from Masaomi’s stories, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Scarves will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point.

Like in Baccano!, this show has a very large cast of characters and the majority of them are very entertaining to watch and you would want to watch them over and over and over again. For example, Celty Sturluson aka The Black (or Headless) Rider, who came to Japan to search for her stolen head and the only way of her communicating via PDA, which to me, is a small shame, considering when the audience hears her voice, it’s actually quite pleasant. Throughout the series, she lives with underground doctor Shinra Kishitani and eventually both of them pursue a romantic relationship with each other, which to me, is something I find to be sweet and weird at the same time…..I mean, think about it. I don’t think many people would want a girlfriend with no head….actually, no. ALL PEOPLE don’t want a girlfriend without a head! Despite that, I find their plotline and relationship interesting and fascinating. Next up, it’s Shizuo Heiwajima, a blond man in a bartender’s suit who hates to be angered and loathes violence but when his fuse gets shorter and when he fights, he has the strength of 100 bodybuilders and when these moments happen, you feel so into these character, much like Ladd Russo in Baccano!, only this guy isn’t a crazy killer, just pretty damn crazy.

 

Then it’s the four supporting characters that you wish you want to meet in real life: Kyohei Kadota, Walker Yumasaki, Erika Karisawa, and Saburo Togusa. Kyohei is the leader of their group, especially after all four quitting the Blue Squares, and really hates to be called Dotachin. Walker and Erika are passionate otaku and manga reader, which I get many of them, will know the references. There was a few times that Walker may seem dumb due to that smile in his face but sometimes putting a dumb look can help hide your true intentions (if you hide it right). Erika likes a lot of yaoi/fujoshi and is a Boys Love fan. It is also implied that they are romantically linked and there’s Saburo, who is the driver of the group and gets mad whenever his van is wrecked.  I just really like the dynamic of this group, like they are actual friends; they think together as a group and would stick together through some tough events.

Of course, there is Simon Brezhnev, a tall Black Russian man who runs a sushi shop and while he is a force to be reckoned with, he’s more friendly and uses his mind in case of confrontation; Plus, Orihara Izaya is really the asshole of the series but the asshole you love to hate, which is a great deal in my book, mainly because of his rivalry with Shizuo. Now, the last 3 main characters (Mikado Ryugamine – the new kid of the block, Masaomi Kida – the best friend and mostly a douchebag at some parts, Anri Sonohara – the bespectacled quiet timid girl who befriends the two boys) were not that bad in characterization as they are mainly the observers and they developed partially but compared to the others, they’re kind of bland and worst of all, half way through the series, the show mainly focuses of them. Now, I come to say that their part involving the Dollars, Masaomi’s deal with the Blue Squares and Saki being in the hospital, and the possession of Saika, are not boring. I was invested in those plotlines, too, but the others never had a resolution solved and leaves me wanting more of that or at least a second season, although this series’ strongest point is that it had more episodes and needed more.

As for the animation, Brains’ Base made some bad-ass animation for the first 12 episodes, but when it gets to the second half, the animation has beginning to lag at some of the movements, the fights, the character animation and the designs. I guess budget problems got the best of them (hopefully not Gonzo levels) but it was a decent effort. The score overall has a major Baccano influence written all over but the opening and ending themes are where it shined, mainly the ending themes more than the openings. However “Uragiri no Yūyake” (裏切りの夕焼け; Betrayal of the Sunset) by Theatre Brook, I find more listenable than the second opening “Complication” (コンプリケイション) by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D. As for the ending themes “Trust Me” by Yūya Matsushita and “Butterfly” by ON/OFF are equally listenable but I lean towards the latter for being more into the series than the first being just a J-Pop single.

Now for the dub brought to you by the wonderful Bang Zoom Entertainment studios and it was the first dubbed anime to be licensed by Aniplex of America and they don’t do much dubs due to business reasons, which I can respect, but glad this was dubbed however, there were some flaws I licensed in there but for the good points, there were great performances from Steven Blum, Crispin Freeman, Patrick Seitz, Yuri Lowenthal, Johnny Yong Bosch but the standout of the dub has got to be Kari Wahlgren as Celty. Some of the mid-weaker performances from Darrel Guillbeau and Bryce Papenbrook were noticeable, especially from the former, and Michelle Ruff was really off in her performance as Anri, which I’m sorry to say because she is a great VA but the worst of all is when they did a cameo from that other series that I mention (and I won’t spoil for those who haven’t seen it) and the voices are really off and that cameo was really unnecessary to do.

 

FINAL VERDICT: I really wish when Adult Swim aired this, I’m would’ve watched this sooner because I had some thoughts about it being boring and dull (I was young and foolish once) but as it turns out, to me, this was better than Baccano! By all means, this is an excellent anime for most of the first half and some of the second. In the end, it leaves you wanting to explore more into these characters like what any form of media should. Could it have been more interesting if that stuck with more of the better characters? Yes, but it didn’t stop me from loving this show.

 

 

Durarara!! Gets the perfect grade of

Planet Tyro rating: FIRST CLASS / 9/10

 

 

Then all of a sudden, the masked accomplice of GSXR came up to his face and told him about the mistakes he made in the past and how he messed up the relationships of the people who truly accepted me in my time of need but realize that he needed to repair them. Hybrid wondered if they’ll even speak to him ever since and what of the outcome then the accomplice said that she’ll give them a good talking to and told Hybrid to eventually calm down about it and then said, “After all, I’m the person that led the search to find you.”, and then she took off the mask to reveal herself and it turns out to be……Ani. Ani then said, “Surprised it was me?”, and then smiled at me and GSXR, too, as they got a long way ahead to get everyone back but there was to be a problem, as in, since Hybrid is wanted for a bounty, how are they going to elude from the bounty hunters? And the worst thing of all is that Hybrid can’t use Blue Leaf due to the new tracker devices that can sense the essence of it and he’s on a low supply so either way he’s screwed…….that is until Ani & GSXR thought of a plan.

 

And until next time…….Oh wait, here’s a preview of the next anime I’m going to review:

 

OK then……I’m MAK2.0 aka The Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.

 

 

DURARARA!! – Animation by BRAINS’ BASE / distributed by ANIPLEX OF AMERICA.

 

THE MIND OF THE HYBRID ONE – my Tumblr page.

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